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When it comes to travelling, all the things you need to prepare in advance of your trip can be a bit daunting. In fact, the list of things to do can be so long, confusing and stressful that sometimes people forget to ensure that some of the most important aspects of travelling – like their passport! – are good to go and ready. What could be worse? While making a checklist is a great idea, you may forget one or two things, which is why we’ve made this useful travel checklist for you to use as a guideline so you don’t forget those super simple, but super important points that could make or break a trip.
Passport, Visas, Documents
It goes without saying that these are probably some of the most important and time consuming aspects of travelling. If you don’t already have a passport, getting your first one can take several weeks, depending on your nationality. It’s important to make sure you submit all paperwork for visas and passports at least eight to ten weeks in advance of your travel date, depending on your destination. Some countries only process visas two or three weeks in advance if you apply from outside the country and they have strict specifications as to when you can enter the country on that visa. For example, a visa may be issued for a country for a duration of six months, but it’s required you enter the country by a certain date, otherwise the visa is invalid. Pay close attention to different visa rules for different countries if getting them in advance – it may end up determining the order of your trip.
You can book cheap flights online to just about any destination with JustFly, a flight price comparison website that finds truly stellar deals. When it comes to booking long trips, it’s not always a great idea to book all your flights ahead of time. The longer the trip, the more likely you will want flexibility when it comes to moving around, especially if you have long visas of a month or longer in each country. You never know when you might fall in love with a place and want to stay for the full length of the visa, or even extend it to stay longer. In this case, creating a rough itinerary is ideal, and then you can change it as you want over the course of your trip.
Clothes can be a tricky one. Where are you going? When? For how long? It’s imperative to check the climate and weather for the time of year that you’re travelling to a place. How many first time travellers have gone to the opposite hemisphere for example and completely forgotten that it’s opposite seasons? A lot. Don’t get caught out that way, research climates in advance. Even in the same country or region, monsoon seasons can differ and bring with them different types of storms, so it’s important to know in advance that you will need waterproof gear and the like. In all honesty though, you will probably want to take waterproofs regardless, you never know when you might need them!
First Aid Kit
You will never know the value of a comprehensive and quality first aid kit until you need it and don’t have it. Don’t be that person. Ensure you have a good supply of alcohol wipes, hand sanitizer, gauze, bandaids, medical tape, tweezers, pain relievers and the like. First aid kits are useful and a smart thing to have, and you can stock them with just about anything you might think you will need. You never know when you might get a graze, cut or need some pain relief when you’re on the road!
For ladies, having extra menstrual protection in a first aid kit is a great addition. Sometimes you will find yourself in a place with no shops and you’re in that situation. If you want to save space and money, why not try adding a Mooncup or Moonpads to your packing list – both are reusable and washable, so they make great travelling companions.
Even if you don’t plan on it, you will probably wish you had good shoes or boots at some point in your trip. Shoes or boots are incredibly useful for long walking days, hikes you might suddenly decide on last minute and more. Don’t be that person who only packed flip flops and wishes they’d packed smarter footwear for long walks and hikes. A good addition is a good pair of hiking boots or shoes, they will be suitable for any length or type of walking activity – whether it’s just to the shop or you decide to climb a volcano. The nice thing about travelling is that you never really know what you might do, so it’s good to be prepared for every eventuality.
Medications and Vaccinations
Finally, one of the most important aspects of travelling is ensuring you’re protected against viruses and diseases that you might catch on the road. Things like typhoid, yellow fever, hepatitis A and B, Japanese Encephalitis and more. Some vaccines are required regardless of where you travel to – such as hepatitis vaccines – but others will be necessary depending on country. Yellow fever is only required in places where it’s seen as endemic, so if you aren’t travelling to or from those places, you won’t necessarily need it.
As for medications, it’s a good idea to visit your doctor and request a prescription to cover more than the time you will be away just in case. An extra month of medicine is usually a good guideline. Make sure to keep all original packaging and a copy of your prescription in the event of issues at border crossings and the like.
So whether it’s your first or tenth time taking to the road on a big trip, hopefully this handy list of some major things to remember when organising your trip will ensure everything goes as smoothly as possible, allowing you to have the best possible experience. Good luck!