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Packing checklist

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This list began after my cousin the airline pilot, who travels for a living, forgot to pack his own underwear on one memorable occasion. It's grown into a substantial list of preparations that have proven useful, and things that have come in handy, one time or another; of course, I don't do or take everything on every trip, but an aide-memoire can be useful, especially for packing in a hurry or preparing for places where consumer goods are very different or not easily obtained. Informed by experience, I've added a few items to remind elderly relations or ditzy friends to pack their essentials, too -- and I've learned to pack absolute essentials (including a change of underwear) in my hand luggage after having to wait overnight or longer for checked luggage to appear.

FORWARD PLANNING
Foreign currency (watch rates)
Travellers' cheques
Vaccinations
Visas

Arrange care for pets / plants / lawn / garden
Arrange payment for bills falling due
Suspend deliveries / subscription services
Return library loans, DVD rentals
Notify credit & debit card issuers

Share itinerary, contact numbers with family / friend / neighbour
Store critical information securely online

Check-in online
Check weather forecasts
Check public transport links / book cab

LEAVING THE HOUSE
Set e-mail auto response, voicemail message
Adjust heating / air-conditioning
Turn off / drain water system(s)
Turn off / unplug appliances & equipment
Check the fridge for perishables
Put out garbage & recycling
Lock windows & doors
Check / set security & smoke alarms
Keep house keys secure but accessible

DOCUMENTATION
Tickets / boarding pass
Itineraries / reservations (hotel, car)
Passport(s)
Visa(s)
Driver's licence(s), ID cards
Travel insurance
Health insurance
Prescriptions inc. glasses / contacts
Medications (name, dosage) & doctor(s)
Conference documents / tickets

Photocopies & scans of vital documents

Emergency numbers & online access details
inc. credit cards, banks, airlines, embassies
(2 copies, separate locations)

Family & friends: addresses, phone numbers, e-mail addresses

Travel card(s), passes, tickets, tokens
Printed route maps / instructions

MONEY
Foreign cash & coins (including stop-overs)
Small notes (inc. US dollars & Euros) for tips
Credit cards (at least two, in separate locations)
Debit / ATM cash card(s)
Cheques & cheque guarantee card
PIN / account numbers (encoded but retrievable)
Kitty purse & notepad for shared expenses

REFERENCE
Travel diary
Phrase book / dictionary
Local maps / guide books
Photos / postcards of home to show or give away
Holiday reading

STATIONERY
Address labels for postcards
Plain envelopes (useful for tips or notes)
Business cards
Pen(s), pencil, highlighter
Notebook

TECHNOLOGY
Tri-band GSM phone, charger, adapter, foreign SIM card(s)
Phonecard(s), codes, instructions
Camera, memory card, battery, charger, adapter, cable
iPod, cable, earphones, adapter
Laptop, power cable, adapter
USB Flash drive(s) inc. vital information in PDF
CD-R/DVD-R discs
Mouse, hub, modem jack
DiskWarrior, Norton, system software on disc
Cables: ethernet, USB, modem, audio
Batteries, screwdrivers, alcohol swabs
Pocket calculator
Shortwave radio, batteries, SW schedules

ACCESSORIES
Luggage locks & keys (two copies, separate locations)
Swiss Army knife (checked luggage)
Binoculars / opera glasses
Flashlight, batteries
Refillable water bottle
Compact umbrella

VILLA OR APARTMENT
Utility knife, corkscrew, candle, matches
Teacloth, sponge, bleach, dishsoap
Teabags, condiments
Biscuits, dried fruit
Travel iron

WARDROBE
Shirts, t-shirts, tops
Trousers, skirts, shorts
Jacket, coat, sweater
Shawl, scarf
Underwear / lingerie
Socks, tights, knee-highs, flight socks
Nightclothes, dressing gown

SHOES
Dress shoes
Walking shoes
Boots (spare laces?)
Sandals
Slippers
Shoe cleaner

SUN OR SNOW
Bathing suit, towel, beachbag
Beach shoes, goggles, snorkel
Sun hat / scarf / wrap / beach shirt
Waterproofs
Hat, cap, scarf, gloves, thermals

ACCESSORIES
Wristwatch (batteries?)
Jewellery
Scarf ring
Evening bag
Reusable shopping bag

TOILETRIES (checked luggage)
Nailfile, scissors, tweezers
Sewing kit, safety pins
Hanger, clothesline
Small plastic bags
Tissue, toilet paper
Wipes

HAIR
Brush & comb
Scrunchie, headband
Covered elastics
Hairpins / clips / screws

BOTTLES (< 3 oz/100ml, or checked luggage)
Bath oil / shower gel
Shampoo, conditioner
Detergent, stain remover
Sun screen
Perfume
Spritzer

FIRST AID
Medication, supplements
Antihistamines, antacids, epi-pen
Headache tablets / painkillers
Headcold tablets / drops
Hydrocortisone / anti-inflammatory
Pyrethrum, insect repellent
Travel sickness (ginger tablets)
Immodium
Antibiotic ointment
Antiseptic wipes / ointment
Bandaids (waterproof, bleeding, 'healing', blisters)
Gauze, bandages, tape
Cotton buds
Foot spray / lotion, heat rub
Support bandage (knee, ankle)

TOILETRY BAG
Alarm clock, battery
Toilet soap / gel
Make-up remover, pads
Moisturizer, toner
Deodorant
Toothbrush & toothpaste
Dental floss
Night guard / dental appliance(s)
Emery board, nail brush
Razor

EYESIGHT
Contact lenses (inc. spares)
Contact lens solution
Prescription glasses (two pairs)
Reading glasses
Sunglasses – plain, prescription, reading
Eyeglass screwdriver & screws (checked luggage)

MAKEUP
Eye shadow, mascara
Eye pencil, sharpener
Foundation, powder, blusher
Lipstick

NAILS
Basecoat, polish
Polish remover, pads

GIFTS
Pens, sweets, cosmetics
Solar calculators, books, magazines

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