Last year I travelled more than 240,000 kilometres on aeroplanes. I also packed a lot of suitcases, carry-on bags, and book bags in anticipation of those trips, occasionally hours or sometimes minutes before I headed to the airport.
At some point a few years ago I made a basic packing list that made all that a lot easier. There are a number of things that I take with me on every single trip I take. I made a list of those items, and consult it before I walk out the door for each trip to make sure I remembered to toss everything in my bag. Think things like medicine, charging cables, my portable hotspot, and headphones. It’s a practice I definitely recommend.
One thing that’s a wildcard for every trip is my clothing.
I live in San Francisco, where we have pretty much one season year-round. Whenever I travel, that means looking up where I’m going, what the weather is going to be there, and then figuring out what exactly I need to pack to go there.
PackPoint is an app that can help. We briefly wrote about the app back in 2014 when it was new and worked only on Android and Blackberry phones. Six years later, it’s available on iOS and has a ton of new features for Android users.
On a basic level, the app asks you where you’re travelling, when you’re going, and how long you’re staying, and then makes a packing list for your trip based on what the weather might be like while you’re there.
It also asks a few questions about what you might be doing on the trip, like skiing, hitting the beach, or going to a fancy dinner and if you’ll have access to laundry during your stay.
The $4 Premium version integrates with TripIt and Evernote and lets you save your own custom activities, for instance a business meeting or a night out at the club.
For me, sometimes the app is overkill in terms of what it suggests I bring along, other times it suggests an item that I absolutely want to bring, such as bug spray for a hike, but probably would have left off my list.
Packing lists can be customised for you and can also be shared with other people you’re travelling with.
When it actually comes time to pack, you can also check items directly off the list on your phone, so you know you’ve got everything.
It can be a great starting point when it comes to figuring out what to pack for a big trip and can help ensure you don’t leave that important thing behind.