Tuesday, September 27, 2011

How to Pack for a Trip, by Snarkier Than You

It's come to my attention recently - thanks to people sending me tips in a vain attempt to cure me of my near-debilitating over-packer-itis disease - that there are a variety of potential options when it comes to packing a suitcase. Start early. Plan ahead. Choose your outfits. Not to mention rolling, layering, stuffing everything in baggies - there are systems! - but tonight, I want to share mine with you all. You can thank me when you get to Forks and realize you remembered to pack booze but not underwear. It's all about priorities, commando girl.

Frankly, I am just thankful that some rocket scientist (or fellow over-packer) finally came up with the brilliant idea of putting wheels on suitcases. Because for those of you too young to remember what it was like to haul a 75-lb hard-case piece of Samsonite without wheels, luggage has come a long way, baby. Back in the day, I once personally almost caused an international incident on an escalator at an airport in Mexico. Because when you are carrying around a suitcase that weighs more than you do and get to the top of the escalator and realize that you are physically unable to lift it up and get the hell out of the way of the dozens of people closing in behind you, shit gets real.

There are approximately 1,326,511 videos on "How to Pack a Suitcase" on YouTube.

This is one of the better ones, but where does he keep all of his shoes and boots?

1,325,011 of them are boring people showing you their artful version of folding clothes; the other 1500 are of people who think it's cute to put their children in a suitcase and post it on the internet for people to laugh at (note: this is not that funny). There are teenagers, tweens, seniors, and everyone in between all dispensing advice. And the next time I need to fall asleep and don't have any relevant drugs handy, I will certainly watch one of these 5-to-10 minute snorefests. Seriously, I thing it's reasonably cool if you are a renowned world traveler and can live out of a carry-on suitcase comfortably for three months without ever wearing the exact same outfit twice, but honestly? Those zip-off cargo pants that become shorts, the all-purpose dress that you can wear while milking goats during the day and then pair with a jacket for dinner, and uber-sensible shoes all make me want to stay home.

Here's how I pack for a trip - try to stay with me, because this will be a fast tutorial:

You want to start by ingesting some alcohol. Pop open a bottle of wine, make yourself a cocktail, crack a brewski. Trust me, you are going to need it, and it will make the entire process so much more painless.

Booze is fine in the morning... 
As long as you are using OJ as a mixer and are on vacation & stuff.
Also, this person REALLY likes purple. 
Don't drink vodka in the morning too often, because it might cloud your decorating judgement.

You're going to want to wait until about twelve hours before you have to be at the airport to dig your luggage out of the basement or attic or wherever you store it. Scooch out the spiders, dust bunnies, and remnants of your last trip and prop it open in a central location.

Next, open your closet, drawers, medicine chest - anywhere where you store stuff that you plan on bringing.

Begin shoveling everything you  own into the largest suitcase you own. Or the second-largest - I broke my largest suitcase years ago; it came to an end in a near-fiery blaze of glory with a broken zipper and my dirty underwear spewing out all over the luggage carousel at Newark International Airport.

Anyhoo, when the pile of crap in the suitcase reaches about thirty six inches above the top of the luggage perimeter, call it a day and begin stomping on it and forcing the zipper closed. When you cannot possibly fit even another Twitarded button or cute cocktail umbrella into the mix (you ARE bringing cute cocktail umbrellas, right? I've got the buttons covered...), you are done. Whatever else you need? Fuck it - you're not going to northern Siberia - if you forget a necessity (toothbrush, floss, your hangover remedy of choice), you can buy it when you get there. Probably.

And that's my tutorial. There you have it. I hope you have found it enlightening. Make that suitcase your bitch, people. But be nice to the zipper. You're gonna need it. Or there's always duct tape.

Share your packing tips and wisdom in the comments!


And now, please join me for a little Forks-y preparation PSA from Latchkey Wife:

For those of you who will be joining us in Seattle at the Rendezvous Lounge on Wednesday night, I'll be bringing along the name badge stuff/lanyards, so bring your fancy-shmancy name-tag inserts if you made one!
No need to sign up for this - just show up! But if you haven't signed up for Friday or Saturday night yet? Go HERE to get on board ($25 for one night, $45 for both - cash only at the door)! See you there - SQUEEEEE!!!


