Adventure Travel: Pack Like a Pro!

Guest Post by Christine Elder

It’s exciting to board a plane for a new birding destination…but the planning and packing during the month before? Not so much. Personally, I’d rather focus on learning the difference between the hornbills of Borneo than fret about whether I’d remembered to renew my passport or was current on my vaccines

If you’ve ever left your long underwear at home before a trip to see King Eiders on the Arctic tundra or forgotten to reserve an airport shuttle for your 4 a.m. departure to see the Crested Quail-dove in Jamaica, you’re not alone. This is the kind of thing that used to keep me up at night, tossing and turning as I worried about what I was going to forget to do or pack before the big day arrived.

But now I sleep like a baby.

I’ve traveled widely, especially the last four years as a birdwatching tour co-leader. I used to be nervous before trips, so much so it would literally take me a month to pack.

Eventually, I started following a pretty detailed packing checklist – this helped to alleviate my fears and streamline my packing routine. Over the years, my list evolved, and I started adding not only what to pack, but also what to do at home in preparation for leaving.

Nowadays, before each trip I simply print my list and check off each item. This routine provides a safety blanket of sorts and saves me from reinventing the wheel each time I lug that Patagonia bag out of the closet. This has led to a deep sense of tranquility and best of all, no more sleepless nights.

I highly recommend this technique of developing a personal travel checklist, but if you want to review mine as a starter list, visit my website: .

Now, whether you’re headed out to see the tanagers of Peru or the honeyguides of Africa, you’ll rest easier before each trip knowing you have a travel checklist to keep you organized.

Christine Elder

Scroll Up