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When going on a holiday, I like to be prepared.


In six days time I will be down Sydney way in preparation for my little sister’s wedding (teary, she’s grown up so fast!) in the Hunter Valley. Due to the expense just to go for the weekend, my partner and I are slipping in a three night mini-vacation in the Newcastle region after the wedding, before driving back to Sydney for my grandfather’s 80th birthday celebrations and a sort of family reunion at the party. We will also hit up Sydney’s drag racing spot before leaving. Thank goodness I have five days off when I get home to do the relaxing in – I do not know that I’ll get time when actually away haha! I’m so pleased with how this has worked out as it will be my first holiday in over a year and almost 18 months since holidaying with my partner. We are both super excited for Sydney’s food scene… any recommendations for there or Newcastle, folks?

AnywayAnyway. This isn’t about the food. It’s about the lists. 

In order to be truly prepared, I write lists. Lots of lists.

I use the Wunderlist app on my phone (the Widget on my Android home screen. makes at a glance ticking off easy peasy) and my fave notebook of all time – the Winsor & Newton Premium Quality Double Wire Visual Diary, 60 sheets (120 pages) of A5 146x210mm 110 GSM acid free drawing paper – and no, this isn’t an ad nor sponsored, I just LOVE this notebook for my lists. I have gone through countless of them, have tonnes lying around the house, and love that I could write in Sharpie (I have a bazillion colours of them) because the paper is thick enough.

My current lists include:

  • Itinerary – a day by day briefing of where we’re going, where we’re staying, if it’s a travel day (plane, or, car), and anything else that may affect outfit choices and things that are an absolute must do that day.
  • Places to see/go to eat – anything specific or shops I wish to visit. Basically whether it’s a want or need, having it all in one place makes it easier to tick off throughout the trip and prioritize based on the time we have left. (Currently listed: LUSH, MAC, Mecca Myer Sydney, n2 gelato, lavender farm, Victoria’s Secret at airport, try on watches at Fossil, drags.)
  • Swatch/buy at Mecca – pretty self explanatory. The reason I write SWATCH is so I don’t feel pressured by my list writing past self to buy buy buy. Sometimes I will just swatch or colour match in order to buy online at a later date. I am past the days of making impulse buys without even swatching.
  • Packing list – this is the page jn the photo above. I have my outfits planned roughly by day. So for a 10-11 day trip I worked out there is 20 outfits needed. Keep in mind, one of these is a spray tan friendly outfit, there are three events and a wedding that I will need more dressy outfits and therefore may double up on. I then have large post its on the opposite page layered across the page with makeup bag, toiletries, jewellery, technology, and on the plane lists. I like to watch YouTube videos with this book open in front of me so I am reminded not to forget anything. Everyone has different must-pack ideas so it’s fun to watch a few. I am trying to keep to travel sized items for all my toiletries this time due to the higher amount of outfits needed. Fave YouTubers to search (their online name + travel) are Glamlifeguru, Nicole Guerriero, Breelovesbeauty (thanks Jess!), EssieButton, Lily Pebbles, Vivianna Does Makeup, Kimmmyberleyy.
  • Don’t forget at hotels – Normally I would write this list the night before check out to cover any items I hadn’t yet packed because I was still using them or would use them in the morning – phone charger, water bottle in fridge, shower/bathroom items, eye pillow, skincare, haircare, makeup, shoes/handbag, jewellery, watch, fitbit, check sheets for lost socks, check drawers for anything else, and put used towels in shower area. However this time I will be staying at five hotels over the duration, and didn’t want to risk forgetting anything so I’ve just drawn up a little table so I can check them off as I check out each time.
  • To do when back home – as things will pop into my head when I’m on holidays and this will mean I won’t forget, and can tick them off when I’m back without having constantly been trying to remember whilst on holidays elsewhere.
  • Before I go – remembering that I need to return all my library books, wash my car, work out some back up games for at the hens, wash all the linen at my mum’s place, finish the getting ready playlist – things that I would normally have on a to do list I’ve popped in here. From now until I return, this book is my only to do list. I try not to have anything more than one book and one app at any one time.
  • Payday – because I have a payday the night before I leave and a day after I get back, I don’t wanr to forget any big bills (rego is due while I’m away) or get ahead of myself spending when I have a phone bill due on my return. Having a checklist means I won’t pay rent twice when I already prepaid it last pay so I didn’t forget.
  • Other lists specific to this trip – the last page at the moment for me is a tackle box list. This is a “on the day emergency kit” filled to the brim with nail file, clippers, neutral lip gloss, comb, bobby pins, hair ties, safety pin, mini deodorant, bandaids, q tips, lash glue, tweezers, makeup wipes, antacids, panadol, gum, pads, tooth picks, extra earring backs, perfume (sample sizes), plastic bag, lip balm and scrub, hand sanitizer, hand lotion, hair spray, mascara, and more. I don’t want to be caught unprepared on my little sisters big day!

I have a bunch of questions I have to ask my sister when I arrive about the wedding and rather than writing them down in my book, they’re in my Wunderlist app so I can just ‘ping’ them off (they make a sound as you tick complete) when asking her. It’s been difficult trying to remember everything from 2000km’s away without a visit to clarify in person.

So that’s it for now, that is how I get organised. I plan on packing on Sunday night as I will be going to stay at my parent’s place for the Monday and Tuesday nights and this way it’s all done in advance and I can just wheel my suitcase out without stressing that I may leaving in five minutes…

How do you get organised before a trip? Any hot tips?