Have you ever gone on a long trip and felt like you didn’t know where to start when it comes to packing? And when do you start packing? Today’s Focus Friday is about staying focused when trying to pack for a trip.

Packing is a JOB! For some it’s a fun job but for others it can be dreadful. I enjoy packing…but, I’ll have to be honest, packing for 4 little girls can be a challenge. When all their clothes look the same, it’s hard to know which outfit belongs to which kid. But, I’ll talk more about this later.

Anyways, I love to go on vacation and travel to different places. My father was a pilot for a commercial airline company, so I grew up flying a lot traveling around the United States. One of the places I went to visit the most was New York.

My parents were born and raised in New York, and a lot of my extended family are from there. We love to go visit them, and this year we are getting the opportunity to go to New York for a family reunion! I am so thrilled to go see them. And an added bonus to the trip: The Macy’s Day Parade! (Stay tuned for a post on what it’s like to take your kids to the Macy’s Day Parade!)

With that said, I am doing some major packing for this trip. This is not the first time we have traveled with the 4 girls. We have had many experiences loading up our van to go on some long road trips.

    Powered By ConvertKit

    Packing has taken a lot of practice for me over the years, and I feel like I have it mastered!

    If you want to stay focused on packing, follow this helpful list:




    Jena’s Tips: The key to this is starting early. Two weeks before your trip starts is ideal. Get your list out and have it out for the next two weeks before you leave for your trip.

    1. Grab a bright piece of paper- maybe a bright yellow, bright pink, purple (my favorite!) whatever. It should be a piece of paper that you will find anywhere in your home if you happen to misplace it since it stands out so much.


    2. Get a Pen to go with it!


    3. On one side of the paper list the names of your family members into different sections.


    4. On the other side of the paper, write the title “Extra Items” at the top and in the middle write “Last Minute Checklist”.


    5. Section off these areas so it looks something like this…




    6. Start with your own personal list first (Mommy), then begin to fill out the list for each person who’s going on  this trip.


    7. On the back you want to include the “Extra Items” like umbrella, raincoat, flashlight, baby booster seat, pack and play, sound machine, breast pump, snacks, etc. Whatever your family usually needs that is EXTRA. Usually these items are specific for the type of trip you are going on.


    8. In the “Last Minute” section write down the things that you typically do before leaving your home for a trip.   Ex: Adjust your thermostat, unplug toaster or other electric items, turn off the water to the house, shut the blinds, stop the mail, grab your phone charger, phone and wallet.

    How To Most Effectively Get Into Shape - FREE 6 Page Workout, Pictures and Videos

    Whether you are pregnant, postpartum or an experienced mom, I designed this workout for you based off my expertise as a Physical Therapist. GET IT NOW!

      By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from Live Core Strong. You can unsubscribe at anytime found at the bottom of every email. 

      Powered By ConvertKit

      Never Forget To Pack Something Ever Again!


      This list has saved me so many times from forgetting things. As I plan my packing out over the two weeks, I start to think of items that I use on a daily basis. I write it down the moment it comes to my mind. Over the two weeks, you will get a feel for what you typically use and need every day and what you would need on your trip. It also helps you to realize what you don’t have in the house and what you might need to buy from amazon in time to arrive before the trip.

      Speaking of buying things, I absolutely love these packing cube organizers for traveling. Since having 4 girls, whose clothes all look the same, I have trouble packing their stuff. I put all 4 kids outfits in the same big bag instead of 4 individual bags.

      Within the bag, these organizers are separating each kid’s clothes. You can even buy different colored sets and each kid can have their own different color. This way it’s easier to know which kid’s clothes are stored where and all the kid clothes are all organized into one large bag. It’s so much easier to travel with one large suitcase rather than several small bags. 

      These packing cubes make it so much easier to pack not just the kids’ clothes but also my clothes. They help to organize my underwear separate from my tops and my bottoms. Also my toiletries can be organized using these cubes. They have amazing reviews and are priced well. They come in so many different colors and are so easy to get to fit into any size bag.


      Now that I have my list that includes EVERYTHING I need for the trip, I start checking off each item after it has been packed away in the suitcase. If I don’t check it off, then I know I still need to pack it.

      Usually the night before or the day of the trip I am still checking off some last minute items like makeup and a phone charger. That’s why it’s important to check the item off so you don’t have to go back through the entire list again.

      Staying focused on ONE packing list is much more efficient and less chaotic than a bunch of packing lists or even no packing list at all.  All your thoughts and ideas are compiled in one easy place, a place that will definitely remind you not to forget something!

      If you have any other helpful gadgets or packing ideas to help ease the process, I would love to hear about them. Comment below with ideas or ask me a question. I would love to hear from you!

      Keep Smiling,

      Dr. Jena Bradley, DPT


      This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.

      If you liked this post and want to save it to reference and reread later,

      please feel free to PIN and share it!

      You May Also Like…

      Please leave a positive and uplifting comment or ask a question. I am here to help! After I read and approve your comment, it will appear. Thanks for joining me and I look forward to hearing from you!


      1. Marissa

        I’ll definitely be using some of these tips because I’ll be traveling with a 2 month old and 16 month old in a few weeks!

        • Jena Bradley

          Marissa, I hope all goes well with your travels with your little ones. I traveled to Yellow Stone National Park with my 8 month old (this was years ago) and it was the most memorable trip.

      2. Lisa

        Love the way you make your list, especially your bright color suggestion! I always seem to lose my lists and I think this suggestion will help!

        We are gearing up to travel more in 2019, and I will definitely use some of these tips.

        • Jena Bradley

          Lisa, the bright colored paper is definitely hard to lose. It actually tends to follow you around the house instead 😉

      3. Carli

        Love these tips! I’m usually a last minute/stress packer, ha ha!

        • Jena Bradley

          Carli, glad you liked the tips! Hope it helps.

      4. Supermompicks

        I like the bright colored paper idea for writing down your lists. My purse is full of small papers and I tend to lose them. This would help me as I am making my list 2 weeks in advance.

        • Jena Bradley

          I have the same problem sometimes, a bunch of tiny papers laying around. I should just staple them all together an make a mini book! Ha, just kidding. That’s why I like ONE large, bright piece of paper. I won’t lose it in the house.

      5. Lisa @ https://meandmymomfriends.com

        Omg yesssss to all of this! I am an obsessive list-maker. Especially when getting ready for a trip. But even I have never thought of the bright colored paper idea! I am so doing that next time!

        • Jena Bradley

          Lisa, glad you liked the bright colored paper idea. I have my bright colored paper sitting out in front of me right now as I plan for my next trip!

      6. Racheal

        That last minute checklist is CRUCIAL! One time we went out of town overnight and forgot to check if our cat was inside before we left. 🤦 We should’ve put it on the list!

        I love those packing cubes! I have never seen a luggage set like that before. We have three little ones and a set like this seems like it would be worth investing in! Thanks for sharing your tips with us!

        • Jena Bradley

          Racheal, Your CAT! Oh my! We usually put on our last minute list “Feed The Cat Extra Food” because I don’t want our cat to starve! Yikes.
          Love these packing cubes! They are AMAZING!


      Submit a Comment

      Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *