me and my underwear

Every time I travel I think “I should make a packing list…” and yet I don’t have an account on one of those list-making sites and don’t want one. So, for my posterity, here is my packing list for future reference. This time around — trip to Clearwater, Kansas and Denver Colorado — all I forgot were my headphones. Not bad. This is presuming a work trip; for pleasure trips I don’t really care what I remember and forget. At some point I’ll put this all on an index card.

Clothes & etc (backpack)
– one nice outfit per talk
– one knock-around outfit for every two leisure days (wear same outfit to/from home incl. heaviest sweater/jacket)
– one extra pair of socks/underwear/t-shirt/hoodie
– pajamas, tops & bottoms
– belt
– cold weather? hat, scarf, gloves
– swimsuit (always forgotten when I need it)
– jewelry
– laptop & sleeve

Toiletries bag
– benadryl
– melatonin
– toothbrush/toothpaste/floss
– moisturizer
– just in case: theraflu/dramamine/ibuprofen/acetominophen
– matches/smokes
– earplugs
– hair tie
– warm weather? razor

Tech bag
– dongles for video/ethernet
– cord for laptop
– EVDO card
– camera & charger & card reader
– cell phone & charger
– slide-show clicker
– headphones

– wallet w/ relevant transit passes/frequent flyer cards
– printed list of phone numbers & maps
– keys w/ USB drive
– pens
– folder for receipts
– power bar for plane
– velcro tie-down
– little flashlight
– safety pin
– something to read & spare something to read

Amusingly, money is rarely something I need to bring with me. I think I spent maybe seventeen dollars in the past five days that wasn’t paid for with plastic. With ATMs everyplace, this is less important than, say, a safety pin which is actually damned hard to replace.

What do you think?


  1. Good list! I keep my list in my suitcase, so I look at it as I begin to pack. I also keep a small umbrella in my suitcase, and a book of crossword puzzles. Oh, and I keep a few sticks of incense in my toiletries bag in case the hotel room stinks.

  2. You smoke? I’m always surprised when people my age smoke, as I associate it with hanging out in bars when I was in my twenties. I do think that I might take it up again when I’m in my nineties, though.

  3. I smoke right before bed, and only right before bed which actually helps me sleep somehow. It’s a dumb habit but it beats the insomnia I had when I quit last time.

  4. Good list. The only thing I would add is “luggage that doesn’t look like anybody else’s”. I’ve had people take my case off the carousel twice now; both times my case was a different colour to their own, but still a really conservative, “normal” looking case. Even the bright distinctive labels didn’t work, and people never seem to bother checking. Now my case is extremely shiny plum faux leather with bright distinctive labels. It’s just this side of tacky but it’s much less likely anyone’s going to mistake it for their own.

  5. Your headphones aren’t on that list! ;)