Alaska Sleep Education Center

Less Stress in 2020: Packing Made Easy

Posted by Stefanie Leiter

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on Jan 16, 2020 1:22:32 PM

Young businessman in suit carrying big stack of carton boxesWhether you are packing for a move or packing for a trip across state, packing is stressful. Traveling is even more stressful and with each packing trip, it can weigh on your mind creating problems in the bedroom.

As a mom with two young kids and no family nearby for a quick trip, packing became an Olympic sport. It never started that way as I was packing and preparing for days to leave on a trip with the whole family. With a newborn, it became even more complicated.

By packing smart before your trip, the hotel or family member’s house will be less cluttered creating less stress and restful trips.

Less Stress While Traveling

Today I want to share tips that made traveling less stressful before, during, and after the trip when living out of a suitcase.  

  • Space Out the Work. Do a load everyday for the week up until when you leave. Waiting last minute is a huge mistake and believe me you do not want to be awake late before leaving on a trip. I even love doing towels and sheets the day before we leave so I do not have to when we get home.
  • Bring a tote. Depending on your length of stay and how far you are traveling, I found a tote is beneficial to keep everything in one place that is easy to access at home. When we had newborn babies, this tote was used for bottles, bottle brushes, formula, diapers, blankets, burp cloths, and dish soap for the hotel. This was a huge destresser while trying to navigate the hotel room in the dark to mix a bottle or find wipes when everyone was sleeping.
  • Simplify meals. Make a simple dinner the night before or have leftovers so you can start packing. This reduces waste in the fridge and less clean-up on top of packing.
  • Make a list. I make a list EVERYTIME we leave even for a night. Formula, diapers, extra underwear, toothbrushes, baby shampoo, dish soap, burp cloths. The list really never ends for kids and forgetting one thing probably will be a trip to the store you did not need to make. 
    • Pro Tip: create your list as a Google Doc so you can print off if you are a frequent traveler.
  • Everyone has a bag. I tried combining bags so we could take less, but I found it is easier to pack one person at a time and have separate bags. That way, you really do see that you packed socks for each member of the family.
  • Keep toys in the car. When the kids were smaller, we kept a small tote next to Ava's seat for toys Kid playing around with a camera at the parkthat stay in the car. The tote can then come with us to the grandparents or a friend's house or the hotel. These are usually forgotten items so Ava likes rediscovering books and toys we keep for traveling.
    • Pro Tip: keep colored pencils instead of crayons in the car so they do not melt.
  • Leave your purse. If you are traveling with a baby, only bring a diaper bag. We are usually on a trip with our family so packing extra medicine and my wallet in with the diaper is one less bag to remember.
  • Before leaving home. On the bottom of your list, write down things like take out trash, run the dishwasher, turn down heat/air and turn on timers for lights. Think about keeping a radio on (if you still own one) for some noise in the house.
  • Breathable air. We pack an air purifier from our house every time we go for a visit. We have allergies so it definitely helps in hotels and we like having the extra white noise.
  • Laundry baskets. We bring snacks and miscellaneous items on vacations in a laundry basket to the hotel. Then when the snacks are gone, we can have our dirty clothes in a basket at the hotel and can repack the miscellaneous items in our luggage.


No matter your sleeping arrangements, do not let sleep apnea hinder your travel plans. Whether you're traveling for business or pleasure, you want to be at your best, and you're not going to get there if you're losing sleep. Make sure to add your CPAP to your travel list.

If you need any additional information on traveling with a CPAP machine, or would like to purchase a travel specific CPAP machine, feel free to contact the Alaska Sleep Clinic.

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Topics: alaska sleep clinic, sleep disorders, travel, stress, managing stress

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