Spring is in the air which means that Spring Break travel is almost here. Thankfully the snow has melted for most of us. As we start packing for spring break, lists are void of bulky items such as winter socks, turtlenecks and long johns. Unless of course, you are traveling to the slopes for Spring Break.
Either way, the true savvy traveler knows that packing is hassle-free given the right tools. Aside from a great bag, the most important tool in your packing routine is your packing list.
Why a Packing List?
In a nutshell, lists help to keep us organized. It doesn’t matter what type of list it is or what the list is for, lists help us to get stuff done. Our eyes and our brains love lists.
Why? According to neuroscience, most people can’t hold more than four things in their mind at a time.
- Lists serve as a quick way for us to get important information.
- They provide order to our thoughts.
- They keep us on task (productive).
- They allow us to remember things.
See what I just did? I wrote a list. It was a not-so subliminal way of reinforcing the information.
Lists in Everyday Life
Think about the last time you went to the grocery store without a list. Did you remember to pick up everything or did you forget something? Chances are you forgot something.
It’s okay to admit it. It doesn’t mean that you’re getting old.
Even the youngest of organized grocery shopping moms carries a list. That many superstar organizers can’t be wrong. If they use lists as their weekly routine, you probably should too.
Now let’s apply this idea to packing. The average traveler takes two to three trips per year. Routine travelers are on the road almost weekly. If you are in the former group, travel is occasional. It isn’t a constant. For habitual travelers, activities like packing are a constant and become part of a routine.
In general, if something isn’t routine for us, 98% of the time we forget one of the actions in the sequence. Packing lists help us to remember particular actions.
Lists Help With Efficiency
Lists also help us avoid over-packing. If we go through the motion of writing down everything we need by “seeing” our items on a piece of paper, we’re more likely to self-edit and pack less.
When we just “throw n’ go” (aimlessly throwing items in our bags) we tend to forget what’s already in our luggage. Inevitably we pack more than what we need.
Writing items down and checking them off as you go is a sure-fire way to pack efficiently.
So What Should You Pack for Spring Break?
What you pack for Spring Break really depends on where you go. Your Spring Break packing list for the slopes is going to look much different than your Spring Break packing list for the beach. However, here is a list (there goes that word again) of some essential items:
ID insurance cards, camera,
batteries, chargers, cash/ credit card,
umbrella, hair products, styling tools,
toothbrush/paste, deodorant, body wash,
lotions, face cleansers, vitamins,
socks, undergarments, pajamas,
clothes, sunglasses, shoes/ flip flops/ boots,
swimwear, insect repellent, sunscreen,
makeup, perfume/cologne, razors
goggles, plastic baggies,
You can either write down this list or if you want to make your life easier order a pre-designed packing list, especially if you are traveling with family.
Family packing lists like the one below are convenient and are itemized for each member: mom, dad, son/daughter, and an infant.
Now everyone can join in on the fun. Aside from the baby, these kind of lists allow each person to pack for themselves.
Whenever you decide to travel, whether it is for Spring Break or for a casual getaway, employ lists to take the hassle out of packing. You will stay organized, remember things, and pack more efficiently. As a bonus, you might even pack a little faster.
Author Bio: Tawanna Browne Smith is the Managing Director of MGTTravel Media and the Editor-In-Chief of MomsGuideToTravel.com. She is a business consultant, family travel writer, influencer, and travel planner for moms. Tawanna has been traveling on her own since she was 13, picking up packing tricks throughout her many adventures. She recently spoke on behalf of Victorinox Swiss Army at the Los Angeles Travel and Adventure Show about packing. Tawanna is the wife of a Navy Chief and the proud mom of two energetic boys.