Whether you are a seasoned traveler or a first time flyer, a good checklist is always a good choice. I was taught that making lists are important when packing so you don’t forget something very important, so it’s good practice. Some may say that they travel all the time so they don’t need to make a list and that the person who always forgets something, always. It’s better to take a few minutes and make a simple packing list, keep it with your printed out itinerary and you should be good to go.
So you are planning some international travel or maybe just flying to the beach for a quick vacation, either way, this checklist should help.
Before You Go
These are the most important things to do before you travel, trust me, we’ve been all over the map and made mistake so you don’t have to.
If you are traveling internationally make sure to check to see what the entry requirements are so you aren’t left filling out visa applications at the airport. I would check on these requirements at least a few months prior to your trip. Many countries have strict travel rules so you may have to file for a visa early. South Africa for example require travelers to have two completely clear pages in your passport to gain entry, that’s definitely something you need prior to flying. A new passport takes up to three months so check ahead of time to save you some trouble.
Plan out your flight outfit in advance with security in mind. You don’t want something that isn’t easy to take off including shoes and clothing. Avoid heavy belts, big jewelry and lots of metal. I like slip-on shoes and workout gear so I’m comfortable and easy to pass through security.
Obviously buy your tickets in advance, make sure you pick a good seat and have your boarding pass printed out. The less stuff you have to do at the airport the better, it’s always so crazy there.
Your carry on bag should contain everything you will need while at the airport, on the plane and some “Just in case” items. I like to keep all my entertainment items here and easily reached for in flight. Don’t forget to place any liquid items in the clear plastic bag for security checkpoints.
“Just in case’ items are important if your bag is lost. These are usually a change of clothing, including underwear. You don’t want to be stuck with just the clothing on your back, trust me. Also pack a jacket if the weather has any chance of being bad.
Pack all your valuables in your carry on bags. Don’t ever put any electronics or jewelry in your checked bags.
Pack light people, let’s not get too crazy here. You don’t need to bring everything you own, which I see all the time. Plan out your trip by choosing multiple outfits that can be worn a few times. Layers are also important because they can be mixed and matched to create many outfits with only a few items of clothing.
Plan ahead your activities so you know if you need a bathing suit or snow gear, you get it. Pack all your toiletries and larger liquids like shampoo.
Do you have all your important documents like passport, ID, tickets, visa information etc…? Do you need a proof of vaccines document? Make sure, some countries require these upon entry. I keep a document with all these in it and it’s always on me. Rental car info, hotel reservations and other important confirmation numbers should be easily accessible.
Best of luck with your travel, but with this simple checklist, you won’t need any luck because you will be so prepared.