How To: Writing a Packing List

luggage-933487_640I 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.

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13 replies
  1. Karlie Pouliot
    Karlie Pouliot says:

    Thanks for the great advice Paula. This is exactly what I need before my trip to Spain, which is in less than 2 days, and on top of that, I haven’t even started to pack yet! Going to implement your list as soon as I get home. Have fun in Miami.

  2. Angie
    Angie says:

    Glad to see you’ve planned your relaxation time – you deserve it! Have fun in Miami, it’s my old stomping ground. Have some yummy sushi and Cuban food for me!

  3. Debbie Bloch
    Debbie Bloch says:

    Hi Paula…I’m actually packing for my honeymoon today…I have lots of lists…Thanks for the tips…enjoy your trip!!!

    • List Producer
      List Producer says:

      Congrats Debbie! How exciting! Where are you going? I have a honeymoon packing list somewhere – I’ll dig it out for you! Altho I had a destination wedding so the whole thing was like a honeymoon! Haha!

  4. Nelly Rodriguez
    Nelly Rodriguez says:

    This is a great list idea of lists! I’m thinking, laminate the general lists and tuck them into your suitcase, so you can always have them available! Have different ones like: summer/beach list, winter/ski list 🙂 Thanks for the information, I LOVE LISTS!

    • List Producer
      List Producer says:

      Hi Nelly – glad you like the list! Oooo laminating – fun! I have to make my lists from scratch everytime but I can abolutely see the benefit to premade lists – saves time!


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