Confessions of an Overpacker

Summer 2k16: the summer of NONSTOP TRAVELING.

Ugh.

Well, I should be counting my lucky stars that I am even able to travel as much as I have been [thank you dad + grandpa + job].

But, quite literally, I have been home maybe ten days in the last month.

TEN DAYS.
Yikes.

Which normally wouldn’t seem all that bad, but seeing as I have run through my PTO, I have a dog, AND I am trying to move into my boyfriend’s house, the stress of being gone is starting to wear on me a bit. Oh, and yes, I did just move into my apartment in early April. So there’s that..

And not only that, but let’s talk about the annoyance of living out of a suitcase.
[Ladies, I know you know the struggle.]

Now, I’m not talking about the type of living out of a suitcase when you stay the night at your boyfriend’s.

No, I am referring to the constant juggling act that is packing for a trip, returning from said trip, and turning right around and doing it all again – all whilst trying to squeeze in a bit of laundry in between AND accomplish a few basic household chores [I don’t care what anyone says, regardless of whether or not you are home, your house collects dust and grime].

And, let’s be honest. I am a woman. The ability to choose what outfits I will be wearing on a trip, before a trip, is completely lost on me.

Those of you ladies that know how to do this – I seriously applaud you.
HOW DO YOU DO IT?!

I make roughly two to three trips to Southern California a year. I always drive, mostly because I bring Bella [and I would never pay nor subject her to the horrors of flying a pet in the cargo hold of an airplane], but also because I have the luxury of bringing anything with me and as much as I want.

A basic carload to SoCal goes a little something like this:

  • Bella
  • Bella’s overnight bag [yes, she has one; yes, it has her name on it; yes, it also has a Doberman emblem on it]
  • Bella’s bed [because even though Bentley has at least four, she, of course, must have her own]
  • A present for Bentley
  • My purse
  • My backpack with iPad + MacBook + all my chargers
  • An XL suitcase packed to the brim with clothes
  • A duffel bag for just my shoes
  • Another duffel bag for clothing overflow from the suitcase
  • An oversized beach bag for my toiletries
  • My hats, which never make it into a bag because I don’t want them to get crushed

You can imagine how much I enjoy coming home from these trips and having to unpack and put away all of that.

And yet, I still pack like that – every. single. time.

The thought of NOT having options while on a trip stresses me out. What if I’m on a trip where I’ve actually planned out what I’m wearing every day but having a panic attack because I just KNOW that something I left at home would have been a better option?

Yes, this is how ridiculous my train of thought is when it comes to vacations.

So how do I nip this problem in the bud?

In all honesty, I will probably continue to pack this way for trips in which I am able to drive.

But for airplane travel, and due the fact that checking extra bags and heavy bags costs an arm and a leg, I have been forced to cut back and actually prepare outfits for my trips [quelle horreur!].

What’s a girl to do?!

Ah, well, in the simplest terms – PLAN AHEAD.

Yes, this means actually thinking about the trip you’re going on, looking at the weather, and visualizing what you think or know you will be doing while on the trip. Are you going out to dinner or staying in a place where you’ll prepare your own meals? Are you going somewhere tropical or cold? Will you be doing outdoorsy activities or just hanging out inside every day? Etc, etc.

For example, I just got back from a trip to Arizona. I was only gone for three days, and I knew the days would be hot, the evenings warm, and I knew we’d be lounging around and cooking our own food. I packed a few sundresses, two pairs of shorts, a couple of shirts and bathing suits, and some clothes to sleep in. Threw in my toiletries and a hat and I was set. Easy peasy.

Alas, I guess this means I actually must plan for trips now.. *Le Sigh*

Would love to hear some packing tips from any of you travel pros out there!

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