This may be a broad generalization, but here's how I think vacation packing probably goes in most households. (*cough* MINE *cough*)
Realizes vacation is the next day. Throws 3 bathings suits, a pair of flip flops and a few pairs of shorts and tees into a duffle bag. Done.
Starts thinking about packing a week beforehand. Hauls luggage down from attic. Starts strategically doing laundry. Packs and repacks herself. Indecisive as to whether to bring 4 or 5 pairs of shoes for one week at the beach. Not done.
Packs a separate beach bag for herself containing stockpiled People magazines and 3 new books.
Packs for children. 3 bathing suits, flip flops, and a few pairs of shorts and tees for each child into bags. They are done. Yet she's still not done.
Onto toiletries. Packs her own toothbrush, makeup, shampoo, razor, lotions and sunscreen. Packs shampoo, sunscreen, toothbrushes for 3 children. Packs husband's toiletries. Still not done.
Bed sheets and bath towels. (To be honest, I forgot to pack these because it wasn't written on my MASSIVE TO-DO LIST.) (To which Hubby called this morning on my way to work to LET ME KNOW that I had forgotten.) (Grrrrrrrrr...)
Beach stuff. Packs beach towels, beach toys and sunglasses for entire family. Not yet done.
Food. Makes list, shops, and then packs car snacks for entire family. Done YET?
Kids. Thinks about what children will need for an entire vacation week. Instructs them to pick out 2 movies each. Goes to bookstore and buys books for oldest two children. Packs word-searches, activity books, cards and Uno. Starts charging iPods and Nintendo DSs a week ahead. Packs all electronics and chargers. Instructs each child to pick out a baseball hat and a sweatshirt for her to then pack. All done?
Plans change. Instead of driving straight through for 14 hours, family decides to leave earlier and stop for night.
Which entails Wife having to pack an entire separate bag with pajamas and change of clothes for family for that one night.
And then finally, she's done.
But she definitely will forget something. Guaranteed.
(To be fair, the Husband does pack more than just his clothes: He meticulously shops for and packs the week's worth of alcohol, long before he packs his own bag. Priorities, you know.)