How long does it take for you to pack on a trip. Do you carry alot of personal belongings?

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    Jan 08, 2013 6:03 AM GMT
    I have a habit of over-packing for trips and I wish I could just pack 2 light suitcases like the average business man on his way to the airport and be on my way (Unless someone is staying over 1 night someplace, I never understood how once could manage).

    But no matter how hard I try...I end up with 3-4 bags of stuff. The times I have packed lightly, I ended up forgetting something. Some small, some big. The hardest is the bag for my hygiene. I can't just leave with toothpaste and toothbrush. I need lotions/hairspray/face stuff/floss/creams etc.

    I also like carrying 3-4 pairs of shoes. running, snow boots, dress shoes. On my last trip I had a large suitcase, duffel bag, laptop bag and 'flight attendent' bag with my toiletries. 4 bags! It's just too much to carry around and it kind of ruins my trip. But I almost rather deal with that knowing I have everything I need.

    What are some ways you have tried to lighten your load when away and living without all the excess baggage? I was recently referred to by a friend of a friend to key ring...an app that you can scan and store all of your loyalty and rewards cards on your phone. It certainly helps in lightening the wallet and perhaps I can get on with carrying just 1 wallet.

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    Jan 08, 2013 6:07 AM GMT
    I'm a last minute packer lol I always wait until the night before I fly somewhere but I ALWAYS end up leaving something behind icon_confused.gif usually it takes about an hour to finish though....
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    Jan 08, 2013 6:11 AM GMT
    Last year I moved across the country on a 3 day notice.

    It was a non-issue, except that I hated where I was going. icon_lol.gif
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    Jan 08, 2013 1:34 PM GMT
    Unless you are traveling to the Sahara you can always pick up anything you forgot when you get there.
    Otherwise just pack essentials. They don't know you where you're going so it's OK to be seen wearing the same thing more than once.
    Don't be one of those people with four oversized carryons who take up two overhead bins all to themselves.
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    Jan 08, 2013 1:42 PM GMT
    One 50-60L backpack and smaller daypack can pack up all my clothes and possessions for a 6 month stay somewhere in a cold climate.

    Pack one week's worth of clothes and resolve to wash them diligently, limit yourself to two pairs of shoes (one nice pair of lace-up boots, one pair of comfortable sandshoes), and buy all the toiletries you need when you get there (or scrounge off friends/hotels).

    Also, roll up everything to conserve space.
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    Jan 08, 2013 2:23 PM GMT
    I always pack the night before. I take a mid-size carry-on and a smaller carry-on for my books to read, a jacket and other small items that might not fit. I also leave space so that I can bring something that I might want to purchase home with me. I found that when I roll up my clothes when I pack, I can get a lot more stuff in.
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    Jan 08, 2013 2:26 PM GMT
    Looks like you got your muscles from carrying around suitcases then mate ;)

    icon_surprised.gif Kidding..

    I pack one bag, have a tiny wet-pack for shaving, and that kind of stuff, toothpaste, floss etc ( you can usually buy travel sized toiletries, or decant gels etc into smaller bottles)

    Have two or at most 3 pairs of shoes with me, including the ones I take on a plane.

    The rest varies on the number of Nights I'm staying, usually a shirt for the day, a Tee or Tank for night time, if warm, some light sweaters if not.

    My laptop also goes into this bag, along with phone charger etc. I take a satchel onboard with me, with an ipad or just a magazine sometimes.

    Travel light and you can usually grab your bag from the luggage collection and sprint for the taxi ranks ;)
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    Jan 08, 2013 2:32 PM GMT

    I spent a week at a B&B in Cape May NJ one year at the height of summer. There was a guy there who apparently arrived in swim trunks and that was it. Every night, he hung out on the porch wearing the trunks and his magnificent hairy chest. Every morning--breakfast on the porch, same deal. No matter when or where I ran into him around town, same trunks, nothing else. He probably rinsed them out each night, slept naked and next morning--good to go! He sure solved the underwear problem. I didn't see his arrival but I do recall that he drove off wearing just the trunks. Now THAT man knew how to pack, which is to say when you got a chest like that, DON'T !
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    Jan 08, 2013 2:41 PM GMT
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    Jan 08, 2013 3:03 PM GMT
    Depends on my itinerary, and of course the duration of the trip. I used to lived out of suitcases in the Army, a 100,000-mile annual frequent flier on just one commercial carrier alone, plus more miles on others and also on military aircraft.

    I could get by with just a carry-on bag for 3 days or less. Longer trips, or if I had to bring along different uniforms, boots and field equipment, I'd still take the carry-on, with just my essentials inside with which I could survive if my check baggage got lost (which it sometimes did).

