We have covered planning under a separate heading but part of good planning is getting everything together before you leave to ensure you have an enjoyable trip. Mind you we have a simple policy that if we forget to pack something we buy it there, no point in panic.
Reminder this site is written based on Australian conditions and requirements, so check your countries specific requirements well in advance.
There are however some items and tasks you must do before leaving
Passport: do you have one and is there more than 6 months post trip on it.
Visa: Do you requie a visa to travel to the country you are going to, do not rely on friends, word of mouth or just internet search, there are some dodgy sites set up to look like specific country high commission sites. MAKE A PHONE CALL. You may not be allowed to board a flight or be allowed to enter the country. We have also got into the habit of getting visas before we leave although most vountries will now provide visa on entry.
Smart traveller: Australian Government site for traveller safety logging where you are going and next of kin prior to leaving.
Luggage: Try to minimise if you are travelling on your own, remember you will be doing all the carrying and many older accommodation buildings will not have lift access and your room may well be on the 4th floor.
Clothes: Think it through, lightweight, quick dry, no iron etc etc. Take a travel clothes line so you can do the undies and socks in the shower at night.
Do I need long pants and jackets? likely not, however I usually fly with long pants and light jacket, so I don’t need to pack them.
Do I need 12 shirts? absolutely not, there are laundromats in most countries. This is a guy suggestion.
Do I need 6 pairs of pants? likely not ditto above, usually 2-3 pair are sufficient. Bloke again.
Do I need 7 pairs of undies? Actually yes, a change a day for a week is a good rule of thumb, wash them at night and hang on your travel clothes line. Same applies for socks.
Shoes: Minimise how many pairs, good quality walking but light weight essential and broken in before you leave. Always cary an easy pair for comfort after a days walking.
Toiletries: We believe it is a matter of being sensible as with all things travel. It is very easy to over do it with toiletries, unleß you are hiking through the Himalayas or central America most places on you travel path will have pharmacies and stores to purchase anything you could possibly need, and hotels will always have soaps, shampoos and advice as necessary.
If you decide to take it all remember not to take full sized bottles, tubes or anything else that you require, with the advant of airline changes in terms of liquid limits most manufacturers make small sizes.
First aid: We always carry a small first aid kit with antiseptic powder not liquid, liquid no good if in the tropics, liquids are also heavier. Headache tablets, diarrhoea medication,
Medication: Always carry enough for the trip. Also carry a letter from your doctor describing any prescription medication you are on, takes worry out of customs checks. Be totally surpirsed at the cost of drugs OS, often many times cheaper that Australia.
Travel documents: We always carry a memory stick with passport front page scan, drivers license, credit card, travel insurance and all travel documents, airline confirmations, accommodation confirmation etc. We always keep a digital copy on our phones, tablets etc.
Contact details: It is important to have on hand b in you wallet, passport sleeve and baggage a list of contacts, next of kin etc in the chance something goes wrong and they need to be contacted by authorities.
Phones: Communications is an extremely important part of our lives now, so we always taken our mobile phones so family can keep in contact, we also carry a second phone with an international sim card which provides much cheaper calls both in sending and receiving from many countries.
REMEMBER, DO NOT USE DATA ROAMING AS IT WILL COST A FORTUNE UNLESS YOU HAVE PURCHASED A DATA PACK OR INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL PACK FROM YOUR PROVIDER. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED. THIS CAN AMOUNT TO MANY HUNDREDS IF NOT THOUSANDS OF $$ IF YOU FORGET.
Cameras: This is close to me as I love photography and it is very easy to take far too much equipment with you, unless of course you are a professional photographer.
Money and banking: