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Travel Checklist – Things to do before you Travel

Travel Checklist: Things to do before you travel

Whether you leaving on a weekend getaway or travelling overseas for a month or more, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed with everything that needs to be done.

To make life easier in those last few hectic days before you travel, we’ve created this handy pre travel checklist.  Here checklist of things to do BEFORE you travel.

Your Travel Checklist – Things to do before you travel

Visa’s, Permits and Licenses

Apply early.  Some countries may take a few hours, or in rare cases, a few months to process applications.  Vietnam, China, Turkey for example, require advance applications.  Check with your travel agent before you go and save yourself the stress!

  • Visa Applications:  Apply for visas in advance, prior to arriving in the country.  Every day, people are turned away from a country because they don’t have the proper visa. Check if you need a visa before travelling.
  • International Drivers License:  Not every country requires an International Driver’s License, but it’s a good idea to have one especially if in Asia.  Both licenses must be carried when driving.  Get one from your Auto Assoc before you leave home.

Travel Documents

It’s important to make sure your travel documents are in order. Check the expiry date asx many countries require a passport to be valid for 6 months after entry.  Check also how many pages you have left as some countries require multiple remaining pages.

  • Passport:  Make 3 copies: 1 for your carry-on luggage, 1 to leave at home and a digital copy to store on your computer or in the cloud.
  • Important Documents:  Photocopy or scan any cards or documents that you are travelling with such as bank and credit cards, drivers license, passport.
  • Print Travel Tickets:  It’s often easier to print reservation tickets for Flights, Rail, Bus and other transit tickets.
  • Print Accommodation Reservations:  It’s often handy to print hard copies of any booking confirmations for your journey.  I don’t know how many times these have saved my sanity, especially in a foreign speaking country.
  • First Destination:  Have the address and map of your first destination to show a taxi driver, or directions to help with public transit.

Contact Details

  • Emergency Numbers:  Prepare a list of numbers you may need to contact incase of emergency.  (ie: if your bank card won’t let you take out money)
  • Emergency Contacts:  Have the phone number and email address for your emergency contact for back home on you at all times.  Your phone (ICE – incase of Emergency) may be the best place to store these.
  • Itinerary:  Leave a copy of your trip itinerary with someone at home even if its just a rough idea of places and dates.  You can send updates to your contact as you go.

Get Health checked

On long flights, avoid alcohol and coffee as these can both dehydrate badly.  On the day of travel, eat a good meal before you fly.  Stick to simple, easily digestible foods and you’ll reduce the likelihood of jet lag.

  • Water:  Make sure the water in your destination is safe to drink.   If not, buy bottled water once you clear security.  Keep well hydrated on your travels.
  • Medications:  Ask your doctor for a letter detailing your prescribed medicines before you leave home.  Pack any medications you need into your hand-luggage and, if you’re travelling in third world countries, prepare for the likelihood of traveller’s diarrhea.
  • Vaccinations:  Check with your doctor if you require vaccinations for your destination.

Money business

  • Travel Notification:  Notify your bank/s of your travel plans – dates and destinations.
  • Foreign Transaction Fees:  Get a credit or debit card that does’t have any overseas ATM fees, or ask what the fees are, so you can budget accordingly.
  • Cash:   On arrival use an ATM at the airport to withdraw a small amount of cash.  enough for a few days is advised to start with.  Keep some USD and or your own currency in cash for emergencies.


  • Download:  Ensure your movies,sic, TV shows, podcasts and books are downloaded before you leave.
  • Backups:  Backup any electronic devices you’re taking with you incase of loss, damage or theft.
  • Charge:  Fully charge all devices before you leave.
  • Memory:  Make sure you have sufficient memory cards for photos and storage needs.
  • Cell phone: Purchase a plan to use overseas, or know where to get SIM cards in the country you’re visiting.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance is one of those things you don’t realise you need – until you do. There are a variety of travel insurance plans and options, but they typically cover emergency medical coverage, evacuation, lost luggage, and trip cancellation.

  • My advice is, when you put down a deposit for your trip, whether it’s non-refundable airplane tickets or a hotel reservations, that’s the ideal time to take out travel insurance. 

I recommend World Nomads.  Get a free quote now and lock in your safety net.


Packing Essentials

  1. Light, Waterproof Jacket – Downpours happen!  Bring a light waterproof jacket which can be stuffed into a bag when sightseeing. I love my North Face Venture 2, which is perfect for travels anywhere.
  2. Great Camera and Lens – I love my Sony A6000 mirrorless camera and 18-105mm zoom lens and never go anywhere without it.
  3. Shhh Sony Headphones  – I don’t go anywhere without my Sony Noise Cancelling Headphones.  Makes for a virtually soundproofed experience.
  4. Battery Charger – In our techno world we don’t like to be caught without charge. This quick-charging portable Anker charger is one of our most used devices.
  5. Tablet to go – This Samsung Ultra light Tablet is perfect for travelling.  I can keep up to date with emails & social media, make blog post notes, watch movies and surf the net.

Before you leave on your travels

Book your first night’s Accommodation

It’s no fun arriving in an unfamiliar country jet-lagged and trying to orient yourself.  We always recommend you have at least one night’s accommodation booked in advance.  Its a great way to relax, unwind and shake off any jet-lag you might have.

  • Check if your hotel can pick you up at the airport.

Map out your first day

I always try to get my bearings on my first day and head out for a walk reasonably early, grabbing a map to check out what’s nearby and get the general the layout of the land. 

Know what you want to see and where to find the attractions you want to visit. Make a list of your ‘must see’ places and plot them out on your map.

  • Know a few everyday greetings and phrases and how to say please and thank you and have a general understanding of the exchange rate.
  • Before you leave your hotel pick up a local map and your hotel’s business card so that you can get back by taxi if needs be.  Knowing this information beforehand can reduce stress later on.

Double check the final details

  • Double check your Reservations:  Double check your flights, rail and other transit reservations.  Make sure your accommodation bookings are confirmed in advance.
  • Travel alerts:  Set alerts on your phone to notify you if your flight is delayed.  If you don’t have it already, download TripIt – it’s my travel go to!
  • Check the weather:  This will help lock in the right clothes for your upcoming trip.
  • Itinerary:  Send an update of your trip itinerary with someone at home.

Dress comfortably to Travel

Dress comfortably when travelling.  Thank goodness those days when we wore our best clothes when heading to the airport are long gone!  

  • Layers and breathable fabrics such as a t-shirt and light sweater, track-pants or stretch trousers allowing comfort throughout your journey.  Drape a scarf around your shoulders if the air-conditioning gets a little chilly.
  • On long journey’s I prefer to wear soft slip-ons or ballet slippers during the flight making it easy to get comfy on the long haul. 

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Remember – you’re on vacation so relax and enjoy your holiday. 

Try to get a good night’s sleep before you travel, and try not to stress out and overthink it- you’ll be fine!

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