Every January, the toy industry heads to Hong Kong where there is an international toy fair, but I'm not sure everyone even goes for that anymore, it's more a time to meet others in the industry and show product. It's the first of 3 major fairs, next in Nuremberg in late January followed by the biggest one of the year in New York mid-February. Thankfully I'm not in sales so I only have to do the Hong Kong trip and even more thankfully, this year our main client pushed the meeting to mid-January so I didn't have to leave the day after New Years! Which, considering our recent health insurance debacle, I was glad to be stateside to resolve it. Can you imagine getting a call while in Asia that health care has been canceled? I go straight into China and work so my access to the world is extremely limited, no Google, Facebook, Twitter, I can't even schedule a Southwest flight!
Preparation for these trips is two fold:
1. Prepare family for my two week trip
2. Pack for trip
Part 1 involves meal planning for the entire time I'm gone, along with a starter grocery list, doing all laundry, putting it away and all the cleaning I can possibly squeeze in. This because I know, despite best efforts, keeping 4 kids happy and not killing each other requires the other parents full attention.
Part 2 is pretty routine, I have a travel wardrobe that is black, gray, pink and yellow, it all matches and I pack exactly one week of clothes where everything can mix and match. It's taken years to compile and it can't have any holes or missing buttons or housekeeping will return with a note confirming I know it's there and won't clean it until I sign off on the item, that can be a hassle so this prep week involved sewing on several buttons at a furious pace while kids clamored for me to help them sew too!
I almost always do one carry on and one giant purse bag that sits on top of the carry on. In winter this involves the dilemma of what to do with a coat. I'm going through Chicago, what if I get stranded there, it has happened before, at least twice. To get from international terminal to domestic one has to take a bus, so I elected to keep the coat and packed a flat tote that can easily hold the coat once I get off the flight.
This trip is only 12 days so hopefully it will go fast! I believe this is my 24th trip in 18 years so it's all become rather routine at this point.