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Meredith Fineman Headshot

Confession: I am a Pack (B)rat.

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My entire life I've had a severe condition. It's one that often affects women such as myself, ones who create lists with sub categories and highlight important events in their planner, sometimes in varying colors to denote importance or necessity for bringing a bottle of wine. This disease is known as Nervous Packers and Overpackers Syndrome.

Where do I even begin? I think my mantra is more like, Walk Slowly and Carry a Lot of Stuff. Always.

My overpacking problem began way back when in the third grade. I think. Or maybe always, I'm not even sure of age I just know that for as long as I can remember, I've hauled crap.

Everywhere.

Let's talk about my purse. My purse is overloaded ("what do you have in here?"). I sort of am a 24-year-old Michelle Pfeiffer from One Fine Day, where she could construct a Halloween costume from her handbag. For me, I could too, thankfully because Halloween costumes these days require considerably less (um, no) fabric.

My backpack in high school had every book regardless of whether or not I needed it. Really, it's amazing I haven't seen a chiropractor yet. But really, if you can't carry my purse just hand it over, my shoulders are pretty toned as a result.

My overpacking extends to vacations -- and constantly being made fun of. On family vacations even the Delta Airlines assistants would have trouble putting my red Kipling rollerbag on the conveyor belt. I pack really far in advance, just to aid and abet my overpacking dilemmas. No amount of laying out and planning outfits quells my desire to have lots of options.

That's important, no? As we speak I am packing for a beach weekend. But really, what if for some reason there's a "CEO's and Office Ho's" theme party and thus, I am unprepared?

I've now gotten packing down to a science, sort of (a science that involves molecular gastronomy and Ziploc bags). Going away for the weekend requires three runway shows, and Bodyguard Steve usually is carrying some things, although I've put out an ad for a sherpa on craigslist. Which I think is promising, because there's an entire sherpa listing next to "Adult Services."

These severe overpackery needs to be somewhat tamed around male-folk. If for no other reason than they often cannot relate to your necessity for bringing three different shades of Tory Burch wedge with you to a rock-climbing weekend in the mountains. (Just kidding, no rock climbing, but like ... a beach weekend or pretending to play golf while drinking sangria weekend or something). The point is, I've even had to curb my crap these days. Therefore, I have a few tips on how to pack for a vacation involving males without embarrassing yourself because you have to pay $200 in overage fees even though you're flying an hour to New York (when I moved back from Buenos Aires I had to pay $600 for my bags. I know.)

Here are three tips I've learned:

  • Get a bag with wheels to make your life easier. No dead weights here, except at the gym with the cute trainer.
  • Bring versatile pieces. Yes, this skirt could double as a really slutty dress. Score. (Triple entendre).
  • Bring Ziploc bags. GIRLFRIEND, WHY DOESNT ANY SHAMPOO BOTTLE CLOSE EVER? EVER.

Can you leave your own suggestions in the comments? I'm in the process of rolling every pair of socks into a sushi-esque platter in my suitcase.

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