A few weeks ago, I went to a hotel for a conference with my dad. I left on Friday afternoon after school, and I came back on Sunday afternoon. I didn’t really have to bring anything special. Dobby was traveling with me, but he doesn’t require much. My dad was taking his cat as well, so I didn’t have to bring a litter box! (Although he forgot a water bowl….)

I was only staying for 2 nights, and still, I overpacked. It’s easy to tell when going from your room down to the car takes 3 trips! Why I brought my huge makeup bag, I don’t know. I have this fantasy that I am going to wear makeup all the time and look super good! The reality is that I hardly ever wear makeup. When I do, a little bit of lipstick and filling in my brows goes a long way. Did I touch my makeup bag at all? Nope.

I have been going to this convention for about 6 (?) years, taking a year off in 2015 for personal reasons. It’s been a tradition for me to dress nicer for the banquet on Saturday night. Since my minimalism failure (read more about that here), I didn’t really have any fancy clothes. So I decided to bring a dress I bought at Value Village over the summer – one I’ve never worn. This isn’t one of those fashion faux pas stories, don’t worry. It was a dress that would be good for a business formal work interview. Did I wear it? Nope. Did I even change out of my throw on something presentable at 7am leggings and sweatshirt? Nope! I mean, it was a nice sweatshirt! It says Linfield (my school) on it, and it’s fuzzy 🙂 (I am really a 12 year old girl obsessed with fuzzy things.) So, now many people who have known me since I was in one of my many awkward phases know that I’m in college! Which I’ve been in for 2 years now, but that’s beside the point. I had a bit of doubt when I was packing the dress (it took me about 12 minutes to throw everything into several bags – I don’t own a suitcase – and carry them down to my car), but I decided to take it anyway. Point: If you have doubt about an item of clothing that is bulky or requires special things to wear it with (nice shoes, stockings, the whole getup), LEAVE IT HOME.

This has happened to me every year. I bring a few books that I tell myself I’m going to read (sound familiar?), along with all my school supplies that I need for doing homework, my laptop, etc, and I NEVER USE IT! Okay, I use my laptop. Quite a bit, actually. I did also do my homework this year. But I spend most of my time talking with my honorary uncle and looking up funny things on Buzzfeed. I have NEVER read the books I’ve brought in the past, yet I still brought them. Next time, I am not going to bring ANY books for reading for fun. If I’m on a 2-day ‘vacation’ and MUST read, I can use my laptop and find a blog I want to read. Or use the Kindle app on my phone!

To re-cap, if I hadn’t packed all the things that I didn’t use, I could have saved myself at least one trip down to the car. For Dobby, all he needed was his harness and leash (in his carrier), a bag of food (I could have put it in a smaller container, but I didn’t), and a food bowl. So one small bag and him in his carrier (which goes over my shoulder very nicely – or did, when he was 5lbs. Now that he’s 13lbs, it kind of hurts.)

One thing I didn’t bring, however, was toothpaste. I assumed that, since my dad and I would be sharing a room, I would just be able to borrow his toothpaste. (Is this weird? I don’t have travel toothpaste, and regular toothpaste tubes are too large to fit in my toiletry bag.) Nope! As far as I know, he didn’t even get his toothpaste out of his bag until Sunday morning. I am not about to go digging around in someone else’s suitcase looking for toothpaste! Even though that someone is family. So, I gritted my teeth and resigned myself to (gasp!) brushing with just water. I know, I’m horrible. I also didn’t bring my retainers, not that I missed them. Transporting and cleaning retainers on the go is difficult, and it was only 2 nights. My teeth have survived me not wearing my retainers for several months at a time, they can survive for 2 nights. (sorry parents who paid for my dental work!)

The lesson here is, BRING YOUR OWN ESSENTIALS! Even if you’ve planned to share something, it might get forgotten by the other person at home. Hence how our two cats spent the weekend drinking out of a Trader Joes snack container.

So, have you ever outrageously overpacked or even underpacked? Let me know your story in the comments!



2 thoughts on “Packing

  1. Ilona Sewall Wiley says:

    Oh dear Fiona, you aren’t the only one who has trouble packing things that they never use when traveling. I am 64 years old and I haven’t learned the art of packing just what I need yet. I will be in real trouble if I ever have to fly somewhere.

  2. Barb Epstien says:

    You look great in purple so I think you rocked that Linfield sweatshirt 🙂
    But I hear ya re: overpacking. I find it’s especially difficult to pack efficiently for car trips, when you’re not restricted by having to fit everything in a suitcase to be carried or checked on an airplane. “I can just throw it in the back seat…”
    i also overpack as a result of wanting to anticipate every possible weather condition for where I’m going.
    Well, I sure haven’t been much help, but at least you can be assured that you’re not alone!

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