Packing in Overpacking
By Justine Seligson
I love to travel but packing, I quite detest! There is no pleasure in stuffing bags with clothes, toothbrushes, magazines and lotions. Every object touched, you have to ask yourself “Do I need this?” It’s very easy to overpack on trips.
A few of us in my own family have a very serious case of this. My dad, especially. He has to bring four jackets for a weekend ski trip. One for the mountain. A lighter one for cross-country skiing. A comfortable coat for walking around town and a nice one for dinner. Fellow columnist, Carson Kressley, would probably pack twice as much!
I’m not the best myself. Once I packed a stapler for a Vermont ski trip. My mom’s the best packer among us, but that is not to say she’s mastered it. She’ll never admit this, but when we went to a family wedding in Cambridge, she packed six pairs of shoes. When I asked her why she packed so many, she told me that she hadn’t had a chance to “edit” them.
And what about unpacking when you get to your destination? That’s where my father really takes top prize. Even if it’s for just one night, he insists on taking everything out of his bags and neatly arranging them in the drawers and closets. No wonder he loses so much stuff.
Speaking of losing things, once on a trip to a couple of Maine lodges, we left an entire drawer full of my clothes in one of the lodges. The sad part? We didn’t even realize they were missing throughout the trip which went on for another week. It wasn’t until we got home and a box came in the mail some days later.
My mom is the opposite of my dad when it comes to getting settled in hotel rooms. She’ll never unpack, even if we stay in one place for a week. I kind of do a little bit of both, depending on my mood.
Inevitably, after every family trip, my parents talk about how they didn’t use half the stuff they packed and that on the next trip, they’ll take less. Fat chance.
I guess this overpacking is a condition that there’s no real cure for. Doctors are working day and night to find one.
Just-Teens Travel is written and photographed by Justine Seligson, our teen columnist.