Travel Organisation Tips and Lists

Today I want to share some travel organisation tips with you. Including the lists I make for preparation, packing and returning home. Being more organised for travel helps me to enjoy my holiday. And as Summer is currently underway here in the UK I think it’s a great time to share these ideas and tips…

Travel Organisation Tips and Lists

Travel Organisation Lists

For me, being organised for travel is all about the lists! I don’t just have a packing list. There are usually several lists on the go. I try to have the list template ready as early as possible. I tend to set up the template in Google Drive in advance of a big trip or for smaller trips I set up a page in my Bullet Journal. Once they’re set-up I can add to them as I think of things that need to be done or that I need to pack. Here’s a breakdown of the different lists I use…

Preparation Lists

Itinerary Details

This is usually the header for my lists. It includes the destination and the number of nights we are away. If we need to leave at a certain time or have flight details these get added here too.

To Do Before Packing

I add all the things here that I need to do before I can start packing. Things like washing clothes, purchasing things needed, organising insurance or travel money.

To Do Before Leaving

This list covers everything from packing to the moment you close the front door behind you. For longer trips I add things like turn off appliances at the wall, checking the freezer and fridge are closed and emptying all rubbish bins.

To Do When Get Home

This is a magical list. It has standard things like unpacking, put suitcases away, do laundry and open post. But I can also add anything to this that I think of whilst we are away. This allows me to write it down and forget it until we get home.

Packing Lists

I also have lists of things to pack. These are usually split into these categories. Having the categories helps me to check we are not forgetting anything.

  • Hand Luggage (if flying) – things like passports, travel money, medication, booking confirmations and phone charges.
  • Important (a lot of this ends up in hand luggage!) – but if you’re not flying this is where you list all the things you need close at hand.
  • Clothes – this is where noting the number of nights away in the itinerary section helps – you know how many pairs of underwear and outfits you need. Something I find useful when writing this list is working out my outfits. If it’s a beachy holiday I like casual for day time and some dresses for dinner and evenings.
  • Toiletries – this tends to stay fairly similar for most trips. I add suncream (SPF) and after sun for warmer climes and summer breaks (and make sure I have sun hats on the clothes list!). I currently have a sublist under toiletries for First Aid (plasters, painkillers and I also include regular medication here too).
  • Other – Ah the good old miscellaneous column! Always tricky to remember things that don’t have their own category…I usually add Electronics, Games and Entertainment (for me that’s books, journals, magazines and pens!) here.
  • Kids (a list for each) – I have 1 kid and this is usually the easiest list. I add clothes based on the destination and number of days, pyjamas, toiletries, snacks, special toys or items and he’s pretty much ready to go!

Things to Consider

These are the questions I tend to ask myself to help me think about what we need to take and what needs organised…

  • What’s the weather going to be like?
  • Are there any special occasions planned?
  • Or activities planned that need special equipment? (For example – we usually take pool inflatables, snorkel and mask and diving weights if we are going somewhere with a pool)
  • How are we getting to our destination? Do we need specific things for the journey? For long car journeys we pack snacks and activities to keep our son entertained.
My Tried and True Packing List and other awesome travel tips

More Travel Organisation Tips

Booking travel is a great time to check your passport and drivers licence expiration dates. Make a habit of doing it each time you book a trip. And hopefully you have plenty of time to sort out renewals if required. If you’re in Europe don’t forget to check your EHIC card as well.

Here in the UK the Money Saving Expert website has heaps of useful information regarding travel money, EHIC, insurance, car rentals and all things money & travel. I recommend checking them out.

Try to organise as much as you can as early as possible. I always find there’s lots to do on the lead-up to travelling and I’m always thankful for the things I did early. Try to get insurance arranged soon after booking, start the packing list and make arrangements for house and pet sitters. I find this also helps build the excitement as you prepare for your trip!

Save your lists. I keep most of my travel organisation lists in a Google Sheet with a tab for each trip. That way I can just make a copy of a previous list if we are going on a similar trip. I can make amendments to the itinerary and it’s usually ready to go!


I may add to this post as I think of more travel organisation tips and ideas for you. And I’d love to hear your tips – what makes travelling easier for you? How do you stay organised when planning a holiday?

This post is part of my ‘Find the Good In…’ series – why not have a read for more tips for getting the most out of your days?

4 Replies to “Travel Organisation Tips and Lists”

  1. All excellent ideas! I like the copy/paste aspect of re-using prior lists to similar destinations. I also really like the tip to check your ID/passport dates when you book. That’s something that would be easy to overlook and hard to quickly remedy later!

    I keep my travel plans in my annual notebook (similar to a bullet journal) and have all my previous years on hand if I need to go back and look at something. I journel each day of the trip in the same notebook as well.

    Remembering to bring clothes for church is something I usually forget until the last minute but my kids always seem to remember which is good. 🙂

    Here’s a tip – extra clothes for possible weather changes. When we drive, we often pass through various climates. I’ve learned to always pack a pair of jeans, and a jacket because it’s pretty chilly if we end up in the mountains or maybe a cooler climate in northern latitudes. Some years we use them, some years we don’t.

    1. Hi Sheila – thanks for your comment. I’m sorry for the delay in replying – I’ve just checked my filter to discover legit comments being held up 🙁

      Thanks for sharing your tips too – such a great idea to keep all travel notes in one place so we can look back on past trips for reminders of what to do and take!
      And I agree about taking clothes for change of weather. I recently had to buy a raincoat because I didn’t take one with me – ooops!

      Take care and wishing you a wonderful weekend!

  2. Yes, I love all of these tips! I do them all – and also make Google Maps of where I’m visiting. Using relatable icons (food = knife and fork), I add all of the places I would like to visit. This makes it so much easier to explore once I’m there! But also no pressure to complete it all.

    Bekki /

    1. Hi Bekki – apologies for the slow reply – some comments got caught in my filter and I’m not sure why.
      Thank you for your comment and sharing your tip!
      I love your idea of making a Google Map for your trip so you can save the places you want to visit and refer to it often! And easy to get directions too!
      Take care and wishing you a wonderful weekend!

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