What is it about packing that seems to strike fear in so many people? Packing has apparently become the same as writing a resume; it's necessary, and will likely have a positive outcome (at some point and time), but doing it just seems to cause a great bit of angst among a lot of travelers.
I don't mean to be sexist (but it will come out that way), a large majority of women seem to be struck by this affliction of packingitis (yes, a made up word, but I think it's fitting...don't you?)
Packingitis is an affliction that apparently strikes one out of every three women travelers. These are some of the signs:
- Must pack everything in their closet because, "You never know if you may want to change your mind!" Ok, saying everything is a stretch, but I've seen a lot of my friends and women in general pack way too much stuff that they couldn't possibly wear in 3, 5, 7 day trips!
- Varying assortments of hair and makeup products must be stuffed into multiple mini cartons, tubes and cases because, yes, all women aspire to be super models, so they just must have every item from multiple make up counters and hair salons to ensure they look like super models.
- Random items that are infrequently used at home are packed (especially when traveling abroad) because, "What if they don't have this in - Paris, London, Prague, Budapest..."
- Magazines - they aren't read any other time, so it's a perfect time to pack various unread magazines while being held captive on a plane.
These are the top comments that seem to be prevalent from most female travelers that I know. My friends that have traveled with me can attest to this - I don't believe in checking in bags. Actually, the very thought of it makes my skin crawl and I get an uncontrollable eye twitch. Not really, but honestly, that's how I feel about checking in bags. I know it's necessary on some trips, but I can say that over the past ten years of me traveling, I've checked luggage approximately three times. I've been on trips in various destinations such as, Hawaii, the Mexican Riviera, Caribbean islands, and many more places in excess of five days, and guess what? I didn't check anything! I have my major piece of carry-on (LV Rollie bag that I love), and a back pack or briefcase. That's it. Nothing else, and I'm not nude for several days, and believe it or not, I have more than enough of everything - sometimes even I have had more than necessary.
Here is my short list of ways to make packing easier and NOT have check-in luggage:
- Mini toiletry products - you'd be surprised, but those little tubes of lotions, toothpaste, hair spray and the likes is more than enough for a long weekend, or even up to five days. Hair products seem to be a big culprit since there are restrictions on the size of bottles, but I say, if you can go a long weekend without doing your hair every day, then go for it! If not, I'd hasten to guess there are drug stores wherever you are going. Do a little research to make sure they have your hair products available, and just buy a bottle when you get there. It's an added expense, but trust me, it will be lessened by the fact that you don't have to wait in a long line of people at a carousel to retrieve your ...shampoo.
- Shoes - a comfortable pair for walking, a nice pair for going out, and if it's nice weather, a pair or two of flip flops to traipse around in - that's it, nothing else.
- Clothes - this is one where people get extremely freaked out, but there is nothing wrong with wearing those black slacks, black/tan/brown skirt, or jeans more than once on your trip. Most hotels have dry cleaning services, so if you are going to be on a trip longer than five days, you can always pay to have one or two pair laundered while you're there. Tops typically take up less space, so you can usually have a different shirt for everyday without taking up too much space.
- Make-up - unless you are a model, you probably don't need a train case of beauty products. A tinted moisturizer, mascara, lip gloss, a couple of eye pencils, and blush go a long way and take up minimal space.
Prior to some tragic events that occurred in the early 2000's, traveling was not as much of a hassle as it can oftentimes be today; yet, I still love to travel, I just do it the easy and smart way. Again, not all trips can be done without checking luggage, but it saves time for you on both ends of your trip - leaving and returning, if you don't need to check luggage.
As always, we at Chicks That Trip (www.chicksthattrip.com) wish you only wonderful and safe travels throughout the remainder of 2009 and in to 2010!
*photo used from: http://backpacksluggage.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/33.jpg