What Not To Pack

I’ve already pontificated about traveling light and now I’m going to confess the packing mistakes I made on my latest vacation.

I always do this in my head after a trip – consider what I should have brought but didn’t and what I should not have brought but did. Now that I have a blog I get to do this in public.

Amazingly, I didn’t forget anything important this time. (On my last trip to Europe I forgot some prescription medication which, fortunately, I was able to buy over the counter in Russia.) But I did forget to look up and bring the AT&T USA Direct dialing number for Spain to use with my calling card, which would have saved me a few euros when I had to call my credit card company.

I also could have used more memory cards for my camera. I carried two one-gig compact flash cards, which ought to be plenty for photographs. But I took some video, too, which fills the cards up quickly. Fortunately, I had access to the kid’s laptop during the second half of the trip and I was able to clear the cards.

I also brought some things I didn’t need, most notably:

A woolen cape. I found that I had room when I was done packing to add a beautiful woolen cape to dress up my outfits, so I did.  But wool is too heavy and I wore it only twice. (The kid wore it once.) I could have worn my windbreaker and hoodie instead. Reason for packing error: vanity.

Extra shoes. I usually wear my trusy Ecco loafers and pack a pair of running shoes, but this time I wasn’t going to run. So I bought and brought a pair of $15 canvas boaters, which I never wore. (Blame the husband on this one. He kept saying I’d need a second pair of shoes if mine got wet.) Reason for packing error: timidity.

Extra book. I brought two paperbacks and didn’t finish the first one. I always overestimate how much I’ll read. Even if I had finished one book, I could have swapped with my traveling companions for another. Reason for packing error: inflexibility.

Bathing suit. We had booked no hotels with indoor swimming pools and it was off-season for swimming outdoors. But hope springs eternal. Plus, I told myself that I could use the two-piece suit as underwear in a pinch. But I didn’t. Reason for packing error: stupidity.

I doubt I’ll do much better next time, but maybe I’ll have some new mistakes to report.


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