This weekend we ran into the age old debate – how far in advance do you begin packing for a HUGE trip? My husband prefers to take it easy and pack at the last minute or just not be rushed. I know where he gets that from so I assume it is learned behavior mainly because I know where I get my tendencies and they all have family roots. For a huge, greater than 10-day international vacation, I firmly believe you have to be start packing or at least start throwing stuff into a central area two weeks before the trip date. Then, 4-5 days prior to the trip, all items should be roughly packed in and of course, you weigh the bags to make sure you are within your allowance. That is my idea of packin’ it up. Then, in the final days, I can relax and just worry about last-minute items and things that have to wait ’til the last minute.
Anyway, I write this because when I talked with a girlfriend of mine about the debate between my husband and I, she pointed out an important difference between most men and most women. Women tend to plan ahead of time (generally), plan the entire trip, get books from the lirarby to plan the trip, pack her bags and the kids’ and then have time left over to miraculously pay all the bills, put the mail on hold, the newspaper on vacation hold, book the transportation to and from the airport and talk to neighbors about watering the plants and what to do in case of emergency. She even has time to talk with her co-workers about watering her plants at work. Meanwhile, the man strolls in about 20 minutes before departure for the airport, throws some stuff into the bag designated for him and asks if there is anything else he can do. I am not angry – I am just amazed repeatedly at women in all we do including packin’ it up 🙂
Don’t get my wrong, my husband is a great big help in everything in life but when I am stressed, I tend to be vocal and talk about everything including … “what happens if an ant jumps onto the plane and crawls over to and bites our daughter… what type of antiseptics should we pack in our carryon? Wait… does that go into the carry-on? Will the TSA allow it? Will it smell on the plane?” See what I mean… this is how I talk when I am stressed out – I need to talk and just be heard and told, “it’ll be okay.” What does the guy hear? “I am an emotional crazy woman and I need you to fix the situation now!” So he tries to fix it by “helping” – the woman perceives this is not helping at all but rather hindering the “operation” so another battle of the sexes emerges. Anyway, I write this blog only to make the point that women and men are truly different … even when it comes down to packing and planning for a family vacation. We are not emotional or freaks when we are planning a trip for you and the family…. we are resourceful, thoughtful, and above all, organized! So, ladies, pack your bags, expect to pack your kids’ bags too, take a deep breath, and when you need to vent, call your girlfriends- they will understand and listen to you without judging or freaking out themselves. Pack it up and have a safe trip!