I always joke that if I had a “frivolous” super power (e.g. not the ability to fly or read minds) I would choose the power of 20/20 packing hindsight. The ability to know, when you’re getting ready for a trip, exactly what you will need in terms of clothes, shoes, toiletries, etc. so you always have just the right amount of stuff.
With travel to 59 countries under my belt, you would think that I’d be an expert packer, but the secret is I am a self-proclaimed over packer. I try to be ready for every possible situation leading me to pack a bikini when I go to London in the winter (well there could be a hot tub) or a fancy dress when I’m going to be roughing it for the week. I have definitely gotten better with time and I’ve taken two week trips with nothing more than carry on luggage. But still, I could do better.
But even with my improvements, I still make mistakes and this last trip to Curaçao was not an exception. So if you’re heading to Curaçao please read on. And even if Curaçao is not in your immediate travel plans, reading this may still be helpful as you ask yourself, do I really need to pack (insert name of random object here) ?
First off, if you’re traveling from the US to Curaçao, know that you do not need an electronic adapter. I have gotten into a habit of assuming that if I need to pack my passport, I also need to pack my set of adaptors. Well, Curaçao proved to be an exception to my rule. I know there are other countries like Canada, Mexico and Japan that use the same plug configuration as the US, but I didn’t realize that much of the Caribbean is that way as well. (Side note: it is one of the greatest mysteries to me why different electronic plugs were created in the first place. Why couldn’t early inventors just have just agreed on a standard from the get go?)
Next up, I definitely could have saved room in my luggage by leaving my high heels at home. For my gentlemen readers, please substitute “dress shoes” for “high heels”. When doing my packing (the requisite 90 minutes before my departure flight) I figured I would probably spend most of my time in flip flops, what with beach time and Capoeira casualness, but still, I am a bit of a girly-girl and I figured I’d have reason to dress up one or two times during my trip. Wrong! Well, I did certainly have time to get dressed up in the evening to go out to parties and dancing, but heels were not part of the outfit. Between parties on sandy beaches, lots of uneven pavement and dirt roads, I would have either been sinking into the ground or ruining my shoes. So next time, only flat shoes for me. Plus I can take 4 pairs of flat shoes in the space used for one pair of heels, so I can continue to overpack! Hooray!
Lastly, make up. Now, I am not the kind of girl who spends tons of time on her makeup every day. Perhaps if you see me in person you can tell, but I normally take no more than 7 minutes to apply my makeup from start to finish. Maybe 8 if I’m feeling fancy and put on mascara. But I do tote around lots of shadows and colors and powders mostly because I am too lazy to go through my makeup bag and remove the things I don’t regularly use. For this Curaçao trip, I could have left the whole damn bag at home. The heat and humidity in Curacao in September was no joke and the makeup I had on my face upon arrival was quickly relocated to a wad of tissue. I honestly never even removed the makeup bag from my luggage until I unpacked it back at home.
With all of that saved space, I could have brought more of the things I did not have enough of. Sunglasses (forgot mine at home), bug spray (I ran out the last day and had memories of that mistake for a week after I got home) and cute sundresses (because you can never have too many of those). Or at the very least I would have had more room to buy more gifts for my friends and family. I’m sure you can all support that!