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How to Pack: The Packing List

Going on a trip this summer? Check out Domestic CEO’s 4 tips for how to create a super-efficient packing list

By
Amanda Thomas,
July 11, 2013
Episode #068

Page 1 of 2

When I was about 7-years-old, I started going to summer camp. My first years at camp were for just a night or two, but I quickly developed a love for camp. It was a time for me to meet new friends, learn new skills, and most importantly, I got to learn how to pack a suitcase. In all seriousness, making my packing list and getting everything to fit in my suitcase quickly became my favorite summer activity. The 6 weeks leading up to camp were spent modifying my packing list, deciding which luggage I was going to take, and figuring out how to pack a suitcase with enough clothes for my weeks away from home.

To this day, I still pride myself on being an expert in how to pack a suitcase, so every time Mr. Domestic CEO and I go on a trip, I get a little giddy with excitement. If you are planning a summertime vacation or simply want a few more tips on how to pack, then my next few episodes are for you. I’m going to give you my best packing tips to help you get trip off on the right foot.

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This episode will focus on the importance of a packing list. A packing list is the best way to make sure you don’t under or over pack for any trip. Think back to your last vacation. When you were 3 days into your vacation, did you find yourself at a local store picking up sunscreen, lotion, or makeup that you forgot to pack? Worse yet, did you have to find a store to purchase a few pairs of underwear because they didn’t make it into your suitcase? Or, at the end of your vacation did you have more clean clothes than dirty ones? Were you cursing the fact that you had to pay 2 baggage fees to the airline when you could have gotten everything into one suitcase? If you answered yes to any of these questions, I would put money on the fact that you didn’t create a packing list for your trip.

To avoid this sort of calamity in the future, here are my first 4 packing list tips:

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Packing Tip #1: Consider the Culture

When creating a packing list, start by considering the culture you are going to visit. Last year I went out to New York City to visit the wonderful Quick and Dirty Tips team at their headquarters. I had created a great packing list, packed just enough clothes to get me through the week, and was super excited to be visiting a city so different  from Phoenix.

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Well, it took me about 5 minutes after exiting the airplane to realize that I had packed completely wrong for this metropolitan city. In Phoenix, we wear a lot of light colored clothes. When I stepped onto the subway, I soon realized that all the peach, pink, and yellow clothes I brought made me look like Suzy Sunshine in a sea of black and grey. Ultimately, after I had worn the only pair of jeans I brought so much that they could stand up on their own, I ran to a store and bought a few pieces that I could mix and match to tone down the be beachy feel of my clothes. My packing list should have included more jeans, less yellow skirts, and definitely more flat shoes.

Now, I realize that my lack of research in this situation is more comical than catastrophe, but there are a number of countries where a lack of research can get you in trouble. Does the country you are visiting frown upon women wearing clothes that show off their legs? Imagine you arrive in one of these countries with your shorty shorts and knee-length skirts. Your lack of cultural research may actually cause you problems because you are actively showing disrespect to the local culture. Doing just a little research on the area you’re visiting will help you decide which items in your closet can make it onto your packing list.

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