I’d like to think of myself as an experienced traveller, but even then I nearly forget something every time I go away! There was the time I rolled up at check-in with the wrong passport, the time I tried to hire a car hire without my licence, and don’t mention the hundreds of pounds I have spent in the past 10 years in the electronics section of the duty free – because I keep forgetting (losing) my UK – Europe travel adaptor.
Handy hints for travellers – itinerary
Unless you have an all-inclusive package that picks you up at your door, drops you to the airport and picks you up on the other side, chances are you have lots to remember about your next trip – and that’s before you even start to pack!
For the past 15 years I’ve been making up my own itinerary, which basically involves consolidating everything into one document. This means entering your flight booking reference, car hire details, transport bookings, hotel voucher or accommodation information into one document, and printing out all of the accompanying booking confirmations accordingly. Include emergency contact numbers of each service. As you create your “master” itinerary, think about the things you need at each stage and write them down – travel insurance, passport, visa or entry waiver, drivers licence, cleaning deposit for apartment etc.
I also use this itinerary for reckoning a general budget needed for the essentials – this helps me get a handle on what sort of money I need to bring, and what I will have left over once I pay for any logistical expenses, such as taxis or deposits for apartments.
In addition, I always check things like closest supermarket to my accommodation, things to do in the area, and any local festivals / events that are on, including any planned protests. This ensures I hit the ground running on the first day and maximises the time I have in any place.
Handy lists for travellers – packing
Depending on how long my trip is, packing can take 30 minutes or several days. Because I’m a budget traveller, I rarely pay for a suitcase on the budget airlines on which I fly, so packing becomes a fine art of balancing basic essentials, being ruthless (who needs three pairs of shoes for a city-break) and ensuring my cabin bag isn’t going to be too unwieldly. Read below for our tips for packing lightly
- Electronics –
- you absolutely need your charger and perhaps your tablet for watching movies
- you don’t need your speakers, if you have to work abroad don’t bring your laptop, rather get a fold out keyboard that attaches to your tablet
- Always bring an adaptor if needed.
- Toothpaste in travel size, tooth brush …… for me that’s about it
- Even the most basic hotel accommodations provides shampoo and soap – don’t waste space packing these
- Then, on the day you travel, pack away your morning routine into a travel bag as you use it. For me that involves putting essential makeup items in a clear bag, for others it may involve an electric razor or dental floss
- Pack the minimum you will need, then add one emergency outfit
Handy hints for travellers – additional considerations
- Do you need someone to check on the house / animals
- Do you need to book accommodation for any pets
- Have you had any relevant vaccinations, such as yellow fever
- What medication do you need, and can you bring it into the country
- Does your airline require you to check in in advance or provide advance passenger information?
- Does your passport and drivers licence have enough validity
- Do a weather check, and amend your clothing accordingly
- Tell your bank you will be travelling abroad
- Sort any foreign exchange you need (airports are expensive)
We hope these handy tips help you have a smooth journey!