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Creating your what NOT to pack list

What NOT to pack - Featured Image-PP

I’ll be in Ireland for two weeks before heading to Poland, and packing for such a trip is a focused effort, as I have many business items in addition to the normal clothes, shoes, and toiletries. Besides a list of things to pack, I have a strategy about what NOT to pack that makes the overall process less stressful, and I share that plan this week…

Creating your what NOT to pack list

As I got ready for my 3 ½ week trip to Europe, with 2 weeks in Ireland and 11 days in Poland, I was in preparation mode with planning my suitcase plan. Because I travel so much, packing is a regular part of my life. Crazy hectic busy time right before travel departure is also a regular part of my life. So, getting packed way ahead of time is important to ensure nothing is forgotten and to reduce stress.

I generally try to get ahead on Sundays starting a couple weeks before my trip, and my objective is to be about 70% packed a few weeks prior to the trip and 95% packed four days before departure.

In addition to my normal packing list, I’ve started creating my ‘not to pack list’, that helps me get ready and packed way before departure day:

NOT to Pack List:

  • 4 days’ worth of clothes that you know you’re not going to want on your trip. Take a look at your calendar for those 4 days prior to departure and identify any particular events or outings you’ll need to attend, and plan outfits that you won’t be packing and can wear during those last few days. The point of this is to not worry about washing clothes the last few days before you leave. If you can pick out clothes that you do not need for your trip, the things you do want to take with you can be laundered and packed days or weeks in advance, reducing your preparation stress.
  • The 4 days’ worth of shoes – which shoes will you not pack that can get your through the last four days before you leave? You can pack all your favorite shoes for the trip and then use some other shoes so that you are not stressed on the date of your departure trying to find shoes that you just wore the night before.
  • What about your grooming and make-up type items? It is a perfect time to buy refills, so you have two sets and can get ahead on packing. Depending on the length of your trip and how much is remaining in your already opened items, go ahead and pack your either the open or new grooming items and use the other set at home until time to go. Again, the point is to not leave too many things that you have to remember on the day of departure.
  • Any other items that you like to take on trips that you can duplicate? I once forgot my electric curlers when traveling and had to run to the store to buy more; now I have two curler sets which has been extremely handy for packing ahead.

There are those items you really don’t want to pack until the very end, and you need to make sure they are not in your checked bag. Always keep your medicines with you in your carry on, as well as your electronics.  For anyone that uses a CPAP machine, it’s important that you keep that with you at all times and not hand that over to checked luggage or even to a luggage handler at the cruise port.

Imagine the feeling of relief you’ll have the day before you’re departing when your bags are mostly packed because you made a conscious plan to wear your ‘not to pack’ clothes the last few days.