When you’re a hot mess, trip planning is often very light on the “planning.” The messiness within you prefers flying by the seat of your pants. Traveling with no plan and jet-setting wherever your heart desires can feel a bit chaotic, but that feeling is like second nature. And somehow it’s never a surprise when drama and extraness find their way to you, even when you’re halfway around the world. Here are some of the symptoms of being a messy traveler and possible solutions to clean up your traveling act.
You wait until the last minute to pack.
As usual, time management is not something that concerns you. You procrastinate with the best of them, and you wait until the day of to pack your suitcase for the next seven days away from home. It drives everyone you’re traveling with up the wall since they are left waiting while you search feverishly for items to pack. Nothing is where you thought it was, and you spend most of the time hunting down things you will never find.
You pack too much.
At this point, you couldn’t find anything, so you’ve decided to take everything. Your moods are typically unstable, so you never know what you’ll feel like wearing—so why not have all the options? In retrospect, I didn’t need two suitcases for a long weekend in the mountains, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. On the downside, there’s always a hint of regret when you find items in your suitcase that make no sense, like hoodies in a week of 100-degree weather or a stash of sequined dresses to go clubbing even though you spend most days relaxed and barefoot.
You’re always almost about to miss a flight.
Catch me outside when I should be in line checking in for my flight. Luckily, you always make it, but it often feels like it’s by the skin of your teeth. Whether it be the flight itinerary you printed out and forgot on the kitchen counter—and of course now the Wi-Fi at the airport isn’t connecting—or you’re scrambling with your luggage on the way home because your ADD convinced you to buy a bunch of trinkets abroad and your suitcase is now over the weight limit but you don’t want to pay extra and you need to repack as the boarding clock is ticking. Whatever it is, make sure you have enough time for mix-ups and gate changes.
You’re poppin’ bottles right out the gate.
Once you do figure out where you’re going inside the airport, issa wrap. You order drinks from the in-airport bar with the motto #treatyaself somewhere on the screen of your sloppy Snapchat pics. The party doesn’t stop there. It’s not a minute too soon before the flight attendants come prancing down the aisle with that sweet liquid anxiety relief to dull the jitters of being midair. Chances are you pass out before there’s any chance to cause a commotion, and you are well rested and ready for round two of many when you land.
You don’t have an itinerary when you get to where you’re going.
Some people have an idea of places they want to check out, but that’s not for you. Getting lost is all just part of the adventure, and meeting people along the way to point you toward the local attractions is what you bank on. The downside includes possible language barriers you didn’t prepare for and an unfamiliarity with your destination, which could eat into precious sightseeing time. At least narrow down places to see when you get to an area and take it from there so you can maximize your travel and not be overwhelmed. But on the flipside, don’t overschedule. There have been times when I overplanned and tried to do it all, which can be just as strenuous as no plan at all. Sometimes you get it right, like the time I was first in line in Mexico City for the concert we had specifically traveled for. But most times you can wing it and land on your feet.
You’re a messy bitch who lives for drama.
What happens wherever you are stays there. On any girls’ trip you’re the Tiffany Haddish of the bunch. Ready for a good time or a bad one, whichever happens first. Cocktails are a must, and if the law permits you’re quick to find the nearest weed supplier. Whoever you’re traveling with can count on you for excitement. Just be careful not to let things spiral out of control. Like the time I traveled for a bachelorette party, lost my overstuffed bag in an NYC club, and needed to hit the DMV for a last-minute duplicate ID to get back on the plane to get home. Lucky for you, your friends love you at your messiest so you always make it back home in one piece.
It’s not easy being a disaster and bringing that energy with you wherever you go. But sometimes it can make your adventures beautifully chaotic.