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Ladies, how long does it take you to pack; when do you start?

Ladies, how long does it take you to pack; when do you start?

Old May 23rd, 2009, 01:12 AM
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Ladies, how long does it take you to pack; when do you start?

im in the throes of it now, girls, and never really enjoy the process even though i leave myself plenty of time and work through a checklist ...

do you pack all at once?or in dribs and drabs

pointless inviting the boys into this discussion - arent they all the night before types lol?

come and keep me company here while i figure what else im sure to forget!
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Old May 23rd, 2009, 01:31 AM
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Eh, the packing is done the night before... although I'm not a boy.

I assemble everything I want/have to take in one spot - one corner of the corridor floor, well vacuumed first of course. The first items, and the packing list which is only written in case of larger trips, will arrive there days earlier, whenever I think of something. The actual packing is done all at once. Otherwise I would constantly be wondering: is item x already in the suicase or not?
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Old May 23rd, 2009, 01:31 AM
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I start laying clothes out maybe a week before the trip, and keep checking cosmetics etc along the way. Then I pack all at once the night before departure. I don't close the lid though until right before I leave.
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Old May 23rd, 2009, 02:02 AM
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Hi! Nice thread btw! I usually check what I need a week before to see if there is something missing/need to be washed. The day before departure I lay everything on the bed and take away the clothes I dont really need
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Old May 23rd, 2009, 02:27 AM
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Packing is a fine-tuned operation in our house. I'm the chief travel planner in the family, and have checklists for everyone in an Excel file that are organized by season and type of vacation (annual beach trip versus winter Large City trip versus Long Weekend Hiking trip, etc.) It seems like a bit much, but it really helps pull me together. For some trips I'll do a pre-trip pack about two weeks before for space considerations; about a week before I generally pack everything, because the days immediately preceding departure are usually filled with last-minute office crises or something else to distract me.
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Old May 23rd, 2009, 02:34 AM
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ohhh it hurts to take away the things you dont need - doesnt it? like betraying one of the children i reckon!
i was quite sad that i couldnt pack one particular jacke and favourite boots on my very first trip - still remember the disappointment/sadness when i reluctantly put them back into the closet... lol

but you do learn, dont you - i pack very few ' going out' clothes nowadays - i really dont seem to go to very glamorous places when we are travelling and seldom even get back to the hotel to get changed anyway - what goes out in the morning stays out all day, im afraid!

quokka - i do that for local trips but for o/s the process starts weeks ahead and i even have practice runs!
avalon - my clothes have been adorning my glory box for months now! so good to have them packed now!
i write notes for each bag i take -checked luggage; tote bag and bumbag and then do sub-categories too - dry toiletries/medicines including sewing kit and torch and all those miscellaneous items; wet toiletries

do you girls pack each category of clothing in separate plastic/ziplock bags or do you just put in together
im a bag person but i know it isnt efficient space-wise
just cant bear to have all the stuff 'uncategorised'!
it's the control freak in me when i tour!
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Old May 23rd, 2009, 04:08 AM
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My cosmetics bag is always packed. I do quite a lot of short trips and owning a second set of toothbrush, comb, scissors, makeup and whatever a girl might need makes things so much easier. All I have to do is refill the tiny containers for shampoo and shower gel and select hair ornaments according to the colours of the clothes I'm taking.

Categorizing clothes? No. My small trolley has two side pockets which allow separate packing of a) the socks and b) the underwear. In the suitcase I have my habits which kind of clothes goes into which corner, bottom or top layer, or into the lid. Each pair of shoes goes into a plastic bag for obvious reasons. One bag for dirty laundry. Basta. Aso soon as all the stuff is piled up, the packing takes perhaps 15 minutes.

Selecting which clothes to take, that is the tough part...
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Old May 23rd, 2009, 04:22 AM
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Day of. Unless I'm leaving early, then it's the night before. All at once.

Underwear and socks in plastic bags.

Empty gym bag inside the suitcase to check with the dirty laundry on the way home, while the purchases from the trip go in the suitcase.
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Old May 23rd, 2009, 04:31 AM
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Since we travel carry on even for longer trips to Europe, advance planning is key.

I use ebags packing cubes so that it is very easy to organize and also makes packing and unpacking a breeze as I simply move the cubes to shelves or drawers in the hotel.

