Packing is not my forte. It belongs to himself, along with map reading. To be honest, he’s welcome to them both.
I have two settings for packing. There’s the take-everything-bar-the-kitchen-sink approach to ensure that I cover “all scenarios”. I try really hard to ignore the little voice in my head that says “you never know, you MIGHT need the long frock/hair straighteners/four pairs of high heels/slippers” but somehow it wheedles its way into my head and before I know it I have a suitcase the size of the small island I am holidaying in. It started 30 odd years ago when I went to Spain with a friend; you’d have thought I was emigrating judging by the size of my suitcase; fortuitously it was a time when airlines didn’t check the weight of your baggage.
The other position is I under pack thereby leaving myself woefully low on essentials and having to have stern conversations with myself about the lack of basics and not having a something to keep off the chill in the evenings. I get very cross with myself for missing an item I need which, because it is nestling in a drawer back home, means I have to repurchase.
Also, I’m kind of a “see what the day is like” before making a decision about what to wear. So having to pre-plan outfits sends my head into a spin. I know you can get a weather forecast and work out the sort of clothes you need but what if I’m not in the mood for the selection I’ve prepared?
At the other end of the spectrum is himself, the man whose backdrop of regular camping trips makes him very good at organising and packing. He sits down, makes a long list of what everyone needs (by family member), figures out what toiletries and extraneous stuff is required. After that he gathers the items, ticking them off as he goes, lays it out on the bed, reviews it, tweaks things and then packs it. (He’s also not bothered about what he’s got to wear; so long as it ticks the boxes for keeping warm/dry/cool he’s happy.)
Now the bulk of the packing is being done by someone sensible, that leaves me to sort out my own stuff and assume responsibility for the family “tech” paraphernalia i.e. chargers and plugs. Luckily, I have got better over the years and not only travel lighter but am also able to plan an essential wardrobe. I even learned a few tricks along the way. For example:
- stash breakable items like charging cables and earphones in a hard shell sunglass case;
- pack three tops for one bottom (jeans/shorts);
- keep a t-shirt, spare set of underwear, beach wear and travel sun screen in your hand luggage in case your suitcase takes a different route.
I’m sure there are many more tips so if you have any, be sure to let me know!