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4.20.2009

How to Avoid Bringing Too Much When Traveling!



A huge fan of the "rolling clothes" WITH RUBBERBAND (Huge tip), I kept all my clothes like that even while at home!! I actually just stopped recently keeping all my clothes and rubberbanded AT HOME, but will likely do that on a trip.

My biggest problem is the "what if the opportunity arises for xyz?" and xyz could be "wearing a suit", looking sharp, that random sporting event that pops up, using a laptop need (bring laptop yeah/nae?)

I think one of the most outrageous "OVERPACKING" trips was a trip to Santa Barbara I took to see afriend, not knowing if i'd stay a night or a week, and knowing that we talked about surf I brought something like

  • a laptop and bag
  • a surfboard
  • wetsuit
  • suitcase with week's worth of clothes
  • swim bag and suit
  • formal dress clothes (collared shirts, ties (hanign in car))

Guess what, I didn't even stay ONE night, I drove back that same day. -_- LMAO!!!

This was great advice

Hi Mike.. :-)
The reality is that we all overpack…
We’re all thinking in the back of our minds, what if I need to be more formal ? What if something get’s soiled ?
Put that out of your mind..
If you really want to pack light, just pack the stuff you you wear every day…Your favorite Ts…That couple pair of jeans that fit perfect…
In an actual emergency, there’s always a laundrymat down the street.. :-)
In packing, just realize that less is more…You know what you need and that in a pinch you’ll figure it out…
Just take a step back, realize what you’ll actually “need”, and go from there.. >>


Conclusively, even when I went to Hawaii I was lugging around an entire extra suitcase I didn't need (I would've been fine with just a backpack). My best packing job was when I lived in the Yucatan in Mexico. WHY was the packing so good? Because it was a highly specific trip and we needed highly specific things (gators, bug repellant, jungle clothes) living in tent. So It was all laid out checklisted and whatnot.

I think the BIGGEST problem of packing is simply not enough planning. When I've overpacked it's been because I always throw in at the last minute..."oh dang I might need that..couldn't hurt to add that one other thing!" (repeat a dozen times with 12 other things!) And THEN the problem with "last minute chuckins" is that you don't have a cognizance of what you're bringing and a part of your brain knows you have this amorphorous blob of stuff you're hauling around and it truly DOES drain the vacation, the actual travel experience.

You're traveling to see/experience a different place (and time? ooo dr. who lol :D). Clumping up your travel with excess belongings seriously obscures and creates interference with connecting with the travel! In other words you aren't really traveling if you bring ALL your stuff you need, may need, and may/not need for xyz random occasion "if it arises". In many cases, I think if you travel and realize you forgot something but will have to make do without it, you're 50,000 times better off on the other extreme of having brought something that you realize you won't use!! ;). I think the best illustration of bringing "too much stuff" is picturing a travel carrying a 4 suitcases, clothes, various odd-sized items all in front of him so he can't even see what's in front of him. THAT is the gross exaggeration of what we're like when we overpack. We can't see and sensually experience the environment we're in. As a result, a lot of the value and peace of travel is burdened and hazy or partially lost. So I guess the bottom line with this fact is bringing less leaves more cognitive room for savoring the experience of actually traveling!

So I think the good rule of thumbs are:
  1. 1. Overplan the packing. Checklist it. Stick to the list, so you have cognizance of what you're bringing and don't fall into the "ambiguous amorphorous blog of stuff" that you'd haul around.
  2. 2. You're traveling to see/experience a different place (and time? ooo dr. who lol :D); bring the bare bones minimum of what you'll need so the purpose of travel is most rich and alive.
  3. 3. Bringing less leaves more cognitive room for savoring the experience of actually traveling!


("Note: If you're a HUGE Joseph Campbell, Power of Myth, maybe Star Wars fan....look closely at the decals on the suitcase graphic! Victory! ;D)

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