I have always admired those who could travel with less baggage. For me, packing for a trip has always been a challenge.
As much as I travel, I still struggle with packing for a trip, the fact I can’t bring the entire wardrobe and I can’t carry around the fifty pounds heavy suitcase. It’s not that I don’t like packing, it’s just the opposite. The suitcase usually stands open on a couch weeks before a trip so I can pack easily and put the things in without any stress. Last minute packing is not my style and it’s definitely not for me. This way, I can enjoy the packing, don’t forget to bring some important things and exaggerate absolutely every time. 🙂
Last year’s a month long trip through the U.S. with more than fifty pounds of baggage was very interesting and I drew some conclusions out of it:
- I am not able to travel with so much luggage because lots of nice people need to help me by carrying my suitcase up and down the stairs. If they hadn’t, I would stay forever in New York’s subway because I was not able to take the suitcase out. I was never worried that somebody would steal it because no one could get away with it!
- Any lowering to the subway or going anywhere down the stairs was a risk that I will die under a suitcase attack 😀 if anyone in the crowd pushed me or any part of my baggage.
- Marcela carried all the luggage most of the time and I cannot thank her enough for that. <3
- I somehow managed to put the suitcase on the bus, but going out was the first class challenge. I put the suitcase on the edge of the stairs in front of me and literally punched it out from the bus.
- We were choosing the apartments and hostels according to whether the nearest subway had an elevator.
- I returned home with the hands full of blisters. Everyone thought that I got them from the hard work and actually they were the consequence of towing the luggage around the U.S. for a month.
I realized each of my packing processes consists of five characteristic phases.
Phase #1. I will not carry a lot of luggage!
Every, every single time I plan a trip I tell myself that I wouldn’t take so much luggage this time. The decision is firmly held up all the way to the moment when I actually start packing.
Phase #2. I need to take just this one more shirt!
While deciding what to take and putting the things in a bag maniacally, I always say “Just this, that’s what I really need”. And then, when I’m all packed, rummaging through the closet I usually discover something else I really need to take – like a shirt I had forgotten about.
Phase #3. I have too much stuff!
At the point when I’m almost completely packed, I put the luggage on a scale and horrifyingly scream “I have too much stuff!”. Too much is a relative term, but it may be more than 50 pounds I can enter the plane with, more than I planned to bring or just really too much for the four-day long trip. Hmm okay, I will take the stilettos out and wear the other, lighter ones. 😛
Phase #4. I need it all!
Sometimes I do luggage revisions all alone, but usually, I need the help from someone who is not blindsided by the items and who can make a smarter decision than me. This is where my mom enters the scene and opens my eyes by telling me what I really don’t need on a trip. I decide to ignore her advice completely and take everything with me.
Phase #5. I will never take so much baggage again!
Usually, I start complaining about the weight somewhere around that time when I need to pull the suitcase out of the car at the airport. In Zagreb. The decision about packing more rationally next time is made again.
If I have not learned by now, I probably never will. I don’t exaggerate to extend that I take twenty nail polishes or anything like that, but a lot of things I take “just in case” are never needed. And again, it is better to have a jacket in Portugal than get cold. Or I’m just comforting myself?