Thursday, November 10, 2011

Pack up yer troubles in yer old kit bag!

Photo of the glass art of Dale Chihuly,
taken while I was on a business trip.
I don't know anyone who enjoys packing, except perhaps someone who is packing to run away from an abusive situation. And even then, they'd probably prefer to just wipe their feet on the welcome mat on their way out and be done with it.

I enjoy going on trips (more or less), but really do NOT enjoy the process of deciding what to put in the suitcase. I've travelled enough in the past five years or so that I've gone one thing down pat: my toiletries are already in a bag and ready to tuck into my carry-on. I keep a supply of travel-sized refills in my bottom drawer along with my bathing suit, flip-flops and a generous pareo.

[I would love to stash a spare cellphone charger and laptop charger as well, but those are too expensive to just leave hanging around.] 

[Although, now that I think of it, I have (more than once) had to buy "universal" laptop chargers. They are ^&%R%$##$! expensive, about $100! So buying an actual spare one might be a wise investment.]

[And, actually, I used to have a spare cellphone battery which I kept fully charged.]

[Have I mentioned that I've stopped taking ADHD meds? Fasten your seatbelts - you're in for a bumpy ride!]

[How, in the name of all that is holy, did my parents put up with me?]


I have learned the hard way that it is a very good idea to take an organized approach to packing. Make a packing list. Here is a short list of things I've had to acquire because of careless packing:

  • pyjamas (cannot sleep without 'em)
  • previously mentioned laptop charger
  • coat (What? It rains in Vancouver?)
  • umbrella (see above)
  • sinus rinse (I now DO keep a complete spare kit in my go-bag)
  • camera battery
Stephen, my frequent co-traveller, has refined the skill of creating a packing list. He never packs without one. Here is a sample of one he made for our family's 3-day trip to Toronto over last March Break*. 
OCD is a very good thing.

Isn't he thorough? No excuse for failing to pack your homework or the requisite three pairs of underwear! 

I don't make packing lists. But I do use the ones Steve creates and am very grateful for them. In fact, as I write this, he is preparing the packing list for our trip to Montreal this weekend.

What about you? Do you improvise when you pack? Or do you plan everything ahead of time?

* About that list. All that booze (and the specification for a clean outfit for Saturday night) were because we were going to a family pot-luck on the Saturday night, and our contribution was the booze.


  1. If I'm going on an extended vacation, I'll make a list of things to pack. If it's a trip to see my family, I sort of keep a list in my head with the thought that if I forget anything, I can just buy it, borrow it, or do without. Oh, and I try to have all the laundry done the day before.

  2. I make packing lists. Always. I am too forgetful not to. And now that I have a child, a packing list is an absolute necessity. I think, though, that I may just steal Steve's packing list. I usually just think of what to BRING, but I love the forethought in "what to wear" (there always has to be a traveling outfit that doesn't get "packed") as well as "before we leave the house" (these are the ones that cause me to wake up in the middle of the night panicking that I'll forget to do)

  3. I didn't follow the perfect list that Steve prepared. >[ Consequently, I forgot pyjamas and a charger for my cellphone! Since text messages are the main way the kids stay in touch with me, I had to buy a new charger.

    @Diane - yes, Steve's lists are very comprehensive, and he reuses lists from previous trips as starting points.


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