Packing Checklist - 'Cause Life's a Trip

Welcome to Packing Checklist! Whether you're packing for an overnight trip or a multi-month excursion, we have a packing checklist to help you plan and prepare for your travels.

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Cruise, Cool or Cold Climate Packing Checklist

By the very nature of these self-contained floating cities, your packing checklist is going to include some destination and event-specific items.  For cool or cold climate cruises, you may find yourself making room for winter coats, sweaters, and ear muffs as well as the swim suits you’ll still use in the heated pools.

cruise alaska

Your Cool or Cold Climate Cruise Packing Checklist is broken into categories for you below.  You can also download the printable PDF version by clicking here, or by visiting the Downloads page.


Documentation and Currency

  • Driver’s License
  • Auto insurance card
  • Medical insurance card
  • Passport
  • Immunization records/vaccination certificate
  • Hotel and/or transportation tickets, confirmation numbers, receipts, and contact information
  • Parking documentation
  • Cruise tickets, confirmation numbers, receipts
  • Shore excursion tickets, confirmation numbers, receipts, and contact information
  • Dining reservation confirmation information
  • Spa reservation confirmation numbers or receipts
  • Cash
  • Roll of quarters
  • Credit Card
  • Phone card




  • Specific/specialty shampoo
  • Specific/specialty conditioner
  • Specific/specialty soap
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Q-tips
  • Hair products
  • Curling iron
  • Comb/Brush
  • Razors
  • Shaving cream
  • Deodorant
  • Cologne/Perfume
  • Make-up
  • Travel sized nail care kit
  • Sun block
  • Lip balm
  • Insect repellant
  • Sun tanning lotion
  • Moisturizing lotion
  • Prescription medications
  • Glasses, contacts, sunglasses, case, and cleaning supplies
  • Over the counter medications (light first aid kit plus motion sickness medicine)


  • Swimsuits and cover-ups/beach and pool wear
  • Hat(s) – caps, visors, warm hat
  • Belts
  • Flip-flops/sandals/water shoes/cold weather shoes
  • Walking shoes
  • Dress shoes
  • Socks
  • Underwear
  • Tops – shirts, blouses, sweaters, sweatshirts, pullovers
  • Shorts/Capri’s
  • Skirts
  • Trousers
  • Jeans
  • Dress clothing (suit, tuxedo, dress, pant suit, and accessories appropriate for formal dining)
  • Sleep clothes
  • Workout clothes
  • Light jacket
  • Coat


For quick access to all the downloadable and printable pdf packing checklists, check out the Downloads page.

IPhone Apps for Your Family Road Trips

While you’re making that packing checklist, you may want to add some iPhone apps to download before you go.  Family travel apps can certainly ease your efforts on your journey and entertain parents and kids alike.


One of the best ways to ease your mind during a long road trip is to use the GPS on your iPhone to map out your route, follow along on the screen, and look ahead for amenities at upcoming exits.  Navigon is one of several iPhone and iPad apps for GPS directions, among other extremely useful features for finding your way around during your trip and once you reach your destination.





The Weather Channel App

Whether you’re home, on the road, or at your destination, you’ll want to check the weather.  Current temperature and conditions are just the beginning for The Weather Channel app.


Streaming video of radar images are incredibly useful as you can SEE where the rain, snow, or hooks are relative to your current location.




The Kindle reader app lets you read ebooks purchased from the Amazon store.  Best sellers, how to books, and juvenile works are all available for individual reading on during the trip.  The family can even enjoy the ebooks together if someone wants to read aloud.

As one mother recently stated, “Having your child laugh out loud while they are reading to themselves is just awesome!”  It’s pretty darned cool to listen to them practice reading aloud, too.




If reading on the road isn’t appealing for your family, Audible audiobooks may be a better option.  Audible audiobooks are available for download…no discs or tapes required.


Abridged and Unabridged versions are available for adults, children, or the whole family.  Juvenile fiction read by a talented narrator can pass the time on your trip and keep the whole family entertained for miles.




If the kids really prefer to watch movies in the car, downloads and DVDs are both options.  One of the more interesting options appears with RedBox vending machines, and the iPhone app that leads you directly to them.


Rather than packing dozens of movies that rattle around and get in the way, you can rent one or two movies from a RedBox vending machine at the beginning of your trip.  When you’re done with the movie, just use the RedBox app to locate a nearby RedBox to return the movie and rent another.

Similarly, use the app to find a RedBox once you reach your destination and you won’t have to worry about returning the disc during your trip.


