I don’t really need any excuses to make a list. But whether it is getting ready for a vacation or planning a major move, there is nothing like travel to send me into super list-making mode. I’ve made lists of:
- things to do before I leave
- things I need to buy before I go
- things I need to remember to pack
But no matter how organized I am or how early I start packing, there are always a few things I can’t pack ahead of time because I use them so frequently. I created a list of “Last Minute Packing Reminders” – may you never stress that you left the stove on or visit an airport convenience store again!
1. Your toothbrush: I like to carry my toiletry bag with me as I’m getting ready on a travel morning so that I remember to toss them right in the bag instead of putting them away where they may be forgotten in the last-minute frenzy.
2. Any relevant travel documents: Yes, these things can be packed in advance but sometimes it is safer to not carry your plane ticket around for weeks in your purse. (And you know I like to start preparing early!) If I can, the night before I travel I stack these things next to my list.
3. Secure your home: This includes making sure all windows and doors are locked. It also includes checking your outlets to make sure that nothing unnecessary is plugged in and ensuring that appliances are turned off. I learned this trick from my dad – the original list maker. There is nothing worse than coming home after a weeks vacation and finding out that your coffee pot continued to make you coffee each morning – trust me!
4. Chargers: When I travel, I like to be productive from my phone. Smart phones offer tones of important tools to make traveling easier and more enjoyable. When you pack these devices in the morning, make sure you’ve got their chargers as well. You wouldn’t want to miss out on any List Producer emails while you’re gone, would you?
5. Glasses: Possibly worse than coming home to stale, overflowed coffee is getting on a plane, train, or bus and realizing that your glasses are missing (and they aren’t on your head). Since I got laser eye surgery two years ago this item is no longer on my list but as a former-nearsighted person I can sympathize.
6. Double check your wallet: Make sure you have the essentials like your wallet and credit/debit cards. It’s also good to carry your insurance cards, a note with emergency contact info, and the appropriate currency for your place of travel.
7. Throw away perishable food: Would you like some sour milk for all of that coffee? This also includes taking out the garbage and cleaning out any pet boxes.
8. Take care of your pets: Speaking of those furry friends, they too need to be packed if they’re being boarded while you’re away. If they’re staying home make sure to let them out, leave food, and pass along any keys and alarm codes to the pet sitter before you go.