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Tricks for Traveling- Don't forget anything!

First and foremost, I'm a huge list maker. I make lists all the time to help me stay organized. This helps tremendously when I am packing for a trip. I start a list in a small notebook, and keep it with me for a few days. That way no matter where I am, if I think of something I need to add to it, I can. When I am satisfied my packing list is complete, I photocopy it. Don't forget to add obvious things like your passport and credit card. This should be a hard thing to forget, but with the stress of a big trip it can happen. Wondering why I need two lists? Keep reading to find out why.

A few weeks before I leave, I grab a box or suitcase that stands up on its own, and is easy to throw things into and put it in the corner of my room. I tape the list to the outside. As I find things I want o take, I throw them into the bag/box and cross them off the list. I start with things I know I won't need for a week or two (like my hammock and Vibram Five Fingers). As I get closer to the leaving date, I put more and more stuff in there, knowing that I would rather live without that item for a day or two than forget it. Putting everything in a box or rigid bag ensures that everything you want to take on your trip is in one place. No last minute running around the house rummaging through things trying to find an important item.

I'm leaving in 6 days to go back to the United Arab Emirates and Oman for two months. As you can see from the photo, this suitcase has a few things in it, and my pack is sitting next to it.
The night before I leave, I'll put everything in my pack. Why don't I just go ahead and put it in my pack, instead of having to move it out of the suitcase? I like seeing the amount of stuff I'm bringing. It makes me think about whether I am bringing too much or if have a little more room. I also like seeing and touching all the things on the list the night before I leave. That way the memory of putting it all into the pack is very recent. I won't have so much doubt and worry when the plane lifts off the ground.