What is a packing list?
A packing list is an easily accessible, organized list of items that you need to pack for your upcoming travel.
1. Personal Packing List.
2. Professional (for work) Packing List.
When packing, the essential toiletries, for example, remain more or less the same for each trip I take, so there is no reason why with this list, I should forget any toiletries when I travel.
Actionable Tip: When I am in a hurry, sometimes I fill up the suitcase with what I know that I need and then I pull up the applicable packing list and read the list to see if I have forgotten anything. The 2 minutes it takes to check my packing list generally serves me well, and I find something I wish I would have packed.
I keep my packing lists easily accessible in Evernote on my phone. I have my packing lists in one Notebook in Evernote and have made it so that the lists have checkboxes that can be ticked off as I pack (if I have the time):
[ ] Toothbrush (in toothbrush holder)
[ ] Contacts + case
[ ] Extra contacts (in case one rips or bothers my eye)
My Packing Lists:
I have a couple different packing lists specific to the type of place I’m going.
a. a hot destination (e.g. desert, beach),
b. a cold destination (e.g. mountains), and
c. when I visit my family (I need much less when I travel for that trip, but I still need some things)
2. Professional – for a conference or other work related event.
Why I made packing lists and why you should to
There were a couple reasons why I did this:
1. I realized that, now that I was done law school, I didn’t have all the time in the world to pack for my travel (business or pleasure trips).
2. I needed a way to pack efficiently and quickly but not forget the staple items that I needed (e.g. toothbrush). I had also been forgetting to pack things for my travels including my straightener, deodorant, foundation and toothpaste.
3. I found myself in situations where I was packing last minute, and I didn’t have the space to pack everything. Also, I realized I didn’t need everything I had packed.
4. I travel, on average, once a month. I am not a frequent flyer by any means, so I have not memorized what I should pack. Instead, I have to think about what I need to pack and hope that I haven’t missed something. Having a packing list has given me the ability and time to think about other things, like my flight information and the weather where I am going.
Why you should make 1, if not more than 1 packing list
1. To save time.
2. To decrease stress and anxiety caused by worrying about whether you forgot to pack something and being able to focus more on your travels.
3. To ensure you have packed everything that YOU need for your trip. (You can pull off generic packing lists online, but they are not personalized for you, so you are bound to forget to pack something that you wish you did)
How to make packing lists
1.Take the white off the page by using the examples below as a template and to get you started.
2. Create your packing list in Evernote or in any other app that allows you to easily access your packing list(s).
a. I like having my packing lists in Evernote because I can quickly and easily add to the list when I remember something that I want or need to pack for that trip.
b. I can easily start a new packing list as well. If I am on the go, I can just start adding things I don’t want to forget to add.
3. If you are using Evernote, create a Notebook and name it “Packing Lists”.
4. In the Packing Lists Notebook, create a note called “Personal Packing List – (destination, if you wish)”.
5. Copy and paste the below templates into your “Personal Packing List – (destination, if you wish)” note and customize it as per your travel must-haves.
6. Continue creating additional packing lists for different seasons or having separate lists for longer and shorter trips.
Examples to get you started on making your own personalized packing lists
Here are examples of my Personal Packing List and Professional Packing List:
Personal Packing List
(warm destination +5 days)
Toothbrush (in toothbrush holder)
Contacts + case
Glasses + case
Glasses cleaner and cloth to clean glasses
- Foundation and brush
- blush brush
- eyeshadow – neutral pallet
- eye liner
- eyelash curler
Face wash + face cream (to save room, take samples if I have them)
Smoothing cream for hair
Jewelry to match with outfits
- J Crew necklace
- silver earrings
- light jacket/long sleeve shirt
Black ankle pants
- black strap sandals
- flip flops for pool
- slippers for room
2 light jackets for the evening
· tank tops x2
- sports bras x2
- head band
- Wireless headphones
Cover up for pool
1 baggy T-shirt
Headphones for plane
Purse + wallet
Cross-body bag (smaller purse)
Food staples (granola bars, boxed snacks)
Water bottle to fill up
Book(s) to read
Download podcasts to listen to or music
Conference (Professional) Packing List
[same as above packing list]
Thurs. (flight) = jeans, shirt (1), jacket + boots
Fri. day = black pant suit and shirt (2)
Fri. night = black jeans + shirt (3)
Sat. day = black skirt suit + nylons + shirt (4)
Sat. night = black jeans + shirt (5)
Sun. day = grey suit + shirt (6)
3 pairs of ankle high nylons
1 baggy T-shirt
slippers for room
tank tops x2
sports bras x2
purse + wallet
headphones for plane
travel snacks (muffins, raisins, granola bars)
laptop + charger
conference binder (or electronic materials)
download podcasts to listen to or music
Packing lists save time, decrease the stress and anxiety in packing for trips and ensure that you have packed all that you need and want for your next trip for pleasure or business.
Get started by copying and pasting the above packing lists into Evernote (or other equivalent) to get started today in customizing your own packing lists.