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So, the dream vacation is just around the corner and you feel light and full of smiles and anticipation. The best is yet to come – you will pack your suitcase and packing is so much fun, right? WRONG! So wrong.

I actually believe packing is the way Satan punishes you for taking a trip to a more beautiful place instead of living your miserable life in front of your PC from a.m. to p.m. But that’s just me…

The worst part is that, instead of being plain boredom, packing can just as well turn into a complete disaster, ruining the whole experience for you and those around you. Not only are you going on a vacation instead of us, but you are also complaining about not being able to fit in all the clothes you want to take with you, not having enough room for your beach towel… The list goes on and on. Hello? You can always stay home and we’ll find a way to get that towel to the beach, where it (and we) belongs.

So, to spare you some fretting and possible tears over your ruined overflowing suitcase with items you won’t even need, I’ve prepared a list of the most common packing mistakes (and how to avoid them):

1. Not making a list – as a firm supporter of lists (I even make separate lists for the different lists I’ll need), I have to tell you that not making a list when packing is the numero uno mistake you can make. It’s called a packing list for a reason, right?

Tip: Keep that packing list with you and scan it again when packing at the end of your stay – this will save you the frantic checking of every inch of your hotel room. I know you’ve been there. We’ve all been there.

2. Not planning – OK, I know it is supposed to be a vacation – no stress, no planning, etc. But a quick go through each day will help you better organize your wardrobe. For example, there’s a famous club you want to go to so that you can brag about it in front of your friends – you’d better get a nice outfit unless you want to be laughed at for making a selfie next to Beyonce in a white t-shirt saying “I <3 NY”.

3. Over-packing – this is not only disastrous for all your clothes (I can almost hear my clothes screaming for space sometimes, which doesn’t help with my insomnia whatsoever, by the way), but it also doesn’t leave you any room (pun intended) for gifts and souvenirs. Try pushing a porcelain elephant with two spans wide tusks in your shoe and you’ll get what I mean. Ask me how I know.

4. Packing regular-sized grooming accessories and hygiene products. Hello? 21st century here, copy that? Nowadays almost all beauty products come in travel sizes – spare yourself the extra weight (and possibly the extra hair conditioner on your favorite shirt) by taking advantage of travel-sized products instead.

5. Use your socks wisely – I am not suggesting home crafting here, so put down your needles and pins, thankyouverymuch. When travelling, your socks are a great place for storing breakables and generally delicate items like your perfume, an mp3 player, etc. And, if you still have “empty” socks left, roll them over and put them inside your shoes – voala, I just created some extra space for you (and your porcelain elephant)…

Perhaps the worst mistake you can ever make, however, is packing a bad attitude – pack some sense of humor instead and you’re guaranteed an unforgettable vacation. And remember that: “When you figure out your suitcase, you figure out your life,” (Diane von Furstenberg).

For more packing tips, check out this post.

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