Marie Louise McConville: Holiday packing has become a stress-fest

When did packing a suitcase become so stressful?
Marie Louise McConville

I remember when it was a quick and easy process.

Thinking back, the hardest part was finding the suitcase in the attic but on retrieving it, it was just a case of chucking a load of clothes and toiletries in and that was that - off to the airport, full of excitement.

Actually, now that I think about it, I think I used to enjoy holiday packing.

Don't even talk to me about it now - it's simply a stress-fest.

I don't know about anyone else but I just don't know what to pack.

Just days away now from our annual summer trip to the beautiful island of Jersey, I attempted to get a bit of packing done.

After a mammoth two hours, I found myself sat on the floor at the side of the bed with my head in my hands having made very little progress.

Do other people also suffer from `traumatic packing'?

How on earth can you calculate how many clothes a six-year-old and seven-year-old will need for one week?

While one of my children can put on a set of clothes and wear them all day, no trouble, the other can't wear anything for more than five minutes without getting it stained.

So, how am I meant to pack for seven days away with them especially when swimming and lots of outdoor fun are involved?

And it's not just them, I have no clue what I need and for some reason feel I should pack for every possible eventuality - including bringing a top I bought 10 years ago but haven't worn for nine.

Seriously like, why would I need an extra purse, a notebook and a 43 contact lenses?

However, my brain is telling me I MUST pack them and so, the suitcase looks like its heading for a round-the-world trip of a lifetime.

I'm fully aware the kids don't need 20 vests each, 18 pairs of socks each or 18 t-shirts each but there they are, sitting here looking at me from inside the bursting suitcase.

I honestly find packing way more stressful than the actual travelling.

I remember being carefree, just throwing a few things in with a plan to get the rest out there. However, the cost-of-living crisis has eliminated that as an option now.

What on earth is wrong with me?

For goodness sake, I'm going on holiday.

I should be excited but here I am, armed with two hair dryers, eight pairs of shoes and 14 hair bands.

Do you think I need to see a doctor?

No doubt he'll tell me I'm in a need of a holiday - funny that.


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