Please sign in to post.

When packing light with the "best of Intentions" goes wrong!

I am a faithful follower of the "Church of Packing Light", I only fly with carry-on luggage and have spent the last ten years refining my bag, clothes, toiletries, etc but I always manage to forget at least one item!!!! I even make a packing list on my iPhone and check off each item and I usually pack my bag 2-4 weeks before the trip just to see how everythign fits. On my recent trip to France I somehow forgot to pack the e-ticket to Monet's garden tour (thank the Lord that the company was kind enough to issue me another in Paris). Then 2/3 of the way through the 12 day trip I noticed that I had packed to many right eye contacts and not enough left eye contacts!! I'm pretty OCD about my travel so I looked back on what was going on during my packing and checking my list and I decided that even though I was going through the motions I was not really focusing on the task at hand. What I mean is that I was letting my mind think about other things while I was doing my packing! Next year we're going to Scotland and I am deteremined to get there with everything on my list and in the correct amount!!!!!!! Brothers and Sisters of the Church of Packing Light I will repent and change my ways, pray for me!

Posted by
3941 posts

Last year we drove to Ontario and I had little travel go-tubes to put my shampoo and conditioner in. (Not sure why I was worried about small sizes since we were driving, but I digress). Backstory - I wash my hair every other day, and need conditioner because it's lightweight and prone to flyaways/static. So I wash my hair, then go to put the conditioner in and I'm like...this is pretty foamy conditioner...well, I put shampoo in instead. Luckily, I just went to a drug store and got some conditioner...bit harder to get extra contacts!

Posted by
2768 posts

My worst was on a two night driving trip to another city 4 hours away. I had packed a bag carefully, had everything I needed...then I forgot to put the bag in the car. Got to the hotel with my purse and nothing else. That was fun. I bought underwear and a t shirt, the hotel had toothbrush, paste and comb for such situations, and a nearby branch of CVS was able to give me a two day supply of my medication. I got home after my 2 nights and my perfectly packed bag was on the floor next to the door to the garage. So close!

Posted by
2349 posts

Lists only get you so far. You do have to pay attention to them. One time I kept skipping over the first item because I would get it later. It was too important to pack early. But I just got so used to skipping it that I almost forgot my passport.

I've forgotten my toothbrush so many times it's not funny. You know, you brush your teeth and just put the toothbrush right back where you always do. So now I keep the travel case for the Sonicare in my suitcase. It reminds me.

Posted by
1194 posts

I use the packing app always. Many items are now on he checklist because of mistakes in the past.

I created a separate task list with last minute items - take out garbage, turn down thermostat, etc.

I also have a check box for loading confirmation documents and tickets onto my phone.

If you are going to Scotland - have a good quality, packable raincoat with a hood. Don't go cheap here. You will thank me after your trip for this advice. Light weight day hiker boots with smartwool socks are a big help as well.

Posted by
4009 posts

I'd like to think that packing lightly doesn't make me part of some cult! It's just smart travel.

As for forgetting things at home, whether you pack a trunk or a carry-on, size does NOT matter w/r/t forgetting something important. :-) On my last trip to England this spring, I left home all of my pounds sterling. Yup, all of my cash was on my dresser. Yes, I had an ATM card but I didn't want to use it; I had no cash when I arrived at LHR which at first scared me. I did NOT want to use Travelex cash machines as they are highway robbery. I quickly realized I didn't need cash at LHR as I could use my credit card to buy my coffee at Caffè Nero and to top off my Oyster Card. I could wait until I arrived into Central London to go to a Barclays Bank cash machine.

I'm ready with my cash for THIS trip coming up.

Posted by
1221 posts

Hurricane Dennis evacuation 2005- I have -14 myopia, which is pretty extreme stuff. Had my contacts in my eyes when we left the house, but was so caught in getting the cats packed up properly that I forgot my eyeglasses, which are pretty necessary for me to get from unfamiliar hotel bathroom to bed once I put my (gas permeable hard) contacts in the case for the night.

Posted by
11613 posts

Continental, at the return from a trip, I put euro and travel passes that don't expire in my travel wallet and put that right back in the suitcase for the next trip.

Posted by
10260 posts

I keep left over euro, etc. in my passport. That way I'm sure to have the money with me.

Posted by
8961 posts

12 years ago my step-father died, so rushed off to fly from Frankfurt to Ohio the next day, after hurriedly packing my bag. Getting ready for the funeral, I pull out my black flats and to my consternation, both are for my left foot. Yes, I had 2 pair of shoes that looked almost alike. Fortunately, my mom has almost the same size feet as me and I was able to borrow a pair of shoes from her. I now always check to see if I have both shoes.

Posted by
15245 posts

If you use a money belt of some sort, why not keep your passport, "foreign" currency and International Drivers Permit, if you have one, in there. And keep that in your bag along with anything you always take for travel--packing accessories (cubes, sacs, etc), replenished 3-1-1 bag, and so on. Any tickets or printouts needed for travel also go in the bag. This way you now where they are.

You could also keep a hard copy of your packing list there as well and cross things off as they get packed.

Posted by
1221 posts

Passports and driving permits go into the big 'bug out' case along with birth certificate copies, marriage license, homeowner's insurance binder, mortgage info, etc. in case we have to leave home somewhat quickly due to hurricane or wildfire. Foreign money (not a lot-we're generally pretty good at spending down coin and paper at the end of a trip) is over in the spousal unit's work office- he uses it to demonstrate how to use certain camera lenses and capture small images.

Posted by
503 posts

I just recently returned from two weeks abroad and about 2-days in, I realized I hadn't packed any pants. Like the OP, I've traveled enough that I can more or, less pack my stuff in 'automatic mode' but, for whatever reason, the only pants I had were the ones I was wearing. Anyways, no big deal, found an H&M, and found the lone style that was skinny jean-cut.

Posted by
293 posts

@ zcorsair, why didn't you call me? I brought 4 pairs of pants, and 4 tubes of perfume, plus 4 tubes of shampoo and no conditioner...

Posted by
27226 posts

On a domestic trip I once forgot my underwear bag. That was awkward, because I was in Lake Placid, NY, not exactly known for cheap sources of essentials. Who knew some drug stores carry panties?

Posted by
4574 posts

Acraven, that is one bag I always double check :-)
Early in my marriage, DH was just a handsome junior Naval officer who happened to be on a ship deployed for a total of 300 days one year. Never for any long stretches- in and out, in and out. So he lived out of his suitcase even at home. On one particularly long deploy he realized he only had the underwear he was wearing (well, maybe one more). Through the ship communication lines I learned he needed more and to send some with one of the family members who would be meeting the ship in Hawaii in a week's time. You can imagine his embarrassment and everyone else's jokes when the Captain's wife presented him with a paper bag and a 'I believe you were needing these?'. Why he didn't just buy some there and keep mum about it, I don't know....but I couldn't resist making him the butt of a joke ;-)

Posted by
139 posts

I was 4 months pregnant when we made a winter road trip to Santa Fe with a friend. I was so excited to wear my cute new maternity clothes, and packed them in a garment bag. We were 3 hours from home when I asked my husband where our second bag was. "What second bag?"

All we had were the clothes on our backs, and the first bag with undies and toiletries. Husband found a Walmart with men's fleece and denim shirts. He still brags that he once bought me a whole wardrobe in Santa Fe.