Thursday, July 2, 2015

What Not to Pack by Melinda Curtis

A few days ago, Denise posted a lovely blog on how to pack. It inspired me to confess...

Last week I came home from a 3 week trip to Europe. It was a once in a lifetime, fabulous trip. It was also one of my worst pack jobs ever. You see, I'm usually a good packer. Give me a 21.5" suitcase with 4 spinning wheels and I can pack for a week-long trip. Or at least, I used to think so.

During our vacation, we planned to do many walking tours - through museums, through Venice, through hot, sunny ruins. We also planned to take a cruise which included two formal evenings. And then there were the casual sea days and the day at the Vatican. Have I mentioned I have thing for shoes? Should I mention laundry on board the ship was $7 a garment?

I ended up with one 24" tall suitcase, one 21.5" tall suitcase, and a briefcase (also wheeled). Yes, just for me. No, I chose not to do laundry on board the ship. And yes, Mr. Curtis had bags of his own (one 24" tall suitcase, one backpack). Try loading all that on a train when it pulls into the station.

Here are the things that we shouldn't have brought:
-A pair of jeans (although they do say if the weather was bad I might have needed them)
-Mr. Curtis' long-sleeved dress shirts (too hot!)
-A pair of socks for every day I was gone (flip flops on sea days!)
-Half my work-in-progress files (like I was going to work a lot)
-A bag for dirty clothes (they were almost all dirty clothes)
-More than 3 pairs of shoes (I only wore 3 pairs of shoes)
-3 dresses for formal night (there were 2 formal nights - who needs a spare?)

Should I mention that we had no room for the souvenirs we bought? If you're thinking we had to buy another suitcase for this, we did.

Have you ever over-packed for vacation? Or underpacked?

Melinda Curtis is an award-winning USA Today bestseller. Her latest sweet romantic comedy is Rescued by a Bridesmaid.

18 comments:

  1. Thanks for the suggestions, Melinda. I'm glad you had a fabulous trip!

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  2. I have definitely done this. I, too, have a thing for shoes and I hate leaving my favorites behind. I went to Africa in 2008 and managed to pack only what I needed, but my aunt went with me and took the biggest rolling suitcase I'd ever seen. I called it Moby Suitcase. It was so jammed packed with things she didn't wear that she could barely fit in the souvenirs she bought.

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    1. Patti, I'm a "what if" scenario gal. I like to be prepared for any situation. But I think bare bones is the way to go!

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  3. I seem to never pack correctly. We live in the Northeast. We have traveled south to Charleston many times, for many events, and I never have the right clothes!! It's always too warm for the (insert anything here) I packed, so then I end up shopping at the last minute in Charleston. Not that that is a bad thing. But, it is an annoying thing. One trip I thought I had it all right, and it turned cold and I needed to buy a sweatshirt! I have just about given up.

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  4. I always bring my MIP. I don't know why. I'm too busy having fun to even look at it. Some of my notebooks have been literally on the other side of the world.

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    1. LOL, Denise! Like minds and all.

      I announced over on the Sweet Romance Reads Café on FB that commenters here or on FB are in the running for a free ebook from my backlist...

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  5. I think there should be an Overpackers Anonymous. :) I would join!

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  6. I'm an underpacker. I love clothes, sometimes, but I tend to grab whatever's closest when it's time to dress.

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  7. Melinda, your post was of great interest to me. We are taking a nearly 3-week vacation to Europe this summer, too. My husband is insisting that I pack everything in one of those 22 inch bags. He says we will wash clothes somewhere along the way. We will be on a river cruise for 7 days and the rest of the time getting on and off trains through Austria, Czech Republic and Germany. So your comment about loading luggage on a train hit home. For my last couple of European trips, I did a pretty good job of not overpacking, but I was using a bigger suitcase besides a carry-on. In fact, my husband was just recovering from a back injury, and I had to haul, not only mine, but his suitcase as well. Both of them weighed 50 pounds. My arms were in great shape after that trip.

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    1. Merrillee, you can do the 22" bag if you do laundry. I was appalled at the cost to do laundry in hotels and especially on the ship. However, REI sells underthings that you can wash out in a sink and they dry in minutes (again, I was averse to buying underthings for one trip - I'm quite particular about those garments!)

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  8. I also just returned from a three week vacation. We went to the UK and Ireland. I followed the tours guidelines and used everything (but one sweater) that I packed. They recommended not to pack anything you wouldn't wear at least three times. I wore most tops two times and jeans everyday (It was cold). We were only allowed one suitcase. Luckily, we found a laundry mat twice. We did have to buy a suitcase to bring our treasures home.

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    1. I'm so glad I'm not alone, Tina! But you're a better packer than I am

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  9. The shoes kill me every time. And I'm amazed at howich free time stuff I tend to include: kindle, books (if I bought print instead of e), iPad...crazy. At least I no longer bring a cd or DVD player. ;)

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    1. Ah, yes. The days of books and DVD/CD players are over!

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  10. I've gotten used to just packing a small 22" carry-on suitcase. I try to pack mix and match separates that are comfortable, and some dressier than others. The shoe part is hard because you need comfortable walking shoes, some dressier ones and casual ones. And they take up so much room. I try to wear comfortable slip-on shoes on the plane, so I can take them off easily in the security line, but I wear socks so I'm not barefoot there. We've usually traveled with other family members and only rented one car, so we have to pack light to get it all in. There are always things you wish you hadn't brought and thing you wish you had. :)

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    1. You've got it down, Winnie!

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    2. Congratulations Winnie! You are my winner! Let me know which ebook from my backlist you would like to have! Send me an email at melinda @ melindacurtis[dot]net

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