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5 Lists to Make Packing For Vacation Seamless

Summer traveling is in the air. Before you’re in the air, here are 5 lists you ought to make when packing for vacation.

packing for vacation - travel to Washington

Vacationing is a prospect that has never been so enticing! My parents usually take the entire family on an annual trip. Obviously considering the pandemic sitch last year, we had to forego the getaway.

Things are finally mellowing out and we are back at it this July. My parents have booked a stunning cabin in the Flagstaff mountains! Woop!!

With our departure less than a month out, it’s time I begin curating my packing lists. Yes, listSSSSS! 5 of them!

1 – The Master List

This is a running accumulated list of all I plan to bring along with me on my trip. This list will include EVERYTHING from the number of shirts in my suitcase to the dental floss in my purse. I will usually start making this list a month or so out from my trip, and add to it when things come to mind or plans for my trip change.

I like to keep a template on my computer that I am able to pull up and tweak as needed for any destination. Once I have this list completed or about a week out, I will break it into two smaller lists…

2 – The Checked Baggage List

The suitcase list consisted of everything I would put into a checked baggage if I were flying – clothes, toiletries, makeup bag, etc. Even on road trips, I make this list because I may still find myself separated from my luggage.

From this list, I get an idea of what laundry I need to do before my trip. Also, I often find that I need to stop by the store to replenish some of my travel-size toiletries.

3 – The Carry-on List

To me, the carry-on list is the most important because I rarely find myself traveling without a number of valuables. At the top of this list – my ID.

Storytime: Three years ago, my mom drove my sons and me to the airport at about 5 am
(30 minutes from my house).
I was headed to Washington for 3 weeks and had a rental car waiting for me in Spokane.

I attempted to check my luggage and get my tickets, but my ID wasn’t in my wallet.
I spent almost an hour freaking out, waking my dad to have him look around my house,
checking every pocket of my wallet over and over. It was gone!

But I always keep my ID in my wallet –

Uuuuuuuunless I slip it into the side pocket of my camera bag for a photoshoot.

LUCKILY I had my camera bag slung over my other shoulder because
where I go, my camera goes.

Back to the list.

If you missed that last part in my story, my camera bag essentially takes the place of my purse on just about any vacation. If I am on a road trip and stop somewhere for gas or food, I grab my wallet, keys, and camera bag before leaving the car. It goes E-VER-Y-WHERE with me for the entire duration of my vacation!

I usually have a second bag or tote that will hold most items that would normally go in my purse and my laptop, cellphone, chargers, and at least 1 book.

NOTE: When I make the checked baggage list and the carry-on list, I will include checkboxes and mark items as I pack them. I find that I am usually checking things off the carry-on list up until I walk out my door the day I leave.

4 (and 5) Duplicate lists.

Copy/paste my friends!

These two lists are duplicates of the checked baggage and the carry-on lists, but they may differ slightly. I use these two lists when I am packing to return home. You know that second pair of shoes you left under the hotel bed? Yes, no! These lists help me stay organized as I pack and ensure that I don’t leave anything behind.

I’m a list freak and I don’t mind one bit!

In many ways, I am a fly-by-the-seat of my pants kind of gal. I’m can do without a vacation itinerary and I’m totally fine winging it. When packing for vacation, I pack for myself and two children. This is the one part of getting away that has to have some resemblance of organization.

Bonus List: The To-Do List

To make sure I don’t come home to a disaster and that my cat is taken care of while I am gone, I will make a running list of things I need to do before leaving. I will usually make this list alongside my master list.

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  1. Lacey says:

    Oh my gosh, forgetting my ID is one of my biggest anxieties when I travel! I love how you’ve broken up the list into which bags each item will go into.

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