When planning for a round the world trip (RTW), you must seriously consider “stuff management.” There are two options for managing your “stuff.” Store everything, or get rid of everything. In our case, we are choosing to store our most sentimental possessions (photo albums, collectibles, etc) and get rid of everything else, including our house. Even though we are not leaving for our trip until next year, we have been busy trying to de-clutter our house and minimize our “stuff.”
And this brings us to a little problem we faced this year; Christmas. Christmas is that time of year where you get all kinds of “stuff.” I love Christmas and I love to get “stuff.” But I am also practical and did not want our family wasting their money on us if we were to just get rid of their gift next year. So this year I came up with a solution that would both help us with our RTW trip and not offend a family member by getting rid of their thoughtful gift (don’t worry, Terry, we are keeping the beautiful sailboat tapestry you made for us). My solution was to list items on my Amazon Wish List that we are planning to take with us on our trip, but have yet to buy.
When we leave for our trip we will only have one bag for each of us to hold our “stuff” in. Since our storage space is limited the “stuff” that we will be lugging with us around the world must be multi-purpose, high quality, and preferably quick drying. The available options that fit these categories are often expensive, but invaluable when traveling and washing your clothing in the sink.
So this year’s practical Christmas list included ExOfficio Give-N-Go quick drying underwear, a quick dry travel towel, a sleep sack, and Smartwool socks. And I was ecstatic when I opened my presents on Christmas morning and found those items. Normally, I would not be excited about receiving a pair of underwear or socks for Christmas. But when the ExOfficio underwear costs $25 for one pair and Smartwool socks are around $18 for a pair, those are pretty nice gifts.
And the other great thing about getting items from our RTW list before we go is it gives us a chance to test them while traveling now. This real world experience will help us decide if we really like an item, or not. Product reviews are great, but trying it for yourself is better.
You had more forethought than I had! My family doesn’t go crazy on xmas presents but my husband’s does. The kids got so much stuff for Christmas. Unfortunately, much of it will go in the garage sale when we sell the house and set out on our Worldschool Adventures! What a waste of money! I think when we are on the road we will ask for ITunes money or a PayPal transfer!
Our daughter Sydney got a lot of toys for Christmas. She loves her toys! It will be really hard for her to let them go. We are hoping it won’t cause some psychological trauma! We may have to get rid of all of our stuff, but save half of her toys for when we resettle. We won’t have furniture, but we will have old toys! 🙂
Good idea on the iTunes and the Paypal transfers.
My oldest son (5) said something really beautiful to me the other day. We’ve been talking about this trip since before he was born so he is comfortable with the idea. We were discussing how we could only bring a few small toys with us when he said “I have a good idea, how about we don’t bring any toys. Then we can buy toys on the way and when we get tired of them we could give them to poor kids!” Melt my heart!
Shawn Brandow says
The other problem is trying not to pack too much stuff. There are so many things I wish I had just left at home for the sake of weight and comfort.
We seem to always overpack, too. It must be human nature to be hoarders and overpackers!
Lisa Waller says
This post hits the nail on the head! Hopefully, we’ll be leaving next summer & we still have a lot of gear to get. We have a list of all the gear we have & all the gear we still need posted on our blog. That way it’s there for family & friends to see if they want to pitch in. However, we seem to get more gift cards to REI than we do actual stuff. No complaints here!
You cannot go wrong with REI gift cards! We find ourselves there often looking at travel gear.