General Question

Jeruba's avatar

Are you really packed already?

Asked by Jeruba (52933points) May 13th, 2009

Whenever I have upcoming travel plans, several people are sure to ask me two or three days beforehand (sometimes even a week!) if I am packed yet. I am never packed until the night before, and I don’t actually close the bags until maybe an hour (or less) before leaving. Sometimes I’m still deciding on items and doing laundry, and I don’t want things to sit and wrinkle for too long, but there’s also all the stuff I’m actually using right up until the last minute—toiletries, robe and slippers, etc.

Does everybody else really pack up and close the suitcases days in advance? If so, I will pause lingeringly while I’m packing tonight and think of you in waves of abject admiration.

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47 Answers

Dansedescygnes's avatar

For the record, no one in my family packs until the day before and we usually finish it up the next morning.

It’s just the way we’ve been doing it for years and it makes sense to me, for the same reasons you said.

Allie's avatar

I usually pack the day or evening before I leave. Then when it comes time to actually leave, I go over a checklist and make sure I have everything. I have a checklist while I pack too.

I play music while I pack, then I get distracted. That probably has something to do with why I ended up in Ensenada without any t-shirts.

Magnus's avatar

Moving back to Norway in a week. Been in america for a year.
Still not packed.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

I pack my clothes 2 days ahead of time.
I make myself a checklist of needs and check all of them before closing the bag the day before so when morning comes, I grab the bag and go.

chyna's avatar

I pack a couple of hours before the trip. A check list would be a great idea for me. I will try that next time so I don’t end up without something important (undies).

Supacase's avatar

I am usually doing laundry the day before and pack that night. I don’t close the small case until I’ve used the toothbrush, deodorant, ect. the morning we leave.

wilhel1812's avatar

@Magnus, you only have to pack your mac don’t you?

SeventhSense's avatar

I agree with Allie on the night before thing unless it’s an overnight and then it’s just a change of clothes and toiletries on the run. I keep paring down more and more over the years because invariably I find I don’t use half of what I bring. A warmer jacket in case the weather turns is all I ever seem to forget anyway.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

When I read this question, I thought “Jeruba, how did you know I’m moving?!?” And it’s so funny, my dad asked me the same question today, and I won’t be leaving until Saturday!

Clearly I’m not packed! I happen to be wearing clothes, sleeping in my bed, using my toothbrush, and cooking, etc, etc, etc for the next 4 days! How could I possibly be completely packed?

It’s like you’re a mind-reader!

cak's avatar

The only think I do in advance is start pulling some of my clothes, but they don’t land in the suitcase until I’m ready to pack – which takes place the night before or morning of.

Now, I will pack my son’s stuff the day before, I have to do it that way. If I don’t he’ll drive me crazy. My husband packs a few days before, my daughter…she just throws it together at the last minute. Her method scares me! It’s a mess.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

I start packing about a week ahead if I have that kind of time window, I will also write on a notepad things to be added as they come to mind and leave the notepad in the case so I can double check on the last day.

chyna's avatar

@cak If your daughters’ packing scares you, mine would terrify you.

cak's avatar

@chyna truthfully, there is a bit of jealousy mixed in there. I’m just not that spontaneous! I used to be, not anymore, though. I swear, it’s just like she tossed the stuff in and oh well if she forgets something. I have a list and go by the list. OCD..completely OCD!

miasmom's avatar

I pack the night before, it’s way too stressful for me to pack the hour before I go. I can be about 80% finished packing the night before and leave the rest for the morning, that’s usually how I do it.

Darwin's avatar

My son likes to pack the week before. But then of course he needs something he has packed already, so he ends up going on the trip with a half-empty suitcase.

I would like to be able to pack the night before, but I usually end up packing as the kids are loading their suitcases in the truck. Somehow mom duties always seem to intervene.

I figure most of the places we go there will be either a Walgreen’s or a WalMart or both and whatever didn’t make it into the suitcase can be replaced. Failing that, there will probably be a laundromat somewhere, or at least a sink and some bar soap.

tiffyandthewall's avatar

i am still shoving things in my suitcase on my way out.
in fact, last time, i went to the store on the way to my friend’s house (where we were leaving from) to buy more things to pack.

YARNLADY's avatar

I have had to pull wet clothes out of the dryer and drape them over the suitcases as we drive off. Sometimes we even have to turn around and go back to the house for last minute stuff.

I often have to buy items while traveling because I forgot to pack them.

augustlan's avatar

I’m a night before person, too, with a few things thrown in at the last minute.

rooeytoo's avatar

I have to go into Darwin for an overnighter about every other week, for business and to get a taste of civilization. Because of the frequency of the trips, I keep a bag of toiletries in my suitcase so at the last minute all I have to do is throw in a change of clothes and some running gear. Pack up the MacBook and I’m ready to go.

augustlan's avatar

@rooeytoo lol4rl : “go into Darwin for an overnighter” ... what does @Darwin have to say about that? ;-)

rooeytoo's avatar

@augustlan – hehehehe. I recently went through this with Darwin, I thought perhaps we were neighbors, but alas, her Darwin is because she is an evolutionary biologist. I was disappointed, I was looking forward to getting together!

