The key to packing correctly is to anticipate what you might need for any given journey. Having the correct number of unmentionables, socks and sweaters is the bare minimum. Having nothing AT ALL leftover at then end of your journey means you did not pack well enough! Having a ton of useless stuff you didn't need means the same.
On our Paris journey I packed just barely well enough. I used almost every single thing I brought at least once, excepting only our umbrella and one spare pair of panties. I could have used exactly one more pair of socks. So it was close. I even used my prayer shawl. I'm not a napper, so when everybody else was napping in the cool AC I had something to keep me comfy. Any true clothing emergency could have been a problem. Citygirl solved an "I need something to disguise the fact that I've already worn this dress" situation by belting one of my silky t-shirts over the top of a lace dress to go clubbing with our tour guide.
Beach packing is a little easier. We have a washer/dryer, so we don't really even need to bring a weeks' worth of anything. At least it's true for the clothes. Except for sheets and bathing suits, we come home with everything already washed. Medications are already pre-sorted for Babygirl, Mom and me.
But the food? Trying to not shop for anything except fresh fruit and veggies is the goal. Coffee, lemonade mix, hotdog buns, tortillas can all be brought along, but milk? Sometimes you just have to break down and go to the store.
Usually we do pretty well. There's always the spare box of elbows that comes back home with us. One year we packed a lunch for the road home that included peanut butter and jelly on leftover burger and dog rolls. My Dad laughed so hard I thought he'd break something!
And this year (for the first time since Babygirl was 2!) we need to consider swim diapers and baby supplies. Well, there's always Happy Harry's drugstore.
Packing for Mom is a totally separate challenge. Clothes in case my brother talks her into going out in public. Nighties for when he doesn't. Pillow. Oxygen machine. Portable oxygen. Walker. Toiletries. I spent most of my evening tonight getting this all set up, while she asked 16 times if I'd put in any socks. Or deodorant. Or socks. Or deodor.....you get it.
I'm totally stoked about leaving. Can you tell?