I’m a bit of a planner and a bit of a computer/tech lover, so I’ve had a lot of fun creating my own version of a packing list for families. Excel spreadsheets are so powerful and fun, I knew I had to turn our basic Word doc packing list into an interactive, mathematically functioning, customizable spreadsheet. And I think I’ve achieved my goal!
Here’s a link to download the packing list template:
I’ve added some formulas into the cells (“boxes”) that are my own predictors of how many pieces of a certain clothing type you’ll need to bring based on the number of days of travel. I’ve also created multiple sheets (“tabs”) so each family member can have their own page. The nice thing about this, you can really make this file completely custom and unique to your own family. Below I’ll add some tips on how to edit the sheets for yourself so you can have the ultimate perfect packing list. Click on the green ‘X’ icon at the bottom of the packing list above to download the xlsx file.
To Use this Packing List
- Add the name of the family member to the top Name field.
- Add the number of days of vacation
- Add how many days you feel are “hot” days (shorts) or “cold” days (pants)
- Add the number of “special event” days
Keep in mind: 1) If you’re planning to do laundry during your vacation, you might take that into account when choosing your number of vacation days; 2) special events days assume you’ll wear a new outfit each time, if you plan to wear an outfit again, deduct that from your days. 3) Lastly, I’m not a mathematician. This is a fun packing list that might need to be tweaked to fit your needs. It was created to help you in a fun and organized way to the best of my ability. I welcome your input on how I can improve this packing list!
Naming the Pages of your Packing List
You’ll notice there are 4 tabs at the bottom (Adult Female, Adult Male, Kid 1, Kid 2). If you ‘right click’ on the tab and select ‘Rename’ you will be able to label the tab however you want. I’d recommend labeling them with each family member’s name. Remember to add a name to the top cell (“box”) of the page. To add more pages (“tabs”); right click and select “Move or Copy” then select the page you want to duplicate and make sure to check the box “Create a Copy”.
Understanding the Formulas on your Packing List
You’ll see that the yellow cell in the image below has a formula (look at the white formula bar just above the sheet). This formula will be lost if you type your own entry in this cell. Consider saving one copy as a “master” once you’ve titled and organized it how you want. Then save a new copy for each trip that you can edit the numbers of clothing pieces on without losing the original formulas.
- Shirts: number of vacation days + 1 (B2+1)
- Pants: No cold days = number of days of vacation divided by 3 (assumes you’ll wear certain pants/jeans more than once and not be dressing for cold weather). Cold days = number of cold days divided by 1.5 (assumes you’ll be wearing pants often)
- Shorts: Hot days – 1 (assumes wearing one again)
- Sweatshirts: Cold days divided by 2
- Underwear & Socks: number of vacation days + 1
- Dress Outfit: number of special event days
- Pajamas: assumes you’ll wear one every 3 days (decrease the 3 in (B2/3) if you change them more than that)
- Jacket/Coat: only if cold days
- Swimsuits: number of days of vacation divided by 4 (increase 4 if want to pack fewer, decrease 4 if want to wear more)
Know the Printing Pages on your Packing List
If you want to keep each page to printing only one page, you need to check your Page Break Preview found up top under the “View” tab. By default, I’ve designed the pages to be one page. If you start making changes, you could end up pushing data onto additional pages, so keep that in mind. The other reason I like using the “View”->”Page Break Preview” is so you can see the Page Break dotted lines when you switch back to “Normal” view.
Printing your Packing List
When you click Print and see the Print box, you’ll want to pay attention to the options for “Print What”. If you want to print all the pages (“tabs”), then click the option for “Entire Workbook”. If you only want to click the page you’re on, click the option for “Active Sheet”. Note, the location of this option might be different based on what printer you’re using.
I hope this packing list will help your family. Please feel free to comment below or contact me if you have any questions. Be sure to check out my tips for How to Pack for a Road Trip, and Extras to Add to Your Cruise Packing List.