Lately, I've been asking a lot of people what the hardest part of travel is for them. Aside from planning, the overwhelming response has been...packing!
You can't actually leave without doing it, so there are a 4 different Packing Styles:
1. Early 2. Late 3. Under 4. Over
...and you can, of course, pair these together in any combination for extra fun! I've been all of these, in every combination! Let's start by making sure we all know what's happening here and then get really on top of the appropriately timed and covered packing process! No names will be shared in order to protect the innocent. Just kidding... all of these examples are from my actual life. HA!
The Early Packer
Early packing happens because you're either SO excited about your trip that you just can't stand it and packing seems to be the only thing that makes your trip feel closer to reality - OR - you're so worried you're going to forget something, or some outfit you want to bring will be dirty when it's the "actual" time to pack, that you go ahead and start "reserving" things for your trip!
The early packer may also have travel trauma from having once been a late packer and in that late packing, under packed, leaving out a necessity like... mmmm... shoes? In attempt to NOT experience this again, said traumatized traveler over corrects and early packs.
The Late Packer
"Oh, dear! It's time to leave in an hour and I haven't packed. Guess I HAVE to do it now." The late packer may simply have been SO busy that they can't handle the mental capacity of packing until it's absolutely necessary. It's also possible that late packing is a symptom of overwhelm and making decisions about WHAT to pack.
The Under Packer
Remember last time when you checked two bags and had two carry-ons for a three-day weekend and everyone made fun of you? That's NOT going to be you this time, right? Welcome again to travel trauma, the game where we try to do the opposite of what didn't work last time and end up completely under-prepared. Once you arrive, you're frantically googling for the closest Wal-Mart so you can procure the forgotten items, while trying to figure out if you can fit more stuff into the small roll bag you brought as your only luggage. Don't worry, you didn't check any bags, so you can always buy a cheap suitcase if you need more space. Amiright?!
The Over Packer Please tell me I'm not the only one that has ever overpacked because I late packed? Don't have time to think about what I need, better just throw a bunch of stuff in. It's fine. Or maybe, you have a case of the "what ifs!" It might rain, but it might also be SUPER hot. I definitely need bandaids, and probably my own hair dryer, and what if I wake up and decide I want to work out - I better pack some gym shoes. I might get a wild hair and want to go out, so I should probably pack a .... oh, what the hell! I'll just add another suitcase and throw one of each kind of shoe in there...just in case.
You're Ok, I'm Ok, We're All Ok.