Packing for a trip like a woman

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:

  1. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. Marcela carried all the luggage most of the time and I cannot thank her enough for that. <3
  4. 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.
  5. We were choosing the apartments and hostels according to whether the nearest subway had an elevator.
  6. 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?