Travel Hacks: The Packing List

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By Roxy Rowton

It’s summer!  Summer is synonymous with travel. The first warm rays and the increasing sunlight stir a fresh yearning for adventure and travel, whether it is a familiar getaway or an off-the-beaten-track destination.  Taking a family vacation, a romantic escape for two or a getaway with friends to an exotic locale is a boon after the COVID-19 pandemic and at-home shelter-in-place.  Pack a bag with essential clothes, key accessories and an adventurous spirit to a destination near or far, as the season for travel awaits exploration.

Even the best travel plans can go awry when something simple as forgetting to pack the most inconsequential necessity.  Packing mishaps range from inconvenient to ruinous, but most packing mishaps are preventable.  Whether an individual is a fashionista or pragmatist, a packing list helps whittle down the seasonal wardrobe into a customizable personal travel capsule.  Just as there is no one size of clothing that fits everyone, there is no one packing list that checks the box for everybody.

Hand-written Packing Lists:

Write it out on a piece of paper or notebook.  Begin creating a packing list with categories such as clothing, accessories, toiletries, tech gear, travel accessories and travel docs.  Next list the quantities of each item needed such as two pants, four tops, one dress, etc.  A handwritten packing list need not be a work of art. t only needs to assist with packing more smartly and confidently.

Spreadsheet Packing Lists:

Most travel websites provide a checklist for packing smarter and traveling more confidently. These are generally available in a downloadable PDF format  However, creating a DIY packing list from a spreadsheet is relatively simple to do.  Begin by creating columns for categories and list specific items under each category.  Print out several copies before departing to your travel destination.  Much like the handwritten packing list, don’t try to make it too fancy, just useful.

Packing Apps

For techno travelistas, there are a number of apps that can be utilized to generate a packing list.  The packing apps listed below can be very beneficial to those individuals that prefer a mobile device to a spreadsheet or conventional pencil and paper packing list.

Pack Point  — generates a custom packing list after completing essential information, such as destination, reason for travel, length of stay and more.  Pack Point will create a packing list that takes into account warm or cold weather clothes, activities, business or leisure travels.  Modify the number of items (three bottoms instead of two), add or hide items that are not needed and check items off as these are packed in luggage.  Share packing list with travel buddies or family members.

Pack Travel Packing List — Much like Pack Point, the Pack Travel generates a packing list after completing essential information about travel destination.  This app creates a packing list from 24 pre-defined activities.  Travel frequently? The app adjusts the packing list based on previous trips.  Packing list can synchronize on all devices and share packing checklist with travel companions, as well as print it.

Packing Pro — is a super-enhanced mobile travel app that features unlimited customizable packing lists.  Sync packing checklist on other devices and share with travel companions.  Edit the packing list by adding, deleting, renaming or reordering categories and items.  Sort items to prioritize, categorize or itemize.  Show only items that are packed, unpacked or both.  Filter items based on need to buy and by person or bag.  Add images and alerts.  Share email packing checklist and print it too.

Stylebook — a slightly different app than the others listed.  This one is for the fashionista. It is a wardrobe organization and closet management tool, but it also creates packing lists.  Leave reminders about a trip, such as destination, climate, and activities.  Plan complete outfits, as well as individual clothing items.  Archive past packing lists for reminders about which items or outfits worked or did not from prior travels.  Use the packing list to checkoff items while packing.   Generate infographics,  printable checklists and share travel items or outfits via social media platforms.

Make a packing list early.  Timing is key so don’t wait until a day or two before the trip. Generate a packing list and review it in advance for a chance to edit the list for additions or eliminations.  While packing, use the packing list to check off items and don’t remove any item or items from the luggage.  This is how an item gets left behind.  Whether packing for a weekend getaway or a week or more vacation, a packing list can help pack smartly to travel confidently.

Roxy L. Rowton has spent three decades assisting women transform their wardrobe from a random assortment of garments into a curated collection of functionality and individuality. She shares her expertise on the Fashion Files at Prince William Living and “build a better wardrobe” blog at



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