Travel Savvy - Checklist # 1 - Lets not forget

How many times have you arrived at your holiday destination and said 'Ah, I forgot to bring that.’ I have almost always done this. So, I decided to put my PM skills to use off work and to come out with a traveller's packing-checklist. This list is my recommendations[?] for the casual traveller. Some tweaking is required for the business traveller, but this serves as a general guide.


  • Travel Document 

  • Passport or personal identification or a valid travel document.
  • VISA - this is applicable for international travel. Without a valid approval, the traveller will not be allowed into the destination country. If required, here are several ways to obtain this
  •  on arrival
  •  from a local consulate
  •  authorised online portals
Do check the validity of the visa and if it covers the entire duration of your stay. If not, you may need to cross borders and then re-enter. 
This is an excellent website to cross-check:

  • Travel tickets

  • Tickets – train, bus, flight, helicopter, car rental, payment cards for faster tolls booths checkout (TouchAndGo & Smart Tags).
  • Entrance tickets – if you have purchased any of these online - concert, broad way or museums.

  • Hotel reservations 

  • Hotel reservations and to confirm your reservation with the hotel before arrival. 

  • In-country travel arrangements.


  • Credit card
 I prefer to take two cards with me.
  • Cash
Do some homework, check how much money you’d need each day and budget for this. A mix of currency is always be good to take, especially if you are going to be crossing borders regularly.
  • Local currency
Have some local money with you. Hawkers and street food operators, taxis and buses do not accept foreign currency/credit cards/travellers’ cheques.


  • Notebook/Netbook/Tablet/Ipad.
  • Cell phone & essential numbers – this is a meaningful way to be contactable.
  • Camera & its battery.
  • Device chargers  & universal adapters – Notebook and cell phone, cameras will not be useful without these.
  • Data and call plan – International data and call roaming cost a lot, so a local plan is always a good option. In many countries, you can purchase a temporary plan at the airport or train stations.


  • Cap – for sun and style.  If you collect caps, this could be an opportunity not to pack these and get one there instead.
  • Shoes - your most comfortable pair for walking and one or two more if there is a specific function where your feet will be looked at. The couple below has travelled with me for the last 10 years at least.
  • Slippers  – if you are going to the beach.   
  • Jackets – At least one light and, one semi-warm coat if you are travelling to a place more cooling than the average temperature where you stay most of the time.  I come from the warm tropics, so anything below 10 degrees Celsius is classified cold for me.
A jacket is most certainly needed  when travelling here
  • Clothes – of course, unless you plan to buy a new wardrobe there. My general rule is, if you can get clothes washed, take lesser clothes otherwise take enough + one extra pair to cater for a contingency (rain, travel delays). Also, select wisely (lighter weighing clothes) and take only up to the weight you can carry.
  • Prescription glasses/cool sunglasses – basics first.
  • Toiletries and try not to carry them on board – some airport security require them to be taken out and displayed on the trays.

And we have travelled places haven't we?

Food and drinks

  • Instant mix drink packets – I need these because not all hotels give you the unlimited coffee refills (unless you are camping at a casino, do they still do this?). Plus, when on vacation I need more than one cup of coffee.
  • Snacks – I like to carry my own mini-bar of chocolates, biscuits and chips. Hotels dislike guests like me.
  • Pre-order your meals, especially if you have diet restrictions (vegetarian, Jain, halal, kosher, etc.
    Energy booster to carry that suitcase

    Other Essentials

    • Medicine – know what you need and prepare for the unexpected. I always make sure I pack in my Paracetamol and Enos, everywhere.
    • House keys – otherwise, how would you get in after that nice trip.
    • Umbrella – for rain mainly.
    • Book - a travel companion.  
    • Pen – at least to fill in the dis-embarkment cards.
    • Check out your travel friend.
    • If you are travelling for a long duration, appoint someone you trust to:
    • Collect your mail
    • Pay your utility bills
    • feed your fish, automated food dispensers may not always work
    • water your plants
    • Have enough balance in your bank accounts for all those automated standing instructions.

      Raining Again
      I travel reasonably light but tend to over-pack sometimes. Pick and choose what's important to you. Pack smart. 

      And after all that packing I need some coffee. And Happy Valentine's Day.

      Enjoy your packing, enjoy your cuppa.  See you there.  

      Valentines Coffee


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        1. Hi Jim, thank you, I am glad you find this useful. More coming on the way, for sure.