Ah traveling, we all love it – right? Maybe we enjoy a different change of pace for once, or maybe it’s frequently for business. Either way, this is one instance where typically the destination is better than the journey.
The problem with traveling, at least for myself is the shear amount of things one has to take into account. Are you traveling to a foreign country? Then make sure you have your shots, tell your countries embassy you’re going there and add their phone numbers to your contacts list. What happens if your phones battery runs out? Probably a good idea to have a battery charger, or in my case two for that matter – just in case the first one goes missing.
It can be quite unsettling trying to figure out exactly what one has to do before a trip. It can be even more perplexing to figure out what will be needed for each specific trip. Myself, I’m a theoretical kind of guy, which means I like to envision every possible scenario and what I might need for that particular instance.
Now, despite having gadgets for nearly any particular situation, it can still be a burden trying to go through everything that might be needed for that specific trip. I like to travel light, with just a backpack and a carry-on suitcase. This means space is limited requiring me to put extra thought into what I will need and how I can re-use items. Even more so, it can simply be hard to turn off a thinking brain that is worried it might leave something behind.
How often have you gone on a trip and somewhere along the way realized you forgot the cable to charge your phone? Maybe you don’t remember if you shut off the lights or locked the door? All lovely feelings to have on a trip away from home. I have yet to run into somebody who hasn’t had to go buy something on a trip because they forgot something.
Forgetting things is a time honored tradition in our country. Yet with all our technology and software at our disposal, the very act of forgetting things seems to remain as prominent today as it did 50 years ago.
What if I told you though, this didn’t have to be the case. What if you could organize your trip in such a way that it would only take a few hours of packing and you would never forget a thing?
Let me introduce you to what I call my “Travel Packing Checklist”. I use a master template inside Evernote and duplicate that for every trip I go on. The idea of course is to make packing efficient and reduce the chance that I might leave something behind.
Traveling used to be a huge pain-in-the-ass for me. In many ways it still is, but having a traveling checklist has greatly improved my overall traveling experiences since I started the first variation of the list just about a year ago. Since then, I’ve been able to develop it into a rather extensive checklist that has improved the quality of travel by two-fold.
The days of forgotten items and missing things is over. It’s a whole new world out there when you can systemize your traveling with what amounts to a rather simple idea.
I encourage you to take the list below and make it your own. Customize the crap out of it to suit your specific needs, profession and destinations. You’ll come to see it’s more than just an “item checklist” but also for use cases and specific actions. For example there may be a set of things you need to do the morning of or on your way to the airport. One of the most useful is reminding myself to turn on my Nest Thermostat before I arrive back home.
The important thing to consider is that you MUST continually update the checklist with every trip, This checklist is what started out as a very small list that grew and grew with every trip. I typically have an iPad out on my kitchen table and will use that to update or modify the master template.
For each trip I’ll typically duplicate the master template and then add the date and destination associated with the checklist in the title. Furthermore, while I can’t really make one that would be suitable for everybody, you may wish to experiment with what I would refer to as a “Scenario-based Travel Checklist” which is where you might group specialist items that would apply only to specific recurring trips.
Anyways, enough of that – click the link below to check it out and I hope you find it as useful as I do!
This post has not been revised since publication.