With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, you’re probably busy scheduling in every second of your break – a reunion with your high school pals, obligatory family time, and Black Friday madness – without giving much thought to what you’re going to pack.
Why should you plan out your packing now?
Because unless you are driving home alone, chances are you have limited packing room. (Do you really want to spend even more money for your overweight suitcase at the airport?) Packing smart helps you to maximize bag room, in order to a) bring home more laundry, b) return to campus with more leftovers and c) return to campus with an entirely new wardrobe.
Are we on the same page now? Here is a guide to items you should pack:
Clothing : Assemble clean outfit options for the first few days before you go home so you’re not scrambling to wash something (or forced to steal something from mom’s closet) before you head out with your high school buds on Thanksgiving eve. I’d take options for Thanksgiving eve, the Thanksgiving eat-a-thon, and Black Friday. By the weekend, you’ll either have a whole new batch of clothing (thanks to mom) or you can re-work what you’ve already got for what will most likely be major couch time.
In order to truly save space, pack smart. I recommend versatile items like leggings and long cardigans to:
1) Maximize eating capacity – the stretchier the clothes, the better.
2) Maximize space – not only are leggings small in a suitcase, but they can be worn dressy or casual, so you can pack fewer items, mix and match the pieces, and get more wear out of all of them.
3) Maximize your Black Friday shopping time – Layering leggings, a tank and a sweater means you can avoid those brutal lines for the dressing room and try everything on right there in the middle of the store!
Down time: This weekend is a break from school, so if you’re lucky enough not to have too much work, take advantage of your down time. Bring your laptop, load up your iPod, grab the stack of magazines you haven’t had time to read, or (gasp!) a book to read for pleasure. A book is a great distraction from your annoying siblings/cousins/great aunt and it’s an awesome opportunity to start checking off books on our list of novels you should read.
School work: I know, the last thing you want to be thinking about during the holidays is school. Unfortunately Thanksgiving is followed by crunch time, and you don’t want to have five assignments to do right when you get back. Bring a couple of your lighter assignments (literally, lighter – you don’t need some 10-pound textbook breaking your back as you run through the airport) home and try to get a little ahead bit ahead before your exams. It’s not only smart planning, but it’s also a great excuse to get away from your parents’ nagging questions.
What not to pack: Leave behind shampoo, conditioner, your hair dryer, and any other bulky items someone will have at home. They are a waste of space — especially if you want your parents to stock you up on toiletries before you head back. Remember, you’re going home, not to the moon. If you forget anything big, your parents will be so happy to have you home, they’ll be more than happy to buy it.
Oh, and don’t waste any precious room with those running shoes/workout clothes. It’s an admirable goal, but be honest with yourself – you will not be hitting the gym this weekend.
[Come back later this week for Thanksgiving weekend outfit ideas!]