Holiday Essentials

10 Important Things to Pack When Travelling

You’ve just booked the perfect holiday to a destination you’ve been dreaming about your whole life. You have told all your family and friends and even purchased a travel journal to make notes of the memories you make along the way. Your cupboard is full of snazzy, new outfits and you’ve just bought a fantastic camera to capture awesome images of the amazing places and people you will see. Once you’ve chucked together your toiletries and underwear, you’re good to go. Or are you? We’ve compiled a list of essential travel items that you need when going on holiday, but which are sometimes forgotten in the excitement leading up to your trip.

1. Travel Documents
You passport and the relevant visas and vaccination certificates should be the very first thing you pack. Make sure you keep them in a safe place in your hand luggage. Don’t pack them into any items that will be checked in. If anything happens to this luggage en-route you don’t want to be stuck in a foreign country without them. Make photocopies of all the essential documents as well, just in case something should happen to them; but, on that note, keep a close eye on your luggage at all times and don’t leave it unattended.

2. A List of Contact Numbers
Research the country and area you will be visiting and make a list of important contacts, such as numbers for hotels and taxis. When visiting a foreign country, find out where your country’s embassy is situated and get their contact numbers too. If you have any personal contacts in the area you are visiting, make a note of them as well. Remember to include important numbers from home, such as your doctor, bank and credit card company.

3. The Right Clothes
Familiarise yourself with the climate of the country (and double check which season they’re in) so that you pack the right kind of clothing. Whether you want to look fabulous or just be comfortable, you won’t achieve either if you don’t take heed of the climate and season. The last thing you want is to go to the beach without a bathing suit or leave behind your gloves and scarf when embarking on a ski trip! However, no matter where you go, try to pack something small that will prepare you for an unexpected change in weather. Learn about the culture of the country too, so that you can blend in and don’t stand out like a sore tourist.

4. First Aid Kit
Arm yourself with a basic first aid kit. This is especially important if you’re going to be doing physical or outdoor activities such as hiking and camping. You will be able to purchase the essential items in most places, but it’s best to be prepared and it saves you wasting your valuable holiday time and savings on stocking up. If you are on any medication, be sure you pack these too, as well as the prescriptions.

5. Guidebooks
You might be the type of person who likes to wing it – just arrive at a destination and see where the wind takes you. But you don’t want to waste too much time wandering aimlessly. Stock up with an enlightening guidebook or two. These will also help familiarise you with the customs and culture of your destination, besides offering handy tips and hotspots. Of course, you can always turn to our directory for help, but it’s good to have a specified guide too. If you’re travelling to a destination where you don’t speak the language, a translation dictionary is a good investment. You will find several travel versions available, full of key words and phrases to help you get around.

6. Cash and Cards
Find out which currency you will be using at your destination and make sure you exchange some of your cash before you leave. You will need local currency upon your arrival for emergencies and practicalities such as paying for transport to get to your accommodation. Don’t exchange all your holiday savings. Should you not spend all your money, you don’t want to be stuck with foreign currency that you will either have to pay to convert back into your own currency; are not able to exchange at all or will never use again. Before you leave, find out where you will be able to exchange currency in the area you are visiting. Many countries will allow you to swipe your debit or credit card for payment, but remember the go to your bank and notify them of the dates of your trip before you leave.

7. Backpack
When going away you should have a light bag or backpack that contains essential items (like your travel documents, money and camera) and can go anywhere with you. You can pack an extra bag into your suitcase, but try to carry it as hand luggage so you cut back on the number of items you pack and keep the weight down. This will also save space for all your holiday mementoes and gifts.

8. Chargers and Batteries
If you are taking with gadgets such as cameras, laptops and cellphones remember to take chargers and extra batteries. Remember an adapter for plugs as the sockets vary in different countries and if you can’t plug in your gadgets you may as well leave them behind. Find out if the accommodation you have booked has items such as hairdryers so you don’t waste space adding them to your luggage.

9. Personal Items
You will be able to get by in your holiday destination if you don’t have these personal items, but you’ll be sad to miss the opportunity to capture the best moments. Pack a notebook or travel journal so that you can log your trip or even just make notes of what you saw and whom you met. Remember your camera and take books or games. The latter items are especially important if you find yourself on long stopovers between flights.

10. An Open Mind
You are about to embark on a big adventure, maybe for the first time and probably far away from home. Bear in mind that things may seem strange, weird and out-of-place at first. Things will not always work the same as they do at home, but don’t let this frighten you! Embrace the opportunity to learn new things and gain perspective as you travel the world!

Originally published on Safaris Tour.

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