I Hate Packing

suitcases. having a system for packing makes the whole process easier.

Do you loving going on vacation but hate packing? That’s because packing requires making a LOT of decisions, and most of us don’t like having to make decisions. But having a system for packing makes the whole process easier.

Below you will find a “basic” packing list. Feel free to copy this list and keep it on your computer. Then, adjust it for your destination, family size & ages, mode of transportation and duration of trip (you can add a number to each item…for example “8” next to underwear for a 7 day vacation).  Some items may not apply to your family, so delete them before saving. Each time you personalize a list, save it as a separate document, such as “Packing List: Beach Vacation.” Print this list and take it with you on the trip. If while away you think of items you forgot, write them onto your list. When you get home, update the list. Next time you take a similar vacation, the process of getting ready will be much easier.

Once you use this list, and adapt it for your needs, you’ll find the process quicker and easier. If you can keep some toiletry items set aside specifically for travel, this helps too. You can also email older children a “suggested list” before the vacation so they can start forming a good packing routine, and build a folder of packing lists they can take with them when they are adults. Bon Voyage!

The Seana Method’s “Basic” Packing List


Layer 1

  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Bras/Camis/undershirts/dressy undergarments (sports underwear if needed)
  • Pajamas, robe

Layer 2

  • Casual clothing – bottoms (shorts, jeans, sweat pants)
  • Casual clothing – tops (short sleeved, long sleeved)
  • In-between clothing (capris, casual dress, nice pants, collared shirt)
  • Dressy Outfit (dress, shirt & tie)
  • Belt

Layer 3

  • Sweatshirt/Fleece
  • Rain Jacket
  • Sport Coat/Sweater for nicer clothing
  • Hat/Gloves


  • Slippers (if desired)
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Athletic shoes (sneakers, golf shoes, tennis shoes, hiking boots, etc)
  • Sandals/loafers/nicer casual shoes
  • Dress shoes

Recreation (will vary by type of vacation)

  • Bathing Suit & cover up/flip fops
  • Tennis/golf/fishing/skiing/etc. clothing


  • Sunscreen/Bug spray
  • Baseball cap/Sun hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Camera & Memory Card* (with labeled charger)
  • iPod*/iPad*/Cell phone* (each with labeled charger)/earphones
  • Camcorder* (with labeled charger)
  • Book/Kindle*/Nook* (with labeled charger)
  • Small games (e.g. cards)
  • Passports/ID/Driver’s License/Medical Insurance Card*
  • Jewelry*/cuff links/collar stays
  • Hair Dryer (if not going to a hotel)/Hair Straightener/Curling Iron
  • Empty refillable water bottle (one for each family member)
  • Baby supplies (diaper bag, toys, bottles, wipes, car seat)
  • Electrical adaptors if traveling out of the country
  • Hostess gift if staying with friends or relatives
  • Umbrella
  • Luggage Tags
  • Money Belt/Collapsible Tote/Day pack
  • A couple empty plastic bags (for wet items)


  • Prescription Medicines*/Vitamins
  • Feminine Protection
  • Hair Bands
  • Contact Lenses & Solution/Glasses
  • Toothpaste & brush/floss
  • Hairbrush/comb
  • Chapstick
  • Make-up
  • Deodorant
  • Soap/shampoo/conditioner (if not staying in a hotel)
  • Razor/shaving cream
  • Retainer*
  • Nail Supplies (clippers/polish/polish remover)
  • Birth control

Travel Information:

  • Itinerary (including confirmation numbers for car/hotels/tours/etc.)
  • Maps
  • Membership cards (e.g. for Airline clubs)
  • Copies of passports/credit cards
  • Travel insurance documentation
  • International Vaccination Card
  • Emergency Contact Information
  • Tickets/e-tickets


Here is where you write in what you need for this particular vacation. For example, a holiday visit might include gifts or photos to share.

* Always carry these items on, do not check.

* * *

Do you keep a packing list on hand?

3 thoughts on “I Hate Packing”

    1. So glad it was helpful, Susie! Packing can be a real drag, especially if you feel like you are starting over every time, right?

  1. Pingback: Making Vacation Work | The Seana Method

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