Whether you're vacationing in Europe, spending the winter
in Florida, or just visiting a friend’s house for the
weekend, a successful trip depends on good packing, which
in turn depends on good memory. Nothing’s more frustrating
than arriving at your destination only to realize that you've
forgotten your toothbrush, pajamas, or—worse still—important
medication or travel documents.
Successful packing requires you to remember everything that
you normally need in daily life, as well as any specialty
items you'll need at your destination. Unfortunately, most
of us pack in the hectic hours before departure, and this
kind of stress
can interfere with our memories, making it harder to remember
everything we might need.
To avoid this problem, make a packing list. Start by writing
down all the items of clothing you'll need. Then list any
personal articles such as medicine, makeup, and shaving razor.
Next, think about what you'll be doing on this trip. Will
you need any special equipment, like a bathing suit, golf
shoes, or a warm coat? Finally, add travel-related items.
This might include your passport, tickets, or hotel confirmations.
Start the list a few days ahead of time, and carry it around
with you so that you can add things as they occur to you.
Pay particular attention during your morning routine: as you
get ready for the day, notice what items you use and make
sure each item is on the list. Do the same at bedtime.
Then, when it's finally time to pack, just go down the list
and put each item in your suitcase. You won't forget anything
in the stress of getting ready to leave. If you add anything
at the last minute, put that on the list too.
Take the list with you. When it's time to go home, use the
list to guide re-packing. That way you won't leave anything
important behind in the hotel room!
And here's the payoff: when you get home, keep the list in
your suitcase. Next time you have to pack for a trip, you
can recycle the list rather than starting from scratch.