‘I’ is for ‘Intentional Packing’
Richard and I are currently preparing for a six-night trip to Boston. This adventure addresses three items on our bucket list.
1. Watch the Boston Marathon live (better yet, watch our youngest son compete in the Boston Marathon)!
2. Visit our friends, Rena and Howard, who when we saw them last (in Beijing) said: “not if you come visit us in Boston….but when you come visit us in Boston”.
3. Experience a ball game in Fenway Park (albeit way up high in the bleacher…but still)!
I have reserved this morning for packing. Not just, ‘run-around-screaming-while-randomly-throwing-things-in-a-suitcase’ kind of packing but ‘intentional packing.’
For me, intentional packing means taking the time to plan what I will need and having a sharp editor’s eye to leave behind what I can do without. This starts by giving thought to what kind of luggage (backpack, duffle bag, wheeled carry-on….) will be right for this particular trip.
Here are my top ten suggestions for Intentional Packing:
1. Only pack what you need for the specific trip at hand. The exact way that you packed for your last trip, including type of luggage used, may not work for this one.
2. Take mix and match clothing that goes well together. Wear your bulkiest (comfortable ) outfit for traveling.
3. Be prepared to do a bit of laundry, even if just rinsing out a few light things in the sink at night. A couple of fabric sheets tucked in between clothing can also make a world of difference.
4. Minimize toiletries.
5. Beware of ‘just in case’ items. If you never wear a skirt, will you really wear one on vacation?
6. Avoid last minute packing.
7. Think multifunctionality.
8. Be cognizant of items that you can replace with your smartphone. (Camera/video recorder, watch/alarm clock, maps/guidebooks, novels, printed tickets/receipts/directions, address book, diary, newspaper, fitness tracker, games, pocket mirror,…..the list is endless.)
9. Leave extra space in your bag (I aim for at least 15%). This makes traveling with your suitcase easier. It means you will be able to unpack, repack and find things more quickly. Finally, it gives you a place to put your purchases (for the grandchildren, of course) and prevents you from ruining out to buy another bag!
10. Use a packing list. As nerdy as it sounds, it helps ensure that you do not leave a much-needed item behind (my computer charging cord is the thing that I tend to forget). Many free packing checklist templates are available online. One that I especially like can be found at: travelerschecklist.com.
Do you consider yourself to be an ‘intentional packer’? If so, what tips would you add?
Success! I was able to pack everything that I wanted for this trip….with room to spare. I was happy with the results.