This Week, Let's Talk About Packing Maria A Hernandez

I am awful at packing. There is no end to the stuff that I need. Well, think I need, anyway.

Seriously, about a month ago I was packing for the trip that I am currently on, and it was a nightmare. Granted, it is a month long trip so that complicated things. Then when I actually got here, I realized that I didn’t actually want to wear any of the clothes I brought. Plus, I’m starting to get paranoid about how things look on me because I’ve been eating a lot and not working out (no shame, but still).

My personal products took an entire mini duffle bag. I’m nothing without my skin care products. That sounds like an exaggeration, but I have acne prone skin and things get very ugly, very fast, when I don’t follow my routine. Also, apparently, I’m a bit high maintenance.

Sidenote: My hair things aren’t working. My hair is getting wavy? I don’t understand, my hair is naturally straight. It’s that humid.

Le sigh. Basically, I realized that I’m woefully unskilled at packing.

There’s that trick where you plan outfits for each day, but I feel like that only works for short trips. This is no short business trip. I’ve been managing well enough, but there are a few things that I wish I had brought with me. Namely, my computer. I should have brought it. Who knows? Maybe I could have leeched someone’s internet. My lack of  a computer also means that I will not be able to go on my beloved TV watching binges.

Anyhow, like I was saying, packing is hard. The problem is that my mind starts spiraling, and I start thinking, “What if it rains? Oh my god, what if I don’t have the right shoes? Should I take accessories?” I start off by not knowing what to pack and end up taking everything. Just in case, ya know? Thank God that we traveled here by car, otherwise, I would have had to pay a lot of money to get all my crap here.

If the World adopted my packing strategies a few good and a few bad things would happen:

1. Anarchy at airports. Can you imagine the amount of luggage people would carry?

2. A lot more people would probably opt for driving places.

3. Airlines would make more money, yes? Maybe that would help with the financial crisis that airlines are in (that happened or is happening, right?).

4. I could for a support group with everyone else that’s like me.

5. A greater opportunity to make use of airport/airplane etiquette.

Seriously, give me some tips for long vacation packing. I have a degree, I should be able to figure out basic organization. We’re going home next week, which means that I’m going to be packing again soon. I have a plan for that though: Everything that’s dirty is going in a plastic bag and the rest is going to be thrown into my suitcase. I’ll figure it out when I get home. Genius.

What’s been the longest vacation that you’ve ever taken and how did you deal? Any more thoughts on packing? I feel like a compartmentalized suitcase is out there somewhere. If it’s not, I call dibs on that patent.

Image via Babyology

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  1. OH MAN OH MAN. I’m in the process of packing for college right now. HOW HOW HOW do I fit all my knitting/sewing/embroidery stuff in a dorm?! I’m a notorious crafting hoarder. And is it ridiculous that I’m bringing 2 tea pots? What about books?! Heeeeeeeeeelp meeeeeeee :c

  2. I’ve had two major packing dramas this year alone – first, moving to the UK for a year, and second, going backpacking for two months. Packing was easily my least favourite part. I found the easiest way to cut down on stuff was to buy basic toiletries when I was there (shampoo, conditioner, soap, toothpaste) because they take up unnecessary room and are available EVERYWHERE. With my backpacking, I only took two pairs of shoes (sneakers and sandals) also cut down a lot on clothes, and managed to make one pair of jeans, two pairs of shorts and four shirts last two months!! I was so proud of myself. The trick was to layer long sleeves underneath shirts in cold weather, or tights under shorts. Plus, with my versatile tops and bottoms, I could go two weeks without wearing the same thing!

  3. The key to condensed packing is taking versatile pieces that you can wear more than once in assorted combinations. Same goes for shoes – You shouldn’t need more than 3 pairs. Wear the biggest pair on the plane so they don’t take up room in your luggage. For long trips, you can always do laundry (either hand washing in your hotel or finding a laundromat), so you don’t need to pack a different outfit for each occasion. Accessories don’t take up much room, so packing more of them helps your outfits look fresh too.

  4. Last summer I was a counselor at a kids’ sports and adventure camp. Packing was the worst, because we could only do laundry once every two weeks, and you had to change multiple times a day due to all of the sweating and activities. All of those t-shirts were packed in there pretty tight! At least I didn’t have to bring much in the beauty department, because it was camp and who wears make up at camp?

    • You could only do laundry every 2 weeks? I would have a problem with that! I work at a day camp four days a week and I end up washing my camp shirts/shorts about 3 times a week haha.

  5. I hate packing! I mean it stresses me out when I think in the morning what to wear, imagine that x30 and not even knowing the weather.
    I took a month tripin january- february. I’m from Argentina and went to Israel, London, Paris and around Italy.
    So I had few restrictions, first being the amount of pounds I was allow to carry…. So no big packing!
    My suggestion is go with the basics, my trip was during the winter so I took a pair of jeans, black pants, and tights and some basic swaters, that matched my coat… I added accesories, like scarfs and hats, that didn’t take so much space. not so many shoes cause of the sapce. A pair of good walking shoes and some cute boots…
    About hair and head products I usually try buying smaller versions of my usual products. I was able to wash clothes a few times, and tha really saved me space…
    It really depends on what type of clothes you’ll need but try to stick to the basics.
    About hair I’d try to ask a local. I discovered a great product in Isarael that way.
    Try not to exagerate think you can always shop a little on the sopt!

  6. This reminded me of Jenna Marbles: http://youtu.be/O3qiXZRFmRY

    But I, too, always wonder “what if” and “What if I need [x]” when packing! YOU NEVER KNOW!

  7. I am moving from Canada to Japan in about two months and I am worried about this very issue! My trip is a year long, but I can only bring one (small) suitcase, and maybe an intense duffel bag carry-on.
    Yet, when I start thinking about the amount of clothing I’m going to need for one year and four different seasons, my mind just can’t cope. Being a big girl it will be next to impossible to find sizes to fit me in Japan, so i need to bring my whole wardrobe right? Wrong. Theres just no way it will fit.
    I’ve been trying to prune it down to just the essentials but it’s more than a one woman job thats for sure. I am also a bit high-maintenance.
    In any case, I am totally feeling your pain as well.

    • Thanks Judi, that is great advice!
      Being an oversized girl, most of those cute things are not going to fit me, but I guess thats why they invented internet shopping. The most important part is the experience.. and not getting lost in the airport

  8. My longest vacation wasn’t really a vacation… but packing to move into my dorm was a MESS! I think I took my entire room with me. And not only did I overdo it on the clothes, shoes, heels, accessories, purses, clutches, personal products, etc. but I also packed Target’s entire cleaning supplies isle as well. Anywho, my parents drove me to my dorm (it was a 5 hour drive) but hey, in my case w/all that luggage it’s better than flying.
    Moving out of my dorm and back home for the summer, well THAT was even worse. I came home with more, yes… MORE, stuff than when I’d left. More clothes, more shoes, a couple new purses, some cool new personal products, cleaning supply galore, some girly knickknacks I had purchased for my desk… you name it, I had it. I stood up until 6 am packing everything (I must have had 5 cups of coffee that day). When my parents came to help me move out my mom was in shock. They brought the SUV and it still didn’t fit! Luckily a friend from high school was moving out the same day and he had some extra room in his truck for the rest of my stuff.
    THEN… I unpacked, chilled in my hometown for about 2 weeks, only to have to pack AGAIN! because I moved out of my house and back to Irvine into an apartment. You’d think I would’ve packed less but no.
    *sigh* I have packing problems. I think I got this from my mom… she’s always packing this and that for those “just in case” moments.
    I guess all I can say is, I feel your pain!