Comparing Men & Women Packing for Trips: A Total Shitshow


If there’s one thing I hate about traveling- it’s packing. I’m totally cool with the journey, no matter how long it takes, the hours of endless road or ear popping on planes. I’m cool with the never-ending “are we there yet?”s, but I HATE PACKING. And un-packing. But mostly packing. It stresses me out. Probably more than it should.

What if I forget something and don’t realize until I get there? What if we don’t have everything we need? What if something breaks or gets ruined on the way there?

My stress leads me to plan, and plan well. I try to make DAMN sure I get everything in those stupid overstuffed suitcases, even if it takes me 3 days and both of my kids and me sitting on top of them to get them closed. We WILL be prepared, damnit! I make lists, I check them more than twice, because in my opinion, Santa isn’t nearly thorough enough, and I gnaw my nails down to the nubs.

When I’m packing for me:

Carefully planned outfits for every day of the trip, including extra options because what if I put on an outfit and I look like a sack of lumpy clay?
Night and day underwear- AND YES THERE IS A DIFFERENCE
At least two pairs of flip flops, or whatever shoes match the season the trip is in. Plus something sensible I’ll probably never wear because the illusion of sensibility makes me feel secure
Something warm to toss on in case it’s cold, which it won’t be, but JUST IN CASE
Fourteen different bras in an assortment of fits and padding and cuts and with a multitude of straps.
Two different bathing suits, because bloating.
Every single makeup item I’ve ever owned, even that crusty old compact I keep swearing I’ll use but never do.
Socks. I don’t even wear socks, but socks.
The cute pajamas I’ve been saving to wear on vacation, because even though no one’s going to see me in it, it’s vacation, and I WILL LOOK CUTE.
Tampons. Look, you never really know.


When I’m packing for the kids:

Carefully planned outfits for every day of the trip, plus extras, because what if they crap themselves? Or spill food all over everything? Or basically dive face first into a fountain–not like that’s ever happened before?
Underwear for every day of the trip plus extras, because what if they crap themselves?? THIS CRAP IS A SERIOUS ISSUE, PEOPLE
A bajillion pairs of socks, even though I know the kids are going to insist on wearing sandals
Which reminds me- shoes and sandals. Better safe than sorry!
Stuffed animals- because God forbid they sleep without one for a couple nights and the last thing you wanna do on vacation is argue over bedtimes
Light jackets, just in case the temperature dips. A) I don’t want to hear complaining B) I don’t want to spend a small fortune while there for something we have seven of at home


Once I have actively worked up a sweat stressing and counting and then recounting outfits and pairs of socks and clean underwear, my husband saunters in. He gives me a strange look, like maybe I should have packed for him, but I don’t know what the man wants! He then grabs a handful of clothing from his drawers and the closet, which may or may not be clean, tosses them into the suitcase, and lies down on the bed. His job is done.


And I also think… don’t come bitching to me when you forget something. Which he never does, and I always do.

I wanted to end this blog with some sort of big revelation- some sort of moral, or lesson… but I don’t have one. Men suck.

Posted on August 23, 2016 by Holdin' Holden 1 Comment
Holdin' Holden

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1 Comment

  • I am SO your husband in this regard. My husband packs so meticulously (and unpacks the same way at the other end). I throw stuff in a bag 10 minutes before we go. If I forgot it, well, I’ll get a new one at the other end. He would turn around, go back home, and get the thing he forgot. And I never unpack either. He will write “pack clothes” on his to do list. I often wonder why. If he didn’t write that, he’d forget???