Time to Update the Travel Packing List

I always intend to do it, but I usually forget. That is, until the day of and mere hours before my trip.

Ain’t that always the way?

This time, I gave myself a pat on the back, because I remembered that I wanted to pick up a couple of items for my upcoming trip:

I have, or had, a universal travel plug adapter. Somewhere. In reality, I’m not sure that I packed it during one of my many moves. And, if I did pack it, I have no idea where it is. I’ve several totes and boxes where the adapter could be. 

My next few trips are intentional ones, meaning I’ve an actual purpose for each trip. I wrote about my usual travel style here. In that post, I discussed how I plan to be unplanned during some of my travels.

In any case, my next trip is in less than two weeks and has been planned for quite some time. 

Oh! I should also mention this trip is not a solo trip. At least, not in the superficial sense of things. I’m traveling and meeting up with others.

I’m including this trip in my view of solo travel, because I have at least one day that I’ll fly solo. It’s not easy or comfortable for some travelers to do, while traveling with and committing to others. But, it’s how I roll.

Packing List Shuffle

Back to my packing list and missing items. 

Rather than spend a bunch of time looking for an item I’m not even sure I have, I decided to replace it. If I find it later, great! I’ll have two. If not, then I won’t find myself frustrated on any upcoming trips.

I also decided that I wanted to travel with a water bottle. When I travel, I usually use and reuse the plastic water bottles I get from wherever I stay. Yes, even the mini ones.

I kept meaning to research alternatives, but, as usual, I forgot.

Until now. While shopping for the adapter, I remembered the water bottle. Turns out there are a TON of options. Nothing like option overkill to trigger my analysis paralysis, decision fatigue, or whatever it is.

Rule of 3 – Decisions, Decisions, Decide!

I gave myself the “Rule of 3”. I would look through three listings, read some reviews, then make a decision.

For context, I’m a planner and a decision-maker (the two are NOT synonymous1). When I research or shop for an item I enjoy buying (e.g. book, music), I don’t mind looking at all the things; I’ve already made a decision.

When I’m not as excited about a purchase? There’s a lot of hemming and hawing.

This was almost one of those times.

Fortunately, thanks to my rule of 3, I was able to have a look at some pros & cons AND make a purchase.

I’ll have a write-up on this blog later, once I’ve tested the water bottle on the trip, but the ease of use and easy clean were two of the reasons I bought it.

After adding both to my cart, I had a thought. It’s been a while since I reviewed my travel packing list. My list of must-haves and must-carry items.

Everything from my beanie to my socks. Including my tech items for work and personal projects.

Who am I kidding? Most of my packing list items are my tech items.

I also include simple items such as “emery board” or “bug spray”, depending on my destination.

My list starts with the non-negotiables: passport (if needed), itinerary confirmations.

I move onto work must-haves: laptop, laptop charger. Is it possible to pack one & forget to pack the other?

Asking for a friend.

Then, my personal project must-haves: list of audio equipment (based on my project sheet).

I have a glance at the list of items and I compare it to a previous list, to make sure I’m not forgetting something, because, well, I’m sometimes forgetful.

Charging Ahead in Colorado

I once took a trip to Colorado and had a checklist. I already packed my laptop, then grabbed my laptop charger from the office. I got distracted by something, put the laptop charger down on my office chair, then focused on something else.

Made it to Colorado and booted up my laptop before realizing I left the charger on the office chair.

Thankfully, I wasn’t in the middle of nowhere Colorado, so I ordered a replacement and only lost a day of working time.

I haven’t forgotten any major item (knock on wood), so when I notice I need something, I buy it.

Viva Las Vegas!

A trip to Las Vegas last year for work included vendor swag. I soon ran out of space in my suitcase. I explored shipping the items that wouldn’t fit, but the cost to do so was more than the baggage fee.

I purchased a very simple suitcase, put all of the fun vendor treats in it, paid the baggage fee and enjoyed the rest of my trip.

I’m aware that I’m fortunate to have the financial flexibility for these purchases. And that I’m fortunate to be resourceful enough to trust that I’ll be able to adapt to “what ifs”.

But, that’s because I used to not be so fortunate.

That’s another tale for another day.

List It and Don’t Forget It

If you’re reading this and still worry about not packing ALL the things you’ll EVER need for EVERY trip.



You’ll be OK.

The fun about travel is that it’s not one and done. Really, it isn’t.

When someone talks about a trip of a “lifetime”, they’re not talking about the actual trip. They’re talking about the experience(s) of the trip.

Watching a concert in an artist’s home country and traveling to that country. One may be once in a lifetime. The travel? Not so much.

Part of the fun I have with traveling are the experiences. With food, people, culture.

Some moments I’ve experienced, I can never capture again.

But, I can still travel to some of those places.

If you only have 5 days to take a trip? Don’t overthink it. Pick a fun destination and make a plan.

Or don’t.

It’s YOUR trip and it’s entirely up to you how YOU want to experience it.

As for me, I have my packing lists – past and present – so it’s time to review and update them.  I’m sure after this upcoming trip, I’ll need to update my list again.

And again.

And again.

How about you? Going on a trip soon? Do you have a packing list or several? Let me know.

*(Brief) Disclaimer: Some links may be affiliate links, which means I may earn a small commission if you make a purchase, which helps to keep this corner of the travel space humming along. There is ZERO cost to you.

1 I traveled with some amazing people who were fantastic planners, but who couldn’t make a decision about where to eat to save our lives. And vice-versa. This is one of the reasons I mostly travel solo. LOL!

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