Hate is a strong word, and I don’t mean it that way. I love traveling, and I’m always looking forward to my upcoming trip. But I really dislike packing. In my childhood, when we traveled, and my mom always packed my clothes for me. That’s because I didn’t have any choice – I pretty much had to do what my mom said. But as an adult, it’s quite the opposite. I wish my mom helped me packing every time I travel. 😉
So why do I hate packing, and what makes packing such a daunting task?
Style and Color Matching
I’m not the most fashionable person – far from that. In fact, I typically dress on the low-key side. But I need to dress appropriately in public. Depending on the destination, I like to have a themed and color-coordinated outfit. For example, when I go to the beach, I’d like to wear something floral and tropical, with light-colored shorts and flip flops. I also want to have a contrasting color between my shirts and shorts/pants.
One Trip, Multiple Climates
I’m so excited about my upcoming trip! In 3 days, I will be on three different continents and two totally different climates. Since I made a costly mistake when booking the trip, I would have wasted my Thanksgiving holiday if I come home the day before Thanksgiving. So I decided to extend my trip back-to-back.
The problem is that the temperatures in these two places are totally the opposite. So I have no choice but stuffing my carry-on with summer clothes and winter clothes at the same time.
There are several essentials, such as contact lenses, glasses, and a phone charger that I use until the very last moment before my trip. Some of these items go into my amenity kit. That means I can’t put my kit inside my bag until the very last minute.
Overpacking Vs. Underpacking
Obviously, it doesn’t hurt to pack more clothes than needed. But that also means I have less space in my carry-on to bring back souvenirs, not to mention some airlines enforce the cabin baggage weight allowance. But then when I thought I brought enough for the entire trip, I always end up running out of clothes to wear. For some reason, I never have the right balance.
Lately, I’m more inclined to use laundry service at the hotel I stay at. Yes, sometimes laundry service can cost a lot depending on the property. But it also comes with great convenience and benefits, especially if you need to follow the carry-on weight limit, which would otherwise cost more than the laundry service. For underwear and socks, I usually wash them by hand and let them air-dry for a day or two.
I Don’t Check Bags
In the past, I wrote about traveling with mom. We have two different approaches when it comes to packing. Here are the reasons why I don’t check my bags unless I absolutely have to:
- I don’t have to wait for the bags at the baggage claim when I arrive.
- If things don’t go as planned. I can get re-booked on a different flight right away without worrying about my checked bags.
- Sometimes, I have a complex routing that involves: separate tickets, multiple international airports to transit, or as simple as tight connections. Often, these are not possible if I have checked bags.
- I can always shop at the destination if I need to.
- In case I want to shop, I always bring a light-weight foldable bag that I can stuff it in my carry-on.
I have a terrible habit of procrastinating until the last minute. Usually, if I have an evening flight, I start packing that morning. If I have a morning flight, I start packing the night before. Often, I end up rushing or staying up very late to get everything packed and ready to go. I have a feeling that I will continue doing so until one day, I forget something important.
I don’t think this bad habit will go away anytime soon. I’m always excited about the trip, but I’ve never cared for packing. So I’d take volunteers any day. 🙂