I am the worst packer in the world. Before a big trip, I start packing two to three weeks in advance. I lay out my clothes, think about potential outfits, make a list for things I need to buy. This is the phase which still makes sense – more or less, it may be a bit early to pack. About a week later, I rethink everything I packed, I change some items, lay everything out again. Two days before the flight it gets really hectic – I think I have not packed enough, I pack multiple backup outfits until my suitcase is almost bursting. I know that this will leave me virtually no space for things I want to buy abroad. Just before I leave, I manage to part with some items so that I do not exceed the weight limit.
When I reach the check-in desk, I try to lift the suitcase onto the scale and conveyor belt without looking like I suffer too much. Even though they will see in a second how heavy it is, I do not want to admit it as yet. I want to make it look effortless – which it never does, by the way. The person checking me in will say the same as the taxi driver who just helped me with the luggage: “Wow, heavy,” the suffering of lifting my things was visible on his face.
Once arrived, I unpack everything. No matter how long I stay at the hotel. I really do not like living out of the suitcase. The things I meticulously packed would get crumpled, I would not be able to find anything and the whole suitcase would just be a crazy mess because I would start pulling out things – needless to say, most of the clothes I need right away are always at the bottom of the suitcase. Does this happen to you too? I put all my clothes in the closet, move all the things I need in the bathroom. When I am travelling, I do want to feel that I am only staying for a bit. I try to make it feel like a home away from home. Even if I only stay for one night.
During my trip, I then regret that I packed so much. Every time I buy something I think about the suitcase back at the hotel. Is there any space left? Not really. “I will pack it in my carry-on.” That is usually the solution.
On the day of my departure, I try to pack everything into my suitcase again. Why did it fit when I left and now I can barely fit half of my things? I take everything out and try different methods of folding. I have watched multiple YouTube-videos about how to pack your suitcase. While I am usually a very good student, I clearly failed all the packing classes. I once watched a documentary about a butler in a luxury hotel. He explained that the secret to packing is rolling your clothes. I tried; and failed again. Rolling was even more useless than folding in my case. This guy must have some kind of magic packing trick.
I have reached the moment where the overpacking at home shows its full effect. I can barely fit the things I brought – let’s not even get started about all the new things I purchased. I kneel on the luggage and use all my force. Finally, it is closed. As planned before, I stuff everything left into my carry-on. I know that I have to pass by all the watchful eyes at the airport. I have to pretend it is not heavy at all. Let’s worry about that later!
I am happy that everything is packed and that I am ready to go. One last check if I forgot anything… of course, I forgot something in the bathroom. And this means – yes, you are right – opening up my suitcase again, because, of course, liquids cannot go into my hand carry. Here we go again, I open up the suitcase. I do need any force this time, because after I unlock it and start opening up the zip, it basically bursts open by itself. Now, find a spot to fit this shampoo… I will find some. Shall I leave it behind? No, I just bought it, I will bring it home, I am on a mission. I finally found a spot between some shirts and socks, I squeeze the bottle in and hope it will not give way to the pressure inside the suitcase while I travel. Again, I sit on my luggage, push… aaaaannnd…. closed. Finally, I am ready to go.
Back home, the first thing I do is, of course, unpack. No matter the time, I start taking everything out, making piles for the laundry and I put the first batch into the washing machine. Yes, I also do this in the middle of the night, I am sorry for anyone who has to live with me. But I just cannot help it. Needless to say, I did not wear half of the clothes I had packed. This always happens. But, at least I had a backup, or rather two or three. When the luggage is empty, I clean it and put it in its place. Another successful trip, just right at the weight limit, is behind me.