Rather than putting DVDs on your packing checklist, there’s an app for that.


Comments Off on Four Books, eBooks, or Audiobooks for Your Holiday Travels

Four Books, eBooks, or Audiobooks for Your Holiday Travels

’tis the season to find a good book.  Whether it’s a long flight or road trip to Grandma’s house, or just a long stay when you’ll want to sneak a few hours of peaceful reading, if you’re a reader at all, you’ll want at least one good book for the trip.  Thanks to smartphones, eReaders, and audible, you could even carry dozens.

In case you’re stuck for ideas, here are 4 we recommend for your packing checklist during the holidays.  Affiliate links to Amazon are provided if you want to purchase these immediately online.

1.  Jeff Guinn’s The Christmas Chronicles

The Christmas Chronicles is actually a collection of three books by Jeff Guinn

Even one of the books should keep you mesmerized for a while.  All three may take longer than your trip.  If you prefer to just pick one, start with the first, The Autobiography of Santa Claus.  The story is pretty much what it sounds like… an “autobiographical” account of Santa’s magical, yet Christian-based life…as “told” to Jeff Guinn, the author.  😉  It’s actually really good.  Stories of Santa meeting and interacting with famous historical characters is just a hoot.  …great comic relief as Santa struggles to spread his gifts year after year.  …and you won’t believe who figured out how to make reindeer fly.  🙂

2.  J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter

Yeah, there are multiple books in the series, and the audio versions by Jim Dale just can’t be beat.  If you’ve never read them, or you have read them, but would like to experience the incredible audio versions, start with the first book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.  The unabridged run time is a little over 8 hours, so you can estimate how many of the books you’d like to attempt during your holiday travels.

Though these are not Christmas stories, the holiday season always occurs in each book.  It’s definitely a great tone for holiday travel and adventure.

3.  John Grisham’s Skipping Christmas

A short little read for a Grisham novel, but quite engaging.  During all the chaos of the holiday season, a Caribbean vacation sure does hold appeal.  The struggle between taking stubborn control verses following tradition…and the massive number of holiday expectations… make for an incredibly fun little book.  It’s a story you can enjoy just for what it is, or you can draw layers of meaning each step of the way.  It’s a definite holiday favorite.

4.  Joshilyn Jackson’s Gods in Alabama

Certainly not a holiday romp, but Gods in Alabama is the ultimate road trip book.  Forced by the past rearing its ugly head, Arlene has to go back home to her southern family of “characters.”  Add the facts that Arlene is lily white, her boyfriend is African American, AND the mystery surrounding the high school quarterback (“god,” date-rapist, and corpse) and you’ve got one heck of a journey.


Regardless of your holiday reading choices, don’t forget a book, ebook, or audiobook on your packing checklist.  For other items you might want to remember, check the Packing Checklist Downloads page.

Comments Off on Motion Sickness Treatment Alternatives for Your Packing Checklist

Motion Sickness Treatment Alternatives for Your Packing Checklist

Whether you’re travelling by car, train, air, or boat/ship, motion sickness can strike at any time. You may want to include motion sickness treatment on your packing checklist.

Motion sickness may pass quickly, or even cease when the motion stops, but what if it’s a long trip, and the motion sickness doesn’t go away?

Symptoms may include nausea, dizziness, or even vomiting or diarrhea.  Luckily, for you and your trip, there are actually several motion sickness treatment alternatives.

Motion Sickness Pressure Bands / Bracelets

Motion sickness wrist bands work by acupressure as a drug-free alternative to treat nausea.  Many prefer motion sickness wrist bands because they are reusable.

As a non-ingestible solution, there are no concerns about drowsiness or other side effects.  As such, the wrist bands are a good alternative for children and pregnant women.


If drugs are an option, the old standby,Dramamine (dimenhydrinate), and other brands of motion sickness medication such as Bonine (meclizine) or Benadryl (diphenhydramine) are available over the counter.  Pills (tablets or capsules), chewables, and patches are all conveniently available for your needs.  There are even motion sickness meds for dogs.

Be careful to follow manufacturer’s instructions regarding use and dosage as drowsiness is a common side effect.  Consult your doctor (or vet) for clinical advice.


Various forms of ginger root are commonly used to treat nausea and gastric issues.  If you prefer a natural motion sickness treatment alternative that is ingestible (rather than pressure bands), multiple ginger products are available including gum, candy, tea, or pills/capsules.

Other Motion Sickness Advice

If you know that you or a member of your party is prone to motion sickness, you may take precautions such as eating light before traveling and including saltine crackers on your packing checklist.  If the problem is more serious, you may want to purchase a pressure band, medication, or ginger product.  These products CAN also be used before the onset of symptoms.

