Things to think about before you leave
From The Universal Packing List adapted by your teacher
For before your trip and on luggage sets...
Apart from buying tickets, booking rooms, getting visas and vaccinations...
Take your pet to your friend's house! At this point, you need to have looked for someone to look after your pet(s)!, if you've got one/some: Can you take care of my dog while I'm away, please?
Make a lunch. A few sandwiches made in advance can save you quite a lot of money by not having to buy food on trains or at airports where food is expensive, or even impossible to get. Also important if you're travelling with kids.
Empty all trash cans. Don't come back to a stinking house!
Confirm airline tickets & whatever you booked
Memorize PIN codes to credit cards so that you can use them with ATM machines to get cash.
Memorize important phone numbers, like the one of your Embassy...
Check out what hospitals are covered by your health insurance
Check you've got all the basic documents
Cash. If you bring cash, find out which are the most convenient denominations.
Credit cards. In a group, it's good to have different brands of cards. Make sure to carry the phone numbers to call to report if your card is stolen!
ID card or passport and driving licence in case you lose your ID card!
Special cards: If you're a student, International Student Identification Card (ISIC). It can save you some money in Youth Hostels, trains, museums, planes, so get one if you qualify as a student. If you can, get the brochure with addresses to student travel organisations in different countries, and tear out the pages you want. You will need these addresses if you want to buy student plane tickets.
Maps and/or Guidebooks and/or Travel Phrasebooks
Keys. To your home and places you plan to visit
Clothes. The lighter you travel, the better. Long trips often mean different climates and that you really need to buy stuff underway. Shirts, T-shirts, sweat shirts, pants, shorts, skirts, dresses, jeans... Underware, swimware... Footware. Shoes. Very important. Only use good quality shoes! Sandals ( Flip-flops ). Very nice to have in hot climates, or on filthy bathroom floors.
Money-belt, or something for carrying money and documents. Remember to carry important things in 2 or more locations. This way you'll have some extra money and identity papers to continue travelling in case your things get stolen. You could use paper folders or stiff envelopes. A money-belt...
A little bag? Something for carrying small things!
Backpack (Rucksack). Stay away from the cheap ones! I don't like the ones with lots of external pockets since they are easy to steal from. I try to use one that seems a bit too small since that forces me to skip some unnecessary things. Remember that you are most likely going to have more things when coming home than when you left. Avoid backpacks with an external metallic frame, since the frame can break if thrown up on a truck or something. They are not easy to push into small boxes at railways stations and similar places.
Sheets (Bed covers) and pillowcase. If you find out that you don't trust the ones you get in hotels. A sheet bag is also an option and a requirement for sleeping in many YHA youth hostels. A pillow is too large to fit in a backpack, but you can make one by just stuffing clothes into a pillowcase.
Earplugs. Invaluable on long flights. Packs very small and can also save you (or your fellow traveller) a night's sleep.
Sunglasses. Small ones are cool but will leave your eyes pretty unprotected.
Cap (Hat). Two out of every three Australians who live to the age of 75 can expect to develop some type of skin cancer, so hats are more or less government recommendation in Australia. I'm not too fond of hats, but I have burnt my nose to pure coal so many times now that I've bought myself a cool hat.
Hygiene. Use a separate pouch so that you can easily bring everything with you when you go to the bathroom. A towel! Toilet bag (Bathroom bag, Necessaire). A handy bag where you put all your hygiene items. Razor and shaving gel (shaving foam). Either a razor with disposable blades, or disposable light-weight razors. They are actually good for several shaves. Leave the can of shaving gel/foam at home, unless you can find a really small can. I prefer to use soap since you must carry soap with you anyway. Another option is to use brushless shaving cream, or shaving oil. Toothbrush and toothpaste. One of the few things you can buy all over the world, as well as the toothpaste, so... Shampoo. It should be no real problem getting it in most towns all over the world. Also available at all hotels, free of charge, but it may not smell like you're used to. Deodorant. Some say this is a must. Sunblock lotion. Can be hard and/or very expensive to get in some countries. Bring some heavy duty stuff! Extra glasses. If you are like me, blind without glasses, you need some kind of backup. Carry your prescription as well, and keep the glasses in a sturdy box so that they will not be crushed in your backpack. Tampons / Sanitary pads. Condoms. Can be kind of hard to find in some countries. Don't go abroad without them! As for birth control pills/devices, these can cause some raised eyebrows (or worse) at customs checks in some countries if the woman is travelling alone. Wearing a wedding ring even if you're single is often recommended. Pills, tablets and medicines you may need. Keep them in their original containers. Water purifying tablets, allergy pills (Anti-histamines), whatever! For more resources on health, check our resource/reading checklist as well as about other health concerns
1. backpack 2. cosmetic bag 3. garment bag 4. laptop case
5. upright carry-on 6. upright pullman
7. luggage sets