This is a free visualization exercise, that aids you in travel packing, by picturing what it would be like when you are in a specific space.
What is the Purpose of this Free Travel Packing Visualization Exercise?
The purpose of this free visualization exercise is to help you be successful in packing for travel. It sucks to arrive at your destination and realize there is something you really wanted or needed to have with you, but you forgot, or didn’t even think, to pack it. This exercise is a tool you can utilize as a part of your travel packing regime. Planning tools allow us to do the “work” prior to our travel, so once we arrive at our destination, we can focus on our journey.
What Tools Do You Need in Order to Partake in This Exercise?
There is a true art to packing. It involves planning, organization, and balance. The planning part comes prior to this exercise. You need to have an idea what type of travel you are planning, its purpose, the expected weather at your destination, and the types of activities in which you may engage. It is also a good idea to know the approximate length of your trip. You may want to have a pen and paper nearby. These are all the tools you need in order to partake in this exercise.
Sample Travel Situations
For example, if your goal is to be in Greece for one month during July for a yoga retreat, this narrows down your packing a bit. The things you know are that you need yoga wear and any associated equipment. You may be coming from far away and know that you have a long flight. After checking weather, you will likely be aware of the intense heat in most of Greece during the Summer. You likely have seen some photos of your accommodation, and maybe the town you will be residing in. You may have participated in yoga before.
As another example, some of you know, I just purchased a camper trailer. I used this free travel packing visualization exercise in order to determine what supplies I needed to pack. I have been camping many times, but not in an RV. Each type of travel requires varied equipment. This really helped me to see some of the things that I needed to order and add to my packing list.
Using the above situations as our examples, along with the facts that we know, it’s time to do the visualization exercise.
How Do you Do this Free Travel Packing Visualization Exercise?
There are two variations of this same exercise. One is purely through visualizing, like the Greece yoga example. The other, is both visualization and physically going through your actions, as in the trailer example.
Method 1: Visualizing
- So, first, think of the things that you know and are familiar with. In the case of the yoga trip, you may have never been to Greece, or to this specific hotel. You may have flown on a long international flight before. An extremely hot destination is probably not foreign to you. You may have attended a previous yoga class, or even a retreat. You probably have some details of your itinerary, such as, if you will have a roommate, will the classes be outdoors, and are there additional facilities, such as a pool or hiking nearby?
- Next, Sit down in a quiet space, preferably one that somehow connects to your upcoming plans. Perhaps if it is sunny, sit outside. Or in this case, sit on your yoga mat.
- Regardless, make yourself comfortable.
- Gently close your eyes and calm your mind.
- Take some slow, deep breaths to help you relax.
- Allow all the miscellaneous thoughts to drift away, and begin to envision your travel.
- Put yourself there, at your destination
- Now literally allow yourself to go through your day from beginning to end. Alternatively, picture yourself attending a specific activity, or a part of your day.
- You can work on each aspect of your trip separately. Sometimes it is overwhelming to think of everything at once. For example, forget about the flight for now, and focus just on a day at the on the retreat.
- Envision yourself going through the motions of a day. I will place in italics the takeaway items below. These are some of the items you can add to your list.
- Whatever comes to mind, write down. If later you feel that the items are unimportant, then cross them off and do not pack them. For now, be open to possibilities.
Example 1: Your Yoga Retreat in Greece
You wake up to your alarm for your sunrise yoga class. You yawn, slipping on your yoga outfit. This early, you feel a slight chill, and grab a suitable yoga jacket. It’s too early to shower, so you pull your hair up in a cloth band. You fill your water bottle, just like you do before all yoga classes. You grab your blanket, mat and towel. Oops, don’t forget your sunglasses!
Class is over. You feel energized and very hungry. You head straight to breakfast, happy you have sneakers as the steps are a steep uneven climb leading to the restaurant. While eating, you gaze out the window, and decide that afterwards, you will put on your swim suit, cover up, and flip flops and read your kindle by the pool. You apply more sunscreen and head to meet up with your group.
Later tonight, back in your room, you take off your carefree sundress from dinner, and pull on your pajamas. Your roommate is snoring, but you are jet-lagged and awake. You pop in your headphones, to watch a movie on your mobile phone. Good thing you loaded a few favorites prior to leaving home, because the internet here is slow.
You get the idea. Take your time. Visualize each activity on your retreat agenda. Think about the guide book you read. Will you be visiting ruins, heading to the beach, or going to an upscale restaurant? Visualize some of these activities and picture what you would reach for in each situation. You can repeat this exercise for additional aspects of your trip, such as your flight. It really helps to pack those little extras that enhance your travel experience.
- Once you figure out a day or two in your life on your journey, just multiply your needs by the number of days you are traveling. Usually, I pack for a maximum of 7 days and then do laundry and repeat.
Method 2: Physically Going Through the Motions and Visualizing
This will be almost exactly the same exercise, with a variable. If you are stocking supplies in an RV or boat that you actually have access to while you are packing, you can perform this exercise inside it. Therefore, you can go through the steps not only visualizing, but also physically going through your daily motions.
I still go through the above steps of relaxing, breathing and visualizing what my trip will entail, in order to pack clothes and accessories. The difference here is that afterward, I literally live in my space as an exercise.
Example 2: Stocking Your Camper Trailer
I open the door to the camper and pull down the metal boarding stairs. I notice there are no rugs on the stairs. The bare metal is slick under my socked feet. I never wear shoes indoors. I enter the bathroom and visualize getting ready for my evening. When I am through washing my face, I cannot find any place to hang my wet washcloth or towel. Hooks go on my list. I need a toilet paper holder (and toilet paper), and a bottle of soap to wash my hands. And hand towels. I make a note. I continue my evening ritual, imagining brushing my teeth, taking medication, and removing makeup. As I reach for these items and inspect their respective homes.
I move into the kitchen and simulate cooking dinner. I realize the outlets are high for some of the appliances on my counter; Bring an extension cord. And speaking of, I love toast and coffee in the morning. Note to self, buy a toaster and coffee maker. I open the fridge to get an egg. Where would I keep them so that they do not break? Get an egg container. I sit at the table to eat and realize that placemats and coasters are missing. In the bedroom, I visualize making the bed. I need a mattress pad. I get undressed and open the wardrobe to hang my clothes… no hangers.
Again, I am sure you are visualizing the picture. The above, are two different examples, but the exercise is the same. The point is, just go through your day mentally, and even physically, and be very present to what you utilize. Visualize your space, go through the motions, write your list, and pack your bag. You can repeat this exercise as much as needed. This exercise really helps me to hone in on the items to acquire and pack, in order to be more efficient while traveling. It is a great way to dummy check yourself. Happy Trails to You!
See Also Jenny In Wanderland article, Travel Planning Guide for RV Road Trips, including a free downloadable RV Road Trip Planner!