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A Packing Checklist for Gift Ideas

Besides the typical uses for a packing checklist…Packing Checklist Gifts

  • DON’T forget critical items
  • DON’T pack unnecessary items
  • DO ease the fears of forgetting items or packing so much that baggage fees drain the bank account

many folks are finding that destination or activity-specific packing checklists are GREAT for brainstorming gift ideas.

Use the List to Make a List

Let’s say you need to buy a gift for a golfer, or a SCUBA diver, but you don’t know anything about either sport.  Take a look at the packing checklists on the Downloads Page specifically designed for those trips and events.


Depending on the hobby or sport, those packing checklists usually include consumable items (like golf balls, golf tees, mask defogger, etc.) that are usually under the $10 or $20 range.

The Sky’s the Limit

If you’re looking for a really memorable (i.e. expensive) gift, you’re sure to find loads ideas and options on their packing checklist.  If they’re enthusiastic enough to plan and pay for trips specific to a hobby or sport, they’re bound to pack some serious gear.


Once you’ve brainstormed a few gift possibilities, also consider which of those could be monogrammed, engraved, or otherwise personalized.  That little touch, plus the thought you’ve put into their favorite activity will make a lasting impression.

Find a Packing Checklist for Your Hobby, Sport, or Event on the Downloads Page.

Comments Off on Comprehensive First Aid Kit Packing Checklist

Comprehensive First Aid Kit Packing Checklist

Comprehensive First Aid Kit Packing ChecklistA packing checklist is always useful to create, pack, and refresh your first aid kit, whether you’re a parent, a team mom, a coach, a teacher, an office dweller, or a solo/small group sports buff.  The recommended packing checklist will vary based on the location and purpose.  (Download the printable PDF version of the First Aid Kit, Comprehensive Packing Checklist here.)

For a relatively static location, such as a ball field, a camp ground, or an office, the packing checklist can and should be extensive.  Items to pack in a comprehensive first aid kit may include the following.

First Aid Kit, Comprehensive

  • Sufficiently large container (box, bag, etc.)
  • Absorbent Compress dressing/gauze
  • Moleskin for blister treatment and prevention
  • Roller Bandage 3” (individually wrapped)
  • Roller Bandage 4” (individually wrapped)
  • Elastic bandage
  • Triangular Bandage
  • Sterile Gauze Pad 3×3
  • Sterile Gauze Pad 4×4
  • Cloth adhesive tape
  • Adhesive bandages (assorted sizes)
  • Blanket (space blanket)
  • CPR Breathing Barrier
  • Instant Cold Compress
  • Gloves, disposable, non-latex
  • Scissors
  • Thermometer
  • Tweezers
  • First Aid Instruction Booklet
  • Aspirin/Regular Strength Pain Medication/Anti-inflammatory painkillers
  • Antihistamine/Benadryl
  • Anti diarrhea medication
  • Epinephrine auto injector (Epipen)
  • Seasickness medication
  • Antiseptic/Antibiotic Ointment
  • Hydrocortisone Ointment
  • Burn cream packets
  • Aloe vera gel
  • Antiseptic Wipes
  • Alcohol pads
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Saline
  • Lighter
  • Penlight
  • Activated charcoal
  • Emetics
  • Cotton balls/swabs
  • Duct tape
  • Plastic baggies
  • Document listing relevant medical information

For quick access to all the downloadable and printable pdf packing checklists, check out the Downloads page.

Comments Off on Cruise Packing

Cruise Packing

cruise shipPalm trees, steel drums, and tropical drinks beckon as you plan and pack for your cruise.  You can almost feel that warm breeze as you go through your packing checklist. 

  • Sunblock
  • Tanning lotion
  • Swimsuits
  • Sunglasses

Yeah!  You’re ready to go, right?  Well, not quite yet.  There are still a lot of items to mark off that packing checklist.  The list also alters significantly if you choose to cruise the cooler waters of Alaska.  In general, though, there are some items you’ll want to include regardless of your cruise destination.


Specifically, for a cruise, there are required documents that you REALLY don’t want to forget.  For example, since most cruises quickly leave U.S. waters and dock in other countries, you REALLY don’t want to forget your passport and driver’s license. 

You’ll also need these for your flight and as you embark/disembark the ship in port.  Make sure you collect and carry all your tickets, confirmation numbers, receipts, and contact information.  

