Home Travel How My Packing List Has Changed In 15 Years

How My Packing List Has Changed In 15 Years

by joeheg

I was just digging around in the darker corners of my hard drive and found copies of my packing lists from 2003 and 2005. I use a version of this list to help me pack for trips even today, but it’s been updated significantly in the last 14-16 years.

I thought it would be enlightening to look back and see what items we felt were “travel necessities” back in the early 2000s. All that I ask is that you don’t judge me too harshly on this list (Note from Sharon…TOO LATE! I’m judging the fact that you travel a minimum of 6 times per year and STILL USE A FLIPPIN’ PACKING LIST….)


Here are the items I reminded myself to bring with me in 2003:

  • Camera, Memory Cards and Charger
  • Phone
  • Laptop
  • DVD’s [sic]
  • Chip Clip
  • Palm III
  • Books
  • WALLET!!!!!!
  • Passport

I like how I had to remind myself to bring my wallet. 🙂

Ahhhh….my Palm III organizer; I never went anywhere without it. But what about the wonderful camera I had? It was a digital Olympus D-560  that had a 3.2 Megapixel camera and came with a 16MB xD picture card.


I also needed to bring my phone. I had a Sony Ericsson that lasted me several years before I dropped it while in Minneapolis and it was found by a homeless person, but that’s another story (Note from Sharon: Holy crap, I had completely forgotten about that but yes…true story! Joe, that’s another blog post for you. Add it to your list!).

Sony Cel Phone

I also brought my HP Laptop, which ran the newest version of Windows XP with a selection of DVDs I could watch while at the airport if I was plugged in. It had a battery life of about 90 minutes. I even had a network card so I could plug into hotels’ LAN cables for internet access if it was available. If not, I always had access by using my phone modem. nc62201-275x300One thing that’s stayed on the list for the last 15 years is my chip clip. Even if technology has advanced by leaps and bounds, some hotels still can’t seem to manage to find a way to keep the curtains closed all the way.



My list had changed a bit in 2 years but was basically the same:

  • Digital Camera, Batteries & Charger
  • Camcorder, Batteries, Tapes & Charger
  • Air Purifiers and extra batteries
  • Chip Clip
  • MP3 Player & Charger
  • Books/Magazines
  • Cell Phone & Charger
  • E-TICKETS!!!!!!
  • WALLET!!!!!!!
  • PASSPORT!!!!!!!

Note the addition of E-Tickets to the list. I don’t know how I could forget to bring an electronic ticket with me?? Also, note how I had to remind myself in ALL CAPS AND EXCLAMATION POINTS to bring my wallet and passport. 🙂 (Note from Sharon: OK, I take the blame for the “DON’T FORGET THE PASSPORT” because I couldn’t find ours the night before we went to Japan in April 2005. But really, he STILL needed a reminder to bring his wallet? Did I really marry someone who might forget his WALLET?!?!?!)

I had the same camera at this point but I also got myself a camcorder. A really nice Sony Handicam Mini-DV recorder.


I was also sure that the air on the planes was unhealthy for me so I got myself a personal air purifier from Sharper Image. I actually wore this around my neck on airlines for about two years (Note from Sharon: I wore mine for even longer. Eventually the airlines declared them “electronic devices” and wouldn’t let me keep it on during flights).


I was able to ditch the laptop for DVDs because I now had a personal MP3 Player. I was a Windows person at the time, so I would never get one of those Apple gadgets (how times have changed – I now have an iPhone, Ipad Pro, MacBook Air, and an iMac). The Creative Zen Nomad was so much better and was easier to use. Who can figure out a touch disk with no directions on it????


I couldn’t forget my phone. Who didn’t have a Motorola RAZR phone in 2005????? (Note from Sharon: Me! I had a Sidekick. OMG, did I love that phone!)


Please note the chip clip was still on the list, as were the books.

Final Thoughts

I found it interesting to see what I needed to bring on a trip back in 2003 and 2005. I now can bring my iPhone with me and it can take pictures and video to the point where I no longer bring a camera or video recorder. My iPad stores my music, books, and videos so I don’t need to bring DVDs or paperbacks with me anymore.

All of my travel plans are in the cloud with TripIt so I don’t need to worry about e-tickets or reservations anymore. I still remind myself to bring my wallet and passport, though (forget those once and you want to make sure you’ll never do it again).

I got to wondering…if that’s what’s changed in the last 15 years, what will travel look like in 2034???? Whatever it is, I’ll probably still bring a chip clip with me… (Note from Sharon: And don’t forget your WALLET!!!!!)

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary



1 comment

John Dough November 24, 2019 - 1:25 pm

I swapped a chip clip for several binder clips for paper. They are smaller and you can have several. If you forget them then no big loss.


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