Hey Everyone! Below is a packing list to help guide you through prepping for your trip. I tried to keep it short and easy to follow. Packing lists are crucial to help you stay on track and organized for your trip. I’ve traveled to quite a few countries and the reason why I am so good at it now is thanks to my packing list. If you are stuck and looking for a place to go check out Nepal, Thailand, or Germany.
Before you go:
2-3 Months in Advance Packing List
Visas and Special Documents
Depending on the countries you are visiting you’ll need to have a visa or special documentation. At the US State website (the previous link) you’ll find out all you need to know about visas and required documents for your trip. Start applying as soon as possible as this is something that isn’t in your control. It’s a stress saver reliever to do it early and get it done.
- Register at the embassy of the countries you are visiting. You can easily do this in one step by enrolling in the USA STEP program. It takes less than 15 minutes to do and is very important because if there is some sort of emergency in that country the US will send you an alert so that you can make arrangements to get out of the country.
Get health insurance for your travel I recommend HTH or Premera. You can also easily compare travel insurance companies at reviews.com. Health insurance, while you are abroad, is critical because some countries don’t have free local medical care. If you get sick in a country like this or even if you do get sick in a nice country like this, it’s peace of mind to know that you are covered for your injuries or illness and can go to the hospital. Health insurance isn’t expensive and that extra 40-80$ of expenses is worth it.
Schedule a travel visit/consultation with a medical provider. Sometimes you can visit the state department for these visits. If the state department isn’t available local hospitals and clinics have these sorts of consultations but they can be booked up a month or two in advance. Book it early to make sure that you have time to get all your vaccines like typhoid, Hepatitis, malaria, Japanese encephalitis, and tetanus.
- Make sure you are updated on vaccines and have any sort of medications needed for the trip with appropriate paperwork as necessary. Some countries require that you have a copy of certain vaccinations so make sure to have a copy to take with you. LEAVE YOUR ORIGINAL Copy at home (unless stated in the entry requirements.)
1 month in advance
- Set Travel Notices on your bank account(s). Setting a travel notice is when you contact your bank either by phone or online and tell your bank that you are leaving the country. Often the bank will ask which countries you are going to and the dates of your travel. This is a great way to make sure that your card doesn’t accidentally get shut off while you are traveling. On this point also make sure to have access to at least two funds of money. This could be a debit card and credit card or two debit cards. In case something happens to a card you’ll always have access to money.
- Make sure that your bank accounts have a trusted joint account holder who will be in your home country. Having a joint account holder at home will allow you to have a check deposited, close an account, or have your money accessed if you can’t access it yourself.
- Bring a little bit of cash. It’s best to get cash directly out of an atm once in the country cheaper exchange fees.
Copying…it’s mundane but smart.
Don’t forget this important step on the packing list.
- Make two copies of your passport keep one with you in your important docs (documents) folder. Give the other one to a trusted individual, with whom you will be able to contact during your trip. Having these extra copies can help you expedite the process of getting a new passport if your current one is lost or stolen.
- Have at least two extra passport photos in your important docs folder.
- Print copies of vaccines to take with you and leave a copy with a trusted individual.
- Email itinerary to family and friends.
- Make sure there is an app on your phone which will help you to understand the local language. I like to use google translate. You can also download some offline languages to look up while you are out of a wifi zone. Also, download google offline maps to help with navigation while exploring a new city.
Funny aside: Some countries aren’t that strict with passport photos. Like in Laos we had to get passport photos and they were not the right size or shape at all. Also if you forget passport photos there are shops everywhere you go that will be able to make a passport photo for you. Some countries it is required for you to have photos to enter the country.
Important Documents Folder Packing List:
- Copy of passport
- Copy of hostels staying at with directions of how to get there with itinerary
- Visa Pictures
- Vaccine Records
- Any sort of important medical paperwork you may need
- Proof of insurance
Airplane comfort Packing List:
Airplanes aren’t always that comfortable to travel long distances on. As a frequent flyer, I have a few tips and tricks I always have on my packing list to stay comfortable and cozy on the airplane. Some items I like to bring are:
- Bring a warm coat or outer layer if you tend to get cold and long pair of socks. I always get cold when I’m on planes, so I like to have this extra layer of insulation in case the plane is super cold. Also, wearing a t-shirt is great because if it is hot on the plane t-shirts are light and airy and will help you stay cool.
- Eye Mask- I always bring some sort of eye mask or eye cover. A beanie with a think brim around your head works well for this too. I’m a light sensitive sleeper so if I want to snooze when it’s not dark I struggle without an eye mask. I also love these because they are easy to keep track of just keep it around your neck!
- Water Bottle- (fill water bottle after security checkpoint must be empty when going through security). Staying hydrated is one of the best ways to combat jetlag. Drink copious amounts of water while traveling to keep you feeling fresh and healthy. Travel is already hard on your body don’t add dehydration to that list!
- Snack Food- Sometimes airplane food can be a bit touch and go. In case the food is horrible having a few snacky items will keep you satiated and happy. No one likes a grumpy seatmate!
- A good book(s), music, computer, cards- In essence games can be your best friend while traveling because they allow you to make new friends and stay entertained. Airports can be expensive and if there is a layover it’s nice to not have to worry about your entertainment.
- Sometimes its nice to pack a toothbrush and toothpaste or contact solution with easy access on long plane rides. Contact wearers WEAR glasses on the plane!! These small items will make you feel happier and more refreshed when you land. Also, as airplane air is so dry wearing glasses protects your eyes from dry eye.
There you have it, folks! This is my easy step by step packing list for those of you who are new to travel or just want to improve their packing list. Let me know if I forgot anything on this packing list or if you have any questions. Did you find it helpful? Leave a comment below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can’t wait to hear from you and have a great adventure!