News: All new forum theme!  See Forum Announcements for more information. 

  • August 30, 2015, 10:02:49 PM

Login with username, password and session length


How do you pack?

Over pack
63 (59.4%)
Under pack
4 (3.8%)
Just right
39 (36.8%)

Total Members Voted: 106

Author Topic: Travel - Over packing or Under packing, Do you get it right?  (Read 2837 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Outdoor Girl

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 15333
Re: Travel - Over packing or Under packing, Do you get it right?
« Reply #60 on: May 27, 2015, 01:00:17 PM »
Re: layering:

I *always* pack a light weight waterproof jacket.  It takes up very little space and acts to keep heat in and wind out when used as a top layer.  It might be the difference between being comfortable and shivering.  I also have these little lightweight coats with something called primaloft in them.  They are very pouffy but pack up quite small - no bigger than a 16 oz water bottle.  Between the primaloft and an outer shell?  I can be comfortable down below freezing, in a pinch.

Living in Canada, I'm often leaving on a trip in the winter, for warmer climes.  I use these two as my plane wear.  They pack up small in my carryon if I don't need to wear them once I'm on the plane.  And I'm warm enough going from where I park my car to the airport, even in cold weather.
After cleaning out my Dad's house, I have this advice:  If you haven't used it in a year, throw it out!!!!.


  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 12017
  • xi
Re: Travel - Over packing or Under packing, Do you get it right?
« Reply #61 on: May 27, 2015, 03:15:17 PM »
Is it possible to overpack when driving your own car and everything fits? 

I pack extremely lean for a flight, but driving in my car?   My comforter and a pillow or two are coming with. 

It is extremely rare for me to miss something because I packed light.  It has generally been something I just forgot and would have forgotten if I'd overpacked. 


  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1138
Re: Travel - Over packing or Under packing, Do you get it right?
« Reply #62 on: May 27, 2015, 03:47:05 PM »
I am a recovering over-packer.

I've been working hard on doing some planning to reduce what I need to take, and even purchased some items to enable this (for example, I purchased plain, but leather work shoes that are acceptable on the shop floor or in the office). Or, I pack lots of under things, and only a few over-things. Under things being generally smaller and lighter. So, I could change my undershirt and socks every day, but maybe wear the same shirt twice. I only brought 2 sweaters, and made sure all the tops went with both, so if one was in the laundry I wasn't locked down.

I also work out laundry in advance if possible. I've had some 3 week long trips and trying to bring all clean clothes to wear a different outfit every day just wasn't going to be easy to do.

I agree though, for a car trip, I'm much more liberal, though one time I visited my cousin with workout gear and a yoga mat, hiking clothes, regular day clothes, a sundress for shopping, and really nice evening wear in case we went out for fancy dinner...and then wore only the sundresses, and the rest of it I fretted if it would get stolen while being parked on the street because it didn't all fit in her tiny apartment!


  • mom, grandmother, and an enthusaistic knitter & crocheter
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4127
  • So much yarn, not nearly enough time! :D
Re: Travel - Over packing or Under packing, Do you get it right?
« Reply #63 on: May 27, 2015, 05:01:02 PM »
I am pretty good when it comes to packing clothing. I rarely take things I don't wear. And I have a lovely compact toiletries kit that takes up the minimum amount of space.

Where I go wrong is with my  beads (and it used to be books as well, but now all my books are on my phone.) Most of my trips are to visit family, so I like to have some handwork to keep me busy when I'm sitting around talking. And I always start out with the best of intentions - one small project that fits in an Altoids tin for the plane (like a beaded bottle or a ribbon bag) and one or two bigger projects. But then I start throwing more stuff in. And more. And more. (Silver findings AND base metal findings! Maybe I'll figure out what to do with these 2mm cubes! Oh, I'm gonna need at least four colors if I'm going to do something fun!)

That's not even getting into the beads I often buy when out of town. And here's the thing: Even when they are not bulky, beads are heavy. On a trip to California, I make sure that my bag is at least 10 pounds underweight because the bead stores near my sister's house are heaven.

