Before you leave home
Before you leave home
Making your trip that little easier
We know how stressful it can be getting ready to take a trip, add to the mix a country you haven’t visited before and the stress levels can rise. Here are a few tips that we swear by and hope they help you out to.
Many of us now live in a paperless world and there are many great apps you can download for free that allows you to store your important documents in one place for easy access. We use TripIt and this gives you a day by day itinerary and the option to use different country timelines etc. You can’t be sure that you will always have internet connection so we also suggest taking a 2 x hard copies with you in your travel documents. Once you have copied your docs email them to yourself, save them to your travel app and also don’t forget to leave a copy with family and friends.
Handy tip; if you are travelling with your family, it’s a good idea to pop a white sticker on each passport and write names, passport numbers and passport expiry dates on the sticker. Saves the hassle of opening every passport to find the right one. This has been a game changer for us!
Important docs to scan or copy
- Tickets and any pre-paid travel vouchers
- Medical prescriptions
- If you are travelling with children under 18 a certified copy of their Unabridged Birth Certificate
- Travel Insurance Policy number and emergency assistance phone number (make sure you also give this to your travel agent)
- Any important phone numbers you may need while away
When going on safari many companies will specify what type of luggage you can use due to the nature of the transport you are going on. Make sure you check with your travel agent on size and weight of luggage that is acceptable to use.
- Everyone has a black bag – so make sure your bag is easy to identify on the baggage carousel, mark it with a ribbon or sticker.
- Make sure you lock your luggage with a small padlock or cable tie and don’t pack anything of Value(camera, laptop etc).
- If you take prescription medicine, take it in your carry on in case your luggage gets misplaced. Carry medication in a separate zip-lock clear plastic bag so customs can easily see it if necessary.
- Take a photo of your luggage before leaving, it is easy to forget what your bag looks like when there are hundreds similar.
- When travelling together – split your packing in the event that one bag doesn’t make it you will still have something to change into.
- When travelling with young children, take a small separate bag on board with changes of clothing and a water bottle each.
Long aeroplane trips can be tedious so try and be organised and have things you may need on the flight easily accessible. I always pack the following
- Ear plugs
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- A scarf or pashmina
- Jandals or footwear that is easy to slip on and off
- A water bottle that I fill once through customs
- A phone charger
- Book or kindle
- Lip balm and hand moisturiser
- We can’t leave home without it but you can do your best to keep it safe while you are away. Most places accept credit cards but it does pay to do some research and see which cards are accepted – Visa, Amex etc and what the bank charges are.
- Cash is always king- take it in small denominations and if you have the option of using a safe then do and only carry on your person what you need for the day. By putting your valuables in the safe they are out of sight and out of mind.
- Check out conversion rates and know what the currency is worth in the country you are travelling in.
- Gratuities can be a mine field especially if you are from a country that isn’t used to this custom. Carry enough cash in small denominations for tipping/gratuities for the day in your wallet or easily accessible so you aren’t scrambling to find cash in public places. Plan ahead.
Travel safe and have fun!