Monday, July 27, 2009

Travel Lite

For a recent trip overseas to visit my sister and her family in Singapore, my main goal was to travel light. Having a 7 month old in tow made this even more challenging, trying to remember all his creature comforts so he could rest comfortably both on the plane and in a strange place. This Google Docs spreadsheet was the actual spreadsheet that we used - note that toiletries and some common sense items have been omitted. Having traveled a bit, we don't bother listing out every clothing item, but rather we base our needs on the number of days and nights we'll be away. For example, this particular trip was 16 days and nights, so we figured we'll need at least one week's worth of clothes and underwear which can be washed and dried throughout the week. It also depends on if we're staying with relatives or in hotels with access to washer/dryer.

The nice thing about online spreadsheets is that it can be edited in real time. My sister "X"ed the items that she already had (e.g. diapers since she has a 1 year old) so it cut down our space by half - just enough space for those last minute gifts. My husband and mom could also review the lists on their PDAs and add to the baby items and help me pack various shared items that I might have forgotten.

There are plenty of other website that also have travel lists. Hopefully one of them will work for you.

General packing advise:
Specialized packing advise:
  • TripAdvisor - Each country has an advisory on what to pack. Just type in a country and click on the "Before You Go" link on the left hand navigation bar. Example: Thing to pack and NOT to pack for a trip to Cuba.
  • Lonely Planet - Similar to TripAdvisor, but you have to do some digging for specialized packing lists. Example: Packing list for Asia
  • Lastly (or perhaps first thing to check) is a simple Google search on "What to pack [insert destination]" If you every take a trip to my home state of California, here's a pretty good search result on packing lists for the Bay Area based on community feedback.
Do you have a favorite packing list technique or checklist that you use?

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