Travel Packing Madness

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Travel Packing Madness 2011-02-02T04:20:12+00:00

The Forums Forums Most X-treme! Is It Just Me? Travel Packing Madness

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  • #89078
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    Anonymous
    Post count: 14412

    Ever since I was a kid, packing my suitcase for a trip was an anxiety-laden day-long event that drove me and my family crazy. First I couldn’t decide what to take, then I couldn’t find what I did want to take. They were all in the car yelling for me to come down or they were leaving without me!

    It took years but finally as a (still-undiagnosed) adult I developed what I thought was a brilliant method for planning and packing. First I sit down and draw all the clothing I’m thinking of taking on the top two-thirds of the paper. Then I write each day along the bottom third and list the combinations I’ll wear each day. Then I go to the computer and list everything on a spreadsheet form I made that also has pre-made entries for the regular things that I take whenever I travel (sunglasses, cell phone, driver’s license, etc.).

    Then I take the list, put it by the suitcase and check off items as I put them in. My mind is whirling like a tornado, but the list keeps me somewhat grounded and semi-hopeful that I will somehow get all the items into the suitcase. Meanwhile I’m scurrying all over the house looking for stuff I want to take but can’t remember where the heck it is. OK, go back to the list. Something that isn’t checked off must be the thing I was looking for.

    The first time my husband-to-be observed my travel ritual, he cracked up. I fumed, “What’s so funny! Haven’t you ever seen a totally organized woman before?” I would start packing a day or two before any trip and always ended up rushed and nervous. No matter how hard I tried, I still usually forgot something and could never just relax and enjoy the trip. Thank goodness he’s a patient man.

    I was over 60 before finally discovering I had ADD and getting some medication that helped. The first time I went on a trip while using the meds was amazing to me. I still had to go through my crazy drawing and listing ritual, but the anxiety, the knot in my stomach was gone and the thoughts running in my head were relatively calm. I blithely threw my stuff into the suitcase and was all packed in less than 2 hours! This must be how normal people do it! Wow, what a concept!

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    #100041
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    Bill
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    What a lovely story! I too have a list of stuff that I don’t want to forget, but I don’t make a new one for each trip. Part of it is trusting that whatever you end up forgetting, you’ll find a way to cope. After all, you’re a creative, resourceful person!

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    #100042
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    Anonymous
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    designerbarbie, I’ve had the same issues with packing. I’m really fussy about my appearance (no tut! tut! please) and always have a hard time deciding what I want to take simply because I dress according to my ‘mood of the minute’.

    That being the case, how am I possibly to know exactly what mood will fancy me on any particular day that I’m away on a trip? Will I feel like heading out to backpack or will I feel like doing an elegant dress-up in some fancy-smanchy place? (You can just imagine the face my husband gives me when I’m trying to pack!

    Unfortunately for me, he’s a frequent traveller and has packing down to an extreme art form. He can pack for a week long trip in a dark bedroom (Canadian winter 4 am dark!) in less than 30 minutes and that includes clean changes of clothes for each day of the week, both dress and casual clothing for each day. That’s just totally wrong!

    My suitcases are always full to the brim and have to be squished closed and I know the zippers are under heavy duress trying to do their job. After 35 years of marriage, he has given up on trying to change me. I enjoy travelling but I hate the packing, so much so that I can’t even be bothered trying to go away this March break. Work has been so stressful I can’t face ‘stressing’ over something as silly as a suitcase so I’ll just stay home this year and….. well, probably just shovel snow.

    Oh, and I never even mentioned deciding which pairs of shoes that just HAVE to go because they either dress up/dress down an outfit! Staying home never sounded better!!

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    #100043
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    Anonymous
    Post count: 14412

    Learned very early that first thing I do is put tickets, passport & money on kitchen table imediately. Anything else that comes with me is a bonus (I expect to have to purchase little odds and ends to fill in the gaps when I arrive….). Then at some point (sometimes just before I have to get out the door the following morning) I pack/stuff my bag. I’ve noticed that invariably I pack more underwear/socks/etc than my wife or kids… always be prepared!

