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Overpackers Anonymous and Crazy Bike Race

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My low this week has been attempting to organize myself, my hubby and my 3 kiddos for our big trip across the country to visit my dad and grandmother, “Ma.” I absolutely dread packing when traveling as I have a tendency to overpack quite a bit. So when I have to pack for myself and the kids – well, let’s just say that there are never enough suitcases. I always think… well, what if the weather gets really cold or what if it’s super hot and what about when it’s stormy… what if my kiddos get dirty and need a change of clothes, I have to bring my favorite pair of jeans… I’ve got to bring sneakers and flip flops for my kids, but how many? Oh and what about hats. Yep – that’s what goes through my head every single time I pack for a trip. Any tips for this overpacker?! 🙂

With all that being said, I am super excited to head to Massachusetts to see much of my extended family and to get a little rest & relaxation – stay tuned as I am sure my high for next week will include some photos of the fun times that we are sure to have.

So my high this week was most definitely the awesome bike race that I participated in on Saturday here in Boise along with my sister and 2 friends. The race, called the Ultimate Urban Challenge and benefitting the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Idaho, was basically a bike race where teams of four follow clues on bike to secret destinations and complete assigned challenges.

The challenges ranged from bowling, playing pool, kyaking, running through the Botanical Gardens, and even participating in a mock newscast. As you can see from the picture above and to the right, I got very into my role. 😉 Oh, and if you’re wondering about the awesome outfit, all teams were encouraged to dress up in costumes so we decided to wear matching pink leopard shorts and knee socks. LOL! What can I say, I seriously love being a dork! 😀

If you live in or near Boise, I highly encourage you to check out the Ultimate Urban Challenge next year – it benefits a great cause and it is so much fun!

[h2s_box]Every Wednesday, I share my high(s) and low(s) for the past week and I encourage you to do the same in the comment section below. My high(s) will simply be the best or most exciting thing that happened to me over the last week or so and my low(s) will be something not so great that took place. [/h2s_box]

Join The Discussion

Comments 59

  1. guest

    My definite high of the week (and maybe year) was the two Supreme Court decisions today. My low was discovering my husband had a fractured foot (misdiagnosed 2 weeks ago as bruised) which completely explained why he was so miserable on our 7 day Disney cruise last week. Oh wait, that leads to another high of the week, we thankfully have AFLAC accident insurance and he is the reason why, LOL 🙂

    • Samantha

      YAY, SCOTUS! 🙂

  2. Nicole

    advice for overpacking…hmmmm. Maybe use those vacuum bags to condense stuff if you have access to a vacuum at your destination that could be helpful 🙂 maybe check pinterest for lists of helpful things to pack as well. A list may help cut down on unnecessary items 🙂

  3. steph

    My high was teaching a class totally in my 3rd language 🙂 My low was dropping my computer off of the island in the kitchen.Still in the shop. Gotta laugh to keep from crying 🙂

  4. J

    You.Look.Awesome! How fun and what a great cause! LOVE Make-a Wish!

    We do a lot of weekend trips, away 2-3 days typically. The best tip I can give you is that while you are away from home, just remember, you aren’t away from civilization! If you forget something (while it may not be frugal) you can probably run in a Dollar General or WalMart somewhere to grab what you need. When I tell myself that, I tend to not overpack for some reason. And if we ever have to buy things, I usually just leave them in the car as backups.

  5. harlow

    looks like u had a blast–wish they offered similar in Mobile, AL. Congrats in ur healthy accomplishment. good luck at ur family reunion- have a great time. 🙂

  6. amanda

    Give Ma a big hug from all of us!!!! We miss her! 🙂

  7. Monica

    Love the pic!
    Were you driving or flying? Driving I always just pack 2 Sterlite bins, never bags or suitcases.

    • Tia

      They must be driving. With the suitcase limitations & bag fees, you will happily leave stuff behind!

  8. Queen Mum

    Thank you Collin for a much needed laugh (out loud). Your awesome outfit rocks!!

  9. Jen

    I am a total over packer too, so I try to keep things as organized as possible. I put everyone’s socks and underwear in individual gallon size zip loc bags in the suitcases. That way my kids can pull out a clean pair of underwear from their bag. Once we arrive at our destination, I empty one suitcase, and use it as the dirty clothes hamper, and everyone puts their dirty clothes in it. Then my kids are never guessing if they are putting on clean or dirty socks and underwear lol!

  10. Valerie

    Hello, my name is Valerie and I am an avid over-packer. 🙂

    I have a list that helps me feel like I haven’t forgotten anything for me or the kids. And I try to change it or adapt it after a trip with the items I repeatedly didn’t need. I hate to not pack something and have to buy it. I know I can, but I don’t like paying full price! I always figure if it fits in the car, plane, etc and I’m willing to carry it then so be it.

