I have traveled enough over the last few years to learn a few things about how to pack and how NOT to pack, but sometimes I forget the many lessons that I have learned along the way.
Take my arrival in Jakarta, Indonesia, three nights ago.
Because of a very tightly packed schedule on day one, I didn't make it to my room until rather late at night, and I was tired, so I didn't bother unpacking.
And why should I unpack, you might ask, if I'm only going to spend two nights before checking out and moving to another hotel?
Well I didn't, and I must say, it needlessly complicated things when it came time to check out two days later.
Told that I HAD to be in the lobby and ready to board the bus at 9 am, I arose early, got ready in a hurry, ran downstairs for breakfast in a hurry, and returned to my room to pack, also in a hurry.
Because I hadn't taken the time to unpack, things were a bit disheveled. Not wanting to keep everyone waiting, I just started stuffing things into my suitcase and carry on. Before I knew it, both were stuffed to the gills. In the end, the same amount of stuff I had left home with now occupied four bags rather than two.
Where Is Everyone?
When I arrived in the lobby at one or two minutes past 9 am, no one was in sight.
“OMG!” I thought. “They've left without me. How could they have?”
I inquired at the front desk, but they didn't seem to know what I was talking about. When the tour guide arrived, I relaxed because at least I knew that I hadn't been left behind. So I waited and I waited and I waited…
Fifteen minutes later, two young ladies from my group appeared. Fifteen more minutes later, I decided to return to the coffee shop. I had a leisurely cup of coffee. I returned to lobby 30 minutes later. I waited another 30 minutes before the rest of the group arrived, and we boarded the bus.
Taking Things Easy
Not having an early morning checkout this morning, I carefully removed everything from the four bags and starting folding things, putting like things into like piles. I then started putting things first into my suitcase until it was about half full. Then I placed my laptop inside, rolling up the remaining stuff, putting in on all four sides to cushion my computer.
Miraculously, I got everything into the two bags that I had arrived with – even though I had acquired two bulky press kits, two oversized periodicals, and some freebies from a spa along the way.
Three Times Lucky
I checked into my third hotel in four days this afternoon. The first thing I did was open up my suitcase and remove things, putting them on a shelf and in drawers. Then I set up my computer.
It took me all of five minutes, and I can assure you, when I check out in three days, packing will be much, much easier than it was at the other two hotels I stayed at on this trip.