Melissa Douglas
Award-winning British Travel Writer

Reverse Cowgirl (& Other Coping Mechanisms for an Overpacked Suitcase)

Photo by Arnel Hasanovic via Unsplash

Ah! The suitcase that just will not close… we’ve all been there!

You’re on vacation, you knew you were already pushing the limits of your suitcase’s holding power but… you just HAD to have those green strappy sandals. They were just so… so green! I mean this has been a tough year for you. You’ve never owned a pair of green strappy sandals and gosh darn it, it’s time!

1. The Strategic Approach

Attempt one at packing the case like a normal human failed miserably as you glance upon the traumatic image of a stiletto protruding out from the edge, a collection of toiletries that you’ve had to exclude from the packing party sitting at the side. You straighten yourself up, rub your hands together like a plotting evil villain and, in one swift motion, empty the contents of the case to the floor.

You’re a smart woman, this bag is no match for you. Who does it think it’s dealing with? You repack the bag taking explicit care over each item, utilizing any space, folding clothes into obscure rectangles, and balls like an origami master to make the most of every spatial opportunity.

2. Quick like a Cat

I mean business, bag. You pack at high speed, faster than the speed of light almost, throwing things into the bag to try and surprise it so it renders the physics of what it can hold irrelevant. No need to pack light with this technique

3. The Reverse Cowgirl

Best executed whilst one is not in the company of others. You hold down the lid of the case and mount (ooh la la!) the bag. Once safely positioned on top, use the weight of your arse, and twerk to grind the clothes into place, zipping the bag up as you go.

4. The Carrier Bags

A combination of the above hasn’t worked, your hand luggage is packed to the brim with clothes and travel gifts, so you have to add to your luggage. Carrying those added extras in a nice cardboard carrier from a classy boutique works well to offset the disorganized look… or so you tell yourself.

5. Sophie’s Choice

Parting is such sweet sorrow… You knew this time would come sooner or later but you didn’t realize it would be this trip, this soon. It’s so painful you could almost shed a tear.

Do you really need that half a bottle of shampoo? The shoes that have become scuffed and muddied beyond hideous repair? You know you won’t use them again, but leaving them here alone in this hotel room to fend for themselves is almost heartbreaking.

A moment of silence for all the baggage items that didn’t make it back home with us…

About the Author
Melissa Douglas is a professional travel writer and full-time digital nomad from the UK. She manages www.highheelsandabackpack.com - a trusted solo female travel website, which she uses as a platform to encourage women to push themselves outside of their comfort zones.
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