How to Pack Before a Trip

I’m about to go to Mexico City for two weeks, with Cindy and Seneca, and always the thing is trying to create the best and most optimal packing set up.

But how does one do this? I’ve traveled extensively and lived nomadically the last 10 years, and still, I’m learning as I’m going, and always trying to create things more optimal.

Some personal thoughts:

1. Optimize for lightness

The gods have light feet. if you think about Hermes, or mercury, and these other Roman or Greek gods, they are always described as having light feet.

Therefore a basic one is have the lightest possible shoe or footwear as possible.

2. No checked in luggage

This is a basic one, but you could pretty much fit everything into a backpack. Just one carry-on backpack is sufficient.

3. Don’t over pack clothing

The biggest mistake people do when it comes to traveling and packing for a trip is bringing too much clothes. It is often aspirational. We think we need dress shoes or dress shirts for fancy restaurants, etc. But honestly nowadays, nobody cares. You can wear casual clothes to any restaurant, no matter how expensive or fancy.

4. Don’t over obsess about being minimal

This is a new realization: especially after having a baby, striving to be too minimalist is actually a vice. It seems that nowadays there is this funny competition to see who could become more minimalist. But this is a silly game to play.

I’ve actually found, sometimes it actually is good to bring superfluous things, if they bring you great utility.

Therefore, don’t over obsess about minimalism. Strive toward simplicity.

5. What’s the purpose of your trip?

A big thing to consider is what is your ultimate purpose for traveling? For example, if it is for fun and leisure, or photography, optimize for that. If you plan on traveling in order to make photos, I think it’s a good idea to bring your laptop.

Also, feel free to go to coffee shops while you’re traveling, in order to write, blog, think, read, or select and process photos and share photos while you’re on the road.

6. You could buy it when you’re there

Unless you’re traveling to North Korea, any place you travel to will most likely have the thing that you need. Thus, don’t over fret. Because you could always buy it once you get there.

7. Don’t have any expectations or preordained plans

Figure it out once you get there. Ask locals or the hotel staff what their personal things are to do, to eat, to visit, etc.

Don’t use TripAdvisor.