Forgetting to pack something is a common mistake that I’m sure everyone has been guilty of. I’ve muttered the words ‘oh crap, I’ve forgotten …’ almost every time I travel, whether it is on the way to the airport or during the frantic search of my luggage in the hotel.
Luckily, the items are not crucial but when it comes to my travelling essentials, I always triple check before I go.
1. Passport and copies: Well it’s a given that you need to bring your passport for international travels but I always make sure I have copies of my passport with me incase I ever lose the original. I usually have a paper copy hidden in my luggage as well as a scanned version on my cyberspace cloud. This will make identifying yourself easier at your Embassy.
2. Travel Insurance: Travelling with travel insurance adds security and it may be difficult to remember your insurance company, policy number, etc at times of panic and stress. So, same as my passport, I bring along copies of my travel insurance policy. So far, I have been lucky enough to never need to claim any form of travel insurance.
3. Medication: I suffer from allergies and it tends to hit at random times. Travelling to a new country, pharmacies may be hard to come by, especially if you’re in a rural location. I bring my antihistamines, medicine to counter motion sickness and diarrhoea as well as sleeping pills for the long haul flights.
4. Comfy Shoes: Exploring new places usually equals to plenty of walking. I’ve made the mistake of wearing uncomfortable shoes before and had to suffer from the lingering foot cramps and blisters. Bring a pair of comfy walking shoes and ideally ones that you have already worn in and proven to last the distance.
5. Camera and Charger: As a lover of photography, I can’t go without either my camera or phone because taking photos help me relive my travel adventures. When I have time, I back up my photos either to my iPad or online, incase I misplace my memory card, or worse, the file gets corrupted on my SD card.
6. Sunscreen: UV rays are deadly and dangerous and I can not leave the accommodation without sunscreen. I work in the medical field and have seen too many people being diagnosed with skin cancer. Always. Wear. Sunscreen.
7. Cash: Don’t depend on finding an ATM because chances are, when you need it the most, you won’t be able to find one. Carry some cash with you and ideally in a currency like Euros or USD which is more recognised internationally.
8. Luggage Locks: This may sound slightly paranoid, but I make sure my luggage is locked up whenever I part with it, whether it is baggage check at the airport, luggage stowaway on public transport or when I leave my hotel room.
Last but not least, 9. Common Sense: Okay, so you can’t pack this but it is the most essential thing when travelling. Use your common sense! Don’t walk alone during the night, hide your money in different safe places, be careful of your belongings and be wary of scams and frauds. Although unfortunate things can happen to the best of us, but using your common sense can reduce the chances and ensure a safe and happy holiday!