a packing experiment for your summer adventures

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Here's an idea for your summer travels.

If you can start this idea now, during your summer adventures, it will help you on those usually-more-stressful holiday travels.

This is the idea:

Pack what you think you need, and then try not to use all of it.

Last year, we went to the beach with my come-from family, and I packed two swimsuits.

Because I always pack two swimsuits, and it seems like everyone else does too. 

Or they pack three or four.

But even though I packed two, I tried to only wear one.

To see if I really needed two.

And it turns out, I didn't need two at all.

One was fine.

Not even a tiny bit of an issue.

Which means that when we went to visit my husband's come-from family a few weeks later where there would be lots of swimming, I knew I could just pack one suit.

I picked the one I liked best, and that was that.

It was awesome.

Because it meant I never had to wear the one I liked less.

On this second trip, I packed three pairs of shoes.

And I tried to wear just one pair.

It worked.

I wasn't sure it was going to.

Some places we went, I put an extra pair in our backpack just in case.

All the extras did was weigh down the backpack.

I only needed one pair of shoes all week.

I do a lot of barefoot time, and I'm not into running for exercise right now, so I guess if I were, I would have needed shoes for that.

But I'm not.

And I didn't.

Other lessons:

If there's a washing machine available, I only need 3 shirts, not 4--including the one I wear to start the trip.

I don't need to take my bulky slippers. Socks are fine.

I only need 2 bottoms, not 4, for a week. A skirt and a pair of pants work great.

I only need 1 long sleeve--not 2--in the summer, even if gets really cool at night and at restaurants.

I don't really need a necklace.

Here is what I'm wearing and pack now for a week-long summer trip like that:

1 swimsuit

1 cover-up

1 ballcap

8 underwear (I like the security of having clean underwear in case something outrageous happens and I can't wash anything and everything else is dirty. And I like an extra.)

1 pair of pants

1 skirt

4 camisoles (I wear these instead of bras.)

3 shirts

1 exercise shirt

1 pair of exercise pants

1 long-sleeve shirt

2 pairs of socks

1 pair of sandals

1 pair of pajamas

There is a lot of freedom in having just enough.

In sharing one bag with your spouse with plenty of room to fit it all in.

In not rooting and rummaging through a suitcase full of too much.

In having less to wash and unpack when you get home.

In getting away and not bringing all your baggage with you.


I love you, summer traveler.