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Awesome post! I hope you have a wonderful trip.

It would be interesting to break down the lists for those that take shorter trips. Heading out for three months -vs- a week is a bit different.

The Essential List - which includes everything I couldn't live without on this trip, like our passports, a first aid kit, anti-malaria pills, a tuxedo/gown and a case of good wine.

I'm not sure I would consider a tux and a case of wine essential, but one's person essential items are another person's excess. It made me laugh and think of someone someone saying, "We are not going anywhere until there is decent wine!"

Minus the formal ware and wine, my list is about the same. Passports, credit cards, cash, first aid kit, and medications. The only thing I add on the essentials list is contact info for the US consulates if I am traveling to a foreign country. Added to this list is contact numbers for hotels, airlines, travel agents, etc. I also have a couple of paper copies of my passport picture page. I also have a copy securely stored online, just in case.

Some might balk at carrying a "first-aid" kit. The one I carry has a lot of basic stuff, however it will make the trip a whole lot better when you need something for a headaches, stomach ailments, etc. Basically, I spruced up a prepackaged kit similar to this:

For electronic items, unless I'm on an extended trip, I don't carry a laptop, unless I know I will have required "company work", I just carry my iPad and connect via the hotel internet. I've found that this seems to work well and cuts down on a ton of carry on weight. My iPad has become my all-in-one travel item. It has books, movies, music, and internet abilities. I don't plan doing that much time on the internet or computers, so a laptop is redundant on shorter trips. Then again, I certainly can see the advantage as I've read your wonderfully detailed postings from various places, so I'm thinking about adding a keyboard to the iPad for my next trip.

For my Miscellaneous and Extras List - duct tape, and a Leatherman are on my list as well. It sounds silly, but you can do a lot with those two items alone. I also add Velco tape. It's very useful for securing cords and keeping items together. It's also the most "stolen" item out of my luggage. I've had 6-7 rolls taken on various trips into southern Africa.

I'm sure I am not covering nearly everything, however it is a start. On my next trip, I'll have to really make a detailed list of what I take and more importantly, what I don't take.
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