Travel light. Pack smart. Harder than it sounds. Amidst the hullabaloo and excitement associated with the trip and the craze of choosing the perfect outfits for the picture perfect photographs is likely to make you miss some of the important things. Here is a checklist of the things you should do before hoping on to the plane.
1. Travel Insurance:
I cannot stress how important it is. There are times when we ponder that we could save a few extra bucks by not buying a travel insurance. But, the perks of having your travel insurance are innumerable. If your camera gets lost, your luggage gets misplaced or God forbid you have a medical emergency, your travel insurance is going to come to your rescue. So, before anything else, talk to your travel agent about insurance. It isn’t gonna burn a hole in your pocket and you it’ll help you enjoy your trip without any stress.
2. A Great Camera:
Invest in a good camera. By that I do not mean buy a DLSR straightaway. A good camera can be anyone of these: a Polaroid, a phone camera or a point and shoot one. The point is to invest in a good camera and master the basics of it. You really don’t want to get photographs with inadequate lighting and hazy frames back from your trip. Especially, when you do not sure that you will be getting back to this place or not. A great camera goes in a long way in capturing and preserving some memories for you.
3. Comfortable Clothes:
Yes, I am a fan of perfect Instagram pictures. And yes, as a female we have really high expectations with those photographs. And high expectations mean carrying a pair of heels, a couple of skimpy dresses and a lot of fashion accessories. But, if you ask me I’d prefer my flats or my walking shoes over my red shiny stilettos and my jeans over my skirts and dresses. I am not saying to completely ditch your fancy clothes, but do take only what you require. Your shoulders will be very thankful to you. The point is your trip is going to involve a lot of walking and roaming around. Better be comfortable than uneasy for the entire duration of the trip.
What should your Basic clothes include?
ii. Lightweight clothing that can be layered
iii. Long- sleeved shirts
iv. Basic T-shirts
vi. Rain Coat and a tiny umbrella
4. Invest in a Good Luggage:
If you are traveling for a few days, there is nothing that fits perfectly than a backpack. They help you travel light and not to forget the convenience. You’ll have all you need on your shoulders and it is a great thing. Rolling luggage can be nice for most of the tourists. Invest in something which is lightweight, versatile and has enough space to hold up everything.
5. Extra pair of Batteries and Other Electronics:
A lot of things can happen while you are out there in the world. I do not mean to scare to, I intend to prepare you. A cheap spare phone or an extra pair of camera batteries will do a lot to make your trip hassle free.
6. A Map:
The world that is today, a phone turns out to be everything. However, if your phone turns off or is lost, the map can be a perfect guide to the city. Maps are informative pieces of information that have always fascinated me.
7. Toiletries Bag:
This is one of the most essential things, but it is likely that we forget one or the other thing from the list. The Toiletry Bag basics include:
i. Toothbrush, tootpaste, Mouthwash
ii. Hair Brush or comb, basic pair of rubberbands.
iii. Deodorants or perfume
iv. Shampoos and conditioner
v. Facewash and wet wipes
vi. Sunscreen (Very important. Remember you’ll be spending time on the road so your skin needs protection)
vii. Glasses and contact lenses, solution.
viii. Personal hygiene products
ix. Feminine hygiene products
x. Shaving Kit
8. A Health Care Kit: As soon as you make a decision that you are travelling, check whether the place you are traveling to requires any type of vaccination or not. Activities, such as attending crowded events, can increase the spread of infectious disease. No matter where you plan to go, you should get recommended vaccines to lower the chances for getting and spreading disease.
A few compulsory vaccines include:
i. Yellow fever vaccine is compulsory for parts of Africa and South America.
ii. Meningitis vaccine for Saudi Arabia while visiting the Haj.
All travelers should ensure if the basic vaccines like polio, measles, diphtheria etc. are up to date. While traveling in developing countries check if you are recommended vaccines such as meningitis, Japanese encephalitis, or cholera
Your basic emergency Kit should include:
i. First Aid Kit : Bandaids, dettol, Bandages and gauze
ii. Prescription Medicines (Do not forget to keep copies of prescription in your wallet)
iv. Medicines to counter cold, diaherra and allergy
v. Mosquito repellant
vi. Hand Sanitizers
9. An Extra Carry-on Pack:
This is the handy hand baggage which will carry everything that you need in for your journeys. Reaching for your main luggage every time you need your tickets or glasses can be very chaotic. So, this handy bag includes your day- to –day essentials like currency, mobile chargers, a tiny water bottle, guide books, language guides etc.
10. Your Travel document Kit:
This is pretty much the only thing that you need for survival. Keep this very safely and ensure that you have a couple of Xeroxes carefully placed in various parts of your luggage. Your travel document kit should likely include: Passport, visa, student identity card, cash and credit cards, Hotel reservations and transportation tickets.
Memorize a few contact numbers, write them down and save them electronically. You never know when these might come handy.
11. Security Tips:
i. Never keep your money at one place. Underwear and bras provide a safe place to keep small amounts of money.
ii. Carry small travel locks and a torchlight.
12. SIM Card:
If you are traveling international, it is just wise to buy an International SIM card. For all those instances when you first land in a new country to the delays in buying a local SIM card, a Matrix SIM will always be there for you.
13. Carry A Bit of Packaged Food:
Thanks to the globalized world, everything is available everywhere. But it is a good idea to carry some packaged food in case you are traveling to an alien land with absolutely different dietary habits. I remember on my 60 days trip to China, all I carried with me was a bar of chocolate. China is really bizarre when it comes to food. The first few days was a travel shock and being a vegetarian on most days I had to go with fruits and juices. So, I highly recommend you carry a bit of packaged foods.
14. What to Do at Home:
If you are going to be out of home for a few days, make sure that to do the following things:
i. Make sure you turn off all the electronic appliances
ii. Pre-pay some of your bills
iii. Leave your house keys with a trusted friend.
Lastly and most importantly, carry a right frame of mind. A new place is an amazing place to discover new tribes, destinations and yourself. Be adequately prepared and you will definitely end up having a great time.