One would think that if you travel as often as we do, you’d know what to pack and what your itinerary would be”¦not! Deb travels to WDW on average six times a year and then there is the occasional weekend getaway, business trip, and then the really big vacation. After all these years it is still a struggle for us to pack and prepare for these trips. It just does not get any easier.
So, what did we do to help us out? We devised a plan. I am the ultimate list person! There is a list for everything! Both of our brains go in 100 different directions, and without a game plan we would rarely accomplish anything. I will share with you what we have done and then you can modify to your needs or just throw it out the window and say those two are crazy!
The first thing we did was take a file drawer and create pocket folders for each of our trips. On the front of the folder we attached a form that gives information regarding the trip and a check off list as items are completed:
a. Name of the trip and date
b. Airline reservations
c. Boarding pass
d. Hotel reservations
e. Transportation to and from the airport at home and at our destination
f. Rental car information
g. Special reservations or tickets, i.e., a show, dinner, etc
i. Tip envelopes
j. Traveler’s checks
k. Payment receipts (copies of credit card bills, checks, etc)
l. Anything else that might be pertinent to that trip
As we accumulate this information, it is then placed inside the folders. We now have an idea of what needs to be done at any given time for each trip. As we approach our travel date, everything is in one place to check.
The other thing Deb does, is create an itinerary spreadsheet. This will tell us what our scheduled plans are for the entire trip. Each of us has a copy and it lists:
a. The dates of the trip
b. What plans we have for Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner for each day
c. Flight information
d. Transportation information
e. Check in times at hotel, cruise ship, etc
f. Excursions or special reservations
g. Room/Cabin numbers of travel companions
h. Cell phone numbers of travel companions
This has worked well for us. We both know what the scheduled plan is and we know where we are supposed to be. Lest you think we plan every moment of every trip, we don’t! But we do like to keep the important stuff written in one place, like those elusive LeCellier Reservations!
After many trips and always saying, “oh, I forgot whatever” I decided to create a packing list. I started writing out this really long list and realized no, this won’t do. It was too long. I then decided to break it down into categories.
f. Things to do at Home
g. Medical supplies (Deb is a Type 1 Diabetic, lots of stuff)
Within each of the categories I listed everything we could possibly want or need for a trip. It doesn’t mean we bring everything (although our travel companions often THINK we do) , but it is listed for us to consider.
As you view the list, you may ask why a toothbrush, well, I have forgotten it on occasion. Or why is a passport listed when we all know we need one to travel outside of the country. Well Deb forgot hers once — thank goodness we remembered before pulling away from our home. If I try and trust my brain to remember everything, it just won’t. Plus, I can’t sleep at night thinking of things I need to pack. Once I write it down, I can move on to something else.
Here’s our Packing List in a Microsoft WORD document — if it helps, GREAT! If not, that’s ok — at least you got a chuckle hearing about two people trying to make traveling a little easier! Have items to add? Let us know!
Next stop, Barcelona!