  1. " It's all about priorities, commando girl." You just summed up my entire life.

  2. Yea, but if you forget a critical item like toothpaste you might get stuck with children's bubble-gum flavored Crest with sparkles. (Just like vampires!) I had to buy that in Forks last year and thank GOD it finally ran out - takes a long time when you only use it at work.

    WV- I kid you not - crests.

    I'm bringing Aquafresh this year.


    I kidd. **runs away, starts to look for a pillow case**

    All seriousness, the weather has turned to fall, make any necessary adjustments. Look at the widget.


    Please Twitarded Goddesses, help me keep it together. Awomen!

  4. Oh I'm so glad you said this. I was going to go up in the attic and bring down my suitcase before work, but now I can wait until tonight to fit that 12-hr window. I can go back to sleep now.

    This time tomorrow morning, we'll be on our way to the airport! Woot!

  5. Huh. Well, that's one way to do it. :) Last year I used a three-tab spreadsheet to prepare for this trip: one with our schedule, broken down by the hour and including addresses and travel confirmation numbers, one with a list of places to see with directions, and one with a packing list broken down by bag (suitcase, carry-on, etc.). This year, I'm flying by the seat of my pants and only using the packing list! I'll be at loose ends without the hourly schedule... but I'll manage.

    Anyone else think of that line from Friends (looking at you, Jamie and Jess)? "I'm gonna go pack my ass off." "Well, I'm going to grab some coffee, because my ass is already packed." .... O.O

    STY, darling, I will come pack for you. You pour that cocktail and sit back, and I will put my anal CDO tendencies to good use. Yes, you can fit two pairs of boots, eight outfits, and all toiletries in a carry-on bag. Where there's a sheer-freaking-determined will...

  6. I'm all packed and ready to go! Except those last minutes... and oh hell, I hope it's not over 50 pounds.

    I can't believe it's here already -- in less than 24 hours I'll be on a plane!!


  7. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!11!!1 <--- Me right now. I'm so not ready and I will be complaining/freaking out for next 48 hours. Feel free to unfollow me on any social media outlet whose feed of yours I may show up in.

  8. I just brought my suitcases upstairs. It's a start! Um, I need help. You people are waaay more organized than I am! But I do have a list. Or seven. Where did I put that %$#@*!!! list?!

  9. Squee!!! I started packing Sunday and I'll finish tonight. I always over pack damnit....

  10. Lol! I'm not joining you in Forks but I will follow this advice for my next trip. Does it also work when packing for two small children I wonder?

  11. @STY I'm glad you posted this cause between cleaning the house, gathering random Twi stuff to take to Forks, organizing Sara and Anna's expeditions around Seattle (yes, we toured Escala) and tracking down helium tanks, I never really thought about the fact that I need to pack MY stuff...

  12. If there was a way I could drive and pack on the way to the airport, I probably would. I take procrastination to new levels and it didn't help that I was sick-ish all weekend. I also just realized I have to pack for my kid too, who is being shuffled around for 4 days. *FLAIL*

    myaftercar - People like you scare me. Also, could you come organize my life next week?

  13. That is quite possibly the most amazing video I have ever seen.

    I'm a roller. I used to be able to pack everything I needed in a backpacking pack and go on my merry. Not this time. I've got the backpack, the suitcase and STILL need room. I was going to bring ML's duffel bag (the one he brings when he goes on tour for FIVE weeks) but he looked appalled that I actually needed it and I was ashamed.

    I might still take it anyway. After all, I haven't finished packing.

  14. I think I will just buy everything I need at Outfitters and then I will donate it all when I leave. That HAS to be easier.

    12 hours!!

  15. I'm packed except for a few last minute things. I'm bringing waaaaay more stuff this year though...not sure why that is. Oh, well at least it all fit in one bag :)

  16. I have to make sure every item of clothing I own is washed by my departure date, take a shower, pick out what I will be wearing that day and then pack 5 times as much as I could ever use in a month - for a week. If I am driving somewhere, this means I will be at least 3 hours late leaving.

    Gee, wonder why I have recurring nightmares about never packing in time to catch a plane. Big fucking mystery.

    Have fun everyone!


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