TMI: My Inner Monologue of Packing for Las Vegas
My annual – and sometimes more than annual – trip to Las Vegas was fast approaching on my calendar. That meant that I was checking the weather for the pool scene more times than my emails. Bad work ethic, perhaps, but I had the itch to get some of that desert summer sun.
As I started to think about what to pack in my carry on, I got FOMO in the ways I could approach it. I asked myself questions like,
“Should I wardrobe YOLO and pack as much as I can stuff in. Enough for no garment repeats?”
“Let’s flip that thought. What about packing a set amount of items, kind of like a capsule wardrobe weekend but teeny weenie teeny tiny? That’d be a solid attempt at minimalism.”
“Nah, my heart is beating fast and speeding up. Too severe; can’t handle it. What about if I gut checked myself and packed things I’d wear more than once?”
When I’m on a mission, I’m on a mission. Full disclosure, I packed each of those ways and then repacked. And then repacked again. Nutty? Likely. Was it too humorous of a first world, high privilege situation not to share? Definitely.
Here’s what went through my mind in the days leading up to takeoff.
Attempt 1: YOLO Method
Thought: “Yes. I love this game. I can throw whatever I want in as long as it fits.”
Action: I started placing my garments on a clothing rack.
Thought: “I think I’m almost there. Awesome. Just a few more… handfuls.”
Action: I added more and more to the rack. Then, I plunked on some more. The rack started to look more like I was packing for more than just one person.
Thought: “Okayyyyyyyy. An edit is due. I couldn’t possibly wear all of this in 3.5 days. That would be unfair to my clothes (that don't get worn) and most definitely will not fit in any suitcase.”
Action: I started separating out my couldn’t-lose-favourites from fashion-garment-friends that I could wrap my head around wearing another time. Back to square one.
Attempt 2: Minimalist Method
Thought: “Only take what you absolutely need. I repeat. Only take what you absolutely need.”
Action: From my favourites from the previous attempt, I picked my favourites of my favourites. It was lean, translation: too lean for my usual taste. I needed to let it lie for a bit.
Thought: “I slept on it to be sure I’m not in a mood and that rack still looks so sad. There’s barely anything on it. Wait, just how many items are really on it? Oooooooh, a fashion game: let’s count.”
Action: First, I applauded myself for paring it way down. Second, I actually counted the garments. At the lowest was 12 pieces which was comprised of 1 belt, 2 swimsuits, and 3 pairs of shoes (FYI: that’s my way of humble-bragging that I had only 7 actual pieces of street clothing.)
Thought: “I can totally do this. Right? I CAN do this. I can Do this. Wooooooo! But wait, I have not one pair of pants included? I’m always cold AF with the AC and the plane ride. Look here, just one coat? Am I crazy?”
Action: Turned back to my closet and started throwing clothes in the direction to the rack in a nervous fit. Not great.
Attempt 3: Mindful Method
Thought: “I can admit that YOLO was too much and minimalist in a maximalist town like Sin City doesn’t feel right either. Maybe there’s a happy medium?”
Action: Looked at the rack and put 3 evening looks together. It was a start.
Thought: “Maybe 12 items were too little. Are 15 more realistic? Let’s test it: I have night, day, and pool stuff. I’m wearing most things at least twice. This may work.”
Action: As I added in I double-checked each item could be worn multiple ways and moved on to putting together my toiletries. That's a good sign.
Thought: “I justtttt need one more jacket. No. NO. No I don’t. Keep it together, Schmidt."
Action: Swapped a couple items in, then out, and back in again. Landed on my final set which looked like Day 8. Silly goose. Then I started loading up my wheelie suitcase.
It was an arduous process, yes, but pre-packing, editing, then actually packing serves a purpose. I like to land in style, know my looks are a balance of fun and make sense for the destination, and then not overthink it when I’m there. I do the work up front so that I can enjoy the vacation relaxing – and not stressing – because I didn’t pack pants. That was a close one.