You saved up all your hard earned money, booked your flight, and can't wait to get going on your new travel adventure. Although you are extremely excited about this new chapter, counting the days until you fly out you notice, it can be a little overwhelming when it comes to the preparation.
You might have a lot of questions. Do I need a visa? Should I get the local currency before I fly? What about health care? But don't worry, we have been there too. Before our very first solo trip, we asked ourselves the very same questions.
So now to save you all the time and worry, we've put together this travel checklist to help you prepare and travel like a pro for your next big travel adventure.
Tick Of Your Travel Checklist
Documents And Regulations
- The first thing to check of your travel checklist is your passport. Make sure your passport is valid for a minimum of 6 months before entering a new country.
- Check visa regulations and apply for one if needed. You don't want to turn up at a border only to be told you can not enter.
- See if the country you are travelling to has an entrance or exit fee. These fees can be anywhere from 25$ - 200$. This caught Paul out when he was leaving Mexico and he wasn't carrying any cash. Luckily they accepted credit cards as some countries only accept cash.
- Take a copy/copies of your passport with you. You will need these if applying for a visa to another country during your trip. You can find photocopy shops in most countries, but save yourself the hassle of looking for one and just carry a few with you.
- Carry some passport photo's, you will also need these if applying for a visa during your trip.
- Scan your passport and keep a copy of it in your email or Dropbox account. This way you can access it anytime on the go when needed.
- Ask your medical insurance provider if your policy applies oversea's. If not, you may want to apply for additional cover. You don't want to be stuck in a foreign country left paying thousands in medical bills. Accidents do and can happen. This is definitely worth checking of your travel checklist before leaving
- If you rely on prescripted medication, make sure you carry enough medication to last the duration of your trip.
- If you are travelling to an "exotic" destination you may also check if you need certain medication/vaccinations.
- Carry a small first aid kit with some pain killers and diarrhoea tablets etc. Trust us, you don't wanna wake up at 3 am running to the bathroom while having to catch a 10-hour bus journey the next morning. So add these to your travel checklist.
- Get in touch with your bank and let them know what country or countries you are visiting. Some banks may think fraud is occurring if they see a transaction happening from Thailand when you live in Europe. As a security measure, they will switch off your card. Also, ask them if there will be any issues in using your card in a specific region of the world.
- It's always a good idea to carry a small amount of US dollars, Euro or British Pound with you. These are particularly the easiest currencies to change in the developing world. Countries like Myanmar would not exchange anything but these three currencies back in 2016.
- Always carry local currency, not all places will accept payment by card.
- First, on the electronics travel checklist are Headphones! Never forget your headphones.
- Different countries use different plugs. Make sure to bring the right travel adaptor for your destination or get an international adaptor.
- Power banks are always great to have on your travel checklist when going on long haul journeys. You will never have to worry about your phone going dead leaving you without music.
Long Haul Journeys
- Warm clothes should be on top of your travel checklist for long haul journeys, like socks, long pants and a jumper. There is nothing worse than being stuck on an 8-hour bus absolutely freezing. We were once on a night bus that got down to 7°C and some people only had shorts and a t-shirt on. Brrrrrrrrr.
- Wear comfortable clothes. We all want to look good, but there is no point in turning up to a 13-hour flight in skin tight jeans and a set of heels.
- If you have a special diet or allergies, be sure to contact your airline and let them know.
- Stock up on snacks. There are a few budget airlines that offer cheap long haul flights without food and drinks. Even if there is food, still stock up on snacks. Who doesn't love snacks 🙂
- If you are flying, carry an empty refill water bottle. You will find most airports will have refill stations.
- Oh, and don't forget a neck cushion.
- Inform yourself about the do's and don'ts of the country you are visiting. Like the dress code for example. In some countries, you must wear clothes that cover your shoulders and knees.
- Download a VPN app. A VPN allows you to create a secure connection to another network over the internet. This can also help shield your browser from people gaining access to your information on public networks.
- Ask yourself, do you need a backpack or a suitcase. You don't want to be that person who is dragging a case down a beaten path in the middle of nowhere.
Do you have any more tips that you would add to this travel checklist? Share with us your thoughts in the comments below.