Before You Leave
Do Your Homework.
Every good adventure should start with a Lonely Planet Book. Now, synonymous with travel and adventure, they’ve got the world covered. There’s now an App that gives you downloadable city guides! Trip Advisor also has a great App and website to help you find out what you need before you go.
Try and get any useful Apps, Music or Movies downloaded the day before you leave. A checklist of things to check or download before leaving are:
- Your flight carrier App: Save time and check in online before getting to the airport, receive live updates through the app and your electronic boarding pass
- Find out what you can expect to pay in Roaming Charges or turn your Roaming off. Some carriers run a service where in some countries you can use your phone at no extra charge
- Maps: You can download sections of Google Maps in advance but can also download whole countries with turn by turn navigation with Apps like Maps.Me
- Currency Calculator: Some great ones out there including Currency+ that gives you hassle-free calculations between currencies
- Entertainment: Make sure you make your Spotify playlists offline, download iPlayer or Netflix movies and a few games to help pass time while travelling
- Lastly, find out what the regulations are for both hand and hold baggage on board your flights, these can differ between airlines. If a flight is fully, or overbooked, airlines can enforce the hand luggage regulations even if they’ve been relaxed in the past
Preparing the Essentials
Getting everything you need for a trip, even if it’s just a short break or vacation, can be tough. But packing things in the right places and having the right gear can help.
There are certain items you’ll always want to keep handy in transit and I normally whittle those down to a travel wallet and a travel pouch.
Keep all the documents you need to see you through to your destination unencumbered together in a travel wallet. These could include Passport, Passport Scan, Paper Driving Licence, Travel Insurance Docs, Spare Credit Card, Business Cards, spare clear bag and Pen/Paper.
You can use a Travel Pouch for small things you’ll need to keep you entertained on the journey; Earbud Headphones, Airplane Headphone Jack, Two Way Splitter for Headphones, Multi-Charge Cable, External Battery, Extra Pen, International Plug, Toothbrush/paste and Sunglasses.
- Weigh It: Take some scales. Weigh it before you go and on your way back. Remember that you’ll use toiletries and other items out there but you’ll also pick up presents and souvenirs. Having an extra, light bag that you can pack and check in as hold luggage on the return journey can really save the day if you buy too much!
- Track It: There is a range of ways to track your luggage now. Obviously having a luggage tag is number one, leaving a business card or address inside the zip is also a good idea. A Tracker of some sort can also help.
- Cube It: Packing cubes mean all your clothes will be where you left them. They also make unpacking at each end of your trip super straightforward.
- Roll It: When packing into cubes, rolling is always better than folding. Using the spaces in your shoes for socks and pants can save space in your bag!
- Seal It: Having an extra waterproof bag for toiletries and a few plastic bags for shoes helps. Using cling film in between a bottle and its lid means the liquid can’t escape.
- Charge It: Keeping all your charging cables in one place means you won’t be looking around everywhere for them. Have plenty of Travel Adapters and make sure you take one of each type of cable (or multi-cable), sometimes you can get multi chargers for your batteries.
- And Keep the Essentials: A First Aid Kit with Compeed, Plasters and tablets are always essential. Ways to bodge and fix things like Velcro Wrap and Sugru can make all the difference! Every person is going to have their own system that works for them, it’s part of what makes travel so exciting. But it doesn’t start and end when you step foot outside the house and it needn’t be as arduous as it sometimes feels.