Darwin's avatar

@rooeytooI’ll let you know if Darwin ever visits Darwin. I’ve always wanted to visit Australia, and who knows, with relatives there it might happen someday. Or it might not.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

Some things I can pack a couple days ahead of time, but most times it’s the night before. After the laundry has been done & I know what’s available to pack, then I finish up. A lot of things don’t get packed until the morning we leave, because I’m still using them. The bathroom bag gets put in the bathroom & as I use things, they go in the bag.

Strauss's avatar

Wife starts packing a week in advance, and finishes 10 minutes before we walk out the door. I pack as I’m getting ready to walk out the door.

I guess it has to do with life style. Before we got married, I used to move or travel often, and more often than not was living out of a backpack.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

@rooeytoo, I do the same thing. I keep my toiletry bag ready all the time. I never bring my real shampoo, deodorant, etc. I keep tiny extra ones, and I never worry about forgetting any of my toiletries. I just make sure they’re filled before I leave. It’s awesome.

jlm11f's avatar

I am like @cak‘s daughter, except I make a check list. I throw in a little bit of everything and it usually works out. Packing is a lot easier for me now though since I prepared a travel bag with all the necessities (toothbrush, hairbrush, deo etc cute travel size too!) in it so I don’t have to pack any of that stuff. I highly recommend this method for anyone who doesn’t do it already. This way I just have clothes to worry about. Plus since the travel stuff gets used so rarely, I have yet to replace anything. If you pick up the free samples of contact lens solution, toothpaste, etc that stores have every now and then, you can fill your travel bag without spending a dime. I wouldn’t mind paying for it, but they don’t typically sell things that compact.

Edit – Oops. I just read what @La_chica_gomela said.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

I really screwed up one time when we were going to take a 3 day weekend. Everything got taken to the car except my make-up bag. That was bad enough, but my husband’s meds were in there. We were to our destination before I realized it. There was nothing we could do about the meds. But I went to a Walgreens & bought the essentials of make-up. I got real creative. I had my lipstick in my purse, of course, so I used that for blush. Now when we leave, that bag is the first thing at the door!

row4food's avatar

I’m supposed to be packing right now for our flight that leaves at this time tomorrow, but here I am, not packing. I tend to put some things in a bag every once in a while. I walk away, come back, take things out, put them back in. Never more than a day in advance. For short weekend trips, I probably get around to packing about half an hour before the scheduled departure time. I mostly have things planned out in my head but can’t actually put them in a bag until I want to leave.

My grandma on the other hand, will pack everything (including sheets, wth?) and drop her bag off at my parents’ house a full week before they go on vacation.

Dog's avatar

I am with @row4food
At this time tomorrow I will be boarding the red eye to NY. I did not even get the suitcase out yet.

I will do it tomorrow. :) If I forget anything I will just do without or get it there.

Escape TO New York! Life is SWEET!

chyna's avatar

@Dog You are so fortunate. I would love to be there.

Dog's avatar

@chyna It is business- but to me it is a vacation!

Dog's avatar

Actually- when someone has 4 kids like I do a root canal is a vacation….

skfinkel's avatar

I am a relatively last minute packer as well. In general, I just need to bring half of whatever I think I need. And I need the room in my bag to bring back Meyer lemons from the amazing tree that grows in my daughter’s back yard.

SeventhSense's avatar

The weather has been beautiful here in NY. Warm, sunny and dry today Friday May 15.

Dog's avatar

@SeventhSense excellent! I am heading out to LAX to catch my flight now!
And YES- I am now packed!

Dog's avatar

@seventhsense i just landed and it is raining! I love rain.

SeventhSense's avatar

Today not so good.
This week looks good in the city so nice they named it twice.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

I never go anywhere, so there’s no need to pack.

Jeruba's avatar

I keep a packing list on the computer—several, actually—and create a new one from the most recent similar trip. The trip where we go to the cottage in the mountains requires pretty much the same packing list every time. It took me several years to realize how dumb it was to keep building it from scratch. The list for the present jaunt to northern New England was based on a trip to Massachusetts last spring.

Even though I don’t put things in the bags until the night before, I work on the list two weeks ahead. That way if I need to buy or clean or mend something, I have time.

SeventhSense's avatar

Sometimes I don’t get Fluther or it’s just dumb.
Now you’ve gotten two Lurve for your answer. Should we assume there are some people that are happy you’re going back to Norway? I hope it’s for the second part. Have a safe trip.

YARNLADY's avatar

@SeventhSense I lurve everybody who contributes an answer to Fluther, because all contributions are worthy.

SeventhSense's avatar

That’s sweet

SeventhSense's avatar

The thing is that you can max out your lurve with a certain person though and it won’t count. Furthermore it may dissuade another from leaving a lurve if they feel one is enough for the answer.

YARNLADY's avatar

I have heard that it is possible to max out, but I don’t like that rule, so I just go ahead and do it anyway.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

@YARNLADY: Yeah, once you hit the limit, the little number displayed next to “Great Answer” underneath the actual post will still increase, but the person’s lurve score won’t change. I must have gotten a lot of my early lurve from a secret admirer because only about half of the great answers I get now actually increase my lurve.

rooeytoo's avatar

Just in case you wanna know, I am in Darwin now (hey Darwin wish you were here) and I didn’t have much packing to do when I was ready to leave. Just throw some underwear and clean shorts into my bag, my running gear and off I went!!!

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