04 Jun Packing Lists: necessary?
Packing lists are one thing I see online all of the time. People want to know what to bring, what others are bringing, what they shouldn’t bring, and I think some people just like looking at lists to feel organized. I think I’m all of the above. Even though I have my own packing down to a science, sometimes a messy science, but still, I still like seeing what other people pack and sometimes I find they have good ideas about what to bring, things I never would have thought of, and sometimes I just laugh because some things are so unnecessary or goofy that I could never imagine actually packing it.
Along with packing lists, people give tips for newbies traveling and while most of these people err on the side of caution, I don’t really agree with all of them, for my own personal traveling. Most people that I’ve read say it’s necessary to have a hidden wallet that goes under clothes. Before I left for Prague I was convinced that everyone in Europe would try to steal my money and valuables. They didn’t, and I was never pickpocketed or mugged. Maybe I was lucky, but I still think it’s unnecessary. It you’re traveling to certain parts of the world that are deemed more dangerous, then sure, take extra precaution, but I think eventually many people stop using the hidden money things and just have a regular wallet. If you aren’t flashy with your money and valuables, and keep a close eye on your surroundings, I think you’ll be fine, I always was.
But getting back to packing lists. I think having a personal packing list is essential for people who travel a lot. The packing list has the basics for every trip, the toiletries, sleeping clothes, underwear, and those types of things that will always, no matter where you’re going, be coming with you. Some of these things I even keep separate from my everyday things. I have a stash of toiletries that I only use while traveling and when I get home from a trip I never take them out and let them loose. I just keep them together so the next trip I am basically ready to go, just refill or replace anything that is running low.
This also helps with forgetting things. If you go on many trips a month and you have to repack a million times, eventually your trips, the packing part at least, will start to morph and you will end up forgetting contact solution, or shampoo. It’s not the end of the world, but it’s annoying, especially when going to a new country and you really just want to see everything and not look around for a place that sells these.
After I have the basics down with a standard list and pre-packed toiletries, I add the clothes that are necessary. Most of Europe I keep the same, comfortable shoes, but not hiking books unless I’m actually hiking, pants, blouses, scarves, plenty of mixable and matchable clothes. For other places that I’m not so interested in how I look and more on how practical they are, I’ll take less “blouses” and more clothes I don’t mind getting dirty for days in a shoe, my hiking boots than let me walk up the side of the mountain more easily, and my rain coat.
What you bring is entirely up to the place but having the basics is essential to starting off a good packing list.
I will post my personal packing list soon, once I have it “finalized,” and see what will actually fit in my suitcase. Until then, I’ll keep finishing the tour details.
Do any of you make packing lists or do you just “wing it?” Do you find there is something you always forget, or always bring even though you never use it?