The art of being a last minute packer…

For most people the habit of last minute packing is irritating and suggestive of laziness, but ask an accused like me, and you would know, its an art, gifted to a person who is rather a lot more planned than the rest of the crowd. Few hours before an early morning flight, I have always found myself being in a situation where everyone is almost pouncing at me, “You haven’t packed yet. Really?’. And my only retort is “I’ll do it, relax”. A habit which I thought was a personality disorder in me since I first started travelling young, as I grew up I realized that it was common to a lot more people, who surprisingly were not that lazy in real life and neither unorganized. 

Observing this trait for a while, I have finally come to the conclusion that last minute packing is actually a sign of ‘a highly organized mind’ which packs in its head every section of the suitcase days before the travel date, but only lacks a few minutes of real execution. We always know what exactly to carry, how much to carry, the place, the requirements and where is the stuff.


For people who are reading this post right now, and laughing on my confidence, and error of judgement, well, here are few tips which will prove how quick and perfect a last minute packer packs and also will teach you the art of the same –

1. Always keep your travel bag handy. A real traveler will always his travel bag at an accessible place, and not buried in some lofts and bed boxes. Knowing that your bag is already out and easily accessible to you, does half of your job.

2. Honestly, big suitcases and which bag to carry should never be on your plan. Your bag should be chosen wisely in the first place, should have wheels for comfort, a sturdy handle, functional zips, enough pockets and should be of a small yet spacious type and size.


For girls, tiny girls and fashionable girls, keep your bag small and proportionate to your own body size, something that you can carry yourself, and not crib later that ‘Oh my god my bag is so heavy!’.

3. After your bag, are the things that go inside it. Honestly, this does not require planning and hours of packing. The trick to start is simple – know the place you are travelling to. Instead of sitting and deciding along with the stuff, save yourself the effort, and just make a head list of the kind of weather, your purpose of travel, total number of days and the nature of the place.

For more clarity, let me give you a simple example. A place like Goa / a beach will always require comfortable, shorter and casual clothes, in comparison to a business trip, which will require formals and coordinating accessories.

Once you know the nature of your place and travel, you will precisely know in your head, which section to look for in your wardrobe, and what all to look for. The weather will help you minimize your probabilities of choice further, and the number if days will do the rest of the counting! All you need now is to keep this stuff in the bag.


4. Pack your clothes in pairs. A shirt,  the trouser, and the belt to go with it. A top and the skirt and the inner to go with it. A special dress and the lingerie to go with it. Once you pull out your clothes in pairs, packing is a lot more faster, with less confusion while packing and during the trip.

Trust me, I have seen endless girls pulling out a stack of tops they like, and then a stack of trousers they like, but then spending hours getting confused on what to pack, as they are too busy matching the non matching tops and lowers! Obviously a last minute packer either knows exactly what to pack in pairs, or simply dsnt care about the world and looks great in an unmatched attire nevertheless.


5. One thing that you have to believe is, in today’s world, there is no place that does not have a basic departmental store or a shop that can provide you with the basics. Fretting over a soap, a shampoo, medicines, water, snacks, cells, etc etc is just a disorder of a unaware and inexperienced mind.

6. Next is your bathroom kit. Buy a travelling kit, have it placed in a shelf in your bathroom forever and that yet again does most of the job. 10 minutes straight while getting ready for your flight, and you can find yourself dumping your tooth brush, tooth paste which you just used along with a shower gel, a shampoo bottle, and other tit bits, which are fresh in your mind as you just got ready. Pack it and place it in your bag. Easy!

(If you miss something and you don’t have something – remember point number 5)


7. Shoes. Well this highly depends on what kind of person you are with your footwear. But for a last minute packer like me, my checklist is simple, a pair of bathroom slippers is a must. A pair of formal heels / shoes for a formal party night or meetings, and obviously a pair of casual shoes for the casual days.

I would excuse all the girl readers from this very point, as I know shoes are important to be matched, and yes you can definitely take 10 extra minutes for it, even if you are packing last minute.


8. Last should be dumping your gadgets. For most people, the most essential gadgets are lying around them all the time, and honestly the most obvious ones are the ones you really need. Your phone charger, your phone, your headphone, your ipod, your ipad, your laptop – one roll of the eye, and you will find all these lying next to you all the time. All you need to do is, dump.


9. Make it a habbit, to cover all your stuff in the end with your towel. Even though this might sound bizarre, twice you will do it, and the third time you will know how organized it feels to get your final stuff covered neatly, and plus you will never forget your towel out of habbit. All you need is to train your mind for this little tip.

10. Always carry a handbag. The check list of a handbag is simple and actually the most important. Give yourself a minute and think what all you can’t travel without and reach your destination without? You will instantly have your handbag full. Your wallet for money, your tickets to board, a pen and a little diary for notes, a book to read, a sanitizer / tissues to clean, etc. – run your head list, and you would know what else is missing.


11. To be a smart traveler and a smart last minute packer –

  • An extra pair of socks is always a good idea, you use it or not.
  • If you are a photographer by heart, you would never forget your camera and its charger.
  • A dongle for internet access for an unknown place is never a harm.
  • If you’re a girl, you would never forget your accessories, atleast the basic ones.
  • An empty plastic poly bag, can be a real rescue that can surprise you.


And if you still don’t agree with me – once again refer to point number 5!



StreetTrotter is a Travel, Culture & Lifestyle blog, inspiring people everyday with real stories to look good and travel even better. Founded in 2012 by Shraddha Gupta, Founder & COO, this space is all about experiencing new things in life, be it a daring mountain trek, a frugal backpacking trip, a runway look made local, or simply anything that scares you enough to live a little more deeper.

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