Having just revamped my packing list per my previous post, I was feeling pretty good about my packing efficiency for my recent trip to Scotland…until I saw how much everyone else was bringing. To my dismay, it appeared that of the nearly 20 people affiliated with the Rochester Fringe Festival who were driving from Rochester to Toronto for our flight to Edinburgh (for the 70th anniversary of the Edinburgh Fringe), my luggage was the most significant. I had a full size suitcase and a rolling carry-on, plus a backpack with my purse and other flight essentials in it. Is comparing myself to others the most appropriate way to determine if I had packed efficiently or not? Maybe. Perhaps just as relevant is asking this: Did I actually use what I brought? Since I had my trusty detailed list, it’s easy to go line by line to assess that. However, thanks to my cancelled flight home, I can answer that question fairly well without looking at the list: YES. Since I had to improvise to eek out one more workout and night of pajamas, I can say that I used nearly everything I packed.
I have reviewed the list and can share the items that came to Scotland with me but were not used:
- plastic garbage bag
- sharpie pen
- 1 of 2 books
- 1 of several magazines
- rain poncho
- a few of the sweatbands
- blister stick
- insect repellent
- first aid kit
- laundry detergent – 2 in one sheets that go from washer to dryer
- sewing kit & scissors
- laundry stain stick
I highlighted in bold italics the things I would not bring on a similar trip. The rest of the stuff I would likely bring again. The poncho, for example, was an absolute must if there was rain during outdoor activities. Now, one could argue that I could have bought those things in Edinburgh if I needed them, but I find that to be wasteful in part because of everything listed, the magazine and book took up the most room/weight. Together, everything else represented a very small footprint.
Some food for thought:
- Just because I used something doesn’t mean I really needed it.
- Just because I didn’t use something doesn’t mean I could have predicted that I didn’t need it.
Overall, I made a lot of good decisions for my summer vacation trips this year, such as using packing cubes. Still, I am going to keep challenging myself to pare down. Even if I never achieve “carry-on only” status for longer trips like Sharon Kanter did, I can keep making small improvements that will lighten my load.