If you’re about to travel for the first time, then you’ll know it can be a daunting and exciting experience in equal measure. On the one hand, you’re about to set out to see the world, which can broaden your horizons and have myriad other benefits in your life.
Of course, travel also comes with a range of worries, many of which you won’t have experienced before if you’re a first-time traveller. However old you are, it’s never too late to travel for the first time, so here’s our checklist to make sure you’ve got everything you need before you set out!
Money makes the world go round, as the old saying goes, and if you want to get anywhere when you’re travelling, you’ll want to save up some cash. First, you’ll need to pay for tickets, of course, but you’ll also need to pay for accommodation, as well as anything else you want to do while you’re visiting your destination.
Saving up is a good idea for this, and using savings you’ve already accumulated is a common way to pay for travel. However, if you’re travelling at short notice, then personal loans and quick loans can also be good ways to pay for your travel; just make sure you’re able to pay them back.
Every traveller needs documentation. Make sure that you’ve added this to your travel checklist before you go. This includes your passport, any visas or other travel documents you might need that are specific to your destination, and any other official paperwork you need with you.
Other documents that many people often forget when they travel include health documentation, which might state any conditions you suffer from that could be important if you require healthcare while you’re away, as well as itineraries and travel insurance. Don’t be caught short!
It’s always a good idea to pack clothes that are appropriate for the place you’re visiting. For instance, if you’re going somewhere cold, make sure to pack lots of warm coats and other accoutrements, and if you’re travelling to a hot country, be sure you’ve got clothing that’s appropriate for that climate.
A good rule of thumb is to pack twice as many clothes as you think you’re going to need on holiday. That way, if something happens to the clothes you’ve brought, then you won’t need to panic; just grab another item from your suitcase and you’re good to go. Of course, this means you’ll also need to bring a bigger case!
It’s not very glamorous, but as a first-time traveller, you need to make sure you pack enough toiletries to see you through the trip. This includes essentials like shampoo and conditioner, as well as shower gel or body wash, your toothbrush and toothpaste, and anything else you’re going to need.
You can’t rely on your accommodation to provide these items for you. While hotels will often supply complementary toothbrushes and toothpaste, as well as shower items, this isn’t always the case, and the last thing you want is to arrive and realise you can’t take a nice long shower to recover from the plane ride.
We get it – you’re probably going on holiday at least in part to escape the constant barrage of screens you’re subjected to on a daily basis at work. However, you’re going to regret it if you don’t take along at least some form of entertainment. After all, the long plane ride is going to pass very slowly without it!
A tablet is always a good idea to bring along on holiday. They’re very versatile and useful options for travel; after all, they let you watch films, play games, and even tend to a little sneaky work if you find you just can’t stay away (although we wouldn’t recommend doing this, as it could cut into your relaxation time).
We’re giving this one its own category, because in the modern era, it’s so important to remember chargers that you absolutely must make sure you add them to your list. Packing your phone and tablet is all well and good, but without power, you’ll swiftly regret not making time to ensure you brought your chargers along.
Of course, you should also make sure your chargers are ready for whatever country you’re travelling to. Check the standard for plug sockets; you may find that you need to buy an adapter, and it may even be a good idea to bring along your own power strip if you feel you need to.
Things you shouldn’t pack
We’ve been through a list of things you should remember as a first-time traveller, but what about things you shouldn’t bring along with you? Naturally, there are items you should make sure you leave behind for a variety of reasons. Here are some of the things you definitely shouldn’t bring along when you travel.
- Expensive items. There’s a good chance you might lose something while you’re travelling, so bringing things that are highly valuable, like jewellery or accessories, is a bad idea. Leave these things at home.
- Sentimental items. Don’t bring things that mean a great deal to you. They may get lost or stolen, and if that happens, you’ll never forgive yourself. Make sure to leave anything behind that would break your heart if it went missing.
- Anything prohibited by the country you’re travelling to. Familiarise yourself closely with the laws of the country to which you’re travelling. Make sure that you’re not bringing anything specifically prohibited by that country.