I have a packing philosophy that has done me well over the last 11 years that we've been married. Start early. As in, earlier than you could ever think you'd need earlier. Here's some of things that you get to experience the week before you leave, when you start packing early:
You get to go to the park with friends and throw cups of water on their heads.
You get to throw your arms out in jubilation as you get pelted in the back with cold pond scum.
You get to swim with your pants falling off. Which, if you know my family, is pretty much anytime of the day.
You get to schedule a play date with a wonderful friend and get little flowers painted on your nails.
And you still have time to get stared at and asked the question "where are you from" just one last time.
You get to say 'yes' to the friend that calls at 7 am to come over and play all day. And then you get to hug.
You also get to fly in the shark airplane thingy and smile and throw your head back in laughter.
And finally, you get to board the plane, happy at how the next three months is beginning.