Booked it, packed it, full to bursting

Aasma Day
Aasma Day
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The strange case of Aasma Day’s enormous...er, case...

Nothing worse than being told you need to lose a few kilos or face forking out a fine as punishment.

A woman trying to close her suitcase

A woman trying to close her suitcase

I’m not talking about a fat tax, but going over your weight allowance when packing your suitcase for a holiday.

Let’s face it, we all take far more than we need when it comes to jetting off and while I don’t want to sound sexist, it is usually us women who stuff as much as possible into our cases before sitting on them to ram the zip shut.

I’m definitely guilty as charged in our household and not only do I always leave my packing until the last minute, I then suffer from that last minute panic where I throw in everything “just in case” rather than risk leaving some essential behind.

Hubby always despairs at my packing skills – or lack of – as he’s usually the one left to lug my swollen case in and out of the car and on and off the airport conveyers.

And at check-in, when my suitcase is placed on the weighing scales, we wait with bated breath to see if it will result in excess baggage charges or if I will get away with having a warning sticker put on it saying: “Heavy load.”

Practical and pragmatic Hubby cannot understand why I just don’t mentally go through the number of days and plan what I’ll want to wear during the day followed by what I will wear at night.

The silly man also thinks one pair of shoes will suffice for a fortnight. And even then, his first choice would be a pair of trainers.

When it comes to dresses, Hubby believes seven d is ample for two weeks and that you can simply wear them all twice each.

Where is the fun in that? What about the spontaneity, the potential for impulsiveness and more importantly, the freedom to choose?

Not only that, but you need to have an outfit in mind for every possible scenario and weather condition.

Hubby shook his head in disbelief at my reasoning and argued that while he could see the logic behind having a bit of room for choice, he couldn’t get his head around why I needed 21 dresses for 14 nights . And come to that, why eight pairs of shoes?

I really don’t know why he’s surprised. After all, I have never hidden my packing patterns from him.

During our dating days, Keith took me away for our first weekend break away together to mark me turning 21.

Shrouding the trip with mystery as he wanted it to be a surprise, all he would tell me was to pack enough casual clothes for three nights, one dress for a night out and some sensible footwear.

When he came to pick me up, he was somewhat taken aback to see me clutching not just a weekend bag, but two overflowing carrier bags too.

Peering inside one of the bags, he was baffled to find a full-sized iron and asked me what this was for. “Oh, just in case the dress I wear on my birthday gets creased,” was my reply.

Delving further in, he was also confused to discover my interpretation of “sensible footwear” was platform boots with three inch heels as opposed to the four inch ones.

Having never been to the Lake District before (which was our mystery destination), how was I supposed to know there was going to be a lot of walking involved?

As time has passed I have got better, but when it comes to holiday time and I am faced with a suitcase, I continue to be a bit over-enthusiastic and stuff in as much as I can “just in case.”

At the end of the holiday, Hubby always gets to say: “I told you so” as I am left with an abundance of clean stuff and around 70 per cent of my clothes come home unworn.

It seems I am not alone as figures reveal women over-pack by two-thirds when they go on holiday.

It seems the average female needs 57 items in her case for a two-week holiday. However, many women pack nearer to 150 items… the majority of which end up not needed.

As well as an assortment of dresses, skirts, tops, swimwear, nightwear, underwear and shoes, women also admit to taking more sun cream, make up and hair appliances than they need.

One of the problems is that before going on holiday, you tend to go shopping for new holiday clothes and you clearly want to pack these. However, as well as the new, you also want to take old favourites and wardrobe staples.

Daytime outfits are usually the biggest waste of suitcase room for me as I pack lots of shorts and summer tops, only to spend most days in swimwear with just a cover-up needed for meals.

In complete contrast, the survey showed that most men only pack lightly with an average of 40 items for a fortnight away. Ah, but they’ll be sorry when they realise they’ve left something vital behind at home.

Excuse me everyone, I must go now. I need to check if I can fit the kitchen sink in my case.