Maybe this is your first time traveling or maybe you’ve flown a thousand times, but always get stressed in the airport. Maybe you have traveled in the past, but it’s been a while and you’re feeling nervous. Whatever the circumstance, we can help. Here’s your no-nonsense, ultimate travel checklist:
There are many options too choose from and that probably makes it all the more confusing. Normally all luggage goes through hell being stacked together and tossed around, so look for something sturdy. If you are trying to pack light, avoid bags with a lot of heavy structure in them; wheeled suitcases are very convenient as long as you can roll them, but are made heavier by the extra gadgets inside. A small duffel bag is perfect if you want to keep everything with you in carry-on.
Your I.D, whether it is your passport or driver’s license should be at your fingertips as you make your way through all the hoops at the airport. Stick it in the front pocket of your jacket or in an easily-accessible pocket of your carry-on.
Call your bank ahead of time. Let them know where you’re going and how long you will be gone. Exchange some money at the airport before you leave, or even order it a few weeks in advance if you’re worried about having time to change money. Having a credit card abroad is great, especially for emergencies, and especially if your card is internationally recognized. The benefit of a debit card, however, is easy withdrawal of cash, which could end up being important if you find the places you are visiting don’t accept cards. This is common in markets and at festivals, for example.
- Eye wear
Make sure you have any glasses or contacts you’re going to need on the trip. However, opt for glasses on the plane; the dry, cold interior and high altitude of the plane can make contacts…unenjoyable.
Roll your clothes, don’t fold them; they fit much better that way! Don’t use this as the opportunity to try that thing you usually hate at home; only pack the essentials. You’ll want to bring souvenirs home and it’s always best to leave a little room and pack as light as possible, even if you are bringing a monstrous case along.
NO NEW SHOES! Don’t do that to yourself. Break in your walking shoes before you leave and wear shoes that are easy to take on and off at the airport.
- Avoid bringing valuables along
Tourists are targets for the thieves and con artists, it’s a fact. If a valued item is just too precious to part with for a few weeks, consider how much you’d miss losing it for good. Bring valuables at your own risk.
Bring enough medication to last you the trip and then some–just in case. What if your flight gets delayed on the way home? These things can happen. Bring along bandaids and callous pads, feminine hygiene needs; anything you may anticipate needing during the flight and your first few days. But also base this on where you are going. If you are headed to a city, assume that you will have access to feminine hygiene products or bandaids and don’t waste the space in your case on them.
Be sure to bring the proper converters and cords for your technology. If your phone is going to need a SIM card in your new location, plan on getting that taken care of even before you leave the airport, so you don’t wind up stranded (we’ve been there, done that…) As with valuables, consider what you will really need on your trip; your Mac laptop case will stand out a mile to pickpockets and the like. There’s no reason to be paranoid, just be smart.
- Learn the rules
Before any trip, this is the most important thing to check off your list: read the TSA and airline guidelines and follow them to the letter. You don’t want to have to throw away your expensive cologne at the TSA counter because it exceeds the carryon liquids limit or have to pay extra for a bag that weighs more than the baggage limitations. Avoid drama at the airport and on your trip by researching what items are banned in your destination and leaving them at home.