For some of us, packing for a trip means feeling that little scalp-tingling thrill when you see your flip-flops in the back of the closet, knowing that they’re about to emerge for your annual sunlight bender, a podiatric Mardi Gras; but for others, packing means shoving your entire life into that f’d up little gremlin of a duffel bag, tugging and battling zippers, and facing an uncomfortable reality: you have an overpacking problem.
It’s okay—we’ve been there too, and so we’ve put together a 3-step plan to help you pack minimally.
- Pack early, but not too early. You’re more likely to shove everything you own into a suitcase if you’re doing it fifteen minutes before you have to leave for the airport; but if you start days in advance, you’re more likely to methodically rationalize why you need that third heavy wool sweater for your August trip to the beach (“What if it gets chilly and a big wave sneaks up on me three days in a row?”). Cool your jets and pack the night before you head out.
- Speaking of the beach: remember where you’re going, and for how long. Will you be backpacking through the mountains for five days? Then you probably don’t need to bring your laptop, much less that old DVD binder full of the complete Adam Sandler filmography. Are you going to be in a hotel conference center for the weekend without free Internet? Then you can leave those hiking boots at home and live it up with a late-night Wedding Singer/Waterboy double feature (while you’re at it, bring your own cocktail shaker, because you’re too much of an adult to be doing that sober).
- Choose the right bag. Leave enough room to bring something home with you, and choose a bag that helps you effectively plan. The app-enabled Bluesmart Carry-On suitcase has a built-in scale that lets you weigh your bag via your phone, so you never need to worry about extra charges at the airport, plus an outlet that lets you charge your phone six times over, a GPS device, and an exterior laptop case so you can glide right through security.