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. 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 take for the casual traveller. Some tweaking is required for the business traveller but this serves as a general guide.
  1. Documents
    1. Passport or personal identification or a valid travel document.
    2. 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 the possibilities 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 re-enter. 
    This is a very good website to cross-check .
    1. Travel tickets
      • Tickets – train, bus, flight, helicopter, car rental, payment cards for faster tolls booths checkout (TouchAndGo & Smart Tags).
    2. Entrance tickets – if you have purchased any of these online - concert, broad way, museums.
    3. Hotel reservations and to confirm your reservation with the hotel prior to arrival.
    4. In-country travel arrangements.

    2 Finances
    1. Credit card – I prefer to take 2 cards with me.
    2. Cash – Do some homework, check how much cash you’d need each day and budget for this. A mix of currency would be always good to take, especially if you are going to be crossing borders regularly.
    3. Local currency – Have some local currency with you. Hawkers and street food operators, taxis and buses do not accept foreign currency/credit cards/travellers’ cheques.

    3. Gadgets
    1. Notebook/Netbook/Tablet/Ipad.
    2. Cell phone & essential numbers – this is an important way to be contactable.
    3. Camera & its battery.
    4. Device chargers  & universal adapters – Note book and cell phone, cameras will not be useful without these.
    5. Data and call plan – International data and call roaming costs 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.

    4. Wearables
    1. Cap – for sun and style.  If you collect caps, this could be an opportunity not to pack these and get one there instead.
    2. 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 pair below has travelled with me for the last 10 years at least.
    3. Slippers  – if you are going to the beach.   
    1. Jackets – At least one light and, one semi-warm jacket if you are travelling to a place cooler than the regular 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Prescription glasses/cool sunglasses – basics first.
    4. Toiletries and try not to carry them on board – some airport security requires them to be taken out, displayed on the trays.  
      A jacket is most certainly needed  when travelling here

      And we have travelled places haven't we?

    5. Food and drinks
    1. 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.
    2. Snacks – I like to carry my own mini-bar of chocolates, biscuits and chips. Hotels dislike guests like me.
    3. Pre-order your meals, especially if you have diet restrictions (vegetarian, Jain, halal, kosher, etc)
      Energy booster to carry that suitcase

    6.Other Essentials
    1. Medicine – Know what you need and prepare for the unexpected. I always make sure I pack in my Paracetamol and Enos, everywhere.
    2. House keys – otherwise, how would you get in after that nice trip.
    3. Umbrella – for rain mainly.
    4. Book -  a travel companion.  
    5. Pen – At least to fill in the disembarkment cards.
    6. Checkout your travel friend.
    7. 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 whats important to you. Pack smart. 

And after all that packing I need some coffee. And Happy Valentines Day. 

Valentines Coffee

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


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