The Only Packing List a Woman Needs

By Pat Jurgens

          Before any trip, I write up a packing list. In fact, I’ve got the packing lists for all the trips I’ve taken in the past 20 years. Go figure. Now here’s a better idea: Make a basic list, a template, and before each trip fill in specific items, i.e., aqua hoodie, khaki capris, cord for iPhone, etc.

Let’s say you’re going on a cruise to Alaska, a volunteer work trip to Asia, or a weekend in New York City. The preparation and packing required are the same. There are basic items you need wherever you travel, plus the extras that pertain to a particular location or activity.

It’s exciting to travel, but sometimes you get anxious about not being ready on departure day. Making a list relieves that angst; you can breathe easier. This is going to be fun!

Basic clothing:  (for a 14-day trip with minimum numbers below)

–       Tops, long- & short-sleeved  (10)

–       pants/capris/shorts  (4)

–       skirt/dressy outfits  (2-3)



–       rain jacket/umbrella   (1)

–       fleece jacket/sweatshirt/sweater (1-2)

–       sun hat/visor/warm hat & gloves  (2)

–       shawl/scarf  (1-2)

–       travel vest/fleece vest  (1)



–       sandals/ water shoes/flip-flops  (1-2)

–       tennis/ walking shoes  (1)

–       dressy shoes   (1)



–       bras and panties  (3 + 13)

–       camisole/silk long johns / slip (1-2)

–       socks/knee-highs /leggings  (3)



–       swimsuit, cap, goggles (2-3)

–       swim cover-up/robe  (1)

–       pajamas/nightgown  (1)


Nonclothing items:

–       jewelry

–       cosmetics

–       toiletries (liquids in a 1 qt. zip plastic bag)

–       meds & pills

–       sunscreen

–       alarm clock

–       eyeglasses

–       watch

–       eyeshade/earplugs

–       blowup pillow

–       flashlight/batteries

–       cell phone & charger

–       camera & charger

–       hairdryer

–       first aid & ace bandage

–       keys

–       ID/passport/purse

–       travel reservations/insurance cards/boarding pass

–       language phrase book/travel guidebook  (or copy pages)

–       credit/debit cards/cash/local money

–       book/Kindle/Nook/iPad

–       journal/notebook/pens

–       plastic bags (2 or 3)

–       protein bars

–       water bottle


That’s the list. For a two-week trip you can pack this in carry-on luggage, if you roll the clothing and carry a shoulder bag or backpack, in which you place one pair of shoes, jacket, change of clothes, camera, water bottle, plastic bag with toiletries and book items.

Obviously, if you’re going to the opera in New York, you’ll be taking different clothes than if you’re going on a bike tour. And there may be additional gear, like opera glasses and mink stole, as opposed to bike shoes and helmet. Going to a Third World country, I take a silk sleeping bag that rolls into the size of a travel umbrella.

The basics are still the same. And if you forget something, these days it’s relatively easy to purchase what you need at your destination. So plan a trip, make your list and get going! The preparation means that once you zip up your bag, you can relax and enjoy the travel experience.






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