We all know the feeling. You’re just getting settled in your seat on the plane, or you’re opening up your suitcase in your hotel room, then it hits you: ‘I’ve forgotten something’.
If that something is a toothbrush or your favourite sunnies, then you’ll probably get through the ordeal, but if it’s something more important, it could put a real dampener on your trip.
To help make sure you don’t get that feeling of dread, we’ve listed some of the most common things travellers forget to check off their list before they head overseas.
Check your passport and visa validity
Did you know that some countries require you to have six months validity remaining on your passport? The absolute last place you want to find this out is at passport control at your chosen destination. You also don’t want to discover that you should have applied for a tourist visa, even for a short trip.
Check your passport expiration date well in advance and find out whether you need a visa for your destination.
Access to money
You’ll need to figure out how you’re going to access your money while you’re away. It’s a good idea to have a couple of ways to access funds including cash, travel money cards and credit cards. Having some local cash currency in your wallet can be particularly useful when you first arrive to pay for transport from the airport.
Remember to let your bank know about your travel plans to avoid your cards being cancelled while you’re away, and to make them jealous of course. As well as this, be sure to have your bank’s phone number handy in case you need to get in touch about things like lost or stolen cards.
This is arguably the single most important thing to consider when planning a trip, as it means you can traverse the globe with confidence that you’ll be covered if the unexpected happens. And the earlier you take out your travel insurance the better, as it can even cover you for things like cancellations before you travel.
Remember, if you decide to extend your travel or change your plans, you should also look to extend or change your travel insurance cover if possible.Get a travel insurance quote
Before you travel, check in with your doctor on what vaccinations you might need. Some vaccinations may even be covered/subsidised under your health insurance so you’re not having to dip into your souvenir fund.
If you need it, pack enough medication for your journey, plus extra in case of delay. Bringing a copy of your prescription is also a good idea, just in case you need it. You may also need to consider things like travel sickness tablets, depending on your plans.
It’s also a good idea to check in with a dentist if you haven’t done so in a while, as dental treatment can be expensive overseas and may not be to the same standard as Australia.
Copy important travel documents
Keeping copies of all your important documents, like boarding cards or rail tickets, can be a life-saver. Every year huge number of travel insurance claims are lodged relating to lost or stolen luggage, so it’s a very good idea to save your documents online as well so you can access them if the originals go missing.
Technology and chargers
How many of us rely on our technology to help us out when we get lost in a foreign country? Don’t get caught out with a flat battery. Make sure you pack any chargers you need, organise adaptors for the countries you’re travelling to, and consider getting spare batteries or power banks for long haul travel.
Sort your car rental
If you plan to rent a car or a camper van while you’re away, booking in advance can save you money, plus precious holiday time at your destination. Reading all the car rental documents to look out for hidden costs, and making sure your driving licence is valid, are also important steps.
Check for updates about your destination
Check for any updates about your destination again before you leave to make sure it’s still a safe place to visit. Situations can change quickly, so it’s a good idea to visit smartraveller.gov.au for information on your destination and to register your travel plans.
Remembering these things should ensure you have a safe, enjoyable and worry-free holiday, but for the more thorough travellers among us, here’s a more extensive checklist to work with.
A few months before Show content
A week before your tripShow content
- Make copies and save your important documents
- Confirm your transport, hotel and car reservations
- Check the weather forecast
- Set up a travel/roaming plan for your phone
- Make sure you have plug adaptors
- Notify your bank of your travel plans
- Refill your prescriptions
- Ask a friend or neighbour to keep an eye on your home while you’re away
The final 48 hours Show content
- Pack and weigh your luggage
- Check in online / print boarding passes
- Charge phone, cameras etc
- Put all electronics into your carry-on luggage
- Pack extra medication into your carry-on luggage
- Ensure emergency contact details are available
- Turn off lights and unplug electronics
- Set up email and voicemail ‘out of office’ and switch off!
Important information: Please note that this is only intended as a general guide in relation to issues you may want to consider when travelling. It is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all relevant issues and you should take into account your own particular circumstances, and obtain independent expert advice where needed, before proceeding. To decide if these products are appropriate for you, please read and consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement.