Packing List

There is a simpler (albeit less cute) way to create a packing list. Photo by Steve Hodgson.

You know that sinking feeling when you’re sitting on an airplane and are suddenly struck by all the things you forgot to pack?

Maybe it’s because you were leaving on short notice, you were hazy from a lack of sleep, or simply didn’t recall all the things you would need for your trip – regardless of the reason, the fact remains you forgot to pack something important and there’s little you can do at that point but kick yourself.

There is, however, a great little tool that can help you figure out exactly what you need to pack for your specific trip.

The Universal Packing List is an online list generator that takes into account the type of travel you’ll be doing as well as any special needs you have. For example, if you’re traveling with kids, are likely to encounter extreme temperatures, are planning to go scuba diving, are camping, and so on, you simply enter that information into the survey along with the duration of your trip and a few other key criteria, and poof, the site will spit out a packing list tailored to your vacation. The list will tell you not only what to pack, but will give you a few reminders of things to do before you leave (e.g. empty your trash cans, recharge your camera batteries and sign up for frequent flier miles).

What’s more, you can also elect to read comments and descriptions which give you some insight into why a particular item on the packing list will be useful, or an alternative item you can pack instead.

You can email the list to yourself, but I suggest printing it out and placing a copy in your suitcase. That way, when it comes to packing for the trip home, you have a handy checklist to ensure you don’t end up on the return flight struck by the realization you left your cell phone charger plugged into the outlet your hotel room.

What do you think? How do you come up with your packing list? Have you ever forgotten anything really important?