I use one cube for intimates, another for tops, another for workout clothes, another for slacks.

For a major trip, I start two weeks before, making sure shoes are in good repair, zippers and buttons working properly. I lay out my clothing in the spare room, in my cubes. On the night before we leave, I zip up the cubes, toss them in my case and we are ready to go.

I pack in a 22 inch wheelaboard and a backpack where I have my toiletries, shoes and normally a laptop as well.

I enjoy starting early as it builds even more excitement about the trip!
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Old May 23rd, 2009, 04:38 AM
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I'm leaving in two weeks. I've got a box started in my dining room. Whenever I buy something for the trip such as memory cards for my camera, in it goes. When I'm putting up my winter clothes and find a jacket that would be great for the trip, in it goes.
I'll get serious with a list about three days before, just in case I need to go out an buy something. As for the packing itself, not till the night before.
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Old May 23rd, 2009, 04:41 AM
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I pack the morning that I leave; it takes about half an hour max. I generally have a good idea of what I'm going to take. The toiletries go into double ziplock bags, the shoes into side compartments, and the clothes either layered or rolled. Some extra empty ziplock bags and a few books fill in any empty space.

I don't mind packing--it's the UNpacking after I get home that I don't like!
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Old May 23rd, 2009, 04:42 AM
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I hang a sturdy bag on a hook a few weeks prior to any trip. I add small items (magazines, toiletries, etc.) in it, but I never pack until the night before a trip --- or even the same day if I'm flying out in the afternoon.

If I were to pack any earlier, I would forget what I put in my bag and have to take it all out.

And I had an unfortunate experience years ago having to do with an open half-packed bag left out on the bed and a passive-aggressive pet cat with stomach problems. Lesson learned.

I rarely take more than carry-on. I have found it so much easier to mix and match a few articles of clothing and just wash out my underwear as I go, than to lug along more than one bag.
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Old May 23rd, 2009, 04:43 AM
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depends on lenght of the trip - usually, less than 20-30 minutes since I travel weekly for business. I lay out the slacks/shorts and then add the tops for mix and match; I also have my blue/gray, brown/tan/taupe and black/gray sets to make things easy. the more I dither over what to take, the more likely I am to overpack.
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Old May 23rd, 2009, 06:27 AM
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I always pack for both myself and my husband (his job is to get the suitcases from the spare bedroom to the car or waiting taxi--he is usually at the office tidying things up there and getting home at the last minute). One business trip we were going on I was so busy getting hubbies things packed that I left all my things hanging in the closet and ended up at our destination missing all my clothes.
I start months ahead planning the wardrobe (in my head) and then closer to the travel date I start to make a list of what I think I will take--lots of crossing off as I find I want to take too much. I also try and purchase clothes in the same color schemes so everything will match. I have a spare bedroom so two weeks or so before I start pulling things out of the closet (learned from that mistake) making sure that they still fit and are clean and pressed. The week before, I get my packing cubes out--one set of five for me and one set of five for my husband in different colors. Over the years I have started doubling up on things like toiletries/medicines and underwear so am able to get those packed early. I have a drawer in the spare bedroom where I keep all the luggage locks and other travel paraphanalia so I don't have to go looking.
As I put things in the cubes I write it down. I then make a list of what cube went in what suitcase. I keep my lists with me in my purse in case the luggage is lost because the airlines always want to know what is in the lost bag (for identification and for insurance purposes). I take one of the cubes in my purse on the plane as we don't like to take carry-ons. This cube has a change of undies and a clean top for each of us in case luggage is delayed. I usually only pack one "good" outfit for each of us--dress for me and sports jacket/slacks for hubby. These items stay on their hangers and are folded with tissue paper (recycled from new purchases)and put in at the last. I use those cosmetic bags that you get free with cosmetic purchases and use them for our toiletries,combs/brushes, and medicines. Once we get to our destination then the cubes get put in the drawers and the other items are hung up in the closet. If we are only staying one night somewhere then I only take out the cubes that we need. I always carry extra recyled plastic bags--why is everything still being packaged in plastic???--for the dirty laundry.
We are off to Paris in September and my list has already started in my head--have even bought a few new things!
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Old May 23rd, 2009, 08:00 AM
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It depends upon the length of the trip, where I'm going, the number of times I have to haul my suitcase off the carousel and put in on the airline scale, and especially the climate.

