The Ultimate Packing List

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We’ve all been there. The last minute melt down when the horrible effort of packing seems to outweigh the excitement of the trip. ‘How could I possibly fit enough stuff for 6 months in this bag?!’ … ‘Is my passport already in there?’ The drama usually ends with all the wrong things being thrown into a rucksack and an argument ensuing with your Mum. In order to combat this kind of disaster, I’ve put together a fool proof packing list; so that you don’t end up on the other side of the world without the bare necessities. This way you can systematically tick things off as they go in, for a stress free experience.

packing
Photo courtesy of Jasmine Stockham

DOCUMENTS

  • Plastic file – You’ll need somewhere to keep your documents safe and dry.
  • Passport
  • Boarding Pass
  • Travel Itinerary – If you know you’re going to be moving around, it’s a great idea to have a printed itinerary so you know where you’re going, when and how.
  • Insurance policy – Keep this bad boy with you at all times, you never know what’s around the corner.
  • EHIC Card – Only if you’re staying in Europe.
  • FCO info – Go on the FCO website and search the country you’re going to. It’ll be handy to print off their travel advice for the region so you can refer back to it.
  • Vaccination Certificates – You should have gone to your doctor 6-8 weeks before the trip to see if you needed any vaccinations. In some countries you are required to carry certificates to ensure that you’re vaccinated against certain diseases like Yellow Fever.

FINANCE 

  • Two credit, debit or travel cards – It’s always best to have more than one card to avoid poverty if you lose one. Check that they don’t expire whilst you are away and inform your bank of the trip.
  • Cash – Don’t take loads; but carry a bit of cash in the country’s currency to make sure you have enough to get transport from the airport to your accommodation and buy some food.

HEALTH PRODUCTS 

  • Sun cream – Take a few bottles with you. The quality of sun cream in other places, especially outside Europe, may not be as good.
  • Bug spray
  • Any medication that you already need – Carry this in your hand luggage just in case your hold luggage gets lost.
  • Travel medication – As aforementioned, you must go to the doctor 6-8 weeks before you travel to see if they wish to prescribe any drugs like Malaria tablets.

ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT

  • Wi-Fi device – Be it a phone, kindle or tablet, it’s good to have some kind of device which will allow you to update your friends and family on where you are and how much fun you’re having.
  • Adaptor – In order to charge said Wi-Fi device, make sure you have the right adaptor.
  • Camera

CLOTHES AND FOOTWEAR 

This is very dependent on the kind of trip you’re doing, but here are some things to think about…

  • Climate appropriate clothes – Make sure you know the weather in each region for your whole route, not just the first country. I ended up in the Albanian mountains without a jumper.
  • Culturally appropriate clothes – Do some research into the culture and religion of the country/countries you’re visiting in order to pack culturally appropriate clothes.
  • Activity appropriate footwear – Have a think about the activities you’re planning to do so that you don’t end up trying to climb Machu Picchu in flip flops.

 

To get that all important info on the country that you’re travelling to, hit https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice

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