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.

 

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Additional Airport Security Tips and Warnings

In addition to the printable pdf checklist of Airport Security Tips to Minimize Fuss (available on the Packing Checklist Downloads page), the following tips and warnings should also ease the process through airport security.

Baggage Locks

Don’t bother with baggage locks unless you buy specific TSA recognized baggage locks that can be opened by screening personnel with a master key.  If you use a standard lock, they’re going to have to break it to check your bags.

additional airport security tips

If, like me, you are less worried about proper personnel getting into baggage, but more worried about the zippers coming apart and losing items, try using twist ties or re-usable zip ties.  These will keep your luggage secure from inadvertent openings, yet allow airport screeners to do their jobs.

Carry On or Checked Baggage

Carrying-on fewer items can also save you and your fellow passengers a great deal of fuss on the plane.  (Since more people are trying to avoid checked baggage fees, larger – sometimes excessively large items – and multiple items are taking up all the over head storage compartment room before everyone can even board the plane.  If you’re one of the multiple big bag travelers, consider lack of space for yourself and others.  Smaller bags allow more room for your fellow passengers and help you find sufficient space for your own carry-on items if you board the plane late.

Verify ID on Documentation

Before your flight, you may also want to check how your name is shown on your photo ID and that of your traveling companions/family.  This should match the wa

y the name is shown on flight reservations.  The TSA (Transportation Security Administration) is enforcing stricter security about photo ID and boarding passes matching.

The TSA

If you have doubts about items on your packing checklist, check the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) web site for the latest rules and regulations.  In the meantime, feel free to use the printable pdf packing checklists provided on the Downloads page.

 

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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 Hiking First Aid Kit Packing Checklist

Hiking First Aid Kit Packing Checklist

First Aid Kit For HikersFirst Aid Packing Checklist for Hikers

Hiking is all about light weight, judicious packing.  Whatever you carry on your hike, you’re going to carry the whole time, so you don’t want to carry a whole lot of items that take up a lot of space or weigh more than necessary.

For hiking, or any other activity where size and weight are factors, your first aid kit packing checklist should be concise.  Pack only the items you might need.  Pack only the quantities you might need, and eliminate any items you can while maintaining a safe first aid kit.

(The downloadable and printable version of the Hiker’s First Aid Kit Packing Checklist can be downloaded here.)

First Aid Kit, Hiking

  • Light weight container (box, bag, etc.)
  • Absorbent Compress dressing/gauze
  • Moleskin for blister treatment and prevention
  • Adhesive bandages (assorted sizes)
  • Blanket (super light and compact space blanket)
  • Over the counter medications in minimum quantities (use tiny jewelry baggies to pack single doses and eliminate bulky bottles)
    • Aspirin/Regular Strength Pain Medication/Anti-inflammatory painkillers
    • Antihistamine/Benadryl
    • Anti diarrhea medication
    • Etc.
  • Epinephrine auto injector (Epipen)
  • Antiseptic/Antibiotic Ointment
  • Individually wrapped antiseptic wipes
  • Compact section of duct tape

pack medication in dry bagsHikers might also consider putting first aid items in dry-bags or tiny zip-lock baggies to protect them from the weather or environment.  (Download the printable PDF version of the First Aid Kit, Waterproof Packing Checklist here.)

You can purchase dry-bags at most hunting, outdoors, or sporting goods stores.  Sealable baggies of multiple sizes are available in the jewelry section of your local hobby store.

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

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Waterproof First Aid Kit Packing Checklist

SCUBAWhy Waterproof?

Why would you want a waterproof first aid kit?  In addition to primitive campers, hikers, backpackers, and extreme outdoor sportsmen who need to keep gear safe from the weather, there are literally hundreds of water sports like kayaking, canoeing, and rafting that often take you on adventures in the middle of nowhere. 

These adventures are an absolute blast, but accidents can happen to beginners and experts alike.  A packing checklist for a waterproof first aid kit can help you stay safe on land and in the water.

Light Weight and CompactKayaking

For most outdoor and water sports, the first aid kit should be relatively light weight and compact.  If you’re in a large touring canoe or kayak, you might have room for a larger kit, but space is still limited.  More importantly, you don’t want to reach for an aspirin to find that it dissolved from all the water hours ago.

Keep your first aid kit packing checklist concise and pack only the items you might need.  Pack only the quantities you might need, and eliminate any items you can while maintaining a safe first aid kit.  …and put each item in dry-bags or tiny zip-lock baggies.  (Download the printable PDF version of the First Aid Kit, Waterproof Packing Checklist here.)

tinybaggiesYou can purchase dry-bags at most hunting, outdoors, or sporting goods stores.  Sealable baggies of multiple sizes are available in the jewelry section of your local hobby store.

 

 

 

First Aid Kit, Waterproof

  • Light weight container (Dry Bag or Dry Box)
  • Absorbent Compress dressing/gauze
  • Moleskin for blister treatment and prevention
  • Waterproof adhesive bandages (assorted sizes)
  • Chamois or compact swimmer’s towel
  • Blanket (super light and compact space blanket)
  • Over the counter medications in minimum quantities (use tiny jewelry baggies to pack single doses and eliminate bulky bottles)
    • Aspirin/Regular Strength Pain Medication/Anti-inflammatory painkillers
    • Antihistamine/Benadryl
    • Anti diarrhea medication
    • Etc.
  • Epinephrine auto injector (Epipen)
  • Antiseptic/Antibiotic Ointment
  • Individually wrapped antiseptic wipes
  • Compact section of duct tape

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

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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.