As an avid worrier, I’m definitely a “spreadsheet person”. While some people probably loathe them, I don’t think I could ever get my act together enough to do anything without them. If I can lay everything out on a nice organized list I can trick myself into believing that I’ve thought of everything and will be less worried about what I might have forgotten and just enjoy myself from the moment I step out of my front door to head to the airport!
In trip planning, I use Google sheets to coordinate everything from what I’m going to pack, where I’m going to stay and what time I expect to get there, what days I’ll be where, flight/train/bus/ferry company/numbers/times/contact, and even restaurants, shops, museums, etc. (and their opening days/times) that I might want to hit when I’m in a given city.
For some people this might sound like overkill, but it totally sucks when you’re in a city for only a day or two and miss out on something you really wanted to see or do because you didn’t plan ahead and find out that it won’t open again until after you’ve already left (trust, I speak from experience…a lot of experience). I also love that I can share Google sheets with my friends so we can get ideas from each other’s lists and not bring duplicates of things we really only need one of.
Spreadsheets also help me figure out, well in advance, what I still need to buy (or borrow from a friend!) before I leave.
The spreadsheet below is my actual “in progress” packing list for my trek to Mount Toubkal (Morocco) this July. You’ll notice some items listed in red to indicate that I still need or want to get them; with 8 weeks left, I still have plenty of time to decide if I want them, look out for them to go on sale, or to just order them without worrying about shipping times (how many times have you ended up ordering a super necessary item the week before a trip and crossed your fingers that it would arrive in time?).
If you have happened along this post and have any experience with Xeroshoes, please leave a comment and let me know if they’re a go or no-go in your book (note that, for me, these would just be for walking around in cities and not for actual mountain trekking)! I’ve been eyeing their DIY huarache kits because of the lightness and flexibility to easily squeeze into a bag, but I just can’t make up my mind if I should give them a try or stick to my old faithful (and spray paint/mud covered) Havaianas Flash Urban sandals.
This trip is going to be a bit difficult to pack for because it’ll be laid out something like this:
- Lisbon for a 1.5 days (hot and metropolitan, hence a pair of jeans and a normal human being-not gross sweaty hiker-top to wear around)
- Marrakesh for 2 days (ditto)
- Imlil and up Mount Toubkal for 2-3 days (where it’ll be hot but we also need to plan for cold/coldish whether at higher elevations and at the summit)
- Erg Chebbi for 2 days (hotttttt in the Saharan desert…but maybe cold at night?)
- Another TBD destination in Morocco for 2.5 days (comment if you have a suggestion!)
- Barcelona for 2 days, so we can cross another trip to a Mikkeller bar off the list!…and see other cool stuff in Barcelona, too…yeeeeah…that (jk Barcelona! We’re super excited to see all you have to offer)!
Though we’ll be in varied climates and urban/rural settings, I’d also like to keep my pack as light as possible, especially since I’ll be lugging a sleeping back along with me in my backpack; it’s super compact (the sleeping bag, not the backpack, that would be kind of weird) but it still definitely takes up some room.
I’ll continue to update this list until blastoff to Lisbon, so give a shout if you think I’m missing any important items!