DESTINATIONS, Road Trips, Shopping, TRAVEL, Travel Planning, United States

The Pitfalls of Last Minute Packing


My husband laughs at me, because I usually plan my vacation wardrobe weeks before a trip, but last minute packing can be dangerous to your travel.

The Primary Packer

My husband laughs at my packing procedures because he can pack minutes before we leave and do fine, but he’s a guy.  Guys can get by for days with nothing but jeans and a few shirts.  Add a nice pair of pants and a jacket, and they can travel the world.  It’s harder for us girls, but it’s more than mere wardrobe challenges.  At this house, I’m the primary packer.

The primary packer is the one who has to answer the “Why don’t we have…” questions throughout the duration of the trip – a tie for a swanky restaurant, a kite for a windy beach, even a gift for someone you didn’t know you’ll be seeing.  The primary packer has to weigh all these possibilities, as well as have clean underwear and a toothbrush.  If I wait until the last minute a million what-if’s assail me.

The Time Crunch

Truth be told, this is one trip I never thought we’d actually take.  Something always came up and I was reluctant to get too attached to the idea of going.  So I never actually thought about packing until a few days before we left and then I had so much going on that all I could do was think about it!  I didn’t even have time to go shopping for gifts until the night before we left – and if you’re visiting Egyptians the gifts are important.

The night before our departure, I ran out with my best friend in-tow and bought gifts for all the kids I’d be seeing.  I took my friend, because I’m clueless when it comes to kids and she’s had some.  After a power shopping trip that pleased my credit card company immensely, I drug my friend home with me and made her help me put together a bunch of possible outfits for the trip.  I pulled out all my favorite clothes, matched them together in a series of outfits and counted out the best eleven of the bunch – with a few extra in case I needed to dress for dinner.  Exhausted, I let my friend leave and promised myself I’d have time to pack the next day.

Less May Actually Be More

Less time planning what to pack, can turn into packing more – at least that’s what happened with me.  Or maybe I should say more planning time results in less stuff to pack.

For instance, the gifts I chose were great, but they took up almost half of one suitcase.  I thought about how much the gifts weighed, but didn’t think through their bulk.  If I’d planned better, I could have found things that would have been just as well received, but would have taken up less room in our bags.

Also, the more time I have to think about my clothes choices, the less of them I need.  I had at least three pairs of shoes that I never put on.  Two swimsuits and cover-ups, but no time for swimming.  I threw in a travel iron and travel blow-dryer, when all the hotels I booked provided them. My jewelry roll alone weighed two pounds.  (I know because I weighed it when I got home.)  If I’d really thought about my choices, I would have picked a single color to plan around and I’d have needed a lot less of everything.

Our $170 Hickey

So, as the time to leave neared and I couldn’t fit it all into two checked bags and the allotted carry-ons, I grabbed a tote-bag and filled it to the brim.  I figured the extra bag might rack up a $25 or $30 charge, but it was worth it to me to quit stressing.


United Airlines charges EIGHT-FIVE DOLLARS for a second checked bag per person!!  Round trip that was ONE HUNDRED SEVENTY DOLLARS.  If I’d really known it would have cost $170 I would have planned things a lot better.  But then again, if I’d planned things a lot better, I would have already known that I needed to fit everything into the allotted baggage.

So, that’s one lesson I learned on this trip and I learned it before we got out of the Metroplex.  Come on back next week and see what other messes I can get myself into.

3 thoughts on “The Pitfalls of Last Minute Packing”

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