My Packing List and How I Pack

I love traveling, and I know the easiest way to make a trip stressful is to forget to pack something! But, when I try to avoid this, I just pack my entire closet. To avoid either of these two extremes, I always make a packing list, no matter how short the trip is. Today, I’ll show you my packing list for a five day trip. This is my packing list plus how I pack!

Packing List Step #1: Record Your List

The whole point of the packing list is to organize your thoughts on everything you need to bring, so you have to write (or type) your list. I like to print a page specifically for this, but you could do it in a planner, in a notebook, on a blank sheet of paper, or anywhere you can refer back to it. This is the page I printed out for this trip.

Packing list paper blank

Packing List Step #2: Write How Long You’ll Be on the Trip

While making your list, you want to have enough clothes without having too much. The best way to avoid over or under packing is writing how long you’ll be on vacation. I’ve done this by making a chart on my packing list, but you can do it however works best for you. Make sure to leave space under or next to each day for the next step!

packing list paper calendar

Packing List Step #3: Plan an Outfit for Each Day

Under or next to each of the days, I write what I want to wear that day. I always check the weather before doing this, so if you know what the weather will be like, plan accordingly. If you are trying to pack for a long time in a small bag, see how many different outfits you can create with one piece of clothing! Once I know the weather, I go through my closet and write out my outfit choices for each day I’ll be on vacation, and I pair jewelry and shoes with them, as well.

Packing list outfits for each day

Packing List Step #4: Think of any Special Events

Are you going out to dinner one night? Do you have a conference one morning? Could you be hiking one afternoon? Think of anything that may require an outfit change and write down the outfits you want to wear for those events, too. There have been plenty of times I happen to pack an outfit I could hike or walk in, but don’t bring my tennis shoes. Also, as a side note, I think bringing tennis shoes is totally worth the extra space it may take up. There are so many times you’ll be glad you brought them!

packing list with special occasions

Packing List Step #5: Set Out All the Items

Next I like to take everything I wrote down out of my closet and lay it out on my bed. This lets me see just how much I’m taking, and it lets me make sure everything looks good together. If I’m pressed for space, I’ll try to pair different tops with different bottoms to make new outfits or remove some of the shoe options. I add or take away items I may need, like a sweater or a hat.

Packing List Step #6: Double Check the Essentials!

One quick way to ruin a trip is to forget something like pajamas, socks, or underwear. I always double check that I have enough, plus a couple extra pairs. They don’t take up too much space, and if you end up needing them, you’ll be thankful you brought the extras!

packing list with pajamas socks underwear

Packing List Step #7: List all the Toiletry Items

I’ve been known to forget deodorant or face wash or floss or any other toiletry item that I would really, really like to have with me. To prevent this, I include toiletry lists on my packing list. I make sure to write down toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, floss, hairbrush, hair ties, face wash, deodorant, and face moisturizer, plus anything else I need specifically for the trip. One toiletry item I like to bring is a hair mask! It’s a nice, fast treatment you can do almost anywhere and you will immediately see an improvement! My favorite is the L’OrealĀ  Color Vibrancy Intensive Hair Mask!

packing list with toiletries

Packing List Step #8: Pack the Toiletry Items

Check out my travel beauty hacks post to learn how to easily pack some toiletry items!

When I pack my toiletries, I like to use a hanging container. I separate all the items into groups, and pack them together. When a container could possibly leak, I like to put plastic wrap over the opening or tape it shut. I always keep my toiletries in a bag separated from my clothes so that even if there are leaks or spills, my outfits are safe.

Packing List Step #9: Pack Up Everything, and Write it All Down

Lastly, I pack up everything I laid out and wrote down. While I’m doing this, I include miscellaneous items such as phone chargers, battery packs, files to take, or any thing else I need to bring. As I’m packing those items, I add them to the list. Finally, once I’m all packed, I pack my packing list, too, in case I want to use it on the way back home!

Packing list complete

That’s how I write my packing list and pack for a vacation! Thanks for reading. For my last post, click here! Check out my lifestyle page for more travel posts!


  1. JJ

    July 27, 2017 at 3:41 pm

    Such a good idea, I always forget something šŸ˜­

    1. beccasbeautifulday

      July 29, 2017 at 7:39 am

      Me too! I definitely think a packing list helps!

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