One of the most helpful things I have been doing for awhile in regards to travel is my Packing List. My Packing List is an incredibly detailed list of all I might need for a trip. You can handwrite one each time you need to travel or you can make a Master Packing List. This is a list that has everything you would need to go on an extended trip. After the list is made on your computer you can print out the Master Packing List whenever you have to go away whether for the weekend or for a month. The list doesn’t change but depending what type of trip and how long you will be away will change what you pack. The List is customized in a very simple way for each trip.

First you create the most detailed Master Travel List you can. This means everything you might need to take on a trip. Remember this is the Master Travel List so everything should go on it in detail.

Then when it is time to travel, you simply print out the list and using a pen or pencil to cross out the items you will not need for your trip. It is important that the list is so exhaustive that you rarely if ever have to add to the list, only subtract.

Once you have your List printed out and have crossed off what you won’t need (based on where you are going, why you are going and how long you are going for) the List is ready to help you pack.

Using the List pull out everything you need for the trip and spread it out on your bed or a table. This helps you to make sure you have everything before you start packing. It also tells you what size bag or bags you are going to need. In addition, with every item laid out that you are taking you can see the best way to make it all fit. For example put your socks inside of your shoes to save space.

As you start actually packing the items you have spread out place a checkmark by the item on the Master Travel List that you have already printed out and crossed off what is not necessary for the particular trip.

When it is time to re-pack at the end of your trip, as you put the items in your bag, draw a slash through the item’s checkmark. This will create an X. Once you are all packed up to return home check to make sure every item that was checked at the beginning of the trip now has an X before you leave to come home.

If there is a checkmark that doesn’t have a slash that means it is still in your room and needs to be packed up. 

This method helps you not only to remember what you need for your trip but also makes sure that everything comes home with you as well. Make your Master Travel List today.
Since I originally wrote this, I have been using my master list as reference and making a shorter list every trip based on what I need for the particular trip. This is a handwritten list. I find it helps remind me what I will need for the particular trip which helps me remember to pack those things. I usually start the list two days before I am to pack and travel. That way I can add and subtract to the list as I think of things. It is important to subtract because we tend to take more than we need.