Travel Tips: Packing List

discarded suitcases

Have you ever been on the way to the airport and had the sinking feeling that you have forgotten to pack something? Has your checked bag ever not arrived at your destination? If you use a packing list you can rid yourself of that sinking feeling and help ensure that you arrive at your destination with the essentials.

I created my first packing list two years ago and it makes leaving home much simpler and more stress free. I typically print it out the weekend before my trip and leave it on the kitchen counter. Throughout the week as I am getting organized I cross the items off that I have packed or completed. I may also add new items to the blank cells because every trip is somewhat unique.

There are two worksheets (or tabs) on the spreadsheet. The first is for beach trips and the second is for work trips. The columns for each worksheet are organized by bag and the last column contains my To Do list. I find that it’s quite helpful to think of your packing by bag, instead of by category. This is especially true when you are flying and must remember to separate out liquids in your carry on.

When possible, your carry on should contain those items that it would be difficult or impossible to purchase at your destination. For me, this includes my swimsuit and all of my electronics and their associated chargers. Of course, you’ll also want to include any other valuables (e.g. jewelry) as well as all prescription medications. It will likely make your carry on cumbersome, but if your checked bag gets lost in transit it will help ensure you have what you need in the meantime.

Please feel free to download the spreadsheet (click here to view and download via Google Docs) and edit it to meet your own personal packing needs. Hope it helps to make your next trip a little more stress free. Happy packing!

Do you have any packing tips to share? Let us know in the comments!

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