Saturday, February 7, 2015

The Notorious Over-Packer !! - Black in Costa Rica

The over packer's motto:

“I’ll take it.... just in case” 

GUILTY as charged!

I have travelled near and far and no matter where I go, I end up packing too many clothes. I really have the best of intentions because my desire has always been to take "only what I need".  However, even though I bought a fancy luggage scale - in the end I always have at least 2 suitcases full of clothing and have even found myself re-shuffling clothing from one bag to another at the airline check in counter - which is sort of embarassing, I might add -- especially since a good majority of those clothes I never end up wearing. It's a very stressful way to travel!

My packing process has not served me well in the past and for 2015 and beyond I have vowed to change my overpacking ways and travel lighter -- using only a carry on.  (all bets are off when relocating to a new country)

Here's why

You can save yourself some money!
The U.S. airline industry has made about $3.4 billion a year in baggage fees since most airlines started charging for checked bags in 2008. On one trip returning from Barcelona I added a 3rd bag and it cost me over $200! 

The BF says he wil not repeat the luggage debacle we experienced in France when he had to carry our 4 over stuffed suitcases up and down several flights of stairs (no elevator) in one of the train stations in France. All annoucements were in french and they kept switching the departure gate (we think). That was in 2010 and he brought it up again last week. Seems he will NEVER forgive me for that one - although I swear to you "it was not my fault!"

But beyond that, what is really driving this decision is our upcoming trip to Costa Rica because we will primarily be using various forms of public transportation. There will be 5 of us and we will each be repsonsible for our own luggage (meaning the BF won't be carrying my bag). Plus I am pretty nervous about letting my luggage out from under my watchful eye on the buses  -- as I have heard horror stories about luggage and personal items been taken in Cost Rica.  So, it's one bag for me. I might even let the bag have the seat and I will stand! :)

Here are some of my tips 

AND.......Don't Forget

Be ready to go through screening and remove electronics and liquids and gels for inspection. If you can, place these items separately in the zipper portion in the front of your suitcase.

Use dryer sheets. Put one in each suitcase. Keeps it smelling nice!  Plus, reminds you of home if you are prone to homesickness 


Underwear is tiny.  It doesn’t need it’s own dedicated corner in your suitcase.  It doesn’t even need to be folded.  This might seem a bit haphazard but once you’re done packing you can literally just stuff your underwear into the gaps between your clothes.  Saving a bit of space sometimes really is that simple.

Last but not least
"i don't think you need to bring this"

After you've finished packing and repacking, have an impartial friend or family member go through what you've packed and give you their honest opinion of what you are taking.
Remove the pieces.  Zip your bag and Enjoy your trip!

Costa Rica Here We Come!
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