What to take – what to leave

Don’t you hate packing for a trip.  That is my worst!  I can spend hours, days and weeks researching what to see and the best way to get there.  After all I do that so often for clients that it is second nature to me now when I plan my own trip.  So all the tickets are here – check.  Hotel vouchers – check.  Travel insurance – you bethcha.  Now I have to pack.   Nooooo.  Hate it.  What to take and what to leave.

Ok – so let’s be rational about this.  Just start off by laying everything out on the bed that you think you might need and then you can go through a process of elimination – right?  Easy?


So let’s consider the destination.  Now my next big trip is to India so that will present some packing problems.   I start in Delhi and I am told that I should pack light comfortable clothing that is modest, covering arms and legs.   I wish I could say I would look as cool as Judy Dench

But somehow I don’t think that is going to happen.  I also don’t think I will get there and have a sari made.  That somehow jars.  Makes me think about my days in Swaziland when Peace Corps volunteers would arrive and get so carried away with the local culture that they would dress up in Swazi tribal wear which looks good on a Swazi but not really so much on someone from Ohio or wherever.
No seriously.

The big problem is the “What if’s”.  What if we end up going to a really lovely restaurant – shouldn’t I take some heels.  What if it is really cold when we go to the tiger reserve – should I take my down jacket.  What if it’s too hot.  What if it’s too cold.  I am driving myself crazy here.    So I thought I would do some research online as to the best packing practices.  BIG MISTAKE.  Oh my god.  People actually take photos of their luggage contents in case they lose something.   Believe it or not I found an essential packing list and this was one of the items together with a million other things.  By the time I get all of this in my bag I will be charged for overweight luggage.

I can do this however – I did a 2 week trip through Ireland once just with my carry-on bag.  It was really easy – I took black lulu-lemon with a couple of tshirts and basically wore the same stuff every day and when I got home I burnt everything in a sacrificial fire.  (Just kidding).

By Lesley Keyter

Lesley Keyter is the face of travel in the fast growing city of Calgary. Every week since 1997 she has has featured live on the Morning News Global TV.

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