Before you head off on a big trip or holiday, it’s really quite sensible to make a comprehensive list of all the things you think you will need while you are away.
This means considering carefully your destination and asking yourself the following: Will it be hot? Are there certain cultural differences I need to account for? Will I need to take some hygienic items with me? And so on. Once you have found the best hotel deals in London, you can start planning for the rest of your trip.
Making a list also helps when it comes to actually packing your suitcase – especially if you leave it to the last minute! When packing, it’s easy to overcomplicate things and include bits and bobs you aren’t even likely to need. Thinking about this pragmatically beforehand will make it a much smoother experience and may even save you some space – after all, you might want to treat yourself to a few things while you are out there!
From clothing to little gadgets, here are some of the things you might want to think about taking on your next trip.
Jumper and scarf for the plane
Although you might be jetting off for warmer climes, once the plane reaches a certain altitude, it is bound to get a bit chilly. If you are travelling for four hours or on a long-haul flight, the last thing you want it to be uncomfortable, so pack a few warm items even if you know you won’t actually wear them on holiday.
Firstly, always take a decent jacket on the off chance the weather takes a turn for the worst. You don’t want to end up soaking wet and catching a cold on holiday, do you?
Secondly, always pack with the culture in mind. In some countries, you may be required to cover up while out in public. Even in liberal countries, you may be refused entry to a religious monument if your legs are exposed.
Footwear is also crucial. Yes, those heels look fabulous, but can you walk around the streets of Milan in them all day? Similarly, flip flops are great for the beach, but not so good one a night out in the city. Pack a variety of footwear to ensure you are covered for all activities and occasions.
It is sensible to break down what you will need for each day you are away (for a shorter trip) so that you can really see why you are taking each item of clothing. If you already have an idea of what activities you will be doing while on holiday, you can pack much more efficiently.
Really, it’s is just about thinking economically and practically about each thing you pack – the last thing you want to do is turn up with too many pairs of jeans and not enough underwear!
If you are taking a host of electrical items away with you – and in this day and age, who isn’t? – make sure you have the right adapters to charge them at your destination.
You can purchase a universal plug adapter that changes to accommodate most sockets around the world, or you can wait until you arrive and purchase one that is specific to the country you are in. The former is particularly good for multi-country trips.
A good book!
In the world of Kindles, iPads and smartphones, the humble book can sometimes struggle to compete for your attention. But the great thing about books is that they don’t run out of battery and you don’t have to worry about breaking them or losing them on your trip. Getting into a good story can also make a flight go much faster – once you’re engrossed in a tale, it’s impossible to put a good book down.
Don’t forget to pack all your hygiene care items; this can mean anything from toothpaste to hand sanitizer.
If you are going to hot, dry countries, you may want to consider after sun skin care lotions and moisturisers as well as a respected brand of sun cream. Lip balm is also important as hot weather can lead to dry, chapped lips.
You can always buy general items like soap and shampoo when you arrive, but it’s best to take your special cosmetics with you (unless you don’t mind going away without them!).
Firstly, you should always have a decent amount of local currency on you for when you land. This can help with transport and small purchases on your way to the hotel. However, you don’t want to have all your cash on you, for obvious reasons, so it’s wise to take some form of travel card.
The Caxton FX travel card is ideal for all types of traveller. All you need to do is connect it to your bank account and you can top it up online as you need it. You can use the card at an ATM that displays the MasterCard sign and when you draw out money, it will be the foreign currency. Caxton FX make the exchange for you at a decent rate.
If the card is lost, it only has access to the amount you have loaded and can be cancelled with ease.
As a precaution, it is also wise to take your debit card and a credit card with you as well. These should be used only in an emergency as you will likely incur fees for buying something abroad.
A guide book
You may think you’ve done your homework on Google, but it never hurts to have a little reference point while you’re out about about in a foreign country. Most good travel books contain maps so that if you do find yourself lost, or can’t locate that bar you’ve heard good things about, you can use the book as a guide.
Safety and security
Small padlocks for your suitcase or bag is always a good idea for a trip. Realistically, they won’t stop a thief – if someone wants to get into your bag, they will – but it may deter them due to the extra effort it will take to get into it.
Also, you may wish to buy a concealed bag for items like money while you are out and about. Much like a flat version of the ever-popular bum bag, these handy items can be strapped to your body with ease; however, the difference is that these bags are concealed under your clothing so they cannot be snatched or stolen quickly.
While you don’t want to be carrying your actual passport around with you all the time, it is sensible to have a few paper copies on you in the event of an emergency. On some day trips or excursions you may be asked to produce the document, but a copy like this will usually suffice.
The last thing you want to forget is your camera! Make sure this is packed nice and early with all the accessories you need. This means extra lenses, tripod, carry case, strap, spare memory card, charger and any other trinket a budding photographer needs.
Alternatively, you can go old school and buy a disposable camera at Boots in the airport.