3 Reasons Why To Always Write A Packing List

It’s so obvious that it’s actually annoying.

“Write a packing list? Duh.”

It sounds so simple, but it’s an often overlooked part of the packing process. We make tons of mental notes – to wash that pair of jeans, to go out and buy more travel-sized toothpaste, to pick up that sweater from the dry cleaners.

And while most of our mental notes are fully realized, there’s always a few that we forget.

Sunscreen is forgotten for a beach vacation. The rain-friendly shoes we pulled from the closet are still sitting at home. Who forgets underwear? This girl.

Even though I can pack for a weekend trip without thinking, I still write a list for every trip. Whether it’s a weekend at home visiting my parents or 10 days in Scandinavia, I pull out one of these lists and dutifully fill it out days before we leave.

If you haven’t gotten in the practice of writing a packing list, here are three reasons that may change your mind:

  1. Save time. Writing (and following!) your list means you save time on packing, on getting dressed every day, and avoiding the baggage claim or checking in your bag.
  2. Stop forgetting things. I used to forget to pack underwear frequently, and would end up making a Target run or purchasing ill-fitting pairs in the airport. Writing and following a list has ensured that I don’t forget underwear, contact lens solution, or a rain jacket. Which means the only shopping I’m doing is just for fun.
  3. Reduce stress. There are so many factors outside of your control when you travel – traffic, delays, crowds, bad food (or no food at all). Your luggage – and how you pack it – is fully in your control. You don’t need that frantic throw-everything-in-your-suitcase-right-before-leaving dash, nor do you need 16 gray t-shirts and only one pair of pants for a weeklong trip.

My packing list template is one of my favorite parts of my book. It’s the list that I’ve been refining for years, and beautifully imagined by my book’s designer. It reminds me to check the weather, be mindful about the items I pack, and to stick with my accessory math rule.

You don’t need a copy of How To Pack to get the template – download it here! I keep a pile of these blank ones in my nightstand, and fill it out for every trip. Every time.

Captain Obvious, signing off.

Are you a packing list maker, or do you wing it? COMMENT below and let me know?

P.S – my book is filled with more (non-obvious packing advice) – order it here! You can also find my best travel tips here.