Whether you’re getting ready to go on a locum assignment or gathering the family for a vacation, packing for the trip is a necessary evil.
For many, packing light can be a challenge. Deciding on the essentials can become an arduous task and can leave you with a headache and a heavy suitcase. In this situation, preparation is your best defense against poorly packed luggage.
When you’re deciding what to put in your bag, think about essentials. Clothing in neutral colors can easily be jazzed up with easy-to-pack accessories. Rolling clothing is also a tried and true method for space-saving and wrinkle reducing. Check on the weather before you arrive to know what wardrobe you’ll need. Websites like the Weather Channel and AccuWeather will give you current temperatures, plus the average for the time period.
Beware of bulky items, such as shoes. These take up a lot of space and can be reduced to the essentials. A pair of dress shoes, sneakers and a casual pair, which can be worn to the airport or along your travels. If you’re an avid reader, eliminate heavy book packing with an eReader, such as the Kindle or the Nook. Better still, a Kindle or iBook app on your iPad or smart phone can eliminate the eReader.
There are, of course, no shortages for online tools and applications that help you create the ultimate packing lists. Some of the most popular are:
Universal Packing List Creator: This handy web tool allows you to input details like the duration of your trip, temperatures, transportation and accommodations, and will spit out a list of pre-trip tasks and suitcase essentials.
Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush: This site requires free account registration, but is fully customizable. It allows you to input your destination, transportation and travel dates. It then provides you with average temperatures, travel advisories, a currency converter and several checklists.
The iPhone and iPad have certainly cornered the market on useful travel applications. Some of the best reviewed are:
Packing +To Do ($.99 for iPhone): This app helps you create a packing list of your own, or start with one of their sample lists. It also gives you a list of predeparture to-do’s and allows you to share it all on Facebook and Twitter.
Pack & Go ($.99 for iPhone): This app allows you to create and edit lists, email them to family and friends and set alerts and reminders on your phone.
Packing Pro ($2.99 for iPad): This has been described as a “personal assistant for packing.” You’re in control with this app that lets you customize fonts, color and layout. You can create custom lists and to-do’s or use their templates. It’s the ultimate packing tool.
Remember, preparation is key to packing light and tight. If you have a well thought-out list, you’ll be sure to pack just what you need and not forget the essentials. Safe travels!