62% of Americans Overpack When Traveling

New Nordstrom Trunk Club survey reveals the packing habits of Americans and provides tips on how to ensure you’ll wear what you’ve packed.

If you struggle to pack a suitcase or find it the most stressful part of any trip you’re not alone.

In a new study examining Americans travel and packing habits, 65 percent admit to having real difficulty when it comes to packing for a trip.

62% of Americans admit they overpack their suitcase when traveling

Most likely, these packing woes occur because most leave it to the last minute.

A third of those surveyed revealed they pack their luggage just 24 hours before leaving.

In many cases, it can be anxiety-inducing. Americans voted packing as more stressful than the actual travel.

Respondents said getting through airport security is the only thing more stressful than deciding what to include in your luggage.

The study, conducted by OnePoll in conjunction with Nordstrom Trunk Club, a personal styling service, examined the ultimate travel conundrums and packing habits of 2,000 Americans and discovered that even though American travelers have the best intentions when packing, they seem to never get it quite right.

Additionally, overpacking seems to be an issue for travelers with nearly a quarter of the average suitcase being left untouched when traveling.

What items are going unworn most? Jackets, long-sleeved shirts and socks were ranked the most likely to never be touched, followed by jeans, shoes, and sweatshirts.

“To avoid over-packing, consider using versatile items that can be repurposed for multiple outfits and occasions,” says Maggie Mee, head of Merchandising at Nordstrom Trunk Club. “According to the survey, 36 percent of Americans wear two outfits per day while traveling, but many looks can be taken from day to night by simply throwing on a great third piece, like a blazer or jacket, and accessorizing. Stick to patterns and colors that can mix and match with different pieces in order to multiply your outfits by simply changing a top or bottom.” 

Despite their overstuffed suitcases, three in five of those surveyed have needed to purchase something to wear while on a trip.

What caused the sudden purchase? Half of those surveyed blame the weather, while a further 43 percent admit an unexpected event caused their last-minute outfit purchase.

Other reasons include forgetting to pack something (38 percent), a spill or damage (35 percent), and feeling out of place in the clothing that was packed (21 percent).

When choosing items to pack, comfort is king! Seventy-two percent of those surveyed revealed that being comfortable in their clothes was a top priority when packing for a trip.

Other important considerations include preparation for weather (66 percent), outfits that are appropriate for planned events (56 percent), having options to choose from (51 percent), and fitting everything in a carry on (49 percent).

“When traveling for business, items that don’t easily wrinkle and that you feel comfortable and confident wearing should all be considerations,” says Mee. “Wool and bamboo are great fabric choices as both are temperature regulating, dry quickly, wrinkle less and are lightweight. A knit sport coat stands up well to travel and gives a polished look, while layering a lightweight merino wool sweater over a dress shirt can hide the wrinkles. Choosing complementary colors and textures is helpful, too, should you need to accommodate for weather or a last-minute wardrobe emergency. Consider also bringing at least one bold pattern--it can help you stand out, initiate conversation, and may even hide some stains.”

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