I’m a chronic over-packer.
I plan, I plot, I pack, and then I panic. At the last minute I can always be found throwing more items into my suitcase, and every time these pieces return home in the exact same state they left in: nicely folded and unworn.
So, after years of over-packing, I’ve lately been trying to hone the art of packing just the right amount for a trip – whether two days or two weeks. Some times I do very, very well, and other times (like our recent trip to Finland) I end up washing a lot of items in the hotel sink because I’ve underestimated just how much would be needed.
For our trip to Gran Canaria, I thought I did a pretty good job of packing. Everything I brought fit into half a suitcase and by the end of the trip I had worn almost everything that I brought (one skirt I brought as a back-up for Christmas dinner went unworn). My outfits weren’t always the most creative (or blog worthy), but they were comfortable and functional allowing me to make the most of our seven days on the island.
Day to Day Wanderings
Most days I could be wearing some combination of the above items–depending on what we were doing or what the weather was. Since our move to Madrid (which required a HUGE closet purge) I’ve been working towards creating a capsule wardrobe. Thanks to this quest, I now have at least five identical black t-shirts from Old Navy and I brought them all with me to Gran Canaria wearing them throughout the trip. Boring, yes, but it took the guess work out of getting dressed and made packing super easy.
Although the climate in Las Palmas is described as the best in the world (source), the temperature varies throughout the day–cold in the evenings and overnight; hot in the afternoons. Plus, we weren’t spending out entire trip in Las Palmas (traveling to both the north and the south) so it was good to have options for layering, hence my addition of the cardigan and pashmina. Both items were extremely versatile, easy to pack and went with everything I brought.
Our hotel had a gym, but we didn’t find out until the last minute that it was an additional cost. Thankfully, just down the road was a beautiful outdoor fitness centre. A couple of the afternoons that we weren’t out sightseeing, Dave and popped over and took advantage of the free equipment (well, he did–I mostly people watched and tested out the various contraptions to find the oddest one).
To accommodate (and encourage) working out I brought along two sets of workout gear. The items didn’t take up much space, and they could be used for casual wanderings and other outings that might involve a bit of physical activity (perhaps a hike here-and-there).
I’m not normally one to bring fancier wears on a holiday, but because we were celebrating Christmas in Las Palmas and our hotel was hosting a Christmas Eve dinner we thought it would be fun to dress up a bit.
I brought along a shift dress that I bought from Le Chateau in 2003 (not only does it still fit, but in the 13 years i’ve had it I’ve only had to fix the hem once, definitely one of my best and most versatile buys!) and decided to dress it up with a funky statement necklace.
Because of limited suitcase space, a lack of options, and a tight budget, I had only my crocs flats to wear for dinner (I know, the fashion world is beside itself with that revelation) but it wasn’t exactly a formal dinner (there were Hawaiian shirts present) and I was seated the whole time, so my fashion faux-pas went unnoticed (phew!).
The whole ensemble looked pulled together and I felt incredibly comfortable celebrating and gorging on our four course dinner in it. Which is really what matters most!
Our trip to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria saw us taking part in different activities; traveling throughout the island and experiencing the different microclimates; and attending events with different dress codes. While it can be difficult to pack when there’s so much variation, I thought this chronic over-packer did a pretty good job of preparing for everything, without packing everything.
Full Breakdown of What I Packed:
- T-shirts: 5
- Sweaters: 3 (2 Cardigans + 1 pullover)
- Skirt: 1 (back-up option for Christmas dinner and the only thing I didn’t wear)
- Dresses: 2 (1 casual, 1 dressy)
- Jeans: 1 pair
- Roll-up Rain Jacket: 1 (worn to and from the airport; brought just in case)
- Pashmina: 1
- Necklace: 1
- Flats: 1
- Workout Tank: 2
- Workout crops: 2
- Running Shoes: 1
- Socks: 2 pairs
- Bathing Suit: 1.5 (1 top, 2 bottoms)
- Regular: enough for each day
- Workout: 2
How does your packing list compare?
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