A humorous look at the difference in packing for a trip between men and women.

Packing for a Trip – Women vs. Men

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I’m smack in the middle of packing for a trip times TWO – I’m unpacking from a business trip last week to California at the same time that I am packing for a blog conference coming up in just 3 days.  Yes, this is when Adrian’s Crazy Life gets far too crazy, so I thought it was a great time to write a little post about the differences between men and women when packing for a trip.

I think this is one way that clearly shows the enormous difference between how men and women approach a task.  I think most women are obsessive packers – I know I certainly am!  We try to maximize our options while making sure we cover every possible eventuality – rain, a fancy dinner, a trip to a swap meet, or running into our biggest rival from High School.  I mean, the shoes alone can take at least half an hour to figure out.  By that time, my husband is packed for a week-long trip and is in the car honking the horn!

We have to look the part at all times and that requires some clever packing, and a little strategizing.  Guys, on the other hand, have it SOOOO easy.  If it’s a business trip – they grab a suit, where the only thing they have to determine is the color of the tie.  Otherwise, they grab a few pairs of pants, toss in a couple of shirts, socks, underwear, and a shaving kit, and boom! they are out the door!

Here is a little graphic that illustrates the difference between the sexes when packing for a trip.

A humorous look at the difference in packing for a trip between men and women.

On top of that, we have to

  • make sure we stop the mail and the newspaper


  • set the automatic lights and secure the house


  • arrange for pet care


  • get our nails done


  • make sure the milk and perishables are used up


  • bring chargers for every possible device


  • plan out books and other diversions for everyone


  • then start the process all over again for kids.

No wonder we are exhausted by the time we get on the plane or in the car.  Just for the heck of it, here is a post I wrote a while back that gives you some easy tips for packing for a trip.

Bonus tip – Look at these great Ziplock squishy bags I found.  No vacuum needed – you just seal your clothes in, roll them up and press all the air out.  Your clothes will take up about 40% less room in your suitcase, which means more room for SHOES!

What are your best tips for packing for a trip?  Here are some other posts you might enjoy:

Organizing for a Trip

10 Fabulous Travel Tips

7 Must-Have Items for a Great Cruise Experience


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  1. As a kid who went on a sleepover almost every weekend, I used to pack something like a Hockey bag full of stuff! Always feared I would miss something that was absolutely necessary. Like my curling iron, comb and brush, plus the hair spray. Joys of the 80’s-90’s.
    Fast-forward to today, I pack a week or even two in a carryon. I roll everything. No need to vaccuum seal anymore. I do use packing cubes for items like undies, jewelry, hygiene products, etc… every nook and cranny is filled with double duty items. Simplifies life!
    Only learned Capsule Wardrobe a few months ago. It would have helped tremendously back in the old days. However, no regrets, it was an experience that was worth it growing up.

    1. That’s terrific. I’ve heard a lot of good things about a capsule wardrobe and that sounds like pro-level packing skills.

  2. I agree with the comments in this post, but would add that it is not just that they have simpler lives but that sadly women are judged by what they wear.

    Our children have left home so we don’t have to worry about the children aspect anymore.

    Amusingly tho’ it is the reverse situation in our household – his packing and clothes selection always takes longer than mine, plus generally when we weigh the suitcases his is always heavier, if not overweight. Then the process starts again with him either culling his clothes or the overflow ending up in my suitcase.

  3. That is so true! I did pretty good the last business trip I took though. I just had one small suitcase (the smallest one in the set of 3). I made all the bottoms and shoes do double duty and put my bathroom products in small containers.

    1. See, that’s some smart packing. And wasn’t it easier to have LESS stuff to worry about. I’m trying to remember if I put in something about those new Ziplock squashy bags. I’m packing for my conference tonight and I’m going to try them. It’s shocking how much bulk is taken out of your clothes when you squish all the air out of them. No vacuum needed – you just roll them up and press all the air out of them – eeeeasy peesey!

  4. This is SO true! And it goes for daughters vs. sons as well. I don’t think the guys have any idea how complex packing for women is. My husband doesn’t even understand the concept of different pants for different height shoes, let alone various undergarments and jewelry and feminine protection, and, and, and…

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