Unique to Cruising

The unique accommodations and self-contained environment on the ship also add some unique items to the packing checklist.  Though many of the ships are like small cities with restaurants, shops, and activities galore, you are still cruising onboard the ship until you dock.  Even when you dock, it’s usually in a pretty awesome tourist location, but it’s not like you can just hop over to Walmart and pick up anything and everything. 

Certainly, prescription medication should be included under the “NEED to pack” category.  Specialty items such as shampoos, conditioners, lotions, and dietary items also fall under this category.

The cruise ship and ports offer most of the items a person might need, but don’t count on them having exactly what you want, in the brand or size you want, or for the price you’d prefer to pay.  A packing checklist can help you determine which items you really NEED to pack.

Cash and Credit

Cruise ships are unique in terms of paying for items during the cruise.  Like many resorts, a credit card is attached to your room key, which you swipe for purchases.  It’s very convenient onboard, but you’re also going to want a credit card and cash for shore excursions and tips. 

You can pay tips with your room key for ship personnel, but cash is a nice option.  You’ll need to tip cab drivers and excursion staff with cash or your actual credit card, anyway.

Destination or Event Specific Items

If your destination has one specific climate, you’ll obviously want to pack clothing and products specific to a warm or cool climate.  Not many folks will pack a parka for a Caribbean cruise, but sun block’s going to make the packing checklist whether your destination is warm sands or frozen tundra.

Think about the shore excursions and activities as you plan, too.  Will you go horseback riding?  You might want to pack jeans.  Are you a SCUBA diver?  Will you rent equipment, or will you pack your own gear?  Are the kids coming on the cruise, too? You might want to pack floaties and waterproof identification bracelets.

Go to the Downloads page for a variety of packing checklists designed for cruising in general, and specific to destinations and events.

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Why Use

packingchecklistredpenIn addition to the reviews, travel tips, and community input on, our primary focus is always to provide a packing checklist for all occasions. 

Many of the packing checklists are comprehensive detailing every item imaginable.  Some are destination-specific.  Others are event-specific.  There are packing checklists for light travel, heavy travel, frequent travel, local travel, and international travel.  …and if the specific packing checklist does not yet exist, community input will prompt the creation of a new or modified list.

Online, Downloadable, and Printable

Each packing checklist is provided online for internet/web accessibility at home or on the road.  Descriptions of the list are characterized based on destination, event, duration, or specific need(s).  Reviews are also provided on travel-related products, destinations, and item or service availability.  The online checklists and reviews are also open to the community for comments and suggestions.

Each packing checklist is also provided in a downloadable and printable Adobe PDF format.  With the free Acrobat Reader software, the files can be universally stored and opened on virtually any computer and most mobile devices.

Since they are “packing checklists,” it’s also critically important that the PDF files are cleanly printable, so you can check off items as you pack.  Each PDF is designed to fit neatly, legibly, and cleanly on standard 8.5 x 11 paper.

Real People, Real Lists

Each packing checklist is created based on the real-life experiences and input of people who’ve actually packed THESE items for the specified list(s). 

  • Items on the Soccer Game/Practice Packing Checklist are actual items packed and used by real soccer moms.
  • Items on the Luxury Cruise Packing Checklist are actual items packed and used by couples who frequent luxury cruises.
  • Items on all the packing checklists are updated and modified based on the comments and input of real people in the community.


A packing checklist is designed to prompt ideas.  …things you might not have considered packing  …things you might decide to strike from your list.  They can also inspire gift ideas and new adventures.

Since the packing checklist PDFs are specific to the trip’s destination, event, duration, or purpose, you can use them for gift ideas for yourself or others.  Do you need to buy a gift for a golfer?  How about a SCUBA diver?  Check the packing checklist relative to each hobby. 

Many of the items on those lists are consumable and have to be frequently replaced (golf tees, golf balls, mask defogger, gift certificates for air fills, etc.).  Individually, these make great stocking-stuffers or token gifts.  Collectively, you can put several items in a container (duffel bag, tote bag, bucket, basket, etc.) for a more thoughtful gift.

The less consumable/more resilient items can also be very special and meaningful gifts (new club, new golf bag, sport-specific clothing, underwater camera, dive knife, etc.).  They’ll definitely know you put some thought into it.

As you’re scanning through the packing checklists, think about the specific destinations or purpose for each list.  You might just discover a new hobby or your next adventure.


A big advantage to the lists, reviews, and PDFs on is the opportunity to join the community and share your experiences.  Remember, new packing checklists and updates come from real people with real stories to share.  Feel free to comment, add suggestions, and share your stories on