Things I'd do differently next time... (a growing list)
1) While preparing to move from our house, I'd get rid of more stuff and earlier on. I'd go through and pick out what we really wanted to keep, what we really wanted to take, and put them in a locked room. Then I'd get rid of everything else and never look back.
2) I'd use movers again, but not to pack anything, just to move the boxes and furniture. Strangers who do combat packing are not fun.
3) I'd not accumulate so much stuff in the first place. I'd get rid of papers - and other STUFF - when they cross the threshold.
4) I'd intermix the focus acquiring what was needed for going as well as preparing to leave. I'd make sure that each stop had some new activity that could only be done in that place.
5) Get a second laptop computer. We are already fighting over this one.
6) I'd take tranquilizers so I wouldn't hyper-ventilate. :-)
1) A month before departure I'd hire a first rate hypnotist and have him or her put my family under a strong spell to follow my orders like the Light Brigade.
2) I'd buy our around-the-world tickets first, then make the itinerary. Doing it the opposite way resulted in two month's delay before we had our tickets in hand.
3) Get a digital camera first. Lugging around a camera bag that weighs a little less than an Oldsmobile is nuts. And paying for developing and scanning on the road is even nuttier.
4) Do a trip like this only after your child has completed their math sequence. Next to our camera, the next most heavy item in our packs is Samantha's trigonometry text book.
5) Get your visas real early. The consulates seem to pay all their electrical and entertainment bills out of their budget line item of "rush charges." What's left over they send back to their home countries to balance their national budgets.
6) Get a written estimate on the cost of having movers box and store your stuff.
1) I'd get rid of lots of my toys I've got in my backpack now. They're heavy.