Panic Packing

Avoiding Panic  Packing

Weight limits, per bag charges, Overweight fees: OH I hate thee! The Art of Packing is truly becoming more critical for the frequent traveler.  How do you get all of the must haves for an African Safari in tiny box the size of a lunch pail?  IMPOSSIBLE!  One of the biggest packing challenges we at face is our traveling tendencies.  We typically travel on the “shoulder” seasons (April & May or Sept. & Oct.).  Weather during these times is especially difficult to predict.  You need to be prepared for every possibility.  We put together a few tips and hints for your packing panicking!

Men vs. Women

The lines between how females and males pack are certainly blurred.  Take Mike for instance.  He is a classic overpacker (which tends to be a female trait).  He wants to be prepared for every fashion eventuality!  Luci on the other hand has a collection of cosmetics that would rival even the most humble Hollywood starlet.  Men in general tend to pack the old stand bys Jeans, tee-shirts and flip flops.  Women tend to stuff the case with every fashion combination imaginable.

Take direction from some of the best dressed travel bloggers out there:

>Vagabond Adventures– Lucie always finds the best sun dresses.

>Me and Frenchie–You can always go native.  Check out their rotating header.

>My Beautiful Adventures— How could we have this list with out Andi? How does she do it?

Hints for the Hommees

Ok guys, too many of us think that a tee-shirt and jeans are the ideal travel uniform.  Candidly, that can be the most comfortable for sure.  But why do you go on vacation?  To relax?  To see great sites? Nope.  You go to take pictures of yourself.  A word about shoes:  Pick good ones.   If you are looking for mens shoes look no further.  I am loyal to my Clarks Natureveldts.  Luci calls the old man shoes…but they are extremely well built, comfortable and go with jeans to jacket.  So…Guys, step your game up.  Pack a dinner jacket.  How about pants made of something other than denim?

Hints for the Femmes

A few ideas for a recent Ladies Home Journal article:

1. Assess your trip. Are you going to the beach or lake for a family vacation? The Caribbean for a romantic getaway? Europe for a sightseeing tour? Let your destination and planned activities guide your packing.

2. Accessorize! . Simple is sometimes better.  Pack a few all purpose scarfs to spiff it up a bit.


3. Choose mix and match bottoms. You can get away with wearing shorts, pants, or skirts multiple times on a trip. For a weeklong beach vacation, three pairs of shorts, one skirt, and one pair of pants should be enough.

4. Location. Keep in mind that some museums, religious sites, and even some reasterants have “dress” codes.  Pack accordingly.

5. Bring one dress. A simple style such as a shift in an easy shade (black always works) can be worn during the day with sandals and at night with heels. It’s particularly good to have if your plans suddenly include a dressy event.

6. Go Native. If everyone at the beach is wearing flip-flops and athletic slides, for example, strappy heels will look out of place — and stop you from feeling comfortable and enjoying your trip.

7. Keep fabric in mind. 100 percent cottons and linens wrinkle easily and require lots of ironing. Choose to bring clothing in fabrics blended with wrinkle-resistors like nylon or spandex, or pack pieces in knit and jersey.

8. Stick to neutrals. Clothing in black, white, and khaki, with a splash or red or denim thrown in, makes stylish dressing easy because it all matches, all the time.

9. Scale back on shoes. Most women bring many more pairs than they need! For casual vacations, one pair of sandals and one pair of sneakers is sufficient. Add a pair of dressy mules if you anticipate more formal evenings out.

10. Don’t forget one versatile purse. A small canvas tote can go from the beach to the boardwalk to casual dinners, and look appropriate in all places.

Backpacker vs. Luggage-ites

I am truly in awe at those folks who sell everything they own and pack a little daypack and head off to chase lamas in Peru.  Perhaps my obsessive compulsive side makes me want to have things around me.  There is a tiny piece of me that is jealous of those that forsake all and backpack, it goes back to my upbringing.  I have a very responsible mother.  So as I headed out to scouting adventures, my pack would be chock full of really helpful stuff: snake bit anti-venom, healthy snacks, rain poncho ect.  Other troopers with came armed with packs full of pop-tarts and Mountain Dew soda. #jealous.

We can learn a lot from our back packer buddies.  Focus on the basics.  A great travel packing list was put together by >Our Traveling Circus: Not sure I want to know what unmentionables they are packing, but it is a complete list for sure.  Great blog to checkout by the way.  What backpackers do best is identifying what is really needed.  Nothing too heavy is included.

Too many people leave the packing to the wee hours of the morning before departure.  Bad idea.  You are much more prone to forget something.  Pick socks that don’t match.  Take a little extra time and follow the advice above and you will be glad you did once you open your luggage.

, , , , , ,

9 Responses to Panic Packing

  1. Federico May 10, 2011 at 6:11 pm #

    I usually begin packing 2 days before departure. It takes me no more than 20 minutes to do that first step (including documentation), and then I leave the rest of it for the last day. Great tips!

  2. Carolyn June 11, 2011 at 10:12 pm #

    Thanks for some great tips! This summer I’m bringing scuba gear with me which will take up the vast majority of my weight allowance so I will have to be more creative than ever with my packing. After living abroad twice (in France for a year and Korea for a year) I’ve learned how to fit everything I’ll need into two suitcases, which is quite a challenge. The biggest thing I’ve learned is that it’s almost inevitable to forget something that would have been nice to have, but life will and does go on!

  3. admin June 11, 2011 at 10:18 pm #

    How do you get everything in??!

  4. Charu June 14, 2011 at 8:11 am #

    Nice list! I always pack 1-2 days before hand. Everything is clearly put in a Word document, and I have a checklist. I always take 2-3 pairs of shoes, casual, sneakers, Havaianas & the pumps. Always pack crease-free fabric where possible for minimal ironing, a sweater, and 2-3 cocktail dresses. It’s NEVER too cold for cocktail dresses. Even in the Ice Hotel :) This is a really detailed and pretty awesome post!

  5. Karl August 15, 2011 at 9:15 pm #

    I was moving out of Singapore with my Chinese ex (notice ex) and we were supposed to go through Bali for 2 weeks before continuing to different destinations.

    I realized I had misread the departure time and we suddenly had 50 minutes to pack an entire apartment into our suitcases.

    The result? (Ultra panic packing)*100 and a fight lasting 2 days. Driving through the monsoon on a scooter without proper rain gear the day after didn’t make my girlfriend any happier.

    This list could have saved a few moments back then haha..

  6. Charli & Ben March 22, 2013 at 5:54 pm #

    ooo some great tips here. I love the scale back on shoes advice for Femmes. We’ve been living out of a 55L backpack for the last two years and I’ve become a minimalist deity. It’s amazing how you can mix and match your clothing when the skill becomes a necessity!


  1. no travel required - January 3, 2012

    […] We feel like we should print out these tips and store them somewhere before our next trips… Panic Packing […]

  2. Vintage Luggage - January 4, 2012

    […] Source […]

  3. the lazy travelers - October 11, 2013

    […] We feel like we should print out these tips and store them somewhere before our next trips… Panic Packing […]