2014 Travel Tips – Part 3 of 3 – Packing Checklists

Have you ever packed too much gear for a trip?  Or left an important item at home?

For years I loathed packing – even having to think about it.  Then I prepared a packing checklist.  The result….minimum thinking, no stress ….and no more mishaps.

I still pack at the last moment but gone are the days of throwing everything I possess into a huge bag.

A simple checklist – things I need to pack.  If it’s not on the list it stays at home.

It took me about 30 minutes to prepare my list.  I use it every time I travel.  No more days of stressing or kilos of unnecessary gear.

There is nothing more helpful than your own personalised checklist.

A customised packing list  is a useful tool, something you can manage and improve over time.

After every trip delete from the master list items you didn’t use – or make a note that they are only necessary under certain conditions – and to check the conditions for the next trip.  You’ll discover its often possible to travel with just cabin luggage.

There are many online APPS available online  – but I agree with Doug Dyment’s comments:

“There’s an [unnecessary] app for that™: You’ll find no shortage of packing list management applications, generally oriented to what most people believe that they require: a variety of lists for different situations, destinations, climates, etc. In my view, those who feel the need for specialized software to manage such list(s) are completely missing the point; thinking of packing lists in this fashion is actually detrimental to learning how to travel lightly. The successful light traveller uses a single list, updated infrequently. And this can be a simple text document; if you feel the need for some elaborate, feature-rich software to “manage” it, you’re making the wrong kind of list!

A Starters Packing Check List

Below is a list adapted from one originally composed by Doug Dyment.  You can find reference to his website in Part 1 of my Travel Tips Blog series see the link to Travel Tips – Part 1 at the end of this blog

 Remember its a checklist, not a list of things to take….use it as a “worst-case scenario”.   Modify it to suit your personal requirements and travel plans.  If going on a three-day business trip – your bag should only contain a few of the items on your list. If you’re going on a long trip then you’ll tick off many more items….common sense should prevail.

Remember my mantra ‘if it’s not on the list it stays at home’

So here goes…..


dressy jacket   Clothes washing powder/liquid
2-4 shirts/blouses/tops   (surgical latex braid) clothesline
2 pairs trousers/skirts (shorts?)   universal (flat) sink stopper
3+ pairs socks        water bottle
3+ underwear        toilet paper,
swimsuit       antibacterial wipes / liquid
jumper / sweater       (chemical or mechanical) water purifier
rainwear (umbrella?)   analgesic of choice
parka, coat, or equivalent   diarrhoea treatment of choice
pyjamas   infection treatment of choice
necktie, scarf, shawl, hairband,   malaria tablets
bandanna   insect repellent, mosquito net
gloves / mittens   sunscreen, lip balm
sun hat / knitted cap, hat clip   tweezers
1 pair dressy shoes   bandages (other first aid?)
1 pair walking shoes/boots   menstrual, contraceptive, and/or prophylactic supplies
thongs or sandals         vitamins, necessary medications
belt         dark glasses, retainer, case
          lens cleaning cloth/supplies,
travel pack or shoulder bag   copy of prescription (spare glasses?)
lightweight duffel/laundry bag         pen(s), small notebook, glue stick
luggage locks        maps, guidebooks, phrase books
spare batteries for equipment        Post-it® notes, membership cards,
business/calling cards
alarm clock/watch         telephone access numbers
flashlight, head-strap   reading materialrestaurant lists,
Tool with: knife, screwdrivers, pliers         passport, visas, extra passport photos
swiss army knife   vaccination certificates
safety pins, cord, fasteners, sewing kit   copies of important documents(international?) driver’s license, health insurance information, passport
    travel tickets
plastic bags, garbage bags        credit cards & ATM cards,
toothbrush, cap, tooth cleaner, floss        security pouch
razor, blades, shaving cream   camera (lenses? flash? tripod? extra cards & batteries? charger?)
comb and/or hairbrush   mobile telephone (charger/adapter(s)?)
shampoo, bar soap & container   travel computer (flash drive?)power cord/adapter(s)? network cable(s)?)
deodorant   (solar) calculator
nail clippers   gifts
viscose towel (washcloth?)   inflatable travel pillow
[unbreakable] mirror   earplugs (sleep mask?)
packing bags    

Having prepared your own list you can begin to test it and modify it to suit yourself – but remember the mantra – ‘if it’s not on the list – its stays at home’

Having checked these things you can safely head to the airport.

Website links

1          Unconventional Conventions: www.uncon-conv.com

2          click this link to the Travel Tips listed in my first blog in the Travel Tips series:  Travel Tips Part 1 of 3 – Helpful Tips for all travellers

3          click this link to the Packing Checklist listed in my third blog in the Travel Tips series:  Travel Tips Part 2 of 3 – Pre-Departure Checklist

Your Contribution Invited

If you have any comments or tips to add to this blog please do so, your comments and tips will help all of us in our travels.

Use the ‘comments’ tag on the right hand side of the screen or the comment box below to send a message to me.


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