I’m currently on a business trip which I made the mistake of packing for at the last minute. While heading out the door I had the feeling that I was forgetting something, but could not determine what it was. So I left anyways.
After driving for an hour with that feeling I finally figured out missing: my dress shoes and my bag of all toiletries. So I had some time to determine what I was going to do about this.
The dress shoes I determined I was just going to live without. I had black hiking boots on in the car and some jeans. So I’ll skip my dress pants and wear the jeans to make due. I’m not buying a new pair of shoes for just two days.
The toiletry bag was more of a problem. I’m not going away for two days without brushing my teeth..ick. So I first went to the hotel to assess what they had in the room. I was somewhat in luck that they had a little tub of shaving cream along with the standard soap, shampoo, conditioner and hand cream. I also check the guest services list to see if they offer a program to offer a free…whatever…in case I forgot something. No luck there.
So I then tracked down the nearest drug store and went shopping. I skipped any of my usual products and strictly looked for the cheapest thing I could get (its just for two days so I live with it). I found a toothbrush on sale ($2) and travel size toothpaste ($1.29) and disposal razors ($4). So including tax I covered my mistake for $8. Overall not too bad.
Yet what stuck me about this entire event was how people tend to over pack as not to forget something when traveling. I forgot two fairly important things and it only cost me $8 and some minor inconvenience. If you stay flexible about your plans the reality is forgetting something is likely not a big deal. It will certainly cost you money for the odd mistake, but really carrying every little thing you may need is more of inconvenience with overly heavy bags in my mind.
So how about you? Do you pack light and accept the odd ‘oh crap’ moment or do you pack everything but your kitchen sink?