Heading off on holiday is always an exciting time. Whether you’re anticipating a week of hitting the slopes, a fortnight of sunning yourself with a cocktail in hand or a month-long cruise, the build-up to jetting off on a new adventure is an addictive feeling – one which those who’ve been bitten by the travel bug actively pursue. However, in amongst all the day-dreaming of how much you’ll do on your trip (or how much you won’t do as the case may be), a certain amount of practical planning needs to take place. Otherwise you could well find yourself halfway round the world with only one flip-flop, no toothbrush and seven pairs of shoes you certainly don’t need.
If you don’t make sure you have the appropriate visas for your destination, for example, or fail to notice that your passport has expired, you’re going to be in for one heck of a disappointment. So, in order to prevent the worse happening, we’ve put together our ultimate holiday planning checklist. Don’t plan your trip without it!
As clothing is dependent on your chosen destination, we won’t attempt to list every possible item you might need. However, we advise you to always pack less than you think you need but work along the following guidelines:
Day-time pieces Take items to mix and match. Think about the temperatures at your destination and remember the evenings could get chilly.
Dressier outfits For when you go out for dinner in the evening.
Shoes Be brutal as they take up a lot of precious suitcase space and you probably won’t even wear them all. Consider the activities you might partake in such as hiking or long days of walking and sightseeing, then choose your shoes accordingly.
Swimwear If you’re heading out on a beach-break or might visit a pool or spa.
Underwear/socks/tights Whilst you may not need them for warmth, you may still need to wear supportive hosiery if you have a medical need.
Nightwear Remember it could get quite hot and sticky at night.
A comfortable outfit for travelling Don’t forget to wear shoes and accessories that you can easily and quickly slip on and off to pass through security.
Micro-fibre towel or sarong The latter can work just as well in a hot country as it will dry fast in the sun and takes up much less space.
Bags As well as a bag to carry your essentials when travelling, remember to pack a beach-bag that can handle the sand.
Sunglasses and sun hat Sunglasses are particularly important if you plan to spend any time driving under the blazing sun.
Jewellery/cufflinks Again, be selective and choose pieces that easily mix and match with your outfits.
Watch Remember to set the time to your chosen destination.
Laundry bag This makes it easier to quickly see which clothes are clean and which are dirty.
Suncream and aftersun Although you can usually purchase this whilst abroad, it’s likely to come at a premium cost.
Shower gel It’s best to take your own, especially if you have sensitive skin.
Travel tissues/wet wipes
Medication. Ensure you travel with any medication you might require along with the original prescription and, if necessary, a note from your doctor.
Smartphone and relevant apps Check with your network as to how much roaming costs might be and download relevant apps, such as Google Maps, which could make your life a lot easier. You can even download maps and currency converters to use offline so you won’t have to wait until you can get Wi-Fi to use them.
Plug adaptor Check the types of plugs in your country of origin before setting off – you may be able to pick these up in the airport.
MP3 player/kindle/tablet with necessary downloads Essential for keeping yourself entertained when in transit.
Battery pack and lead In case you need to charge any medical devices.
Camera Unless you choose to use your trusty smartphone, of course.
The essentials – don’t leave home without them
Passport Some countries require you to have at least six months left on your passport to enter – make sure your passport is up-to-date and kept in a safe, secure place on your person.
VISA Check the regulations for your destination of choice – some visas can be purchased on arrival, others need to be applied for in advance.
Money and bank cards Bring both English money and foreign currency with you in case of emergency as well as your bank cards – don’t forget to let your bank know you are away and find out the charges for using a card or cashpoint abroad. You can now also pre-load cashpoint cards with cash through some travel agents so you don’t need to worry about travellers cheques.
Flight confirmations Whether they are e-confirmations, on an app or printed off, be sure you have them to hand to make checking in as stress-free as possible.Some airlines require you to check in and print your own boarding pass in advance, be sure to read the small print unless you want to end up with a hefty penalty fee.
Hotel details and directions Just in case your smartphone’s battery runs dry, it’s best to make a copy of your hotel’s name and address so that if the worst comes to the worst, you can hop in a taxi.
Travel insurance Last but not least, book the right travel insurance for your trip. Nobody likes to think about things going wrong on their holiday but if you were to fall sick or lose your luggage, you could find yourself severely out of pocket without the necessary precautions. Medical Travel Compared offers an online comparison tool to help you search through a wide variety of insurers to locate the best policy for your money and circumstances.