Emily Little

Packing for trips always causes stress

One of my favorite things in life is traveling. I live for vacations, not for the sake of relaxation but rather getting to explore new places. However, if I could skip over the packing aspect of traveling I would be as happy as a clam.

I could easily be the poster child for over-packing my suitcase every time I go on to a trip. In my head, I think of every situation or emergency that could possibly arise while I am on a trip. What if I meet the Queen of England? What if I get lost in the jungle? Therefore, I bring the tools necessary for anything that could come up. If I am going to the beach for the weekend I will bring a formal dress, workout clothes, and a business casual outfit. Needless to say, I have never needed one of my “back-up plan” outfits, but I still pack them just in case.

While my over-packing skills will come in handy if I ever get stranded on a desert island or in the middle of a business conference, they do not work well with air travel. On most airlines, there is a weight limit on baggage. I always have to be extremely careful to weigh my bag before leaving. More often than not, my suitcase is about 49.8 pounds when the maximum weight is 50 pounds.

I am also an extremely forgetful person, so no matter how much I try to make sure I have everything I could possibly need, something always gets left behind. Whatever is left behind is always something quite important, like forgetting sunglasses on a beach trip or a scarf when I’m headed up north. I try to make checklists for each trip I go on, but I always leave something out.

Even when I have everything prepared, I still dread the actual process of packing. I always seem to have the hardest time picking out which bag to bring, which seems silly. I will drag out suitcases and duffel bags and spend an hour deciding which to use. I have to consider which will be easiest to transport, which will fit the amount of stuff I am planning to bring, and which is simply more convenient. After I pick out my bag, I have to actual begin putting things into it. I try to pack by putting together outfits, but that never seems to go as planned. I usually end up with three pairs of pants, with eight tops, and six pairs of shoes, rather than three of each.

When I travel, I love to pick up souvenirs. You would think after as many trips as I have taken in my lifetime, I would learn to leave space in my bag for things I pick up as I go along. This is definitely not the case as I usually find myself stuffing snow-globes and T-shirts in any free corner of my suitcase I can find. If I really thought it through, I would end up bringing an extra bag for any shopping I do during my trip. Yet, each time, I still find myself struggling to make it all fit for the return trip.

While I love traveling, I definitely do not love packing. I put it off as long as humanly possible. As in, I will be leaving for a week-long trip, and three hours before I am supposed to leave I have not started packing. I am taking several trips this summer, and I am beyond excited for them, but I am not looking forward to packing for them.