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Making a packing list

Updated on May 4, 2011

Everybody loves going on vacation. The problem with a vacation is eventually you have to pack. It is a hassle; it is time-consuming; and if there is more than just you, it can be an overwhelming and daunting task!

Most of us don’t’ know how to pack when we are traveling or going on a roadtrip, but with a packing checklist, it will take some of the pain out of the whole process.

If you are anything like me, we pack and we pack some more, until eventually we have a full trunk full of stuff and still missing some of the bare necessities. I hate packing. I am pretty sure I am not alone in this. Yet, over the years, I have gone on several trips, and I have started perfecting the mission of packing lists.

Granted, I still do over pack at times. That is okay. After all, you never know what kind of adventure you might run into. Yet, there is nothing more frustrating than forgetting your toothbrush!

This is a sample of my packing list. Some of the items I just checked off and others I actually put a number by. This helps to keep track of whether or not you have packed the necessities or if you have packed way too much!
This is a sample of my packing list. Some of the items I just checked off and others I actually put a number by. This helps to keep track of whether or not you have packed the necessities or if you have packed way too much! | Source

Making a list....

Making a list can be just as time consuming as the actual packing. This hub is designed to be a one stop shop so you no longer have to worry about making that list before you go. Obviously, the list will change depending on where you are going or how long you are going to be there, but the generics of it will hopefully provide you with enough of a list that you never forget the essentials.

When I make these lists I usually include the subtitle with each member of the familys name next to it. This allows me to check off whether I have enough for each person. If I was just packing for myself, I probably wouldn’t need to go indepth, but this really does help when you are packing for younger kids. An adult will probably need much less, but you never know when your young child might have an accident, whether it is because of that messy supper or just not making it to the bathroom on time.

Clothes Packing List

how many 
how many 
how many 

Explaining the list

This list is intended to be user friendly. Usually what I do is list each member of the families names. For the purpose of this hub, I have listed them as Husband, Wife, and Kids. Depending on how many children you have, you will probably want to list their names seperately.

The X's are intended to be numbers. The numbers will change depending on how long you are going. For instance, if you are going to be gone for a weekend, you might only need a pair of pants for an adult, but should always bring extras for the children.


This is the area something is always forgotten. Unfortunately, it is also the most important thing to have along with. After all, you can't go a weekend without your toothbrush or deodorant! Well, you can, but you won't make any friends if you do.

For this part of the list, you can set it up similiar to the clothes list, or you can just check off the items as they are packed.

The List:



Dental Floss



Body Wash


Make up

Hair products (gels, mouse, hair spray, hair ties, flat iron, curling iron, etc.)

Face wash


Shaving Cream

Medications (tylenol, allergy medicine, first aid kit)

Diapers or Little Swimmers (for those who have infants!)

This list is the stuff that you use on a daily basis. For me, I will bring just the necessities and what I can't live without. I don't think it is necessary to bring a curling iron if you are camping, but I want to make sure the list is complete enough to jog your own memory of what you use in your daily routine!

Whether you are taking a road trip or just driving to the airport, you should always make sure you have an Atlas tucked under your seat. You can always tell a well used map - the edges are often tattered and torn!
Whether you are taking a road trip or just driving to the airport, you should always make sure you have an Atlas tucked under your seat. You can always tell a well used map - the edges are often tattered and torn! | Source

Electronics and Fun Stuff and other Necessities

This is the entertainment area. It isn't stuff that is necessary for a trip. Most of us can live without it. (However, I am a writer, and this is the portion of the list that includes my laptop. I will probably not survive without it, even if it is just a weekend vacation!)



Laptop and accessories

Camera and accessories

Handheld game systems

Chargers for all your electronic devices

Portable DVD player

DVD selection (should be in a mini binder and a small selection of what you have!)

Pen and Paper

Snacks (Especially if you are going on a long drive!)

Pillows/Blankets (Essential if you are going on a road trip!)

Road Map (You never know when you will get lost!)

Fun Bag for Kids (This should be filled with stuff to make their vacation more enjoyable)

Mini Mag Flashlight

Swiss Army Knife

Bottled water

Funnel (you never know if you will need it - can also be used by women in an unclean restroom!)

This is the portion of the list that is going to be the most variable. Obviously, if you don't have kids, you won't pack a Fun Bag for them. In addition, if you don't have a portable DVD player or handheld game systems, you can also knock those off the list. The main idea behind this list is to pack stuff that you will find fun. It is not a necessity, but is something definately good to have around.

Note: For the kids Fun Bags, I usually allow each one to pack their own. They fill it with crayons, coloring books, books, portable drawing tablets, and a few small toys. They are only allowed to take what can fit in their bag. They are also aware that the bag is sitting at their feet and if they pack too much, they will be uncomfortable and they probably will have a hard time getting their fun stuff out when they want to use it!

The Easy Packing List

 Using this list will hopefully make your packing much easier than it was the last time you went on vacation. This list works well for just about anything, and with a few tweaks, you can be ready for a cruise, a vacation on the beach, or a trip to the artic in no time.

When it comes to vacationing there are so many different destinations. The reason packing is so diffilcult, is because a person feels their list will change with each different destination. While that is a little true, if you keep a generic list handy, you will easily be able to tweak your list to fit every vacation need.

And remember, even if you are going someplace cold, don't forget the swimsuit. After all, you never know if you will be stopping at a hotel with an indoor pool. You would hate to be stuck there wishing you could go swimming, but can't because you forgot the suit at home!

Note: If you have anything you would like to add to this packing list, feel free to comment below. Hopefully, with everybody's imput, we won't be forgetting anything ever again when we go on vacation.


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