Packing List Apps and Ideas

Ever have that nagging feeling that you may have forgotten something important, when it’s too late to go back home to check? Even us seasoned travelers sometimes get to the airport and realize we left something important behind. Rather than having to buy a new toothbrush, phone charger or what-have-you at your destination, it would be a lot easier if you just brought these things with you in the first place!

This reminds me of the time I arrived at my destination and had forgotten to put my clothes in my suitcase. Had everything but clothes! I’ve never done that again!

Luckily, there is a way to avoid leaving important items behind and curb forgetfulness – a packing list. (#1 item on my list: Remember clothes!) Packing lists take just a little bit of time but could save you a heap of trouble. You could do it the old fashioned way with pen and paper, but Packing List Apps are readily available for your phone or tablet.

Here are a few ideas and apps to make sure you never forget to pack something on your trip again.

Packing Pro

PackingProPacking Pro has been a staple for packing apps in the App Store for years. They have a large database of items to choose from, the look of the app is customizable, and comes with many sample packing lists to get you started. You can also export your lists as a .csv, email them, or print them from the app. They also have a free version available if you like to try before you buy.

$2.99. Available for iOS.

Packing List

PackingListAndroid users have a highly rated, free packing app with Packing List. With multiple lists, you can plan for multiple trips (or legs of trips) at a time. Mass edit the lists for easy sorting, and group by your lists or luggage for easy packing. You can even see how far along you’ve packed right on the home screen.

Free. Available for Android.

TripList Pro

triplistproIf clean, simple app design is important to you, than TripList Pro is for you. It’s the best looking app on this list. It also supports sync over iCloud, let’s you export your lists in .csv or plaintext formats, and works with AirPrint for easy, tangible versions of your list. You can also set up notifications and reminders in the app to help you plan ahead. They also have a free version available.

$1.99. Available for iOS.

Pack The Bag

PackTheBagPack the Bag is a free, full featured alternative to other packing list apps. It offers DropBox support for saving and sharing your lists, and you can also send to traveling companions via email. It also allows you to set up push notifications, if you need that extra reminder that it’s time to start packing.

Free. Available for iOS.

Make Your Own


I haven’t found a good packing list app that is great for multi-week trips where clothing items are re-used. So I’ve created my own, in the very high-tech app called “Excel”. For the other items I bring where it’s just one of each item for the entire trip, many of these apps will do the trick. Funny, I almost never need a packing checklist for my business travels because I do it so frequently. But for vacation it’s a whole other story. That’s where I MUST have a checklist!

And if you are about to embark on your journey and just have absolutely no idea what to bring, why not try out the Universal Packing List. Input details about your trip such as the temperature, the size of your bag, and your accommodations, and the Universal Packing List will give you a helpful guide of what to pack catered to your trip. This can come in handy for new travelers, new country visits, and drastic changes in climate. It’s a great place to get started.

Do you have your own foolproof way of packing all your necessities? Let us know in the comments.


  1. I have been traveling on my own for the past 20 years.
    I always travel with a 22″ Tumi bag that fits in the overhead and a Mandarina Duck backpack which is my handbag and for assorted carry on items,
    I use this whether I am am traveling a week or up to a month. Have never needed anything
    Women tend to take far more than they need. I make a list and pack the day before I leave

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