How not to: pack for a weekend trip

14 Nov

Ask anyone who knows me: I suuuck at packing. I do not pack lightly. Or quickly. Or efficiently. Or in any way well.

As a kid I even used to walk around with my backpack unzipped. My teachers would point it out like it’s something I’d want to know. Please, lady. I left it that way on purpose. (What? The minute you close it you just have to get in there again for something else. May as well leave it open!) I might perhaps still do this in adulthood, with my purse.

I tell you this so you know that, when it comes to how not to pack, I am a teacher most qualified. I’m proud to say I have personally made all of the mistakes on this list at some point in my life. No small feat! So without further ado, the don’ts. (HEHA, ya like that? Say it out loud if you didn’t get it. I’ll wait.)

  • Procrastinate doing pre-trip laundry. Because that moment you realize the only top that goes with this skirt has a spit-up stain on it? The best.
  • Wait until the night before your departure, or better yet, the morning of, to finish (or – ahem – start) packing.
  • Forget about shoes until you’ve packed your entire suitcase. Then you get to choose between putting the shoes on top of your clothes, or taking all the clothes out and starting again.
  • Make a detailed packing list, perhaps using an excel spreadsheet, and then proceed to lose or ignore the list when actually packing.
  • Forget, or perhaps not bother to, close all the outside pockets on your luggage. (Hey—has anyone seen my passport?)
  • Bring basically all of your makeup. Because really, who knows what kind of look you’ll want on a particular day?
  • Forget undies.
  • Forget socks.
  • Put things in haphazardly folded, or not folded at all. Most likely to occur when packing to return home. (What the H? It all fit in before…)
  • Don’t plan outfits, just start throwing in favorite items. This is a great way to end up 10 pairs of pants and three shirts, none of which match, and to forget the only belt that goes with that shirtdress.
  • Bring two or three times as many outfits as there are days in your trip. (a DO however, when packing for a child).
  • Bring a hairdryer, hot rollers, straightener, and a curling iron. (Why is my entire duffel filled before I’ve even started on clothes?)
  • Pack jewelry, especially necklaces, loose in a cosmetic bag. Unless you’d like to practice your knot un-tying there, scout.
  • Ignore or try to get around airline luggage guidelines. Actual words spoken: “This isn’t a carry-on, this is my pillow.*” and “41 pounds is practically 40, right?”
  • Bring three or four books (as in, actual books, with pages made of paper) because you aren’t really sure what you’ll be in the mood to read two days from now.
  • Pack really important things (like an emergency cocktail dress), but forget chargers and spare batteries.

So if you’re headed out of town for T’giving, bear these items in mind. Then do exactly the opposite. Happy travels!

*pillow case is stuffed with three jackets remembered at the last minute


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