Need to work on a packing list, we always start gathering stuff, and then laying it out, and THEN making verbal lists. And we always forget something.
It’s not possible to overstate the importance of actually creating a personal packing list, and using it regularly. Such a list serves two principal purposes. First (and foremost), it’s a sort of contract you make with yourself, an agreement (and ongoing reminder) that if it’s not on your list, it shouldn’t be in your bag (because all the necessary items are on your list); this defends against last-minute attacks of “I might need this.” The worst possible time to be considering what to take on a trip is while you are packing for it!
It’s important to understand that the goal is a single packing list, not different ones for different trips. The primary purpose of the list is not to specify (or record) what you are taking with you on any particular journey, but rather to develop a model for your own travels, a constraint on your packing exuberance, a personal blueprint that you can refine over time (not change every time).
The world is awash with so-called “packing lists”. Thousands can be found on the Internet, and almost any travel store will happily supply you with what usually amounts to a list of the many things you might buy from them. And therein lies the fault of most such lists: they enumerate the possibilities, rather than eliminate the liabilities. A list of stuff you might want to take is very different from a list of things that you can’t travel (comfortably) without. Even the Internet’s venerable Universal Packing List is intended to be exhaustive, thus not at all the type of list that I am suggesting here (in the real world, author Mats Henricson uses a much differentâ€‰â€”â€‰and shorter!â€‰â€”â€‰list for his own actual travels).
The secondary function of a packing list is to help ensure that nothing important will be forgotten. The go-light traveller in particular is only carrying items that are essential to the journey, so forgetting one of them can be especially inconvenient.
UPDATE: Well, there are a few things I need to get done…or mark off that I’ve already done them.
London Pass with 7 days Tube access
Check for shows/concerts the week we’re there
Hotel – in progress (working on some agent deal or other from a short list)
Refill prescriptions for various pills (CRAP! forgot to call the quack’s office today)
Pick up travel size bottles for non-incendiary liquids, potions, and lotions
New underwear might be nice
New socks (wool!) might be nice
? pairs slacks (at least 2 pairs, maybe 3 if room)
1 pair jeans
Jacket for going out (leather one too heavy?)
Pashminas – need handwash and iron them, but need to find them all first
Walking shoes – have got
Going-out-to-dinnah shoes that don’t kill my feet – need
At least 3 turtlenecks
2 or 3 long-sleeve shirts to layer
1 or 2 sleeveless vests to layer (NOT UNDERWEAR, Brits, more like fleece shells)
Extra carryall (need buy Harrod’s bag for Choirmistress Mary)
Maps and Guidebooks (need gather the ones we have already)
Nice to hear from Mad Priest. The press release must have gotten mixed in with the junk mail!