There are a few ways to make life easier when it comes time to pack though. Through my trials and errors (mostly errors) I've come up with some handy tips for guys when it comes time to stuff things into a suitcase for travel. Following these five tips will help you to understand the problems you're facing, and to get it done in the least possible amount of time, which really is the goal here. There's far better ways to spend your last day before vacation than packing. Like watching sports. Or barbecuing some steaks. Or, if my wife is reading this, cleaning the house so it looks great when you get home (does any guy understand this concept?)
Tip # 1 - Don't pack at the same time as your wife
In fact, if your wife is packing, I highly recommend leaving the house altogether. Women have their own system for packing, and it makes absolutely no sense to the male mind. Apparently everything has to come out of the closet, and just because that hideous bridesmaid dress is folded and neatly placed in the suitcase does NOT mean that it's coming with you. Even if it is, believe me you don't want to say anything about it (Remember those "errors" I was talking about earlier?).
Tip # 2 - You're only getting 1/4 of a suitcase
Yes, we all learned how to divide by 2 in elementary school, but this is married math and it doesn't work the same. Your stuff is going to get a tiny section in one corner of the suitcase, and don't even think about creeping outside of those boundaries. Worse yet, this is the amount of space that you're allocated on the way out on vacation. On the way back, there will be new purchases and souvenirs that have to be packed as well. That space comes out of your section.
Tip # 3 - Electronics are your department
Now I realize that there are plenty of ladies who pack their own electronics along. In fact, there's lots of families where the wife is the more tech savvy of the two. There's two reasons that the electronics should be under the man's domain though. First, electronics tend to be heavy, so we're probably going to be carrying them anyways. Second, if anything is forgotten...an adapter, a charger cable, a memory card...it's going to be our fault anyways. This applies double to families with children, because if your child gets irritable and you don't have the exact right episode of Good Luck Charlie on their iPad, you're in for a rough flight.
Tip # 4 - You don't really need that
Even though we only get 1/4 of a suitcase, most guys are pretty sure that they should bring along their NFL football autographed by the entire 1974 Chicago Bears defensive line, just in case. That's almost justifiable though, as you never know when you're going to run into a Bears fan. Sometimes we pack some really strange things along. Like remote controls, car door handles, or hangers. Believe me guys, you're not going to need these things in your suitcase, mainly because you've probably already got one stashed in your wife's purse anyways.
Tip # 5 - The 50lb weight limit is on you
I understand that with baggage fees these days you most likely want to check less luggage, so you try and get your suitcase as close to the 50 pound limit as you can. That makes sense, but before you head to the airport you need to check the weight on that bag. If you're a couple of pounds over, it'll be you on the floor pulling things out of the suitcase, and you know which section the stuff will be coming out of. Don't be that guy pulling three pounds of hangers out of your suitcase at the airport check-in counter. Just don't be that guy.
This post is a part of Travel Tips Tuesday at Suitcases and Sippycups and Walkingon Travels. If you didn't get here from there, you should go check it out. There's people there who can give you some actual tips on how to pack a suitcase. They probably don't have a ball autographed by the 1974 Bears though, so make sure you take that into consideration.
Written by Steve Pratt