Packing with Mr. Happy
As I circle around my house making sure that I have packed everything for this trip, I’ve come to the conclusion that there is much room for improvement with my packing methods…
There is an informative article on packing tips at TravelSense.org. They list a number of important things to consider when packing for a trip. I will list what they say and then offer my version of what I actually did this time around:
1.) Make a plan and stick to it "Like an architect planning a building, so must you plan the contents of your suitcase by creating a list. A packing list eliminates the panic of last-second packing, serves as a handy guide for repacking at the end of the trip, and can be beneficial in the unfortunate event of lost or stolen luggage." … Well in my case it was more like Try to figure out what you need in your head and hope for the best… Perhaps it was the compelling documentary on the television, or simply the lack of planning, but it probably took me about 90 minutes to figure out what clothes I am packing for this 8 day excursion. Next time I will make a well defined list which will definitely include my iPod and a wide assortment of other gadgets that I won’t end up using.
2.) To pack or not to pack? "Now that the wardrobe is thoroughly planned, stick with it. When packing, lay out the items you intend to take and reexamine your list. If possible, weed out single-use items and extras." … In my case it was more like What else can I bring so that it feels like I’m living in my house? Note to self: Remember, this is a TRIP, and part of the joy of travelling is being AWAY from home; if I happen to be missing that extra pair of underwear, I simply won’t wear any! I’m from California, and most people would probably accept any unconventional behavior for that reason :)
3.) The art of packing "Now that you know what to bring, let the packing begin. Iron everything before placing it in the suitcase. If it goes in crisp and clean, odds are more in its favor of coming out the same. Button all buttons and zip all zippers." … So are you saying that tossing everything in the suitcase in a random pile is not a good idea?? Actually, out of all the tips in the article I was pretty good about this one. I’m slightly anal about being organized, so not only are my clothes folded neatly in the suitcase, they are also sorted by color and style. Just ignore the fact that I have 2 weeks’ worth of clothing for an 8 day drip.
4.) Zipping Up "The main message: be in control of your luggage and not at its mercy. With a little TravelSense, a few packing guidelines and some helpful tips, traveling light will be an easy plan to follow." … Once again, not a problem for me. As much as I might have a C- at best for points # 1 and 2, I had no less than 3 of my largest friends come over and stand on my suitcase so that I could zip it shut. I wonder if my hotel could offer such a service when it’s time to come back?
Seeing as how I plan on travelling a lot more over the next few years, I have decided that I will work on improving my methods. Ideally I could either wear one outfit for the entire trip (and collect donations while being mistaken for a transient), or I can do it just like the über-wealthy and ship empty suitcases to the destination so that I can fill them up with all the new clothes that I buy on my vacation.