how to pack efficiently
I am the queen of last-minute packing. I hate doing laundry, I hate folding socks, and I hate fitting everything in a small suitcase. I usually forget vital things like my wallet (remember when?). So this time, as I am doing a round-the globe trip and won’t be back in my apartment for two whole weeks, I thought I would actually prepare myself instead of waiting until the last minute.
You see, I’m not just going to Italy for two weeks. That would be simple – a few pairs of dark jeans (with elastic waistbands to account for the pasta consumption), some red lipstick and you’re out the door. I’m going to the Spanish countryside to work with professionals in an intensive English program, paticipating in a semi-marathon, and spending a week in the desert. The tricky thing is that I need enough space for clean running clothes, cute boots, and baby wipes! Here is how I am staying organized – and still leaving room for cute clothing.
1.) PAPERASSE. First and foremost, I printed out all of my travel info, and organized it so that I wouldn’t be frantically lost somewhere looking for addresses when I was tired or stressed. I also haven’t left the countryside in two months, and am afraid lots of people, noise, or general over-stimulation will leave me confused. I printed out a map of each city’s public transportation system, and marked the stops near my hostels and important meeting points. I’m traveling alone for most of the journey, so sending someone my itinerary was a must – in case I was in any sort of trouble!
2.) LISTS! I am such a list girl. There are post-it’s all over my desk, stuffed in my purse, and flowing out of my pockets. Once, an entire classroom of 7 year olds laughed in my face, and when I asked them what was up, they pointed at my fesse and said, “you have a post-it on your butt”. True story. The point is that by writing everything down first, you’ll be sure not to forget it.
3.) PILES! I put everything into piles. A pile for what I’ll need at each stage of the trip! This way you can see everything laid out in front of you – you’re much less likely to forget something (I don’t think my mother quite likes this strategy, as before I leave my house to move wherever I’m going I leave a hefty “pile” of things I ditch last minute).
4.) STRATEGY! The hardest part is fitting everything into your luggage. Fold and organize everything neatly, and get the most out of your space. As I am flying both RyanAir and EasyJet, the two biggest sticklers for baggage allowance, I need to make sure that my suitcase is not too heavy! Do one final check and take out things that are absolutely not necessary. Yes! Take out those high heels, you’re not going to wear them.
With a little luck, I will get everywhere I’m going in proper attire. What are your packing strategies? Have you ever had airport nightmares?