Have you ever gone on a trip and discovered once you’ve arrived at your destination, that you forgot to pack a much-needed item from home? And sure enough, when you return home, you find it’s exactly where you put it - out on the kitchen counter in plain sight so you wouldn’t forget to pack it! How many of us have done this over the years?

For this reason, among others, I started using checklists. I’ve found that checklists save you time and money. They also improve the quality of your vacations! Who doesn’t love that feature!

You can print these lists and use them again and again. Here’s one I created for an airport trip – before leaving the house.

Keep in mind, this checklist has ideas on what to take with you and items to check that you’ve packed. Of course each trip is going to be different, and you may be traveling solo, so you’ll want to adjust accordingly. Here are some basics. Enjoy!

Airport Trip - Checklist Before Leaving The House

Crossing The T’s And Dotting The I’s

•Quick call to the airline to ensure your flight is on time on departure day


•Airline ticket(s) with flight itinerary

•Purse – with small Ziploc bag to hold your lip balm/travel-sized hand lotion etc.


•Money/Foreign currency/Traveler’s checks

•Credit card/Debit card

•Small bills for tips for porters/Taxi cabs

•Coins for a luggage cart

•Driver’s license/Photo ID/International driver’s license

•Multiple copies of standard passport-sized photo

•Travel insurance papers and/or card with emergency contact information

•Address book

•Destination hotel/apartment/villa address, telephone number and reservation information, written out or printed from your computer (I always keep this with my passport. You’ll often have to fill in a destination address/telephone number on your customs forms, and they love it when you’re organized!)

•Phone number of your Embassy/Consulate in writing and saved in your mobile phone

•Register your travel arrangements with your Embassy online

“The Filler”

•Your lucky charm

•Your sanity

•Money belt

•Laptop with charger and laptop case, if you’re traveling with one

•DVD (s) to watch on your laptop/Project work/Homework


•Travel games for the plane

•Pens and paper

•Language phrasebook, if you require one

•iPod/iPod nano/MP3 player/CD Walkman – whichever music device you own


•iPod portable docking station

•iPhone/Blackberry/cell phone with charger

•Camera with film/batteries

•Adapter/converter - if required

•Travel size alarm clock with batteries

•Travel-sized bottle or tube of Advil/Tylenol or aspirin

•Motion sickness tablets/Wrist band - if you need them

•Prescription medications if any

•Jacket/sweater/wrap for the plane

•Change of clothes to be packed in your carry-on

•Running shoes

•Bathing suit and swimming goggles

•Eyeglasses with case

•Sunglasses with case

•Finish packing your toiletry kit with your last minute items from the bathroom and pack it in your suitcase

•Snack for the airplane

Wrapping It Up - The Final 10 Items

•Copy of flight itinerary and contact details left on the kitchen table or posted on the fridge for family/friend

•Luggage tags – filled out with your destination address and contact telephone number on them

•Carry-on luggage – packed with all your essentials


•Outdoor gear/surfboard/wakeboard/golf clubs etc. – if you’re bringing any

•Take out the garbage

•Are the windows/doors closed and locked throughout the house before you leave?

•House keys/car keys

•Lights off in the house - automatic timers set if you have them

•House alarm set

Best wishes to you on your journey! Have fun and travel safe!
By Kristine Polley

© Adapted from Lipstick & Luggage: Ease Your Pain When Traveling! How To Get Organized & Stay Safe

Author's Bio: 

After touring the world for 17 years on planes, trains, and Megayachts, Kristine Polley finally delivers the goods on how to get way more out of your travels. Kristine is the author of a new travel book for women called Lipstick & Luggage. It’s brimming with tips, tools and travel-related stories about some of Kristine's extraordinary adventures abroad. For more information go to www.lipstickandluggage.com