Generic Packing List

a list of things on a piece of paperAfter I left several things at home during a recent trip because I didn’t make a list, I decided it would be a good idea to put together a comprehensive list for travel. Everything I need to pack, possible extra items depending on time of year or weather, and my pre-trip to do list. Although this list seems pretty comprehensive, I will continue to refine as necessary. From now on, before every trip, I’m going to just glance at it. This way, regardless of how busy I am or any personal crises, I will hopefully remember everything I need for my next trip!

On every trip:

  • Skirt or pants for every two days
  • Top for every day
  • Flip flops/sneakers (depending on time of year)
  • Two pairs of work shoes
  • Sleep clothes
  • Workout clothes
  • Jewelry
  • Socks (if needed)
  • Toiletries
  • Curling Iron
  • Makeup

In purse:

  • Chargers
  • Laptop
  • Books/Magazines/Kindle
  • Knitting
  • Purse stuff: wallet, keys, phone, lipstick
  • Any necessary itinerary papers (especially for international travel)
  • Pashmina

Possible extras:

  • Coat/jacket
  • Swimsuit
  • Jeans
  • Umbrella


  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Body wash
  • Razor
  • Face wash
  • Hydrating mist
  • Eye cream (spare contacts case)
  • Moisturizer (spare contacts case)
  • Toothpaste and toothbrush
  • Contact case and solution
  • Hair cream (spare contacts case)
  • Deodorant
  • Lotion

To do before a trip:

  • Check weather at destination
  • Pick seats on plane
  • Print boarding pass
  • Apply for upgrade
  • Check toiletry levels
  • Pack
  • Pack travel purse
  • Set Out of Office message
  • Confirm hotel and car reservations

Readers, anything  on your list that I missed?


  1. GPS is a big one for me. I drive all over for my trips. I also tend to stick a small clutch into my bag so that if I want to go out, I don’t have to lug a big bag.

  2. Include belts. I am forever forgetting belts on trips (when I don’t check my generic list). Also, type the generic list into a Word document and print it out/cross things off before every trip.

  3. I also include a laminated checklist for each bag, in addition to a fresh checklist for each trip. Since I mostly travel internationally, I also have items like “check exchange rate” and “contact info at destination.”

  4. Business cards! I added that to my packing list after getting to a meeting and realizing my card case had exactly one card in it. Now I keep a pile of cards at home as well as in my office, and I refill my card case when I pack.

    Feminine products. Got caught unprepared one morning in a hotel without a little store. Not fun.

    I second the idea of typing up the list and crossing things off as you pack.

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