Why I pack the night before

I’ll be packing my suitcase for my trip Thursday night. Why? Well, there are a couple of reasons, some of them handy tricks that I picked up after my many trips.

First, my mind works best when it’s under the pump. Whether it’s an exam and I need to study for it, or an assessment due in the next day, or anything else that is time sensitive, I always to the most and best work when I’m pushing the time limit. The same goes for packing – I’m more likely to remember things, more likely to arrange things better for space, I’m more logical in figuring out what I will and won’t need, etc. I’ll have a look through and mentally note what I will need, but my case won’t be zipped up to leave until the early morning hours of Friday.

Second, I have an afternoon flight, which means I land in L.A. at 10am. This is the sort of flight that causes awful jet lag. I will hardly sleep any of this, on a normal sleeping cycle, because it for a lot of the flight, the sun will be up still. But regardless of that, you have to be extremely tired and/or desensitised to the whole flying experience to get significant sleep to counteract the jet lag. As a result, while I’m packing my bag the night before, I’m cutting out sleep time. I’ll wake up early, have only had 4 hours sleep, and get on the plane ready to doze after the stopover in Auckland.

Third, you get the latest weather information the day before. Now, you might think this prudent if you’re holidaying for a whole month. It might be to an extent, but if the forecast says “L.A. will have heavy downpours today, and that system will move East through the week” I should anticipate “heavy downpours” and pack for that instead of for light rain that could be expected in Summer. Like I said, handy hints.

Fourth, our washing cycle, in this house, for clothes, is majority of it done on Wednesday. That way, I can throw in everything of mine that needs cleaning, it will dry through Wednesday/Thursday, and come Thursday night, I have everything to choose from. I certainly would not take a dirty shirt, or a jacket, or jeans that hadn’t been washed. I know this might sound prudent too, seeings how I’ll be living out a suitcase for a month, but you’d be surprised how many times I’ve wanted to take a clothing item, but couldn’t because it needed cleaning.

Fifth, if (like me) you take things that require charging from an electricity source, I save them up to the day day prior of travel, plug them all in, and they are finished by the end of the day. I only once ever forgot to charge something before travel, and I vowed to never make that mistake again. By the time I’m ready to pack the hand-luggage (which is where all my electronics go generally), all my things have been charged and they can go away with my mind at ease. This works especially well for mobile phones, because you might use them through the day. Who is really going to call you at 2am?

That’s really it for my packing habits. But now, at least, the people who are most likely to ask why I leave it so late to pack will have enough answers for their question.



4 thoughts on “Why I pack the night before

  1. I have to say, I generally take the same approach. It is quite technical when you think about it. I might give you a call on Thursday night when we are both frantically packing for our very different journeys.

  2. Please do! Otherwise I won’t hear form you for some time. Plus, it would be good to compare what we are packing – you for a Sydney winter, I for an American summer.

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