Wicked Wednesday – Packing for Travel

Jessie: In NH where the first of the daffodils are in bloom!

This month the Wickeds have a lot going on, and much of it involves travel. So today I’d like to know, do you overpack, underpack or hit that elusive perfectly filled bag when you go on a trip?

Edith: If I’m driving, I always overpack. Because, hey, I can. Actually, I probably 20160404_150824always overpack. I don’t think I’ve ever come home having worn or used every item in my suitcase. I think, “What if that top doesn’t look good?” “What if the weather changes?” But the Kindle has solved one problem: overpacking books. Now I can bring twenty books for the weight of one! I’ll bring one paper book in case of power outage or whatever, but I love the Kindle.

Sherry: Really? You had to bring up packing! Right after I confessed to you and Julie while we were in LA last weekend that I’m always forgetting something? Well, I guess Julie knew since we roomed together at Left Coast Crime where I forgot pajamas (went to the gift shop and bought an overpriced Tshirt) and toothpaste (Julie shared). And for both LCC and the Adapting to Hollywood conference I forgot to take my books! As discussed with Julie and Jessie I’m planning to pack a go bag that has everything I need in it. And I always over pack — apparently it’s just not everything I actually need.

Julie: I tend to overpack. But this past weekend, I decided I needed to limit myself to my smaller suitcase. I was also determined not to unzip the extender. So, how did I do? I wore mostly black, which helped with the mix and match. I tried to only bring the cosmetics I would use (which at my age still took up 1/3 of the suitcase, but hey, I tried). I brought my ballet flats and wore my sneakers. I also brought layers. Conference packing pro tip: always bring your books and bookmarks. You can mix and match, but you do need to look polished, so jackets or sweaters help. Jewelry makes any outfit look different, and is small. And don’t forget your power cords.

Jessie: Sherry, so sorry! I set this post up before we flew out to Hollywood! I have an absolute dread of overpacking. If I take too much I feel a little queasy. So I lay everything I am considering out on my bed and think about how it can be worn in  more than one outfit. Then I start to edit the items. A good rule of thumb for packing light is to pack one piece per day of the trip not including accessories and undergarments. Also, limit yourself to two pairs of shoes. Check out boards on Pinterest for inspiration!

Readers, do you pack heavy or light? Any favorite packing hacks to share?

22 Thoughts

  1. I kind of pride myself on being able to fly anywhere with just what fits into a backpack (except for Alaska which I guess would
    require a full length coat.) I make a little sketch of tops and bottoms in limited color palette–usually black and white with red accents–and decide what to take that way.. One pair of shoes on feet, another in bag. (If needed a third pair gets sneaked into hubby’s suitcase.) I’ll buy an extra sweatshirt if it gets cold at destination. If we’re driving, I take a little more. I ship books ahead if I need them. Works for me–and yes, even then there’s usually something I didn’t need!

  2. Jessie, I was teasing! I figured you set up the post before our trip. It’s funny this topic would show up after that conversation about my lack of packing abilities. Go bag and packing list are in my future!

  3. I traveled with my sons a lot before they could read. I’d make them a packing list with pictures. Six little pairs of underpants. Four shorts. Two long pants. Six t-shirts. One collared shirt. Six pairs of socks. Toothbrush. Books (of course). And so on. Even after they could read they still begged for the pictorial packing list. Shall I make one for you, Sherry? ;^)

  4. I overpack. Thank goodness someone invented suitcases with wheels! In my own defense, sometimes I don’t know what the dress code at the event will be, so I bring a range of jackets (to go with my endless supply of black pants). Sometimes I know in advance that it will be a dressy event, which means adding a dress or two, plus the right shoes and purse and jewelry… I dream of taking off somewhere with no more than a small duffel bag slung over my shoulder. Hasn’t happened yet.

  5. I have a packing list but it doesn’t cut down on what I take. I’d rather have too much than not enough. I pack my carry on with absolute necessities in case the airline loses my big bag, but otherwise overpack. I keep trying to do the black clothes thing, but I love colors too much. Besides, anything I own that’s black is also covered with cat hair that’s extremely resistant to removal. Thank goodness mystery cons are pretty casual!

  6. Now that my children are grown, and I need only to pack for myself, my suitcase is much smaller. I was more worried of needing more or forgetting things when I had the kids. Now I take the medium sized suitcase in which I pack only the clothes I plan to wear and a small bag of toiletries. My main problem is shoes. I tend to pack a pair for each outfit. I definitely have too many shoes.

  7. We were having the usual discussion about whether people write a way too long first draft and cut, cut, cut, or write a too short one and layer stuff in later, when someone, (and I so wish I could remember who it was) said, “How do you pack? Do you throw lots of stuff into your suitcase in case you need it, or do you pack as little as possible to get by? However you pack, that’s how you write.”

    For years I’ve had a game with myself where I must wear/use everything I pack or a feel like a failure. Whether it’s two months in Key West or a weekend in Portland, I play this game. If it’s coming down to the end of a trip and I haven’t worn/used an item I brought, I will find a way.

    Take that, Dr. Freud!

  8. I pick a color scheme and only need a few mix and match basics. I roll everything up, so wrinkles are minimal. I should actually look into suitcase organizing as a service. Is that even a thing?

  9. I over pack. Not by much, and it’s always good to have a couple of extras, right? But I am so used to driving, where I can throw stuff in the car if I think I might use it that I really find it hard to cut down when flying.

    Not that I try to cut down on books. You have to have too many books so you can decide what to read by the mood your are in at the time. And let’s not even talk about the horror of going through all your books and facing a long plane trip with nothing to read!

    1. I worry about that too, Mark. I am never sure what i will feel like reading when I actually am on the plane, I think picking out books is so much harder than picking out clothing!

  10. I pack what fits in a carry-on bag. I refuse to check luggage, even when it’s free, because I’m sure the airline will lose it. After spending the time picking out clothes to wear at my destination, I don’t want to be stuck wearing my travel outfit for days.

  11. I’ve tried to get better at packing less and traveling light, but right now I’m lugging around a ginormous purse, suitcase and jam-packed work bag for one night on a business trip. Guess I need to practice more!

  12. I always have way too much, but everyone is happy for it. I have everything and anything anyone could ever need at any time. I am prepared. I am also able to get it all packed in anything I need to. Years and years of traveling and also loading airplanes.

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