Everyone has their faults. Some people are drug addicts, others spend more than they earn on pretty, shiny things. I am a horrific, gratuitous, disgusting overpacker.
I think my packing disorder probably stems from my tendency to overplan. Both are the result of a need to control every aspect of a trip, which is impossible, and to naively ensure that every potentiality is foreseen.
Of course anyone who has traveled anywhere knows that not only is this a ridiculous concept, but it’s also really boring. The best part of a trip is the unknown, the unplanned and sometimes the unfortunate. After some counseling, I think I’ve mostly conquered my tendency to schedule every second of every trip, but my luggage is still the elephant in the room.
My overpacking does vary however by trip. For a trip of 2-3 days, I have a small roller for clothes, and a bag as a carry-on. For a trip about a week in length, I have a larger suitcase and usually take 1-2 carry-ons. Two weeks is where it starts to get zany. I have a mega-suitcase (I’m pretty sure I could pack a couple of kids in there) and take another smaller roller and at least two carry-ons. In my defense, I’m not bringing twenty pairs of shoes or anything, rather I plan for every potential occasion.
“What if we’re invited to a fancy dress party?”
“What if the Prime Minister needs to chat?”
“What is we decide to go swimming, then horseback riding then attend a black-tie ball all in the same day?”
You get the idea. I also have the bizarre notion that wherever I go, they will have nothing I need in case I forget to pack it.
Loper Spouse – “Why are you packing three tubes of toothpaste?”
Me – “Well, what if I can’t find it, or it’s too expensive, or I lose one, or…”
Loper Spouse – “We’re going to Toronto, pretty sure they have toothpaste.”
I decided to seek help. Being the social media addict that I am, I have noticed over the last year or two many fellow travelers who decided to take the ScotteVest challenge and in some cases travel completely bagless. While I wasn’t ready for that quantum leap (pretty sure you’d find me in a fetal position at LAX), I was confident that I could manage a Light Baggage Challenge. Not as sexy as the No-Bag Challenge, but such is life.
I ed the fine people over at and they agreed to help me in my therapeutic travel adventure. We talked about my travel, and we both agreed that my upcoming trip to New Zealand would be the perfect test of my light packing prowess.
This is actually quite the challenge for me. I will be gone for a little over a week and engaging in a wide variety of activities in a variety of climates. Normally I would take my large suitcase, but this time it’s just going to be me, a small duffel bag and the SCOTTEVEST Fleece 5.0 Jacket.
About the jacket, from the ScotteVest site:
The Fleece 5.0 is made of lightweight microfleece with subtle reflective piping front and back. It has fewer, yet more purposeful, pockets that range from handwarmer pockets to secure travel document compartments, and pockets for everyday carry items, too. Small, discrete graphic labels on some of the pockets offer suggested uses, so you don’t forget where you put things. You can even see and control your iPod®/iTouch®/iPhone® through the clear touch fabric of the interior pockets.
As you can see, this is the perfect vest for the trip. It can accommodate all of my technology needs and is warm, a necessary feature for the New Zealand winter.
Throughout the trip, I will be giving my thoughts and opinions on the jacket and how I’m progressing with the challenge. As usual, it will be no-holds-barred, I’ll share the best and worst of my experience.
Are you an overpacker? How have you tried to get over your addiction to stuff?