Currently in the process of leaving home again and setting sail for further long adventures, I’ve been forced to write another travel list for all things I need to do before leaving home.
This seems to happen every time I go away, and every time, I still forget something.
Why haven’t I created and saved a definitive, universal travel list I can use and again I thought?
Well I now I have!
And here it is for all to share: my definitive checklist for going travelling.
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#1 Research and Book Flights
Check out Skyscanner for some great flight prices.
#2 Think about Connections To or Between Airports
Book these, making sure you allow enough time for travel and potential delay.
Connection resources in the UK include National Express Coaches and Trainline.
My post about the best ways to travel between Gatwick and Heathrow airports may prove helpful here!
I always use this company, as they are fast efficient and reasonably priced.
Plus they have a good loyalty scheme.
#3 Check Visa Requirements
Start arranging these as soon as you can.
Consult your government’s own emigration website or that of the country you are travelling to.
#4 Get Immunised
Some jabs, such as rabies, require a number of different injections spread over a period of time, so it’s best to get the ball rolling as early as you can with immunisations.
Checking whether you require a yellow fever certificate for entry into your chosen travel country/ries is key on any travel list.
Think about malaria tablets or any other medications you might need to take with you – book a doctors appointment and get some supplies!
#5 Check Expiry Dates
This goes for any important documents you will need to take with you, such as bankcards, passports and driving licenses.
If your passport has less than 6 months left till its expiry date you will certainly need a new one to travel on.
Check when other documents expire and if it looks like you might be travelling over or up till those dates, request replacements asap.
Again this can be a lengthy process, so it’s best to start as soon as you can.
#6 Travel Insurance
World Nomads offers simple and flexible travel insurance. Buy at home or while travelling and claim online from anywhere in the world..
#7 Make an Address Book
I normally have a small booklet with everyone’s postal address, as well as email, phone number and birthday in them.
This will be useful if you want to use the old-school methods of sending people postcards, but can also be helpful in an emergency if you need to call some quickly or you’ve been locked out of your email account.
It’s good to know important people’s birthdays too – as believe me, they will really appreciate an email, card or present arriving from so far away!
Also good to include on the travel list is an address book with any other important numbers you might need, like bank contacts for lost cars or insurance companies if you need to make a claim.
#8 Contact Your Bank
On that note, it’s good to contact your bank to let them know you are going overseas.
Often this can be done throuhg your banking app.
This can help reduce any security alerts in their system that might block your cards and stop them from working abroad.
While you’re dealing with your bank, why not find out about any additional cards you might be eligible for.
Credit cards they are very handy when travelling and provide good security.
They are also useful incase your my usual card gets stolen or lost.
A credit card can be essential if you are looking to hire a vehicle overseas.
#9 Photocopy Important Documents
This includes items such as your passport, driving license, bankcards, insurance policy and flight details.
Colour photocopies are best.
Take one set of copies with you and keep another set of hardcopies with someone at home.
If you can, also scan copies or photograph important documents and email them to yourself and someone at home.
You never know when this might come in handy.
#10 Buy Some Local Currency in Advance
It’s a very good idea to travel with at least a little bit of local currency.
This means that as soon as you arrive into a country, you are able to pay for things like transport and food even before you can get to a bank.
This is especially important if you are arriving somewhere at night or after a long flight.
The chance of you wanting to locate a bank then are remote, so make sure you have enough to pay for a night’s accommodation too.
Doing this in your home country, rather than at an airport, will gurantee you a better exchange rate and help you avoid large ATM transcation fees.
#11 Check Luggage Restrictions
Then buy a suitable bag.
Remember less is more and you really discover that when you are lugging a backpack onto a bus or a suitcase onto a train!
Check out my post on the best 5 backpacks for travel for some good ideas.
A week before you depart, start creating a pile of things you might want to take and then slowly keep narrowing it down until you reach the bare necessities.
Remember you can buy almost anything you’ll need abroad, so don’t go mad!
Check the weight of your bag before you fly!
A great compact set of travel scales is very useful in making sure your luggage is never overweight!
#12 Create a Receipt Folder
This should house all the receipts for everything you’ve bought or are taking on your trip and should be left with someone at home.
If you can include the serial numbers of any electronic goods you are taking, as well as their packaging, guarantees, instruction manuals etc, even better.
Some photos of expensive items are a good idea too.
This will be so helpful if you need to make an insurance claim and will save you bags of time in the long run too.
#13 Book your 1st Night’s Accommodation
I am an intrepid traveller and never like to have too much of a plan before I leave, but booking my 1st bed is something I always do, so get it on your travel list too!
It’s a particularly good idea if you are arriving into a busy city you don’t know, landing at night or going to a country where you can’t speak the language.
You can find some great places to stay around the world through online accommodation sites.
I recommend Hostelworld.com for budget travellers or Airbnb if you want a bit more privacy.
#14 Freeze or Cancel your Phone Contract
You do not want any additional costs while you are away!
Many phone providers now offer a service whereby you can still keep your number without any subscription.
This will be very handy for when you come home!
Otherwise, if you have a SIM bought in an EU country and will be travelling within the EU, you may be able to use your home SIM abroad without incurring any roaming charges thanks to a recent legislation change.
#15 Spend Time with Friends
These memories will sustain you during those hard days on the road.
#16 Allow Time
Remember everything will take longer than you think so I really recommend starting to think and plan your trip as much in advance as possible.
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So that’s my ultimate travel list …. did I miss anything?!