The Forgetful Traveler - What to Pack
Updated: Jan 23
“Take chances, make mistakes. That's how you grow…” - Mary Tyler Moore
I will be the first to admit it - I wasn’t always the best at packing. I have forgotten to pack important items on multiple occasions. There was the time I assumed Yellowstone would be warm enough to pack only shorts. We ended up both purchasing pants and sweatpants, along with hoodies and jackets. Another vacation, I forgot to pack towels for our campsite. We had to buy new towels. On yet another occasion, we got to the interstate when I realized I had forgotten to pack our air mattress. That time, at least, we were close enough to home that we could turn back around and grab our air mattress.
Because of my previous mishaps, though, I have gotten to the point where I have a master packing list and adjust accordingly for each trip. I am also sure to be much more aware of the expected weather at our destination than I used to be. For the record, I do feel like it is absolutely necessary to share that I still have the jacket I purchased on our Yellowstone vacation, years later. I have purchased a few new winter coats over the years since then, but always go back to that coat at least a few times a year.
A lot of things may seem ridiculously obvious to pack, but among the times that I forgot sweatshirts, towels, and whatever else, I also nearly forgot to pack socks one trip. Socks seem pretty obvious, right? Apparently, not always. I was just glad that I remembered to grab them before we left. I can’t imagine how much grief I would’ve gotten from Zac had we needed to emergency-purchase socks for each of us.
It's obvious even Buzz thinks I am forgetful with my packing. I'll never forget when I was packing for one of our Colorado trips, and found him curled up on top of our towels (which I remembered for that trip, thank you very much). It was one of the first trips he ever went on with us (possibly even the very first trip he went on). I think he was sitting on our luggage in an attempt to ensure that we wouldn't forget to bring him along with us.
Separately, I remember trying to plan what we needed to pack for our first flight. I spent many nights on Pinterest looking for the best packing lists and tips for flights. None of them ever seemed to work for us. They either had a bunch of items that were unnecessary for us or were missing a lot of things that we needed. Eventually, I took bits and pieces from each of the ideas I found online, added my own items in, and created an ultimate list that worked best for us.
With that, I hope that our master list is helpful for others. Enjoy!