I recently helped a client pack for a trip. She had previously felt unprepared for trips, either over packing and lugging a hopelessly heavy suitcase, or under packing and not having what she needed.
We did two things to make this trip different.
First, we created packing lists – one for items she takes on a typical domestic vacation, a second for items she needs when traveling overseas. Using these lists takes the guess-work out of remembering what to take each time she packs. The lists can be placed back to back in a plastic document sleeve, checked off with a dry erase pen and wiped clean for the next trip. They can also be packed to make sure all items packed for the trip make the return trip home. A packing list is an especially good tool for kids who go away to camp and without a list might not return with everything they left with.
Second, we created a travel grid. A travel grid lists each of the days of the trip divided up into the segments of the day, such as, morning, afternoon and evening, or what ever activity segments make sense to you based on your travel plans, such as exercise, sightseeing, travel time, etc. After you determine your daily segments, you’ll next decide in theory what you want to wear during each of those segments and fill that information into the grid. For example, will you need pants, a shirt, casual shoes and a jacket or a swimsuit, cover up and flip-flops? The featured image for this post is a travel grid created for a short trip that combined attending a conference with some sightseeing. Click here to download an example travel grid. You can create your own in Excel or using good old-fashioned paper and pencil.
Once your grid is complete, decide exactly which of your shirts, pants, dresses, shoes, etc you will be taking to correspond to the grid segments. This approach forces you to focus on exactly which clothing you will be needing, so you won’t end up packing twelve shirts for a five-day trip, forgetting to take dress clothes for an evening out, or not bringing your favorite sandals.
How might creating a travel grid help you pack more efficiently for an upcoming vacation?