    Oh! And despite having put tickets, passport, money aside from the start…. I still double check nervously throughout the evening and following morning.

    :-) Don’t get me started about how many times I circle the car back from our side street to make sure the garage door is closed or the front door locked.

    I guess vacationing at a nude resort would be easier!

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    #100044
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    Anonymous
    Post count: 14412

    Wow, so glad I found I this website. I thought I was the only one out their who packed obsessively, due of course to my ADD. My solution, especially now that I have two kids for whom I also have to pack, is to have a master list of all the things that are absolutely essential to pack for any trip. I use it as a checklist, and have various versions – for different seasons, for the nature of the travel, etc. It really helps reduce the stress about forgetting something.

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    #100045
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    Anonymous
    Post count: 14412

    i had the same problem with pacing i go on a trip at lest once a month and two days before is when i pack(not ending till i leave) but all i pack is electronics, papers, and my dogs pack (she has two). why are there no clothing? there packed in a suitcase along with dress shoes, and toiletry bag. the clothing changes 4 times a year. the rest of the time the bag sits full in my closet.

    the other bags one is setup for travel that gets installed in whatever car i go in stuff like XM, CB, Ham Radio, GPS, and snacks/72oz drink the bag never leaves my house(it gives me a chance to go in and check for those last minute panic grabbing items).

    my dogs bags include food one bag the other has her bed, seat-belt, portable water bowl, and jacket.

    and just a thought all my jackets have a pen, pencil(strangely no Post Its? hum), LED flash light, knife, lighter, and a full set of keys (color coded so i know if i louse a set) so i don’t have to worry about finding them. think about what you take with you every day and then think of what can be duplicated, because it easier finding a jacket then everything else!

    PS (TGFSC)

    does anyone else add the punctuation after you have written there post?

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    #100046
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    munchkin
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    Post count: 285

    Traveling is definiely a “MacGyver” experience for me. I always forget one or two really important things and fail to plan correctly. Actually, I kind of get an ego boost from my ability to recover from these disasters. It’s a lot cooler if I’m by myself because I don’t judge. When my husband is along, he has a total fit, and thinks everything is ruined and doomed until I can convince him that it’s all good because I know how this other bank will let me withdraw money without my debit card (that I forgot) because it’s affiliated with my credit union, etc. etc… quit worrying – I’ve got it covered – I swear! So what if it’s going to take a little longer, isn’t that part of the adventure???

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    #100047
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    Anonymous
    Post count: 14412

    You mean the packing thing is a quirk of this, too? Wow. Now maybe my husband will lighten up! Packing IS a big deal for me. He plans trips with no prep time or unpacking time- or not enough of it for me. Unpack? Forget about it… That suit case will be on the floor for weeks!

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    #100048
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    quizzical
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    Post count: 251

    I hate packing, too. What’s worse is that once I’m at my destination, if I don’t have something that I want, I have a REALLY hard time letting it go, no matter how trivial….”I am SO ANNOYED that I didn’t bring those TOASTER TONGS!” Innovating some new version of the forgotten item helps with this, but it’s funny how much these things bug me – maybe because I expend so much effort packing and still can’t “get it right”, despite computer lists, special drawers for travel items, beginning the process days ahead of time, etc, etc…..

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    #100049
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    nellie
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    Post count: 596

    I stress out about packing as well and try to start a day or two before a trip. My husband leaves it to the very last minute and makes a huge mess. He’ll take everything out of the closet but of course won’t take it all so leaves it out instead of putting it away again. Then I stress about leaving a mess behind!

    As far as unpacking goes, I’ve made it a mantra to unpack as soon as I get back in the house or at least by the next day. Otherwise of course it’ll sit there until the cows come home or we have visitors and I have to clean up – whichever comes first!

    Husband on the other hand doesn’t unpack and his suitcase is still sitting there in the middle of the room open for the last week. It hash’t been touched for a week because I decided to ignore it to see what will happen. Of course I know what that is :-) Sooner or later it’ll annoy me enough to unpack for him!

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