Although it depends how you define packing success. If your definition is being really enthusiastic and prepared for any possible scenario then I’m a genius packer.
But if it’s taking the bare minimum and being able to carry your suitcase more than two metres, then I am indeed crap.
As a rule, men tend to take the latter definition, women the former. I reckon Adam and Eve had a barney on this very subject as they were
preparing to leave the garden of Eden.
Adam: Why do you need six different fig leaves?
Eve: Because I do, OK? I don’t know which one I’ll feel like
wearing. It could be hot, it could be cold. It might rain. I need to be
Adam: This is ridiculous, Eve. We’re trying to travel light. Just take one. They’re all the same anyway.
Eve: Look Adam, they’re absolutely not all the same. One is
green, one is light green, one is olive. And they’re different sizes.
Stop being so controlling.
Adam: Fine. But don’t expect me to carry them for you. And don’t whinge that they’re heavy.
Not much has changed since. Men still complain endlessly about women’s luggage.
Before suitcases had wheels, they possibly had a point. But now that the furthest you have to haul your bag is out of a cab, onto the check-in scales and off the baggage carousel, this point is moot.
One of my friends is married to a packing Nazi. “My husband always insists on unpacking and re-packing my suitcase,” she complains, eyes rolling. “We have to debate every item, the likelihood of me wearing it, how similar it is to other things I’ve packed and how much room it takes up. He even goes through my toiletry bag. Do you know how draining it is to explain the difference between an exfoliant and a scrub? Let alone why I need both. By the end of it, I’m exhausted and my bag contents are cut by 40%. It’s effective but brutal.”
Another couple I know have a holiday house they visit semi-regularly. He’s compiled a list in his palm-pilot of all the clothes and toiletries they keep up there so they can travel light. His ultimate goal is to get into the car with just the kids and the dog. No bags. Now that’s minimal.
I’ve identified two major defects in my packing style. Firstly, I lose my fashion vanity on holiday and happily wear the same thing every day. Except I always forget this and pack everything I own. Just in case.
My other defect is forgetting that I like shopping while on holiday. There’s nothing like new clothes to make your old clothes redundant. But instead of leaving empty space in my bag for new purchases, I stuff it full and have to buy an extra bag to come home with. I am a packing disgrace.