Being an extensive world traveller I know it can be stressful to think of everything you might possibly need when packing for a vacation. Here is a list of what to pack for a trip, a travel check list that will make sure you have all the important items and essentials for a disappointment free holiday.
The Essential Packing List
Passport and Travel Tickets
By far the most essential item to pack on the list. Without your passport your chances of leaving your country or traveling to any other are exactly zero. Good practice is to have a little folder with your passport and airline or travel tickets all safely together.
Depending on the country you are traveling too, you may be required to have a visa or visa waiver. Do your research and apply in advance. Some will be issued in paper form and some will be electronically tagged to your passport.
Credit Card / Currency / Travelers Cheques
Get your currency before you leave. You will need some when you arrive at your destination for taxi's etc. The exchange rate in airports is very expensive and you will get a lot more for your money at your local post office.
You would be very unwise to travel without any holiday insurance. Always keep a printout of your policy with you just incase.
Another essential on your list of what to pack for a trip. Travel to some countries will require you to have vaccinations in advance and you may need to take specific medication with you such as anti-malaria tablets.
Also remember any prescription medication you may need or essential items such as inhalers.
You may intend to rent a car while on your trip or suddenly feel the need to do some exploring and a backup form of I.D is always a good thing too.
Easily forgotten, you've booked a beautiful place to stay, you get out of the airport and into a taxi, then you realize you cannot remember the name or address of your hotel or accommodation. Have their phone number handy too incase you need to inform them of any flight delays or change of plans.
Anti-Diarrhea / Travel Sickness Tablets
Your stomach is not always accustomed to foreign cuisine however good it may be and nothing is better at wrecking a holiday / vacation than a bad case of diarrhea.
First Aid Kit
You never know what knocks and scrapes your going to get during your adventure and in hot and humid countries the littlest cuts can turn nasty if not treated. Pack according to where you are going, what you will be doing and the medical help that is available in that area. Remember to pack basics such as headache pills and insect repellent and learn the basics of how to prevent mosquito bites.
Sunblock / Sunscreen
You do not want to be spending your vacation holed up in a dark room suffering from sunstroke, blisters and sunburn. I know everybody wants to return home sporting a golden tan but be sensible. Pack plenty of sunscreen and cover up appropriately.
Sunglasses / Sun Hat
Along the same lines, too much exposure to sun will cause headaches and tiredness. Keep the top of your head protected and be sure your sunglasses are UV protected.
You'd think this would be an obvious one on the list but you would be surprised how many people pack the wrong attire. Find out about the climate where you are traveling too, it may be hot in the day but turn chilly in the evenings. Think about bathing costumes you may need. Respect any customs other countries may have, in certain destinations women may be required to keep certain amount of their body covered up.
Cell Phone / Mobile Phone And Charger
Most people have their phones stuck at their sides and would find it a hard to forget. However, the phone charger very often slips people's minds and ends up stuck in the wall at home while the dying phone cruises to the other side of the world at 50,000 feet.
Ipod And Charger
Some can not live without music, for others it passes the time in airports, on coaches or just lazing on the beach, but again, remember the charger!
Book Or Kindle
Depending on your preference. An easy item to forget and to some an essential one.
Capture all the special moments of your trip. Remember to pack a memory card and the camera charger or batteries
Watch / Alarm Clock
Some hotels will provide a wake up call but you don't want to be spending your precious vacation days over-sleeping and missing out.
Flip Flops / Slaps / Thongs
The same footwear but with different names depending on what country you are reading this from. A necessity if you are visiting a hot country. Ensure they are comfortable or try to wear them in first as feet that are used to shoes are prone to blisters.
An often forgotten item to pack for trip. Don't overdo it as they are bulky, heavy and take up a lot of room, plus most hotels provide them (if you are staying in a hotel), but it is good to have at least one with you.
Goggles / Face mask
You may be lucky enough to be traveling somewhere exotic that boasts crystal clear water and beautiful marine life. Pack some good swimming equipment to make sure you don't miss out.
It is easy to forget that other countries use different mains sockets to your own. Not having the correct adapter for the country you are visiting will render all of your electrical items useless.
Pack anything you may need for your daily health and beauty routines. Toothbrush, razor, deodorant etc. If you are not going on a long trip, shower gel, antiperspirants and things like that are available in travel size to save room and lighten your load.
You never know when you are going to be faced with a power cut, and stumbling around in the pitch black in an unfamiliar place usually doesn't end well.
I hope this list of what to pack for a trip helps, and I wish you a great vacation. Happy Travel!
For the surfers out there... what to pack for a surf trip.