A New Packing Strategy for Sensible People (Not Me)

I forgot to include this in yesterday’s post.

2012 travel

It really is quite impressive. It’s my travel year in review.

I flew 59,866 miles. My longest flight was between Munich and Bangkok, twice 5,474 miles.

Anyway, our latest trip was a long weekend in Austin, Texas over New Year’s Eve.

Usually, I fret and panic over what to pack for a trip. This trip, I tried to employ a new packing strategy that I read about in the online version of Lucky. The part that really, really resonated with me was this:

When people cancel plans on her claiming “I have to pack,” my friend Deirdre says, “Go upstairs. Put what you’re wearing in a suitcase. Then put in what you wore yesterday. Now put on what you were going to wear tomorrow. Go out, like you were supposed to before you came up with this stupid packing excuse. Sleep, get up, put that same outfit on. Add anything you wear for exercising and a toothbrush, zip the thing, and leave.”

YES, I thought. That’s some sound advice. However, I imagined I would have to amend this idea because (a) Texas is much warmer than DC, so I won’t need all those pesky, bulky sweaters I’ve been slouching around in; (b) it’s New Year’s Eve, which is going to require some going-out clothing, but since that’s the only time we’re really doing it up, I’ll only need the one sparkly outfit; and (c) I have to bring cowboy boots.

Hmmm, sparkly cowboy boots? Two birds, one diamond-like stone.

So basically, I completely ignored the advice.

On point A: I checked the weather beforehand, and it was pretty up and down. But honestly, highs in the mid 50s didn’t seem to bad. I brought plenty of plaid button downs and t-shirts to wear underneath, and only one cardigan. But winter is winter, and Austin’s weather was as temperamental as a moody teenager. It rained. It got windy. It drizzled. It was cold. It was mild. It was all over the place. Thank the packing gods I had brought a mid-weight coat, but of course, I forgot an even more useful scarf. And there were times when that coat was too warm or reeked of barbecue smoke. LESSON: Next time, I’ll bring a leather jacket and my much missed scarf. Maybe a bulkier sweater as well, just in case.

On point B: An impromptu girl’s dinner at a very nice restaurant popped up on the schedule. It was nice, but not NYE-outfit-nice. A new gray silk sparkly blouse was hastily procured. A blouse that is alarmingly similar to at least three other silky gray sparkly blouses I had in my closet back home. LESSON: Bring a second nice top or jacket, just in case.

On point C: This is the one where I fell furthest from my packing goals. I brought not one, but two pairs of cowboy boots. Then I bought another pair. Which made me look like a total tourist carrying my Allen’s boot box on the plane because I couldn’t get another pair in my suitcase. Embarrassing. LESSON: If you are thePoeLog going to Austin, you probably will buy another pair of boots. So you better just leave a pair at home so there’s more room in your suitcase for the new ones.


Oh well. There’s always next time. I definitely, DEFINITELY will try to pack light for Peru.

8 thoughts on “A New Packing Strategy for Sensible People (Not Me)

  1. OK, Next time just one pair of boots, worn on the plane! I’m not sure I totally agree with the “what you wore yesterday, today, tomorrow” philosophy. You reall want all your clothing pieces to work together. The focus should be on a travel capsule wardrobe that you can layer for temperature control. I like using my regular clothes because I feel comfortable in them. That said, I am now far more careful selecting my “normal” clothes, ensuring that they are wrinkle resistant and also wash and dry easily.

  2. My packing rule (not 100% followed): sneakers and one other pair of shoes. All outfits must work within those parameters. But then, I’m missing the “shoe” gene on my X chromosome.

    1. You know, I recently packed for a trip starting with the specific shoes I could walk in (one pair of vans, one pair of boots), and it did make things a lot easier! Once you settle on shoes, then pants (straight leg for tennies, skinnies for boots) kind of fall into place and then the rest.

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