Let me ask you a question. Are you the person who turns up at the airport with one tiny cabin suitcase, which you can effortlessly lift into the overhead locker on the plane, or are you the person who packs everything?
Unfortunately I sit in the second category. I’m getting better, I am. I was much worse before. Being British makes you pack for every eventuality, I told myself, really I was just a lousy packer. Whilst I love the advantage of walking through Security with one small cross-shoulder bag, suitcase handed over at the bag drop counter, I hate the worry over whether my suitcase will be there to meet me at the other end.
But really of course, the worry starts on this end. Take next week for example. I have a four day work trip to Verona. Not going far, hardly a shorts and a t’shirt holiday (if you see my legs, well, never a shorts holiday anyway!) and certainly not at this time of year. I don’t have to worry about insect repellent and suntan lotion, packing should be easy. Right now I’m telling myself it is, except I have form and I can’t even pretend to myself.
A few months ago I had an overnight in London. One large sized bag should have done it and it was meant to, only, nothing was big enough. I scoured around for something suitable, got no where. The few options I found went back to the shops. I even entertained the notion of a small cabin sized suitcase. Even I couldn’t justify that one! So what did I do? I ended up with a half sized suitcase, which somehow I comfortably filled. I still don’t know quite how!
So this trip coming up. I have my miniatures ready – I did try the decanting route but after a bad leakage, I gave up on that notion! I am hoping that this time I will be more sensible. It’s like a mantra I keep telling myself; “I will be good, I will pack light.” Mmm, we’ll see.
No, in fairness this trip will be fine, but the two weeker I have planned in May is the dodgy one. In the heat of the Italian sun I have planned and planned again. I have my floppy trousers, my floaty tops, my church-friendly, shoulders and knees covering dresses. I am not filling my case with jeans, which will be too hot, and tight fitting t’shirts when thin, light, layers are the way to go. I fell for that mistake when I went to Florence. I had my travel wash so was fortunate enough to be able to wash the constant wearables, but too much of my case was taken up with the big heavy items.
My next fantasy is throwing away my miniatures on the last day will mean I have ample space and weight allowance free in my case for souvenirs. This never quite works. Oh the miniatures go in the bin, but the souvenirs seem to take over. My last trip I ended up with a huge beach towel. It was a fantastic way of holding in all the luggage!
So then start the sweats; will my case be above the maximum allowance? On one work trip I went on I struggled all around; every night packing and unpacking with a new hotel room. I lugged my case in so many lifts and into so many hotel room corners. I cursed over the obligatory lost lock from each time on a plane. I managed the being sensible with weight, was quite chuffed with myself, until on the last night we were given cheese to take home. Weird present? Not really. On a work trip you usually find yourself handed locally produced items. It was a lovely gift and the cheese was gorgeous, only, for some reason we were given a kilo of it. Suddenly I had pound signs in front of my eyes, worrying over how much extra British Airways would charge me. “That queue over there madame, the one for overweight luggage,” I imagined the assistant saying. Ironically it was over by a kilo, yet fortunately the plane was not full and I was allowed on with my overweight suitcase without any penalties. Phew!
So will I learn? Probably not! I admit to hating packing, who enjoys it? I have adopted the roll rather than fold method and I suspect I get more into the case. I do after rolling place my clothes in small plastic bags and manoeuvre around the bigger items, in shoes etc. I do try! I am getting better at leaving some things in my wardrobe at home. I have even sat on Youtube watching enough “how to” videos on getting everything into a case half the size of mine. The problem with “how to” videos are they make you believe you can do it, but same as the make up sessions, the end result tried at home never quite turns out the same.
If you are like me on bad packing, then a word of warning – don’t buy a hard suitcase. The zip is in the middle and after about four things are placed within, everything else rides over the lid, and then rolls around in a creased heap. Although it has to be said; last time I travelled with Norwegian Airlines, they managed to somehow burn four holes into the back of my case. I suspect it would have been going some to manage this on a hard case!