I always make a brand new packing list for every trip. Some people keep a template of items they use often but for me I like to start from scratch and really customize my list. Having the list helps to make my trip less stressful.
Here’s my packing list making technique:
1. Write an Itinerary: Let’s say we’re going somewhere warm from Friday to Monday. We are arriving late on Friday and then Saturday and Sunday will be carbon copies of each other. Breakfast, Beach, Snack, Lunch, Beach, Snack, Dinner. Fabulous! When you make your list think of all the activities you might be doing. If you’re museum hopping — you won’t want to forget your camera and comfy shoes.
2. Make Categories: As I start making my packing list I break it up into sections. Toiletries, clothes, electronics, books & documents, etc. It makes it easier to consider each section separately.
3. Review Daily Routine: I run through my morning in my head so I make sure I don’t leave anything behind like floss or deodorant. This is a good technique so you don’t get to your destination without your toothbrush!
4. Check the Weather: It’s not always 100% accurate – but at least this way I can get a sense of what types of things I might need. Like a hat, sunscreen or even an umbrella.
5. Pick Outfits: I find that picking actual outfits instead of just throwing some clothes in the bag will help you from over packing. Go through your closet and pull out the combinations you want to wear – including the shoes. I always pack a pashmina in my carry-on…it can double as a blanket on the plane.
6. Make a “Last-Minute” List: This list is all the stuff that I’ll need to use the morning before we leave and won’t pack now. I also include reminders to print up the boarding passes, shut the windows and water the plants.