STORY BY Gemma Swanson
The Ultimate Checklist for things you should do before you leave to go away
The Love Everything Travel editor, Gemma, is bringing to you everything you should do before you walk out the door to go travelling anywhere. These tips are purely gained from experience and many years of making mistakes and learning from them. Our mistakes, your benefits!
Of course, the most important tip of all is your PASSPORT. Funny we mention it- I bet some of you are thinking who can possibly forget their passport? Don’t laugh, it happens. Another common mistake is not checking the expiry date and having to do a mad rush to get it updated (come on- some of us have been here too). Going along with the passport importance next up is travel insurance. Whenever anyone asks me ‘do you think I should get travel insurance?’ my response is always ‘duh YES’. As we have said before you cannot predict anything – travel insurance is cheap but you are not- sure you can shop around for the best discount but don’t even think about traveling without insurance.
Phones…oh they are so reliable…NOT. Do not rely on your phone for your tickets, boarding passes and itinerary. Print out a copy and put it in a travel folder- you can buy cute travel wallets almost everywhere- is Kmart your one love at the moment? There you go, I just provided you with an excuse to go to Kmart. It is too often your phone dies without you even realising it was low on battery. They are great for keeping in contact with your loved ones while you are away, however print out (the poor trees) a copy of your itinerary and emergency contact details, perhaps a friend you are travelling with to give to your family. While you are printing – print off the directions and contact details for your destinations. This allows for reduced frazzeldness (not even a word- but trust me you can feel like this) if you know exactly where you are heading, even if you haven’t been to the country before. Since you obviously want to keep up to date about what is going on in your home country, do some research about internet plans. Some can be cheap but some can end up being very expensive.
On a boring note I will make this quick, make sure to register your travel details with your Governments travel website. If there is a natural disaster in the country you are visiting the authorities can easily find you. EASY DONE. Phew.
This next tip is extremely important if you are going to 3rd world countries, in saying that it is also important anywhere you go. Take the time to go and visit a doctor to get your shots if they are not up to date. Also, speak to your doctor if you need to get any other types of shots to stay health and safe overseas. Also also, while you are seeing your doctor you may as well make a day of ‘health’ and visit the dentist– everyone’s favourite!! It is important to check up on your teeth. You cannot predict serious dental problems.
Water, snacks, hand sanitiser. These 3 things were permanently in my Mum’s handbag when I was a child so maybe I am biased to them and think they are a necessity 😉 water- obvious. Snacks well hmm…airport food can be expensive or you might be on a train which means no food for a couple of hours so the solution is to always have a muesli bar on hand or some sort of snack- you don’t want to be travelling on an empty stomach. HANGRY in another country and travelling with others…not cool. Hand sanitiser is also vital especially in airports, as there are so many people passing through them, so they are the best place to pick up some sort of bug, even though it is quite easily preventable.
If you are travelling with medication, I mean more than just Panadol and Zyrtec, you will need a doctors letter as it could be suspicious otherwise. Did you know that codeine is banned in some countries without prescription?
When you travel – everything is exciting, however those long bus rides or plane flights you will need to be entertained with something other than your eyelids. Download some podcasts or reading material before you leave. www.loveeverythingtravel.com has a good couple of hours’ worth of interesting content.
For a person like myself who feels the cold in 24 degree air con, always pack a scarf or a shawl. They pack up small and come in handy when you need something to throw over yourself if you get cold.
Do you ever feel gross and then the minute you brush your teeth everything is fine? Yes- well then why not pack a travel toothbrush and toothpaste to give yourself a little freshen up. Such an easy fix.
HOME OWNERS and RENTERS these tips are for you! (If you do not have a house sitter looking after your home) I am about to spill a tonne tips, get the notebook and pen ready. Organise someone to pick up your mail and put out your rubbish bins. Turn off powerpoints and appliances. For energy efficiency, unplug anything that has a red light on it- TV’s, microwave, computers. Turn your fridge down to low, to save energy and pop a posted note on the front to turn it back up when you return home. You don’t want to come home to a huge electricity bill when you haven’t even been there! Throw out any food or milk that will go off while you are away- I have done this one too many times. YUCK is all I can say. Iron off, stove off- check, check. Empty all rubbish bins in all rooms. Make sure the washing is up to date- nothing is left on the line. You don’t want your knickers ending up in your neighbour’s front yard! All windows and patio doors closed and locked. It is a good idea to leave one window open a crack to allow for air flow. Choose a window that will not be affected by the weather. Empty the dishwasher, I tell you the last thing you would feel like doing when you arrive home is unpacking the dishwasher. Buy one low watt light to put in the bathroom. Flush the toilet – obviously you might be thinking? Just do it. Put a cap full of vinegar and half a cap of bicarbonate soda in drains and the toilet it will foam up and remove any stains while you are away. Thoroughly clean out the kitchen, wipe down the benches and clean out the sink. You don’t want to come home to a party of ants taking over your home. Organise the pest control people to come the week before you leave. No cockroaches or spiders will be residing in your house while you are away. It is also a good idea to check the weather outlook for while you are away so you can move any outdoor furniture inside.
This tip relates to almost everyone who owns clothes. If you are going away for more than a week, open your clothes cupboards, doors or drawers so they air while you are away.
NEXT: Your beloved pets. I am sure this is almost the first thing you will organise. Plan a place for them to stay or organise someone to come around every day to feed them and give them some love while you are away. Make sure to give them their monthly flea protection before you leave. If pets aren’t your thing, but plants are then basically they are the same thing (haha). Organise someone to come over and water them.
Well…well…well…we have come to the end of all the tips we possibly have. I bet your brain hurts and your to do list is now 2 pages long. Don’t worry after a while all of these things will become habit. If you would like a checklist we have one available here
Happy travelling, happy adventuring and of course be safe.
From Gemma Love Everything Travel Team
Gemma is a young associate editor on the team for Love Everything Travel. She is studying a Bachelor of Business Management and Marketing and has a passion for blog writing. She has been working with Annie Holden for over 2 years. Gemma has many adventures in the works this year including skiing in New Zealand and visiting Cambodia, Thailand and the Philippines.
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