Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Taming the Overpacking Beast

Like many, I’ve a tendency to overpack. I guess I was a good Girl Scout, since I like to be prepared…just a bit too much, though. I’ve gotten better over the last few years, which I think can be attributed to the increased traveling. Since January 2008 I’ve traveled to Philly, Anaheim, Denver, Chicago, San Antonio, Boston and D.C. I’ve gone to Detroit area several times, but that hardly counts, since I almost always stayed with family. There were also a few other little trips in there, but, again, they hardly count as I often stayed with friends or family.

One of the things mom, Sharon and I have talked about is what to take on this trip. Here are three tips for overcoming the overpacking beast.

Travel Tips – What to Pack

  • Check for laundry service at or near your hotel. If there is, and you don’t mind spending a bit of time or money, you can pack fewer outfits. Usually I don’t opt for this, as I want to take in as much as I can, but if you are pressed for space in your suitcase, it’s a great idea. This is especially true as airlines charge more for fewer pieces of luggage per person.
  • Check the weather – especially if you have never been to your destination before! If you know what to expect weatherwise, it is much easier to pack only what you will need. Checking the weather forecast is such a simple thing to do now. When I went to Canada as a child, I remember something that an employee at the hotel we stayed told me. The trip was to Niagara Falls and Toronto, and, if I am remembering correctly, during the late summer. The employee remarked about how many travelers came to Toronto area with parkas, skis and other winter accessories and clothing…regardless of the time of year. While I joke with Sharon that she lives in the Frozen Wastelands not all of Canada is frigid, and especially not in late summer.
  • Check the toiletries. Sharing a room with another person or few? Who needs three different tubes of toothpaste when one will do? Talk with your fellow travelers and see what items you can share. It’s amazing how much space small toiletries can take up in your suitcase.

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