30 January 2018
Planning a trip and packing should be done well ahead of time. However, the busy lives we lead often don’t allow the luxury of leisurely preparation time for travelling.
Here are the 4 important things you should never forget to take on a trip:
You will not be able to get through customs at your departing airport, let alone board a plane and leave the country without these. Avoid the major stress, hassle and cost of returning home to retrieve your passport or visa, which could end up with you missing your flight or having to cancel your trip.
Aside from your passport and visa, ensure you have hard copies of travel tickets (outbound and inbound) and hotel confirmation. Don’t assume there will be somewhere to print return tickets. Having a digital copy of your all your documents on your mobile device is also highly recommended. Boarding pass, hotel, passport, the lot. Of course, you don’t go on a trip expecting to lose your documents, however, it happens. If anything gets lost or stolen it will make it easier to get it replaced.
Keep all these essential travel documents protected and with you by keeping them with you in your hand luggage in a separate, secure location. Keep them accessible so you can breeze through security efficiently.
You need some means of paying for items while you’re away, but don’t carry too much cash. It’s important to carry some local currency when you arrive for incidentals or if cards aren’t accepted. Don’t rely on local ATM’s as there may not be a conveniently located one, or the exchange rates may not be the best. Shop around for the best exchange rate before you travel to make your cash go further. Ideally take a debit and credit card with you so you aren’t stuck if one gets lost. Keep money on your person and don’t keep it all in one place to improve security.
Whether it is your phone, lap top, camera, kindle, these are your essential life-savers that you don’t want to be without during your trip. Keep them in your hand luggage and keep them secure. Other useful and important gadgets to pack include:
Extra memory card – so there’s no chance of missing anything you want to photograph as a keepsake of the memories made along the way.
Phone charger and adaptor – your smartphone will be useless if you don’t bring a charger and adapter. Yes you can buy a replacement, but unless you realise your error at the airport, this will be a major hassle to source and in any case, it will cost you a fortune.
Lock – no matter what kind of trip you’re taking, bringing an extra lock is always a good idea. It keeps your belongings safe in unfamiliar places.
Headphones or ear buds – especially for long waits, flights, or train trips. Always keep them close to your music device. Read these Top Tips on Luggage Security when Travelling.
Even if you’re rushing off on an overseas trip, you still need travel insurance. Some people think that travel insurance isn’t essential, but it is. Mishaps happen and an illness or injury could cost thousands. Taking out travel insurance for EU residents should definitely be a priority for peace of mind and protection while away. Some companies offer insurance even if you have already travelled. It’s best to buy a policy as soon as you book your trip and that way you are covered immediately for any pre-paid costs if something goes wrong as long as you have Cancellation cover.
Most policies cover medical expenses like doctor visits, emergency medical evacuation, and hospitalisation, which can easily get very expensive overseas. Trip cancellation or curtailment is usually covered too, along with lost, damaged, or stolen luggage and personal possessions, travel delay and personal liability. Policies do vary, so check the coverage you’ve selected suits your particular requirements. Typically events insurance covers includes sudden, unforeseen illness or injury, natural disasters in the destination, mugging or theft, and certain emergencies back home, such as death or serious illness of a close relative.
Whenever you are in a hurry before a trip, these 4 essentials should be at the top of our priority list. Other essential items include any prescription medication. Carry a few days’ worth in your hand luggage in case you baggage goes missing. Once you’ve got these basics covered, you can sort anything else out that you have forgotten. Whenever you travel, check the latest travel advice from the FCO and stay safe.