My most recent trip covered eleven flights, three countries and three climates: warm, cool and cold so I started plannign early. For the three cold days I looked for clothes that were clean, warm and nearing the end of their life cycle. I packed those in an Eagle Creek large folding envelope and put it aside. That went in the bottom of the suitcase when I did pack a few days before the trip. I never wait until the night before in case I need something. My liquids and cosmetics are always ready to go in plastic bags. I just refill my small shampoo and conditioner plastic bottles.

I make a list and then start looking through the closet and hanging clothes I'm considering taking in one place. A few days before the final packing I put everything on an extra bed and make the "almost" final decision. I pack and then weigh the suitcase; if it's too heavy something comes out.

I thought I did well on my last trip but still had clothes that I didn't wear. I couldn't resist packing a new jacket but never wore it so learned a lesson there -- it took up space and weight. I tossed the cold climate clothes so that lightened the luggage a bit, but of course, I bought a few things too, so -- not so light coming home.

I'm determined to scale back on my next trip and be merciless
about taking out things that I don't need. That's my plan.
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Old May 23rd, 2009, 08:22 AM
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Unless, leaving very early, I pack the day of. But I have one small carry on bag with underwear,sox, tights,nightie, comb, shampoo ready to go. I grab an extra top or two and skirt, slacks, one pair of shoes,to go in the bag and I'm off. I usually only get one good vacation trip a year, but travel I like to be ready to go with short notice.
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Old May 23rd, 2009, 09:11 AM
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I start gathering things about 4-6 weeks in advance. So I have time to think about what to take, get things to the cleaner or laundry, etc.

I put everything separate on the guest room bed or hanging on the closet door. When it's time to pack (the day before) I just fold everything and layer it neatly directly into the suitcase. I use ziplocks for undies and small loose items, but I do not "catagorize" beyond that. I use only one 22 or 24" roller suitcase, packed at approx. 25 lbs. total.

Cosmetics an entire separate exercise. Downsizing lotion, shampoo, etc. into my own labeled plastic 1-2 oz containers. Into snack sized ziplocks, into a cosmetic bag.
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Old May 23rd, 2009, 09:50 AM
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I pack the night before - it's putting clothes in a bag - not brain surgery.

That said - I have standard packing lists for different types of trips and make sure what I'm taking goes to the cleaners the week before. Also, I have small standard toiletry and medical kits that are already packed (the former for any overnight trip, the latter only for longer vacations).

And yes, I am female. but I travel so much for business that I can't afford to waste time on nonsense like this. And I don't buy shoes that aren't comfy for walking or clothes that can't be packed without ironing.
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Old May 23rd, 2009, 11:10 AM
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I pack the night before. Through the years I have learned that I can not pack in advance. I would forget If I packed an item, so I would unpack to make sure. I did this for several trips. Now, I lay things out on the bed in the guest room and pack the night before. Like others here, there are certain items that stay packed-curling iron, hair dryer, toothbrush, comb, brush, clock, cell phone.

As for clothes, I just pick out a few tops,1 pair of jeans, 1 black pants, and a couple of lightweight sweaters. All this will be packed in a rolling computer bag and another carry computer bag that slides over the handle of the rolling one.

Also, I just bought a pair of the most light-weight jeans I have ever seen. They are 7 For All Mankind. They are so soft and light. They will dry in a heartbeat.

And yes, I am female.
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Old May 24th, 2009, 01:33 AM
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thanks for your replies girls
i have enjoyed reading about your habits and routines - it is almost like a sisterhood

OH hasnt packed yet- im into about my 6th attempt and currently just passing through and out of a period of mourning - you know that glum feeling when you have to pare down and shed at least 7 kilos or you just wont get onto that plane
we are only allowed to take 20kg
you americans must give thanks for the extra 12 youre allowed

id be happy to supersize in this instance!

im interested in those packing cubes - ebay? sounds like an ikea job
will look out for them

im full with 15 kgs -decided to take the smaller roller bag and not the big suitcase since it weighs 6kg even when empty so taking it for the luxury of the space for extra gifts isnt worth it
mine still has a few airpockets ( lo) so might be able to buy a few little things home afterall
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