I’m a list person. My love of lists is surpassed only by my love of crossing things off of lists. (In fact, I often add items to my To-Do list after they’re done, just so I can cross them off.) This isn’t some pointless obsession, mind you. I know that if something doesn’t go on a list, I’m unlikely to remember it, and then I’m anxious about forgetting whatever isn’t on the list. So I make a lot of lists.
Travel is ripe for list making. There are so many details to keep track of in the planning stage – reservations, confirmations, directions, logistics – and so many things you have to remember to pack and to do in the final days before your departure. Trying to maintain all those items in your head is a recipe for mental exhaustion (not to mention that it significantly increases the risk of a forgotten passport). Of course, if you travel on a Mockingbird tour or use my travel consultant services (ahem, as you should), all the planning details are taken care of for you, so your pre-departure list can be much shorter.
I used to jot down handwritten To-Do lists as I was packing, but then I had two international trips back-to-back and realized I didn’t have time to keep recreating the To-Do-list wheel. Thus was born my Pre-Departure Checklist. Since then, it has saved both my time and my neck, as it helped me remember something I would have forgotten otherwise. (Most of the packing items on my list never leave my suitcase, which makes the process that much faster.) I’ve now created an even better version of this checklist to share with you. For the packing portion of this list, I don’t get too far down into the weeds in some categories – I trust that you know that “clothes” involves tops, bottoms, and underwear, for example. Print it out, annotate it as necessary, and watch your pre-travel stress melt away with every check mark.