  11. Emily

    Aww man, could I teach you to pack! I regularly go for a week with just one carry-on bag. I take a vacation purse and wallet – which is smaller than my normal purse and wallet b/c I don’t need the 25 loyalty cards that I have jammed in a pouch inside my wallet and a million other things. I always take a tide-to-go pen with me (everywhere) and I typically only bring two pair of jeans if I’m traveling during the winter or one if I’m going somewhere in the summer. I know that I’m not going to get dirty. Keep in mind that where you are headed, they have stores, so you can go grab anything you need – including a pair of sunglasses if you lose yours. You don’t need to bring an extra set b/c you know you’ll just break those in a suitcase anyway and still be short a pair. I know some people take a lot of shoes, I don’t. I take a pair of dressy shoes in a color that will go with every outfit, as well as a pair of flip flops and tennis shoes. That’s it. And, don’t take more than 1 extra outfit. If they get dirty – you can always do laundry! If I were in your shoes, I’d pack enough for half the trip, then do a load at my family’s house or sneak away for an hour one morning and wash a load of clothes at the laundromat. This time of year, pack plenty of sunscreen and some bug spray. If all else fails, vacuum bags will do the trick!

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      Great tips… I wish you could have come over to pack for me! 😉

  12. mckeeversmom

    Advice for your trip as far as packing–figure out what the “typical” weather is for the location you’re visiting and pack for that. Remember that you will be able to do laundry (your Dad’s or Grandma’s house) and take what you would need in a typical week. Whatever you “forget” you can always pick up at a Goodwill or Salvation Army and you can donate it back when you are ready to return home. The other option that I try to follow is to put everything I think I need out on my bed, then divide by half and take that.
    Safe travels, Collin, and thank you for all that you do!

  13. Val

    We just came back from our 10 day road trip. This time i took the plastic 3-drawer storage with us and packed 6 days worth of clothes. We stayed at different hotel everyday so i only put what we were going to wear next day in the luggage. Every morning I dumped all the dirty clothes from last night to the laundry basket in the trunk so I was not mixing fresh clothes with dirty clothes. when we got to hotel with coin-operated washer, we grabbed the laundry basket. I also packed plenty of snacks and fruits. I put them in another plastic drawer so I could easily find what I needed. these platic drawers worked great for us!

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      Awesome idea and what a great way to stay organized… thanks for sharing!

  14. Monique

    Sadly my low this week is I was let go from my job. I’m a mother of 1 living on my own and I’m not sure how I’m going to support us from now on. I’m just trying to pray all will turn out ok. I tried to apply for unemployment and I was selected for an interview over the phone. The guy seemed to in a horrible mood so I’m sure he will not approve my claim. However my high is this is the first time in a while I’ve had this much time to spend with my daughter.

    • Renee

      Good luck to you Monique. Praying everything works out well for you.

    • Kim Z.

      Monique, Keep you chin up! Most Unemployment employees I have delt with in the past seem to have a negative attitute (I think it comes with the job), but unless there is a very good reason, they will still approve you. If not, you should be able to appeal the decision. I beleive that everything happens for a reason, so enjoy your time with your daughter, and get out there and find an even better job than you had before!!! You can do it!
      P.S. I was laid off in 2008, but I was able to spend time with my lovely Grandmother, who was battling cancer, and after she passed away, I was able to find a job. I cherish that time I had with her. God bless you!

      • Monique

        I thank you ladies so much for your words of encouragement. My daughter is the best thing in the world to me. I think I’m going to go back to school to finish my degree. This has really made me feel a lot better. Thanks Kim and Renee!

    • Katrina

      It is hard to believe now, but you can make it and thrive! I am a single mom of three (ages 5, 6 and 7 now) and I completed my civil engineering degree after my divorce. There are scholarships and financial aid out there. My thoughts are with you. Sending hugs and strength!

  15. Jami

    Packing tip – I have a very organized friend that keeps an excel spreadsheet packing list. Each family member has a page and she adds to it as she finds the need. She keeps one for each type of trip they are taking (beach, mountains, cold weather, hot). Hope that helps!

  16. Tia

    Have fun and be safe!

  17. Shelby

    Nice outfit! That one definitely made me LOL!!

  18. bunny

    Collin, here’s my strategy and it always works. Go to and look at the 10 day forecast. Pack for summer and include a light sweater/jacket for everyone in your family (for cool evenings or overly air-conditioned buildings).

    Then pack very light. Since you’re visiting family, they shouldn’t mind if you throw in a load or two over the week. That way you are not bogged down with so much stuff. And you’ll save money packing light because the airlines charge an arm and a leg to check bags!

