Mars and Venus

Recently we had dinner with friends. (Yes, we really do have friends.) The wife is going on an overnight beach vacation with her girlfriends. For such a short visit the conversation turned to packing.

Beloved husband: All you need is a change of underwear.

Me: But what if the weather changes.

You need warmer clothes (at least a sweatshirt and a pair of jeans) for cool weather and cooler clothes (perhaps a long-sleeved tee-shirt and capris after all it is fall) for warm weather. A water-repellant jacket or windbreaker for sure!

You need sneakers for the beach or boardwalk travel and shoes (without sand in them) for dinner (no matter how casual it is). That’s a pair to wear and a spare.

Then there is the hair stuff. I like my own hair dryer, shampoo and styling aids (all of which are guaranteed to make me look like Meg Ryan but never do). I have recently discovered microfiber hair turbans which dry you hair much better than towels so I need that too. I also need anti-frizz products as it is the beach (that’s the place where all frizz originates).

There are skin lotions, sunscreens and minimal makeup. Add in a few medical supplies like aspirin, eye drops and boo-boo medication (so I’m a klutz!).

I also need my fleece throw (I don’t go anywhere without it) and something to sleep in. I like fuzzy socks on my feet a night.

I’m looking at a suitcase here. Or a small trunk. Keep in mind that I didn’t include any fancy makeup (like eye stuff), no dressy clothes, no significant clothing changes, no games, no electronics (except for my Kindle and phone), no outfit matching shoes, etc.

Seriously, a change of underwear? What was he thinking?

48 thoughts on “Mars and Venus

  1. Unless you’re traveling by air and going to be charged for the weight of the suitcase,more is better! What if I don’t feel well and need my comfort clothes? Or I’m suddenly invited to go somewhere that we hadn’t planned. I also travel with extra reading material and sometimes even a project or two. I completely overdo it and always know I’m overdoing it, but I figure it’s my own silly responsibility. So, I’m inclined to scoff at anyone who thinks they only need a change of underwear! But it sounds very efficient. 🙂

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    • You’re right about the car. What’s an extra bag or two in there. Airline travel is trickier now with all the extra costs. Even in the best of times (when I was very young) I needed more than a change of underwear.

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  2. Packing is harder these days. My body doesn’t adjust to heat and cold as well as it used to, so I need every variety of clothes in case the weather is colder than I expected or the house is too hot. And then there’s color matching and the difference between dress-up occasions, casual days, and the various sports activities my kids might try to talk me into. The one improvement: my Kindle is smaller than a couple of books.

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  3. I’m terrible. I always bring more shoes than i end up wearing. But I like the variety! And I’d never be caught dead repeating a shirt or a bathing suit – think of the pictures! I know, I know, it’s all a bit ridiculous. Plus, I am unable to travel with fewer than 1 book per day I’m away. And I don’t do kindle, so that’s a lot of weight!

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  4. I am so happy you are another maniacal packer who tries to carry every possible might-be-needed-probably-essential thing and still call it “light” packing. I do that too but once met a lady who said she went on 3 week trips with a carry on. That has ever since been my ever-elusive goal.

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    • I have bought so much $$ stuff on vacation because I didn’t pack it. I had to buy a hat in Florida and frizz stuff (FL does weird things to my hair). One time I forgot deodorant and had to pay triple price for one I didn’t like. The 3 week carry on trips are for the very young. I could do that at 20. Now I need my STUFF!

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  5. Great post. I’ve come full circle about packing. In my 20’s, I always packed light. Then I married a travel agent who specialized in cruises (which are particularly challenging for packing choices) and for most of my 30’s and 40’s I packed heavy. Then came the airline restrictions about suitcase charges, and I suddenly packed lighter. So I’m back to light-packing now — shirts that can be worn again with different pants, socks can be washed in a sink, etc. My only jealously towards women and packing is with shoes: women’s shoes are generally flat and not bulky. You can pack more of them.

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    • And that’s what women do. We pack way more shoes than we need. It’s not unusual for me to come home and I didn’t wear half of what I packed including the somewhat bulky (but less bulky than yours) shoes. We don’t fly often but that is a challenge. Wow! I bet you traveled a lot!

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      • Yes, we did. It’s part of the reason why car trips are so much more enticing to me now. Still, we live in Florida, so I’ve warned my wife that a cruise will someday be in her future (she’s never been on one). It’ll be nice to just drive to the port. 🙂

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  6. You summed it up perfectly, Kate. Planning for a change in weather and just enough stuff to be comfortable results in a full suitcase, even if I think I’m packing light.

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  7. Hubby packs a carryon for 2 weeks in Hawaii. He flipped the first time he traveled to the East Coast with me in the winter: “How can we be taking TWO giant suitcases?”

    “Sweaters, babe. And sweatshirts. And long underwear. And boots. And fleece pants.”

    “Well, that’s one suitcase.But what’s in the other one?”

    “Christmas presents on one side. 10 lbs. of See’s Candy on the other.”

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  8. You made me laugh so…a change of underwear. Men, they really are different. I hate schelpping anything. If what I need doesn’t fit in my carry-on then it doesn’t come. I’ve been known to spend a fortune having my needs met once I get there. My ex used to go nuts.
    I can also blame this on being a model for so long. You learn to travel light. Leggins on the plane, T-shirt…hoodie over that. A jacket you can roll up and toss on a hotel floor. Nude sleeping…no pjs, but I’m with you about socks. They are mandatory.
    Funny post.

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  9. Your post made me smile, Kate. I’ve gotten better at packing but still come home with clothes I didn’t wear. For an overnight at the beach I might just pare my carry-on down to a change of clothes and makeup (I’ve got to have my makeup with me, no ifs, ands or buts). I do usually pack running clothes but would probably wear my running shoes and have another pair in my bag. It’s tough trying to prepare for every scenario and weather pattern!

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  10. At the right season of the year, I’m sure I could make do with the clothes on my back and a change of underwear . . . but why???

    I’d rather have a few comforts from home.

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  11. Hubby and I always travel light……. one holdall between us. How many days we’re away equals the number of pants and socks, plus one spare, clean tee shirt for journey, one spare, night bags (nighties), wash gear, towel, meds. Fist aid kit is always in the car, add dog food, fresh water, her bowl and her blanket, and we’re off. Beauty of living on a boat? No need to pack at all, just untie the ropes and away!
    When I went to NZ for 2 months, I had one suitcase (I as allowed 3) and a carry on. Coming back, 2 suitcases and a carry on. 😀

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    • I always find beach vacations the hardest to pack for. The weather can turn on a dime and go from hot and muggy to cold and damp. The good part is that I don’t bother with makeup or much jewelry there because it’s such a casual place. Sounds like you have it down to a science.

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      • I don’t bother with makeup either, and my jewelry is just my rings, earrings (whatever pair stays in for months) and a watch. I dress for comfort and as such tend to wear the same thing day in day out.

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  12. So, into a very small suitcase went…lots of underwear…2 pairs of slacks…2 shirts to go with the slacks…pair of shoes….make-up ……a nightgown….but what did not go into the suitcase was the confidence that I had packed what I will want to wear!

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  13. In my former business life I used to travel extensively, and I learned to pack light finally. I think I fall somewhere between you and your hubby, but perhaps closer to your hubby than you!

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    • It’s because you don’t have delusions of looking like Meg Ryan. I did a three day business trip to Atlanta once with just a carry on. Even I couldn’t believe it but the weather was warm so there wasn’t any need for emergency sweatshirts or jackets.

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