The surefire way to simultaneously overpack and underpack (i.e., forget important items) is to wait till the last minute to do so.
At least a month before your departure date, start drafting a list of things you need to bring on your trip. Divide the list into 3 sets or columns:
- Stuff you need to buy—like medications or a travel-sized first-aid kit
- Items you need to launder or prep—like treating hiking clothes with repellant or charging camera batteries
- Everything else you need to pack or wear on your person
Then start packing your carry-on suitcase at least a week in advance.
For some people, myself included, packing carry-on light can take a few hours because it involves a lot of ruthless edits and Sophie’s Choices as you challenge yourself to only pack that which is absolutely necessary.
This is especially hard when you’re embarking on a trip that includes a variety of climates and activities, but it is do-able.
Time consuming, yet do-able.