It’s not uncommon to leave for a trip and find out something is missing only when it’s too late. With these tips you will learn how to make your own personal travel list, to be sure not to forget anything anymore.
You will also learn the process to make it and how to adapt it to your own needs and travel style. A good travel list a very useful tool to make sure that you pack everything before leaving, and also double check that everything was taken before going back home. It can be printed on paper, or saved on a laptop or mobile phone, to save trees and always have it at your fingertips.
Make a structure for your list
Before concentrating on specific items to include, first divide your list in to different categories: clothes, hygiene, electronics, drugs, etc. This way it will be easier to populate during the creation phase and to be organized and to follow while traveling.
Copy from other travel lists!
If at school time, you were dreaming of copying from others and you weren’t allowed, now it’s time to take your revenge and copy as much as you can! It’s very useful as a starting point to read other well done lists from other travelers as in this example backpacking checklist, this one done for tourists or this camping list. Since your final output will be really dependent on your travel style, it’s better to search for examples from like-minded people: no reason to copy a camping checklist if you don’t even own a tent!
It is common for travelers to try and keep the weight of luggage as low as possible but remember to still make your checklist as big and complete as feasible. Although you may not take everything, it’s better to not skip two extra lines on the list than to regret not having had those two extra suggestions.
Adapt to your needs: think what you would use in a normal day
Now that the fear of the blank page is overcome, it’s time to add something of our own. Even in the case of ‘we are backpackers and we have found a very well done backpacking checklist’, you still might have different habits than the author: a comb instead of a brush, sleeveless shirts instead of t-shirts, an extra pair of warm socks, etc. The easiest thing to do is visualize what you do in a normal day at home and to take note of everything: I get up and I need slippers, I go to take a shower and I need a towel, shampoo and bath foam, and so on. Then the same process can be repeated for a normal day while traveling, since the series of actions is probably going to be different.
Update after every trip
After the list is completed it’s time to test it and pack for the first time. Already during the packing process, new items to add will come up. If you forget something, it’s usually not that bad, since it can be bought locally, and it can be included in the list not to be forgotten next time. This way your list will be more and more precise after every trip, and in the end it will be almost unerring.
Add custom columns
Extra columns can be added for convenience. For some it might be desirable to include the exact number of items to take for each element, or maybe just an empty square to check after it was packed.
Making a packing list requires just a few hours once in a lifetime, but it can save a lot of stress and waste of time going around to buy what was forgotten. Everybody knows how precious time is while traveling, so better to get ready in time!