I can’t believe I am leaving for Taiwan in less than two weeks! It’s getting down to crunch time. Of course, Hapa Papa doesn’t understand why I’m stressed (I say I’m not stressed about it but that’s because I’m LYING) because he thinks that going on a trip just means to pack a few days of clothes and toiletries and go.


I love him, but it’s so obvious to me that he’s an idiot in this case.

Packing clothes and toiletries is the LEAST you can do – and NEVER enough.

So then, here is what I do to prep for a long trip (or any trip, really). Please tell me I’m not the only one who thinks this way. Also, please tell Hapa Papa that he is wrong. Like, super duper embarrassingly wrong.

1) About a month or two before the trip, make a long list of all the things that we will need – sometimes down to detailing clothes and accessories. This includes things we do not currently own but may need for the trip.

The longer the trip, the longer out I make the list because the longer you are gone, the more things you will need to anticipate.

2) Constantly add to the list and then freak out that there is so much shit to buy. Why do I not have this shit already??

3) Make a separate To Buy/Borrow list.

4) After resting on the list for a few days/weeks, around a month out, I start buying items. I don’t buy them all at once because some things need to be researched (eg: bug spray, shoes, allergy bracelets, fanny packs, diapers, weather appropriate clothing, extra Epipens, gifts for friends and family, etc.).

Praise Jesus for Amazon Prime so I don’t ever have to physically set foot in a store because that is a fate worse than death.

5) Make a list of all the errands I need to do before we go (eg: renew passports, get notarized travel documents, pay bills, hold mail, prepare stuff we would need to get done while on the trip like enroll Gamera for TK and have all documents ready when the charter school FINALLY acknowledges her registration but by then I WILL BE IN TAIWAN FFS).

Of course, this list includes the list of To Buy/Borrow as well as other lists that I will make. Cross-referencing lists is a sign of expertise.

6) List out all the things I need to clean before we leave for Taiwan so I can feel guilty about not cleaning them before I go. I like to itemize guilt.

Subsets of this list include: doing laundry (because how can you pack your clothes IF THEY ARE ALL DIRTY?), taking out the garbage (because six weeks of rotting garbage is gross), and cleaning out the fridge (because six weeks of rotting food is gross).

My friends are telling me to not bother cleaning because cleaning on top of packing just sucks major donkey balls. But it’s really for my own peace of mind.

I hate coming back to a dirty house. It’s one thing when I am living in filth. It’s another to actually come BACK to it.

I agree with Not Another DB MBA. The only realistic solution is to move.

7) People keep asking me if I am worried about the long plane ride to and from Taipei. I reassure them all. I have been training my children (for years, actually – appreciate my foresight!!) to watch an iPad for hours.

I am not kidding when I tell you they are quite talented at iPadding for 4-5 hours at a time. Yes. Even Glow Worm. I’m sure they’ll be up to the challenge of even MORE hours.

Don’t act like you’re not impressed.

8) Do stuff on lists. (This is really difficult. The lists judge me and keep me awake at night.)

9) Pack half-assedly for a few days in the attempt to seem on top of it and prepared.

10) Do anything except pack. Like cleaning stuff off the To Clean list that I’ve been ignoring because that’s the best way to get something done.

11) Just say, “Fuck it. Taiwan has stores and accepts all forms of legal Taiwanese tender. If I forget something, I will just buy it.”

12) Actually pack but in the process, not clean anything at all.

Welp, there you go! My official and trademarked method of prepping for a long trip. Make sure to follow everything to a T or procrastinate everything because quite frankly, what’s the point of having lists except to remind you of all your failures?

Wish me luck!