Quick Packing Tip: Get it done the night before!!

My parents are in Northern California this week, enjoying a well deserved vacation in a place where it’s not 105 every day. They left last Monday, and packed the night before so they could leave for the airport on time. Because they had an early flight, at 810, they planned to leave for the airport around 645–early, but my mom felt she still had enough time to get a few things done in the morning before leaving. Well, when they woke up they had a notification that their flight was delayed (due to waiting for the crew), and they were going to miss their connection. Great way to wake up, right?

A quick call to the Aadvantage desk confirmed that they wouldn’t make it to their second flight, and that all later flights to San Francisco from DFW were overbooked. Oh no! But, they found out there was an earlier flight to DFW that left at 710 instead of 810, and if they ran they could make it. So they grabbed their suitcases and ran for the  car, and were able to make the flight. (Side note: I would just like to say, wow. I have never gotten up early enough for an early flight to have any chance of making a flight an hour earlier. Go, parents!)

Of course, what this means is that a) my mom left without putting any makeup on or drying her hair (oh well) and b) she didn’t get those little things done before they left. Not a super big deal, but she did manage to leave without a long sleeve shirt, and the high yesterday was 55.  (That is literally 50 degrees colder than our high today. I’m just a tiny bit jealous of those temps. Anyway.) Honestly, though, those things are not that big of a deal considering that they could have completely missed the flight to SFO.

The moral of the story? If you have an early morning flight, it’s a good idea to have everything ready the night before. Maybe your flights are messed up, maybe you oversleep, maybe there’s a pet/child/house emergency…… It’s so easy to think, I just want to go to bed! I will pack my purse/get my toiletries together/find my Kindle charger in the morning. But it’s better to just suck it up and finish the night before, so that the morning goes as smoothly as possible. It would be terrible to miss your flights just because you left something for the last minute!


  1. “If you have an early morning flight, it’s a good idea to have everything ready the night before.”

    So true. I once missed a flight because I woke up late then had to pack. Never again.

  2. If I have an early start, I not only do as much as possible the night before, but I usually have a short list of things that HAVE to be done in the morning. I tape this list on the front door at eye level the night before so I don’t miss anything on my way out. Usually these are last-minute tasks like opening/closing windows, making sure AC/heat are off and that I grab any chargers that were used during the night…

  3. I have a toiletry bag in my bathroom closet that is always packed and ready to go. However, I still post a list on the door the night before a trip that includes glasses, phone, charger, make up, and hair items. So far, this system has worked well!

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