How NOT to Pack Drunk

This is a guest post by Nikki Hodgson.  Don’t forget to stop by and check out her blog.  Enjoy:

Nikki doing what she does best

How NOT to Pack Drunk

A few years ago while studying abroad in Europe, I found myself sitting around a table knocking back a few drinks with some of my fellow students.

With a ticket for a 5:00 a.m. train the following morning, I wasn’t intending to make it a late night, but at 3:30 a.m. I realized that not only was I completely drunk, I still needed to pack.

Bursting through my apartment door at 4:00 a.m. I grabbed a plastic shopping bag and began filling it with everything I thought I would need for a week of traveling through Luxembourg and Belgium in the dead of winter.

With everything shoved into my reusable grocery bag, I dashed for the station making it just in time to stagger onto the train and into my seat. I spent the next few hours in a drunken haze watching Germany slip past me one Fachwerkhaus at a time.

By the time I was sober enough to realize that packing drunk is a terrible idea, I was well situated in my hostel in Luxembourg and pulling items out of my plastic bag for safe stowage in my locker. With every item I pulled out, the expression of horror became more fixated on my face and the hysterics of my traveling partner became increasingly uncontrollable.

To spare my fellow travelers the same painful experience, I have compiled a list which I hope you will find useful should you ever find yourself intoxicated and in front of a suitcase.

  1. A bikini is not appropriate attire for Luxembourg in February. This goes for you too, gentlemen.

    mmm beer

  2. A German/English dictionary is best utilized in German-speaking countries.
  3. The Lonely Planet Guide for Turkey is not particularly useful outside of Turkey.
  4. Pants are very practical. I highly recommend packing at least one pair.
  5. Do not pack your roommate’s box of cookies and carton of milk.
  6. Having one outfit and only one outfit makes doing laundry a delicate matter. Nudity in public laundromats is generally frowned upon.
  7. A plastic shopping bag is never an acceptable substitute for a suitcase.
  8. It’s unlikely that you will need a desk lamp. Or an alarm clock. Or any other item sitting on your desk, nightstand or bookshelf. The same applies for kitchen cupboards.
  9. Flip flops and running shoes do not qualify as haute couture. Particularly when you’re wearing one of each.
  10. Always pack before drinking.

Author: Brendan van Son

Author: I am a travel writer and photographer from Alberta, Canada. Over my years as a travel photographer, I have visited 6 of the 7 continents and more countries than I have any desire to count. If you want to improve your skills, be sure to check out my travel photography channel on Youtube . Also, check out my profile on . to learn a little bit more about me and my work.

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  1. This is most useful. Have printed out to store on my at all times.

    (Actually lol’d. Great guest post Nikki!)

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  2. I once packed drunk at home for a two week trip to Europe, big mistake but nowhere as big as the pricks who wake everyone up in the hostel dorm packing and their plastic bag scrunching.

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  3. This is wild, crazy, and bust-a-gut funny! The horror of finding a carton of milk in your “suitcase”–love it!

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  4. Guilty… That rarely end well. Not much to add but it generally makes for an interesting trip.

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  5. ha ha, yeah this has been me many times. Trying to be as quiet as you can while the room is almost spinning. I am utterly stunned I haven’t left more things in hostels.

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  6. This is wonderfully written and I can completely relate. Not that I’ve ever packed drunk, of course… Nope. Not me.

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  7. It’s very funny how you can have such great packing ideas when you’re drunk and have to find out the next day that they are totally useless.

    Now I know that drunk packers can be recognized by the desk lamp next to their bed.

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  8. Thank you for the heads up. Particularly appreciate the reminder to pack two outfits! Excellent list for the happy traveler.

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  9. This was quite funny. Although if you managed to get a carton of milk, box of cookies and an alarm clock in a plastic bag I’m quite impressed.

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  10. Thank you for the post! Hilarious. It actually made me LOL.

    While in Rio, I made the mistake of having a few too many Caipirinhas before heading off to the airport … it was quite the mistake as I still had to pack and even forgot the combo to the hotel room safe which held my passport and laptop. A comedy of errors ensued, but luckily I made it the airport in time.

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  11. that is hillarious. Good thing I’ve NEVER tried anything like that !!! Betting it was a really interesting trip. At least the parts you remember…….

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  12. Great post!

    Although it almost sounds like you may have invented a new sport for the younger traveller.

    Perhaps there will be groups of young travellers drinking prior to packing, then packing, then unpacking together and seeing who has failed the most.

    Anyway a most entertaining post I hope you are invited back.

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  13. Nice post:))
    I would also add:
    11. Do not pack your roomate’s clothes;) It might be considered stealing:D

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  14. lol, fantastic post. Had me chuckling. Never managed it on quite that disastrous a scale, but i’ve definitely left things behind in the past on account of one too many beers before packing up and moving on.

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