Thursday, May 22, 2014

Packing for Jacksonville

Back in the day…Well, okay, as of 2008, I have offered friends competing in Mrs. International the use of my home as a command central for packages. (It was only 10 minutes from the hotel.) I would bring those boxes of goods to the hotel once the delegates arrived. I learned a lot from that over the years.

And now, I’ve had several Mrs. International delegates contact me in search of some packing advice for getting to Jacksonville this July with their brain intact. It was even suggested I write a blog about this topic as to help others getting ready for July. So, here it goes!

Given baggage fees imposed on flyers; shipping items to the hotel may be a more economical alternative. Plus, there is something wonderful about getting it out of your home and on its way. Done! I am a firm believer in being as organized as possible when it comes to being out of town and competing for Mrs. International. Calm mind=more enjoyable experience. It seems to help ease the mind that is already on overload! But before you go cramming everything into cardboard boxes, I have some advice to offer:


*Talk with your local UPS store or place where you plan to ship the boxes. Ask how long it will take for those boxes to arrive the day BEFORE you arrive. They should be able to give you a very specific idea of what absolute date you must have those boxes shipped.

*Contact the host hotel and let them know the boxes will be arriving. (This is more for you to feel organized than anything. The hotel is ready for you.)

*Boxes should contain items you CAN live without or items you can buy in Florida if needed. This includes items such as pajamas; back-up clothing if all else fails or catches on fire; extra eyelashes; blister helpers and such. I would even ship a steamer, extra hangers, and a cheap clothing rack ahead of my arrival. Again, organization is everything when it comes to mentally feeling ready to be your very best! Om.

*Create a list of what each box contains, so in the unlikelihood that box does not arrive, you already know what that box was holding.

*Head over to Michael's and find some unusual looking duct tape you can use to close the top of each box. That will make it much easier for the hotel concierge to locate your boxes. “They are the boxes with the pink camouflage duct tape...”

*Have them send it to the hotel and in care of both your name and your title.

*Before shipping the boxes to Jacksonville, pay for RETURN shipping AND put the paid-for return labels in each corresponding box before sealing them all shut with the left over duct tape reel inside.

*During the week; as you continue to go through wardrobe and other such items, you can then pack up those items into the boxes, reseal them and bring them to the front desk to ship home. And that will give you more space in your hotel room and peace of mind. Clean out that chi! Yippee!

*FYI: Your suitcase should contain the more important items to have with you. The absolutely critical items needed for the competition such as your gowns, fitness, and interview outfits should be carried on the plane as carry-on. We are only a few months out…details are everything and it will be SO worth it! I hope this helps make you feel prepared and more excited for the journey the ahead.

Be the change!

Amy Gregorio
Your Mrs. International

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