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What to Pack for a Trip

Updated on June 18, 2012

Does packing freak you out?

A few years ago, I was lost when I started packing for a trip. I made lists, but then every time we would go somewhere, I would have to make a new list. In between, I would forget items that I thought were crucial the last time.

So, to make my life less crazy, I sat down one day and typed out a compilation of all of the lists that I had saved.

Below is what I have now:

Girl list

Bathing suit

Cover up

Dresses/shirts/shorts

Long pants/jeans

Socks/underwear/bras

Sweatshirts

Gym shoes

Sandals

Coat/Sweater

Hat

Toiletries

Pajamas

Sunglasses

Glasses

Life jacket

Boy list

Underwear

Bathing suit

Cover up

Shirts/shorts

Long pants/jeans

Socks

Sweatshirts

Shoes/Gym/water/sandals

Coat/Sweater

Hat

Toiletries

Pajamas

Sunglasses

Glasses

Life jacket

Baby list

Underwear /Diapers/Wipes

Bottles/formula

Baby food

Burp rags

Playpen/bouncy chair

PJ’s

Shorts

Shirts

Long pants/long sleeve shirts

Socks

Hat

Coat/Sweater/Sweatshirt

Shoes/sandals/water shoes

Toiletries

Life Jacket

Mom list

Bathing suit

Cover up

Shirts/shorts

Long pants/jeans

Socks/underwear/bras

Sweatshirts

Shoes/water shoes/sandals

Coat/Sweater

Makeup

Toiletries

Pajamas

Sunglasses

Dad list

Bathing suit

Shirts/shorts

Long pants/jeans

Socks/underwear

Sweatshirts

Shoes

Coat/Sweater

Baseball Cap

Toiletries

Pajamas

FOR THE CAR TRIP

CD/DVD’s for car

Cooler with drinks and water

Books

Drinks/water bottles

Snacks

Paper/pens

Ipods/iPads/etc…

Misc…

Sunscreen

Bug Spray

Benadryl

Medicines

Sunglasses

Camera

Video camera

Beach bag

Life jackets

Kickboard

Shout spray

Goggles

Pillows/Blankets

Tools

Cash

Charge phones/cell phones

Toys/games for kids

Movies/DVD’s

Case of soda

Crossword puzzles

Wipes

TP/Kleenex/Paper towels

Animal list

Food

Treats

Bags for poop

Tick spray

Comb

Bed for the car

Leash

Collar

Stake/Stake leash

Nail Clipper

Toys

Life Jacket

TO DO AT HOME BEFORE WE LEAVE

Set sprinkler for garden

Close door to garage

Someone to get mail

Pay bills ahead of time

Close Windows/Patio Door

Turn off air

Look up weather

OTHER: (because there is always something...)

Just having a pre-typed list helps me a lot. I kept it on the computer and alter it as needed, like when kids grew out of diapers or when we got a pet who traveled with us.

I put all my kids names as a header, because some wear glasses, and need those, and some need things (like the baby), that the others do not need.

These lists are pretty generic, but they help me stay organized (and NOT CRAZY!). I am the packer in the house. Some of the older kids help now, which is a HUGE relief. I can give them their list and say, "Go pack this." and they do!

Also, depending upon the length of the trip we are taking, I put numbers in front of the items; ie: "4" shorts when we are going to be gone for 4 days with no washing machine. This way, I know how much to pack.

I love having this system. It is not a hard thing to do, and every time we travel I pull it up, print it out, and make adjustments as needed.

At the bottom I have the "OTHER" category. There is always an "OTHER" item or two, or twelve, that makes the list. You know what I mean. In our case it is always the stuffed animal of the month. We have to bring those, especially if we are overnighting it somewhere. Or, if we go camping. The gear for that is so different than a hotel. Winter and summer vacations are usually opposite clothes as well.

I try to be organized, and mostly fail, but this list has helped me a lot. Enjoy!

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    • Lisas-thoughts101 profile image

      Lisas-thoughts101 

      6 years ago from Northeast Texas

      Good tips. I like the idea of having it on the pc so you can alter as you go.

      Lisa

    • PenHitsTheFan profile image

      Amy L. Tarr 

      6 years ago from Home

      That's a good idea to have a list already made up. You never know when you need to travel on the spur of the moment for work or family. I always try to pack a few extra days of medicine. That way if there is a problem getting home, it doesn't turn into disaster.

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