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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Disney Cruise Free Autographed Souvenir of your Dreams

Ok.  For your Disney Cruise Packing Checklist, you need to add a pair of clean, new pillow cases and permanent markers.

Per our chatty porch swingers over at Belly Acres, Alabama, this is a very unique, very cool, totally customizable souvenir you can get ONLY on a Disney cruise.

Disney Cruise Autographed Pillow CaseDid you know that if you take pillow cases and a pen(s) with you on a Disney cruise, that you can leave them with the cast (Guest Services) to collect autographs?  …truly a most AWESOME souvenir. 

In addition to the standard Disney character autograph books, other guests have opted to bring black pillow cases with gold and silver markers for the autographs. 

[easyazon-image align=”left” asin=”B001L7OM2S” locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31ctfNuFf%2BL._SL160_.jpg” width=”160″]Some guests request just the autographs of princes on one and just the autographs of princesses on the other. 

You can request the autographs of just a specific cast of characters, too.  If you want a pair of Toy Story Pillow Cases, feel free to ask. 

This service is provided by cast members during down time that may be available during the cruise.  Near the end of your cruise, simply check with guest services regarding the availability of your pillow cases.

These very personal and unique souvenirs deserve a reserved spot in your luggage and on your packing checklist

 

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.

Navigon

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.

 

 

Kindle

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.

 

 

Audible

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.

 

 

RedBox

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 Airport Security Tips Checklist to Minimize Fuss

Airport Security Tips Checklist to Minimize Fuss

“Airport security”…I still see people cringe at the mere mention of the process.  Lines are long; people are impatient, but security personnel must be allowed to do their jobs.

Since 9/11, airport security screening increased and stringent adherence to the rules (old and new) is strictly enforced. …makes you wonder how many lighters and fingernail clippers were lost at airport security those first few years.

Photographer: ghindoAs fear subsides and confidence grows, though, airport security is no longer the half day ordeal it once was.  It is, however, still a time consuming, but necessary process.

There are several steps, if followed reasonably, that should, at least, reduce your time in line.  Now, if everyone else would just use some common sense, follow the rules and exercise patience, we’d all get through airport security with minimal fuss.

1.  Smile and be patient.

The absolute best way to avoid fuss going through airport security is to smile, be patient and be accommodating.  Most of the folks around you will be busy, impatient, unnerved and WAY too far out of their comfort zones to be on their best behavior.  Everyone in line has to deal with these emotional issues, as do the screening employees.

Be determined to maintain patience and not add to the problems.

Smile at both fellow passengers and screening staff.  It can’t hurt, and it usually perks up at least a few in the group.

2.  Check your bags.

I know.  Since the airlines started charging for checked luggage, everyone’s trying to save money using carry-on bags.  It may save money, but it does NOT save fuss…for you or your fellow passengers.

If you want to save fuss, check your primary bag.  This gives you at least one bag in which you can place all those “questionable” items that greatly delay security scans and reduces the number of carry-on items that have to go through security.  Put your fingernail clippers, lighters, non-essential (at least during the flight) toiletries and other items you will not need until you reach your destination in your checked luggage and send it off for loading.  Get it out of the way.

3.  Know the rules.

Know the rules about luggage size, weight and contents for both checked bags and carry-on baggage contents.

Go to the TSA web site and read through the “prohibited” items rules.  Just don’t pack these.  If you do have “Special Items” you need to bring, see the TSA web site and the airline policy regarding procedure with specialty items before you try to bring them through security checkpoints.  Knowing the policy for musical instruments or golf clubs ahead of time can save you a lot of time and fuss.

Use the 3-1-1 policy for liquids in carry-on luggage.  3 ounce containers, 1 quart clear bag, 1 bag per traveler is the norm to avoid fuss.  If you must take larger quantities, exceptions may be made for medications, baby items and such.  Make sure to declare these with security to avoid delays.

4.  Be reasonable with carry-on items.

Most airlines allow one standard-sized roller bag and one additional carry-on item (purse, laptop bag, briefcase, tote bag).  Check with airline policy and make sure your carry on items meet the size and weight requirements.  Remember, the more you carry-on, the more you have to scan through security.  Fewer and smaller carry-on items equal less fuss during airport security checks and later on the plane.

5.  Be prepared for the inspection of shoes, jackets, ball caps/hats and pocket contents.

Just take them off.  The shoes have to come off.  The pocket contents can go into a small container to run through the scanner, but it’s just as convenient to place pocket contents into a side pocket of a carry-on bag and let the whole thing run through at once.  The jackets and ball caps might as well come off and be placed in a screening tub.  It’ll save the time later if you’re asked to remove them, taking more of your time and delaying others in line.

6.  Give some thought ahead of time about your laptop.

Unless it’s in a TSA “Checkpoint Friendly” laptop bag, the laptop must be removed and placed in its own security tub for screening.  Whenever possible, keep your laptop easily accessible in the bag for quick removal and repacking.  This can be a particularly frustrating part of the process if it doesn’t pack well.

Note also that the laptop must be placed in its OWN tub for screening.  Shoes, jackets and other items should not be placed in the same tub with a laptop.

7.  Photo ID and Boarding Pass.

Have your photo ID (usually driver’s license for domestic travel or passport for domestic or international travel) and boarding pass quickly accessible at all times.  You may have to show these multiple times before the security process is complete.

8.  Prepare for the walk-through scan.

Try not to wear excessive metal, and if you have metal medical implants, have your medical card available to confirm your doctor’s information.

9.  Step aside when done.

Once you and your items have been scanned and released, gather your items and step to the side to replace shoes and readjust packing.

A printable pdf checklist of Airport Security Tips to Minimize Fuss is available under the Packing Checklist Downloads page.

Comments Off on A Packing Checklist for Gift Ideas

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.

Budget

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.

Personalize

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 Why Use PackingChecklist.net?

Why Use PackingChecklist.net?

packingchecklistredpenIn addition to the reviews, travel tips, and community input on PackingChecklist.net, 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 PackingChecklist.net 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 PackingChecklist.net community.

Ideas

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.

Share

A big advantage to the lists, reviews, and PDFs on PackingChecklist.net 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 PackingChecklist.net.