    My husband and I recently went cross country to visit family. I didn’t wear half of what I brought and I pack very light. So give it a try…it’s very liberating 🙂

  19. michelle

    where in Massachusetts? hopefully you’ll get to go to Boston and spend some time in our great city!

      • Nina

        Please sign my coupon binder when you come to MA!!! Have fun on the cape!

  20. Lana

    Ha! I am an overpacker too! It is easier now that the kids are grown because there is room! We are headed to the same destination to visit our middle son and his wife.

  21. MommySpendsLess

    LOL I pack for myself an our 3.5yo daughter and I always overpack for the same exact reasons (even including 2pairs of pajamas for a single overnight for dd, just in case). I’ve been getting a little better by reminding myself that clothes can do double duty (if necessary her spare outfit could be worn to bed or if it’s unexpectedly cold she could throw on her fleecy pajama pants). We’re almost always staying with family or friends so, like other commenters have said, we could probably do laundry and in a real pinch there’s almost always at least a Walmart nearby. Being thoroughly in summer (in Florida) helps too because the chances of it getting really cold are very slim. Even with those concessions I still believe “I’d rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it” … And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. 🙂

  22. jj

    Pack mix-and-match clothes and layers. Things like a light scarf and jewelry don’t take up much room and can totally change the look of an outfit. Have fun and welcome to MA!

  23. seana

    I can’t pack to save my life. Just got back from a 3 day trip. My suitcase was so full of clean clothes. My misc. bag had stuff I didn’t even look at. Extra shoes just in case of I don’t know what. A wedding one day, and then two nights in Atlantic City. I can’t help myself. My motto is you can’t have too much. I’d rather have more than have to buy something. And I forgot a hairbrush. And qtips. Which I did have to buy.

  24. Lori

    I have absolutely know advice for you because I am also guilty of this. I have decided to embrace it and call it a positive to make myself feel better – We are prepared for anything because of my overpacking abilities 🙂

    And Hooray! You’re coming to Massachusetts! Visit the South Shore/Cape area – we have great beaches 🙂 You can pahk ya cah at my house 😉

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      Thanks for the offer to pahk my cah at your house! 😉

  25. Yesenia

    Collin, how tall are you? You seem so tiny in that picture! Lol

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      5’3 … I think it’s the angle of the camera maybe? LOL!

  26. jkp1014

    Collin, how do you stay so skinny?!?!?

  27. Emily

    My high for the week is my couponing hero coming to Massachusetts!!! Not to sound like a stalker but which part of Mass?? Seriously, I feel like the president is coming!

  28. SoxGirl1029

    Hope you have a wicked awesome time here in Mass 🙂

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      We likely will have a wicked awesome time! Thanks! 😉

  29. Darcey

    Off topic but just wanted to let you all know I posted an old navy code for $10 off $25 on Coke rewards post. It expires tonight so I’d like someone to be able to use it 🙂

  30. Vivien

    Pretty much always, my road trip includes stops at outlet stores. I always ended up buying clothes for my kids and myself. my husband was joking that maybe next time we don’t need to pack any clothes since we always get new ones from the outlet store :).

  31. Cortney J

    My son had his Make A Wish trip to Disney World in January. Thanks for supporting the cause. The trip was once in a life time.

  32. Melissa

    I love the outfit and would have worn a similar one right there with you. I also have to fight the urge to overpack… But seriously you need the lounging outfit which is different tan pajamas right?

  33. Elizabeth

    I am the child of an extreme overpacker which has led me to become a packing minimalist. I have a spreadsheet which I copy and tweak for every vacation. Our summer road trips last about 2.5 weeks and cover everything from wilderness camping to large metro areas, often all in the same trip – we need the spreadsheets! Being the organizational perfectionist control freak that I am, I make a generic list of what we’ll wear each day based on our planned activities and then make sure I can mix & match just about everything. Weddings, etc. aside, if I’m only going to wear it once, it isn’t coming. Unless it has spaghetti sauce on it, we’ll wear it twice before washing – no one will know. We do laundry a few times (we bring mesh bags to keep it separate). If we fly, it’s one carry on per person, no more! We sometimes use those vacuum clothing bags – they come in handy when you’re packing flippers and snorking gear in a carry on! I also take all those little shampoo samples you kindly share. 🙂 I don’t have to bring back empty bottles and can use the space for souvineers instead! I alway think I have it down pretty well, but then I see what my husband is bringing – one backpack. No idea how he does it. Have a great time in MA!!

  34. Irene

    Sounds like your vacation is going to be awesome, but I’m so bummed because we are taking a family trip to Nampa to visit family this week and do some white water rafting. I was so hoping to possibly run into you on the Sunday while couponing and say, “thanks for all your hard work and saving us tons of money,”

  35. Jenn

    Search how to pack like a ninja on YouTube…you can still pack all that stuff…you just have to know how!

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