    At home I still keep my toiletries in a zippered shave kit at all times, not loose in a bathroom cabinet, just like I did in the Army, same habit for 40 years. It means if I get a sudden offer to run down to Key West on a hotel rate special, for instance, I just have to close the zippers and take the kit as is, no hunting for stuff. I can have the car packed in an hour and be on my way, as can my partner.

    My toiletries are minimal. If I'm using hotels I rely on their own soap and shampoo. If I'm staying at a private home I have a small refillable travel bottle for shampoo, plastic soap dish, deodorant, and that's about it. I keep hair conditioner in my home shower, and some skin lotion, but for a few weeks I can rough it and leave that crap behind.

    On our recent Christmas trip to New Hampshire we were gone 17 days, but packed fairly light, despite taking winter jackets for once. We know the house has a washer and dryer, so we didn't need that many days of clean clothes. Ordinarily I'll pack a quantity of daily underwear and socks sufficient for 50% more days than the trip will last.

    For Key West I pack very light, knowing I won't need a swimsuit (nude pool), just shorts & T-shirts, no socks, maybe 1 pair of long slacks and dress shirt for a nice restaurant at night. No jackets, no sweaters, and if I need any more clothes I can buy them there, but rarely do.
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    Jan 08, 2013 3:56 PM GMT
    I am very quick... usually an hour. I keep a checklist of items that I need to bring when I travel. Clothing ~2 outfits/day and maybe one super nice outfit.

    With the exception of my passport, $$, glasses, iPad, and prescriptions (inhaler because I'm asthmatic), I really don't sweat anything. Whatever I forget I can buy at my destination.

    I rarely take trips that exceed one week.
  • shutoman

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    Jan 08, 2013 4:07 PM GMT
    Happiness is a packing list - I learnt this only recently. These days I don't take much - I used to travel sooo heavily I'm surprised I have a back left :-)
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    Jan 08, 2013 4:10 PM GMT
    I go to bed very early the night before and pack what I need while I'm getting ready in the early morning. I figure that if I need it that morning to get showered and ready, it's something that I need to take with me.

    If it's a road trip out of LA, I find that its much faster to leave in the wee hours of the morning and then you only have Caltrans plugging things up.

    If it's a road trip to an out of town show and I'm taking an old car, I always pack a fuel pump as it's one of the very few things that can strand you with zero notice. Just about everything else will let you limp the car in. I've been very lucky to have never come home on a flat bed as its expensive and really ruins the weekend. I pack all the show related detailing supplies and everything car related the night before and pack up me the morning of.

    Back here in Columbus we don't have the traffic related issues that forced me to leave the middle of the night as I did in SoCal.
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    Jan 08, 2013 4:13 PM GMT
    shutoman saidHappiness is a packing list - I learnt this only recently. These days I don't take much - I used to travel sooo heavily I'm surprised I have a back left :-)


    I start a list using Evernote a few days before. I think I'm real lucky that I rarely forget anything.
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    Jan 08, 2013 5:47 PM GMT
    It depends on the trip. For just an ordinary business trip, one carry-on is plenty for up to a week. When I traveled frequently, I just kept it packed all the time.

    I've had full-blown remote field expeditions that took a month to pack for.
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    Jan 08, 2013 6:48 PM GMT
    im off to MOntreal in a few days... 3 days pleasure, 4 days business. Im from Vanc Island, where it doesnt get cold.. LOL. So I have to pack coats, boots, causal, business suits... Fuck...I hate taking lots of stuff, cause i always seem to leave something in the hotel.
    I refer not to check bags, but i guess i have no choice this time..
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    Jan 08, 2013 7:35 PM GMT
    I pack the night before and the suitcase I bring will depend on how long I'll be on the trip. I take two bags with me: one big and a carryon. I don't take more than 2 pair of shoes and 1 flip flops. If I can't get everything I need into my suitcase, then it means I'm taking way too much and need to rethink what I'm bringing. I usually fly for my trips and with the weight restrictions on luggage, having too much stuff can be expensive!
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    Jan 08, 2013 7:38 PM GMT
    The more you travel the less you pack. It takes a few consecutive trips for it to sink in the stuff you consistently pack and don't even touch.
  • chi_rock

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    Jan 08, 2013 8:11 PM GMT
    I pack very light, usually the night before leaving. I value the flexibility it offers when traveling.
  • kew1

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    Jan 09, 2013 12:52 PM GMT
    JDuderrr said
    I spent a week at a B&B in Cape May NJ one year at the height of summer. There was a guy there who apparently arrived in swim trunks and that was it. Every night, he hung out on the porch wearing the trunks and his magnificent hairy chest. Every morning--breakfast on the porch, same deal. No matter when or where I ran into him around town, same trunks, nothing else. He probably rinsed them out each night, slept naked and next morning--good to go! He sure solved the underwear problem. I didn't see his arrival but I do recall that he drove off wearing just the trunks. Now THAT man knew how to pack, which is to say when you got a chest like that, DON'T !