I wondered if someone other than me had this problem with over-packing craft projects. I crochet and knit, and have an abundance of WorksInProgress. My traveling is always by car by myself, so the car is filled(!). I have a trip coming up the latter part of July. Maybe I'll do better to not stuff the car full. :-[


  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1042
Re: Travel - Over packing or Under packing, Do you get it right?
« Reply #64 on: May 27, 2015, 05:59:08 PM »
I've figured out just-right packing for long trips and short trips.

When I was performing and we'd travel for a month or two at a time we were limited to one backpack each, which also had to include our performing gear. There wasn't much room so we learned to pack very thoughtfully.

Now my mom and I like to do quick flights to Chicago for a day and back home the next morning-- we're gone about 24 hours total. We have to carry our stuff with us until late afternoon when we check in to our hotel so we've each learned to pack just the necesseties in a large purse that doesn't get too heavy by the end of the day.

My struggle is overpacking on 4-day trips, especially for business. I get everything packed just right, then think I may need a sweater. Or another pair of shoes. Should I pack my jeans for sightseeing...? I should probably bring a book... and of course extra undies.


  • On the internet, no one can tell you're a dog- arf.
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 10408
Re: Travel - Over packing or Under packing, Do you get it right?
« Reply #65 on: May 27, 2015, 08:22:02 PM »
I belong to the tribe that packs more underwear than necessary.  We do try to pack items that are nearing the end of their useful lives but there's still always too much. 

Also, we try to pack enough clothes for a day or two in carry-ons and leave the big bags untouched until we get on the ship.  However, it never fails that we have to open one of the big bags in the hotel because the weather is colder or hotter than we planned for. With two identical bags we have to open both to find what we need.  I'm seriously thinking of going to a hardware store and buying  adhesive numerals to identify bag 1 and bag 2.

Duct tape.

I have plain black luggage that isn't that easy to spot as "mine" on a luggage carousel.  I bought duct tape with a design of peacock feathers on it and put six "patches", one on every side of the suitcase.  I could spot them from as far away as I could see the spot of color on the side of the suitcase facing me.  I've also heard of tying ribbon streamers to the handle (one piece of wide ribbon or several narrower ribbons) to make it easier to see.  I've seen a little girl's plain pink suitcase rolling by with Mickey & Minnie Mouse ribbons on the handle at the airport.  Mom's (?) also had the same ribbons, but her suitcase was a more prosaic dark gray.  I don't remember if it was just the two of them or they were looking for another family member's suitcase, but I'm willing to bet that it would have had the same ribbons on it, as their flight was coming back from Orlando, FL (Disney World).

I checked bags when I moved back home and as my navy suitcases looked like all the other navy suitcases, I tied green ribbons around the handles at the top and sides. It was very easy to spot them that way. Just don't leave dangling ends that might catch on things.
If wisdom’s ways you wisely seek,
Five things observe with care,
To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where.
Caroline Lake Ingalls


  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 9848
Re: Travel - Over packing or Under packing, Do you get it right?
« Reply #66 on: May 27, 2015, 09:08:13 PM »
I also was grateful I've been hoarding all my beauty samples. They so came in handy on my recent flight. They pack small and once used, nothing to bring home.


  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7543
Re: Travel - Over packing or Under packing, Do you get it right?
« Reply #67 on: May 28, 2015, 09:50:48 AM »
We have a pretty good strategy for books.  Our neighborhood is notorious for people leaving boxes of books on the sidewalk with the sign 'free to a good home'.  It's possible to go out for a container of milk and come home listing to port with a super-cargo of five books. 

These are the ones we usually take on vacation.  We read them and leave them. We also usually write the date and the location at which we left them on the fly leaf.       


  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 329
  • She boxed her shadow and she won.
Re: Travel - Over packing or Under packing, Do you get it right?
« Reply #68 on: May 28, 2015, 07:18:03 PM »
I overpack because I'm paranoid I'll forget something. I'm especially bad when it comes to clothes because I have the thought, "What if the weather changes suddenly? What if I have an accident and need to change clothes? What if this, what if that?" It really showed on our camping trip this past weekend - I packed enough clothes for at least four days, when we were only staying two nights, because I didn't completely trust the weather forecast and there are lots of opportunities for accidents and messes on a camping trip!
"Some of the most wonderful people are the ones who don't fit into boxes." -Tori Amos