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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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.

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