How to create a proper packing list for a solo Euro-trip (to any one European country or multiple countries) – Autumn Edition!
List making, as I’ve discovered, is an art. It’s also often a task that most of us skip and avoid at all costs. Which will probably result in us forgetting things. Personally I love making lists, and I think it‘s an important part of traveling… Which is why I decided to write this blog post. And also to help those of you who aren’t so good at it… Or have never been traveling and don’t know how to make one or where to even begin. Especially if you’re flying with an unknown return date, it can be quite difficult to decide what and know how much to pack.
Why create a list
Making a list may seem silly to some of you, but I really do believe it’s a crucial step in preparing for your trip… no matter when and where you’re going or for how long… I recommend that you take the time to prepare one. It can also be quite fun if you make it as such and allow it to be.
- It will help you be more organized and make sense of what must be a jumbled mess in your mind. Especially if this is your first time traveling, and even more so if you’re traveling alone or for a long time.
- It will prevent you from forgetting anything, or at least diminish that feeling that you’re forgetting something. When you prepare a meticulous list and follow it as you plan… You will be more certain that you remembered everything. And are less likely to worry yourself about what you forgot.
- In addition, you will also be more relaxed and calmer, because you know you followed your list, and don’t have to panic or constantly double check yourself.
- I believe that one aspect of our lives can impact and influence others. As silly as it may sound, being organized in list making, can help you also be organized in different aspects of your life. Which is a tool I really recommended developing, as it’s crucial for productivity and efficiency.
What should be included in the list
What you include in your list is very much dependent on the season you are traveling and the climate of the country you are flying to. So you really have to make sure you check the weather forecast. This specific list I curated with Autumn in mind, as that is the season right now, and also the one in which I am currently traveling. But you can change up the clothes item to fit any other season.
- Personal items – sunglasses, glasses,
- Travel documents – Passports, passport copies,
- Emergency kit – an extra set of underwear, first aid (plasters, painkillers, creams, etc.) and hygiene items, wrapped in a separate plastic bag.
- Work items – planner, notebook and pens, laptop,
- Electronics – phone, chargers, adaptors,
- Extras – empty plastic bags, gum,
Carry on suitcase
- Clothes – jeans, trousers, shirts, sweaters, etc.
- Pajamas – sleeping clothes / sweatpants
- Underwear – knickers, socks, bras, etc.
- Shoes – sneakers, flip flops, etc.
- Toiletries and hygiene – toothbrush + paste, face wash + cream, soaps, etc.
How to create the list
First of all, and most importantly – try to make it as fun as possible… Use this time to psych yourself up for your trip. Personally, I also love to create a nice handwritten list… But if you prefer on the computer, that’s okay as well. In the week following up to making the list… I like to keep a draft where I just write down the items I want to pack and pop into my head, so I don’t forget them. Then, when I’m ready to get started on my list… I grab my draft and use it to create a fresh list.
Create a list of your categories for both bags
- Split your page into two sections – one for your backpack, and one for your trolly / carry on, or suitcase.
- For each bag you plan on bringing, write down all the categories you need to include in them, e.g. Clothes, underwear, work items, etc.
- Keep in mind which categories you need at better, quicker reach – such as travel documents and electronics. Then make sure to place them under your backpack.
Create a list of items for each category
- For each category write down all of the items that are included in them that you may need, e.g. Under the clothes category: shirts, trousers, sweaters, etc.
- At this point, I like to write down everything I can think of without filtering… Even if it seems like too much.
- If you have created a draft, go through it and add from it the items you wrote down… Under the corresponding category.
- When I’m struggling to remember everything I need… I like to go into my bedroom and have a look around me, especially in the closet. This will help you fill up your list when you’re struggling to recall all that you may need.
- Depending on how long you’re traveling for, and the size of your suitcase, plan the quantity for each clothing item. Personally, I like to pack clothes for about 4-5 days, which means 4-5 shirts, sweaters, trousers, etc. Underwear I usually take 7-10, because they take up less space and you usually need more of them. Pajamas, for example, I usually just take one set of.
When you’re done creating the list, you can go over it and make sure you haven’t forgotten anything… Then cross out anything you don’t actually need. Then, when you’re ready to get packing, have your list at hand and start retrieving the items.
- I like to put empty squares by each item and colour it in with my pen when I’m done packing it.
- Whichever way you choose and like, make sure to cross out each item as you pack it.
- When you’re done packing, go over the list once again and make sure you didn’t miss anything.
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Happy & safe travels!
Stay safe, stay healthy and stay strong!