Woohoo! The flight is booked, your accommodation is sorted and you’ve memorized all the TripAdvisor reviews for all 300 restaurants surrounding your hotel.
After planning all your outfits and making a list of the must-see spots – you are ready to hop on that plane and get to travelling.
Before you start sipping pina coladas on white sandy beaches or drinking espresso on European street corners, here are some important things on your travel checklist that you are probably forgetting!
1. Renew all the things!
Whether you plan on travelling for 2 weeks or 2 years – double and triple check the expiration dates on all your documents.
Don’t land in another country only to discover that your credit card expiration date is 2 months away. Eeek – someone’s going to be washing dishes in the back!
Before you head out on your journey, add renewing your documents and cards to your travel checklist. Passports, drivers licenses, credit cards – everything with an expiration date!
Save yourself the headache of local post offices and mailing systems and get cards renewed at home so you’re ready for the weeks (or life) of travel that lies ahead! This goes for passports also! Some countries won’t even let you in if your passport expires within 6 months of entering.
2. Purchase travel insurance.
Raise your hand if you (or someone you know) had luggage lost at the airport. The dreaded cancelled flight? Overseas (surprise) hospital visit? Rabid monkey bite?
Yeah, we thought so.
A purchase you will not regret – travel insurance. While we hope you have a great trip and never have to use it – better safe than sorry!
We love companies like SafetyWing who bundle travel and medical insurance deals at an unbeatable price. If you can afford the plane ticket, you can afford travel insurance!
Travel insurance covers things like lost luggage, delayed flights that result in overnight stays, stolen property, hospital stays and medical emergencies.
Even the most well-travelled nomads can’t avoid these money-draining incidents. Your future self will thank you!
Travel insurance – don’t leave home without it!
3. Buy a universal plug adapter.
So many electronics, so little time.
Countries all have their own unique culture, cuisines, languages – and electrical plugs.
2-prong sockets, 3-prong sockets, weird side-ways sockets, upside down sockets – the world is a grab bag of sockets!
An absolute “can’t forget” for your packing list is purchasing a multi-plug adapter!
Whether you’re a full-time digital nomad or a leisurely traveller – we all have electronics that need to be juiced up!
Multi-piece adapters are a thing of the past. It’s 2018 and one compact adapter that works in over 150 countries is all you need. Just a few flips here and there and all your electronics will be fully charged no matter where you end up!
4. Get vaccinated!
Whitewater rafting adventures, afternoons at a wine vineyard and yellow fever.
One of these is not like the other. (It’s simple – two are fun and one is not.)
Well before your departure date, look at what vaccinations are recommended for the area you’re headed towards. Some vaccines take 3 months before the dose is active in the human body and takes a bit of pre-planning. Jabs aren’t fun – but neither are foreign hospital visits.
You didn’t save all this money to travel only to have your trip cut short by something you could have prevented!
5. Make copies of all your documents.
With all the anticipation and excitement that comes with travelling, there’s often a forgotten item on the packing list: extra copies of important travel documents.
Locate a copy machine (they still exist…we promise) and get to copying!
Make copies of:
- Medical prescriptions
- Credit cards
- Visa letters/applications
If your passport is lost or stolen, the process of obtaining one at the embassy is way quicker if you have a copy with previous details. Make two copies – one for you and one for someone (family, friends, coworkers) to have back in your home country.
Follow the same process with any prescriptions, credit cards and visa applications! Pieces of paper take up no room in your suitcase so there are no excuses here – even for you ultimate minimalists!
6. Pack, unpack…and repack again.
Whether you’re ahead of the game and started packing well before your departure date (kudos!) or you’re like the rest of us and waited until the night before – there’s a 98% chance you’re bringing way too much stuff.
The general packing rule of thumb is if you don’t use it or wear it at home, you’re not going to all of a sudden need it when you’re abroad.
Go through your normal packing routine: write your packing list, buy the cute little travel toiletries…then try and pack it all.
Then unpack it. Get rid of half of it (trust us) and then pack it again.
Unless you’re going somewhere remote, chances are there will be laundry facilities. No need to pack a new outfit for every day of the month or week.
Pro tip: try to stick with neutral colours so everything “goes” together. Blacks, grays, whites etc.
We love travelling with only what we can carry on our back, it makes travel easier and saves us time and money at the airport!
7. Double, triple check visa requirements.
While Facebook groups are lovely sources of information (seriously, we love them) – don’t believe everything you stumble across.
Developing countries are notorious for changing their immigration and visa laws…whenever they want. Just because your friend got into Russia visa-free last summer doesn’t mean those regulations are still in place.
Avoid a headache at the airport and double check the visa requirements for the country or countries you are entering.
- Do you have to apply for a visa before arrival?
- Can you receive a visa at the airport?
- How long are you permitted inside the country before you have to leave?
- Do you need to provide proof of onward travel?
- How many times can you enter and re-enter a country?
Always, always check the country’s official government website regarding visas.
Exploring a new country isn’t exactly do-able if you can’t even enter the country! Do yourself a huge favour and add this “must-do” to your travel checklist!
Now that all your documents are sorted and your suitcase is about 10 kilos lighter – you are ready to go travelling!