Packing for a Holiday without overpacking
Hello, My name is Mel, and I’m a serial overpacker 🙋♀️
Seriously, if there was a 12 step program for over packers I’d be the first to sign up. Anyone that has ever travelled with me can attest to my desire to pack a stupid amount of crap for work trips and general holidays (not backpacking).
Exhibit A: Pre SXSW weekend in New Orleans. Sent 4kgs (!!) of stuff back within 24 hours of landing.
Exhibit B: Most recent overseas gig for me (10 weeks) took 30kgs(!) of stuff with me…at least a third of the clothing wasn’t worn.
I’ve realised that my packing failures come down to two main issues: Vanity and general daftness. So, with this in mind, I’ll share with you some revelations I’ve had recently on packing for a holiday (or working holiday):
- You do not need DAY and NIGHT options for every single day you are away. (Unless you are a member of the Kardashian family or something equally as grim)
- You can in fact buy toiletries in every single country on the planet.
- Dragging a suitcase (that weighs similar to a hypothetical corpse) through the London / New York tube system is completely soul-destroying (even more so in Summer)
- Paying for additional luggage at the airport sucks! Obviously the money can better spent having an extra fabulous time on your holiday.
- You can wash your clothing at your destination – Laundry is universal!
So, with the above in mind here are my handy hints for better packing for your trip after years of packing far too much, and realising I can no longer charm the staff at the airport check-in desks. Learn from my mistakes people!:
- Look at the weather, this will usually inform you of what to pack.
- Make a list, then halve it. (If you are going for more than a week – realistically you only really need a week’s worth of clothing.
- Shoes! You don’t need to pack as many pairs of shoes that you think you should.
- Check out this great article from Lonely Planet, it inspired me to sort out my packing (but then I mostly ignored it…..I never learn!🤦♀️
- Take things that pack small. For example the good old “Parka in a Pocket” when folded into its pouch fits right into your hand.
- Roll your clothes, even better use packing cubes!
- Toiletries: You definitely don’t need full-size toiletries, use travel size versions if on a short trip, if visiting a place for a long period, buy larger versions on arrival at your destination these can always be purchased on arrival.
Finally, the most important tip of them all:
If you have to sit on your suitcase to get it closed – you have packed too much shit. Open and reassess of what you actually need.**
**this was written not long after sitting on my suitcase attempting to close it.