Travelling abroad for the first time: what to pack?

Talk about taking things for granted.  

This week I had a young lady at the office ask me a whole lot of questions before her first trip abroad. Now I take a lot of pleasure in helping others, and also because travelling gives me so much joy. But it reminded me of how daunting (and exciting) it was when I took my first trip, alone, some years ago. Can you believe that’s a pic of me 9 years ago?! It inspired me to write this series of posts.

Packing can be the most laborious task before going on a trip, but it can be totally exciting, because it means your vaca is on the horizon.

We use the Packpoint App for a packing list. It asks you a few questions before generating your list. If you unable to access it for free, there are many other Apps on your Play Store/App Store that will work just fine.

Our top tips, some of which may not feature on your packing list:

  • Itinerary and travel confirmations – please print these out and carry them with you
  • A pen – you need a pen for completing landing forms, and VISA’s on arrival etc.
  • Travel adapter – check if you need a travel adapter. I always carry a two-pin adapter from SA. You never know!😊
  • Spare set of clothes – your bags can get lost or delayed, so you want to pack a spare change of clothes in your hand luggage. This has happened to me before. Lesson learnt!
  • Airport and airline restrictions – please take note of any airport and airline restrictions – type of bag, baggage size, limits on liquid containers in your hand luggage etc
  • Extra luggage – if you travelling to a shoppers paradise, pack an extra bag in your luggage, and carry a hand luggage or a backpack as well. Trust me. 😊
  • Headphones – you need these to listen to music and watch videos on your phone. Some airplanes do not have entertainment, or it may be limited.
  • Locks – we don’t just use locks on our luggage when catching a flight, but also lock our bags at the hotel for when we sightseeing. This way your valuables are always safe, and you prevent items from getting lost / stolen, and issues with the hotel. OCD kicking in! LOL
  • Wet wipes, hand sanitiser, and medication – some of which need to be in your hand luggage, please. Medication we usually carry – Allergex, Imodium, Disprin, a course of Antibiotics, and Band Aids.
  • Selfie Stick – especially if you are travelling alone.
  • Camera and charger – for the photographers
  • Books – for when you don’t want to carry your kindle, or when your phone / kindle battery is flat.
  • Beach bag – going on a beach holiday, remember your beach bag!
  • Umbrella or rain coat – if it rains where you going, then remember to take a compact umbrella or poncho, and raincoat.

All of these are nice to haves, but the most important items are your:

  • Passport;
  • Bank card, and
  • Phone

Happy Packing! 🙂

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