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.

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 Why Use a Packing Checklist?

Why Use a Packing Checklist?

Packing ChecklistIt’s a fair question.  Why use a packing checklist?  Some frequent travelers are comfortable enough to pack without a checklist.  Others are just not “list people” and want to go with the flow.  That’s totally cool.  There are also people who choose to solve quadratic equations in their heads.  This is also TOTALLY cool, but it’s not the norm.  Most of us really prefer to use a packing checklist for a variety of reasons.

Forget Me Not

The primary reason most people use a packing checklist is to make sure they don’t forget anything.  There are NEEDED items, and there are WANTED items.  For the most part, needed items are those that you can’t reasonably obtain after you arrive at your destination.  Wanted items can cross over into this “need” category if they’re excessively or annoyingly difficult to obtain.  You really need to determine what’s worth packing and what’s not.  If they’re all on the packing checklist, at least you have the option of taking or leaving the items by choice. You’re much less likely to forget something if you use a packing checklist to think ahead and review. 

Too, depending on the specific destination or event, there may be “specialty” items needed that might not be necessary for normal travel.  Passports for international travel, confirmation numbers, receipts, registration documentation are all examples of trip-specific needs.  You don’t want to forget these, so it’s best to include at least some mention of them on your packing checklist.

Weight and Size Restrictions

Baggage fees can be very expensive; oversized and overweight luggage costs even more.  We certainly don’t want to spend any more money than necessary on baggage, and depending on your mode of travel, the number of bags, weight, and size may have a maximum cap.

A packing checklist can help you prioritize the “needed” and “most wanted” items to actually carry on your trip.  Even if cost isn’t a factor, most people don’t really want to bother with heavy, excessive luggage.  Space limitations, cost, and convenience for you, the traveller are all factors.  How much will actually fit in the trunk of your car?  

Travelling Light

This is especially important for frequent travelers, but the general trend is to minimize as much as possible.  Use your packing checklist to identify those items that you absolutely MUST take.  Eliminate those items that you could or would obtain AFTER you arrive at your destination.  You can also use your packing checklist as a shopping list either for the items you want to obtain after you arrive or for items that can be purchased as “travel-sized,” “compact,” or “light-weight.”

Ideas

A destination-specific or comprehensive packing checklist can give you ideas for items you might not have considered.  An idea may be as common as a reminder to take sun-block on a tropical vacation or as unique as “hot hands” disposable warmers on an Alaskan cruise.  Just reviewing the checklist can prompt a lot of “oh, yeah” moments.

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