My check list

When I refer to my check list I am not talking about a list like Santa’s – Naughty or Nice – mind you that might not be a bad thing to have these days. After all these months of COVID and now the lockdown I bet there are some real beauts on this list. People seem to go from being so kind that you are blown away and then the complete opposite where you just want to scream in frustration.

No – this is not about that kind of check list. Rather it is about my check lists for different things in my life. Like when you travel – passport, ticket, credit card etc. etc. Nobody ever forgets their passport right? Or their ticket? Well you would be surprised how often that happens. On one particular trip I put my backpack on the floor in the garage waiting for my husband to open the back door and of course we drove off without it. In the backpack was my airline ticket and in those days there was no such thing as an e-ticket. Of course he got the blame and continues to live with that despite his protestations.

We had a customer who flew all the way from Calgary to Johannesburg on her husband’s passport. I am not kidding. It was only spotted by Immigration in Johannesburg. Can you even believe how that happened when you think how many times you go through an ID check at an airport?

Just even going out the door I have a kind of a check list – phone, glasses, keys … you would think I could just pick up my bag and walk out but there is no guarantee that those things will be in my bag. (I have one of those handy giant size bags which is both useful and irritating). Running through the checklist reminds me of my dad who had a similar routine and that was probably due to the fact that he was in the Royal Navy and was responsible for running through the checks on the aircraft carrier. His regular personal check list was accompanied by patting the relevant pocket as he ran through –

“Fags, matches, handkerchief, keys, money”

What’s really handy are the acronyms – a great way to check through all the important things you need before you leave the house. Pilots use these a lot and I found a couple online that amused me –

Gas gauge
Oil temperature
Oil pressure
Seat belts
ELT transmitter
Airspeed indicator

Airspeed indicator
Fuel gauges
Seat belt/shoulder harness
Magnetic compass
Oil pressure guage
Oil temp.guage
Safety gear

So I should maybe have my own acronym for travelling to make sure that I always take my phone, passport, ticket (I do like to have a written confirmation – old fashioned I know!), money and medications. Problem is there are no vowels there – pptmm – can’t do anything with that.

Pretend – Phone
My – medications
Pet – passport
Tickles – ticket
Me – money

Not brilliant but it might work. By the time I have memorised that phrase I will have forgotten what it stands for and will have confused myself so much that I probably will leave something behind. Nah, I think I will just stick to the old fashioned way.

By Lesley Keyter

Lesley Keyter is the face of travel in the fast growing city of Calgary. Every week since 1997 she has has featured live on the Morning News Global TV.


  1. I start making lists about 2 weeks before I travel and the list of what I need is double checked before I leave. If I don’t do this I have extreme anxiety.


  2. Another good one Lesley! My husband starts making lists and setting out everything he’ll be packing a good week before we go away. I’m like you – do the blitz the day before. I know it gives him a wee bit of anxiety (: We have friends wherein she does all the packing including her husbands. We’ve always kind of marvelled at that! It works for them!


  3. ha.ha.. Last time we travelled we got to the airport and Mike had left his backpack at home. He had to get a cab home and back again 40 minutes each way and only just made it to the gate intime. Now we always leave really early for the Airport just incase!!!


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