    Met a backpacker in Australia who had 2 T-shirts, 2 shorts - wear one, wash one.
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    Jan 10, 2013 8:56 PM GMT
    ART_DECO saidIf I'm using hotels I rely on their own soap and shampoo.


    This is where I can't do without. I shop at bath and body works and that stuff has to come along with me or I don't feel clean. Even the best hotel soap just doesn't lather up right with a wash cloth

    Narciso saidThe more you travel the less you pack. It takes a few consecutive trips for it to sink in the stuff you consistently pack and don't even touch.


    I travel alot and still haven't 'gotten it'. This is how crazy I am...I like to pack my own iron! It's stainless steel. I have been to upscale hotels and they still have crusty irons and no stainless steel that get limescale all over your Black shirts.

    Erik101 saidI usually fly for my trips and with the weight restrictions on luggage, having too much stuff can be expensive!


    On every flight, my check bag usually weighs in at 48-49.5 pounds LOL. 1/2 pound off!
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    Jan 10, 2013 9:06 PM GMT
    freedomisntfree said
    If it's a road trip to an out of town show and I'm taking an old car, I always pack a fuel pump as it's one of the very few things that can strand you with zero notice. Just about everything else will let you limp the car in. I've been very lucky to have never come home on a flat bed as its expensive and really ruins the weekend.


    Oh you gotta look into AAA plus or premier. I don't even dream about leaving without it. You get 4 service calls per year including tows. I used to drive a Toyota that had the water pump/timing belt fail 3 times! Now I have a car with a timing chain.



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    Jan 10, 2013 9:32 PM GMT
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    That's not me in the photo above. I've traveled extensively most of my life (123 countries. I grew up with formal grandparents and they traveled so much and took so many things, they needed a station wagon for their luggage on long trips). For today's life, I learned to pack efficiently. If it's a trip where I have to dress for meetings, I envision what I'm going to do each day or night, and decide what I have to wear for those meetings or dinners. I lay out clothes on my bed, and wrap the shirts in tissue paper to keep wrinkling to a minimum. I try to pick things that work well together. Belts & shoes / shoe trees / ties that go with shirts. For instance, a blue blazer can go with charcoal or grey slacks, and dark blue, cordovan or black shoes. I also throw in some work out clothes & bathing trunks. In my carry on, I put the stuff I can't do without - shaving kit items. Like someone else said above - - - I don't pack the things I use every day at the sink or in the shower until I've used them that morning. Most often forgotten item for me: belts. Then - when I get to the hotel or house I'm going to, I unpack things and hang them up to straighten them out (less ironing needed that way). The key is to learn not to bring any item you aren't going to use, but to look good / professional every day without wearing the same stuff all week.

    As far as time it takes to pack - - - if your clothes and shoes are all cleaned and ready to go, it shouldn't take long to pack. Hang things in order in your closets so you can get to them quickly. Lay shirts out and pair ties with them while they're on your bed. Belts & ties should be coordinated. It's easy. Socks & underwear / one pair for each day. Socks colors should blend with your slacks & shoes (no brown socks with black or dark blue slacks). You know the mistakes not to make. It takes me about 1/2 hour max to pack for a big trip.
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    Jan 10, 2013 9:46 PM GMT
    I travel for business frequently. I'm often on the road for weeks at a time. I'm ontrack for United 1K by about July this year.

    Less is more.
    One checked and one carry on should be more than enough for most trips.
    For other trips (international), consider buying clothes at your destination (since you won't be able to get certain fashions at home).
    Color coordinate so that you need to pack less.
    Use large ziplock bags to compress underwear and socks and other stuff that doesn't mind wrinkles.
    Buy refillable, travel sized toiletries.
    If you're packing more than 6 shirts/3 pants for a week on the road...you're probably trying to pack too much.

    Overcome your discomfort with travelling lighter, or continue to suffer with carrying excess baggage. There's a life lesson here as well.
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    Jan 10, 2013 9:55 PM GMT
    GAMRican saidI travel for business frequently. I'm often on the road for weeks at a time. I'm ontrack for United 1K by about July this year.

    Less is more.
    One checked and one carry on should be more than enough for most trips.
    For other trips (international), consider buying clothes at your destination (since you won't be able to get certain fashions at home).
    Color coordinate so that you need to pack less.
    Use large ziplock bags to compress underwear and socks and other stuff that doesn't mind wrinkles.
    Buy refillable, travel sized toiletries.
    If you're packing more than 6 shirts/3 pants for a week on the road...you're probably trying to pack too much.

    Overcome your discomfort with travelling lighter, or continue to suffer with carrying excess baggage. There's a life lesson here as well.


    this, plus I always bring dark clothes....so they all go together and show less dirt. No cotton undies. Buy UnderArmor, you can rinse em out and they dry overnight in the shower.