I print out several lists and keep one in every piece of luggage, noting which piece of luggage things are in when possible. You will not believe how much time this is going to save you in searching for what you need when you need it. Keep in mind that everybody's list is going to be a little bit different. Only you can predict what your family might want or could possibly need. You'll be adding and deleting from this list every year for the rest of your life, so don't feel that you need to carve it in stone.
By pookarina from Boca Raton, FL
Now I have a bin in my bathroom that I have labeled "Travel". In it I have travel size bottles for shampoo/conditioner, lotions, mouthwash, a small spray bottle for hair spray, and all the other things. There's even a mini hair dryer in there. In this bin I also keep travel size pet food dishes, and any other travel size pet needs. And there are 2 seven day pill dispensers for any meds I may be on.
On my computer I have a file titled "Travel" and 3 sub-files under it titled "Summer", "Winter", and "Spring/Fall". Each sub-file has a list of everything I will need for a trip during that season of the year. The only thing I have to do is go through and put how many of each I will need depending on how long I will be gone. Then I print out the list and put it in a page protector and put it in my suitcase.
As I pack I refer to the list, checking each item off as it gets packed. The night before leaving I go through and recheck the list against the suitcase just to be sure. This way I know I have everything and nothing is forgotten.
Now if a last minute trip comes up (which happens a lot in our family!), I can be packed and ready to go in a matter of 1-2 hours, and not have forgotten a thing.
By Cricketnc from Parkton, NC
I simply made some "master travel lists". I originally made one list for Spring/Summer and one for Fall/Winter. Here is a sample of my Summer list.
I take a current close-up photo of each dog just in case we are separated. I take these photos not more than one week prior to the trip. This would be a good idea if you have children too.
I make a separate list for my husband and anyone else going.
Not more than one week prior to the trip I take a photo of each person going, including myself (separate photo for each) and keep them in my purse.
Also, about a week or so before the trip I take this list, and print a separate list which is kept on the fridge and to which I add any incidentals (gifts, or whatever) to take. I check off each item as I put it into the suitcases or the car or my purse. Then the night before the trip, I go back with this list and double check everything.
Many of these items are always kept in a bin labeled "Travel". This way all I have to do is refer to my list and pull out the needed items. This list sounds extensive, but it's really not once I start gathering it all together. Much of it is things that I normally carry with me daily.
I made up these "master lists" long before any scheduled trip. That way I was able to go back through them slowly and customize them so they are more realistic for my needs.
This gives you the idea. And like I said, it can be altered to fit each person's needs. But I used to forget things every time I took a trip. Since I started keeping this list (I laminated the list and keep it inside my "Travel" bin), I have never forgotten a thing.
By Cricket from NC
By Linda from IL
For longer trips I do the same thing, only this time pack clothes and pack my accessory bag in the suitcase, too. I write the outfit name on the zippered bag. (i.e. green outfit)
By justfluffyme from Weatherford, TX
For a particular trip, as items are packed, that code is used alongside the item. The sheets are kept (if you are so inclined) and can be used to remember the dates of the various trips. We use this every time and is an invaluable item in our trip preparation.
By Joy from Adelaide, South Australia