Help Me Before I Over Pack Again!

I’m looking at a suitcase and I’m feeling a little panicked. It’s a carry-on size piece of luggage that’s fueling my anxiety. It’s also causing me to grapple with a real-life word problem. 

“If a woman is a leaving for an eight-day vacation and has to fit multiple outfits, at least two pairs of shoes, a blow dryer and what can best be described as a cavalcade of moisturizers into an itty-bitty bag what is the best way to cram all that stuff into the suitcase and still get it to close?”

I think the only correct answer is to throw caution to the wind, use a bigger suitcase and check the blasted bag.

The real issue here is that I’m not a carry-on bag person. I’m all about being hands free at the airport and that means not dragging my luggage with me like it’s a family member I can’t bear to part with.

Of course, I bring a largish tote bag/purse with me to hold my assortment of hand gels, diarrhea meds, Ibuprofen, Zyrtec, antibiotic cream and Band-Aids because you never know when you might get an oozing wound on a plane that requires some immediate first aid. 

I also stuff two books in my tote bag. This over the years has resulted in ridicule from my children about why I don’t just read a book on my phone. Well, of course I have books on my phone but I believe in hoping for the best and planning for the worst. 

What if the plane gets stuck on the tarmac for hours and your phone battery dies. Then what would you do? The last time I ran out of reading material I had to watch a fellow passenger pumice her feet. 

Yes, that’s right a woman got out a pumice stone, took her flip-flops off and attacked her feet with such ferocious zeal I feared we had a serial killer on the plane.

After being treated to that most disturbing visual I’ve always made sure I had reading material with me that didn’t require a battery.

The only reason I’m even pondering abandoning my checked luggage ways and embracing a carry-on suitcase is due to all the recent stories of checked luggage hell. There are only so many times you can see photos taken at airports of suitcases piled up so high they resemble mountain ranges and not think that maybe that’s a sign that you need to carry on your bag.

The problem is I’m not exactly gifted in the ways of packing light. Oh, I’ve tried. I’ve gotten all the little containers and packing cubes and done the whole roll your clothes method to save space. (Let me just share that I’m not a fan because 100 percent cotton shirts don’t like being rolled. They’re on team “fold me or I’ll wrinkle like your 98-year-old grandpa.”)

But because my brain is always planning for worst case scenarios it’s exceedingly hard for me to pare down to one pair of shoes, two pairs of pants and three shirts for eight days away from home. 

I’m actually in awe of people who can live out of one carry-on bag for two weeks. Don’t they miss clean underwear and the thrill of not repeating outfits every other day? I mean why go on vacation if you can’t bring all the cute stuff you bought for your vacation?

Well, that’s it. I’ve done it. I’ve just now talked myself into checking my luggage. Say hello to the big suitcase and me doing what I do best – over packing. Now, where did I put the four pairs of shoes I want to bring?


If you’re going on vacation 🏖don’t forget to bring along a great read like my latest book EMPTY! Click on the Amazon link for all the deets.