The renowned designer Diane von Furstenberg once said: ‘When you figure out your suitcase, you figure out your life’.
The wisdom of packing consists in taking only what is necessary and leaving everything that is redundant at home. This might sound simple enough, but in practice things tend to get out of control. This is especially true when it comes to women and packing. Studies have shown that a woman needs 57 items for a two-week summer holiday, but on average women pack as many as 150.
Diligent researchers counted the items in women’s suitcases and found, for example, 13 skirts, 30 shirts, tops or blouses, 7 pairs of sandals and 9 swimsuits. It’s hard to believe that such research is carried out.
Studies have also shown that the average man takes 40 items on holiday. It remains unclear whether this is an ascetic male choice or if it is due to the fact that their things are packed by women, who, tired from packing their own 150 items, pack just a few things for their men. This is another mystery for science to solve.
After scientists established the figures and norms for packing, there arose the need for packing experts. How could all these pieces of clothing, footwear, hats and sandals be packed without damaging them and having them take up too much space? Stacking vertically, rolling them, putting socks into sneakers, the versatility of pashmina (it can be used instead of cardigans for colder days, instead of beach towels, as a fashion accessory, and as a handy awning) are just some of the clever packing techniques when you have to pack 150 things in a suitcase that you will be able to carry through the door. An alternative technique would be to reduce 150 items to the 57 that you really need.
Do we really need a suitcase as large as a refrigerator to have a great summer holiday? Or, if we travel with our family, do we need a minibus to feel good by the seaside?
Packing experts say no and give some useful tips:
- Never take what you can buy on holiday. If your suitcase is completely full, where will you put all the lovely things that you will buy on pleasant summer evenings? Therefore, make sure you leave enough space in your suitcase. You won’t miss anything, and it will be easier to bring the wonderful items that you buy on holiday back home. It’s fun to buy jewellery, summer clothes, towels and cosmetics. You will meet the local people, and maybe you will like the local jewellery, fashion and cosmetics too. Shopping can help you learn a few foreign words or phrases and have a good time. In the Hotel Bellevue, you can even get to know some Croatian designers and buy attractive and comfortable clothes. The most beautiful memories are those that you can wear in your office and that will help you bring some light to cloudy days in the city.
- Select what you are planning to wear, and then divide every category by three. 13 skirts divided by 3 makes 4.33. 4 is the number of skirts that experts recommend for a two-week vacation (the remainder of 0.33 is actually the swimsuit that you will be wearing most of the day instead of a skirt or anything else). You won’t need more than three pairs of footwear: flip-flops for the beach and daytime (if they are good, they will be excellent for evening walks too), something comfortable and sporty for sightseeing and excursions, and elegant high heels for special evenings. When it comes to clothing, the rule of thumb is to minimise. Maybe we don’t have to reduce everything to one piece of pashmina, but a neutral cardigan will be enough to keep you warm in a summer breeze.
- Benefit from the hotel’s hospitality and do not take too many cosmetics, towels, a hairdryer or children’s items with you. In a family hotel, you will have children’s seats, baby changing pads, children’s bathtubs and even umbrellas and pushchairs at your disposal, not to mention a beach bag! When you make your booking, check what your hotel has in stock for you. Remember, no one has ever returned from a summer holiday complaining that they should have stacked their suitcases and car even more.
A mathematical formula for packing and happiness
It seems that there is an inverse proportion between the amount of things you take with you and summer relaxation: the fewer things you take with you, the happier you are, or the other way round: the greater our summer happiness, the fewer things we need. When we enjoy the warm summer sun on our face, we don’t really need powder any more, and the feeling of beauty and satisfaction with our body after a pleasant sunbath and swim makes the worries of what to wear fade into the background. The sea, sun and beach will renew your inner energy and help you focus more easily on what really matters: the people you love, laughter and happiness.