Take copies of your passports, visa and insurance and leave a copy a home with a family member or friend.
Know the exchange rate of where you are travelling to and what to expect. For example, in Vietnam 100,000 Dong is worth about AUD5. If you know what the local currency is, it can save a lot of maths and processing once you arrive. You can also take a conversion list. For example, write on a piece of paper what $10, $20, $50 and $100 converts to in the local currency - you can then refer to this when out shopping or paying for things.
What to leave at home:
There are lots of things to take, but there are some things you can leave at home.
Leave your valuables at home. Don’t take anything, unless you have to, that is irreplaceable or has sentimental value.
Take only the basics and what you need from your wallet – the rest can stay home.
Think about how many gadgets and electronic devices you want to take - they can be heavy.
Passport and visa
Airline tickets and any travel or vouchers
Printed copy of travel documents and itinerary
Travel insurance details
Mobile phone and charger
Laptop/iPad and charger
Cash (international currency), credit card or bank card
Money belt, pouch or travel wallet for your passport and cash when en route
Camera (don’t forget the charger and extra memory sticks or memory card)
Power adaptor to convert your chargers etc
Travel alarm clock
Hand sanitiser or hand wipes - these are great for on the airplane and for days when you are out and about a lot.
Walking shoes – take a pair of shoes that you can wear all day and that are comfortable for walking in.
Sunblock and hat – you may be outside more than usual during your holiday.
Day pack – this will come in handy for longer day trips when you want to take a few extra things.
Laptop / ipad – and don’t forget the chargers.
Adaptors - check what you will need for your destination or alternatively you can purchase an adaptor set that covers various countries.
Toiletries – take what you need and keep it simple. You can use small bottles and pots to save space and weight.
Plastic bags – it’s always handy to have a few plastic bags whether it’s for dirty laundry, wet clothes, muddy shoes or to protect something in your suitcase.
Zip lock bags - there come in handy in many and multiple ways when travelling.
Sunglasses and case.
Travel knife – for cutting fruit and having snacks (make sure you put this in your checked in luggage)
Rain jacket – save it for a rainy day :)
Pens and notepad – you’ll have extra time up your sleeve and you may want to keep a note of what you have been doing, the sights you have seen, or what has inspired you.
Extra tea bags – take some extras for those morning and afternoon cuppas.
Swimmers – even in cold places sometimes the option of a spa presents itself.
Clothes washing detergent – you may not need to do much laundry but sometimes it’s nice to freshen up your clothes and underwear. It’s easily done in the bathroom sink if you take a small amount of detergent with you.
Mini torch – you might not need this, but if you do - you’ll be glad you have one.
Vitamins – it’s a good idea to boost your immunity when travelling with something like a basic Vitamin C. You’ll be exposed to different things and so your immune system always appreciates a helping hand
For the plane:
Books / magazines
Laptop and charger
Adaptor - this can be handy for layovers when you have a few hours stopover and you want to charge your devices.
Phone, charger and if you plan to get a local SIM card, have a safe and secure place to store your original SIM card
Notepad and pen
Earplugs in case you have a noisy neighbour
Eye mask and inflatable pillow
Zip lock bag for your liquids
A warm top and socks – aeroplanes can get pretty cold
Toothbrush and deodorant
Face and hand moisturiser - the air can be very dry in planes and having some moisturiser can be heavenly :)
Hand sanitiser and face wipes
Change of underwear - on the rare occasion your luggage gets lost, you'll be thankful!
Painkillers - if you do get a headache, ache or pain, the journey will be much smoother if you have painkillers on hand
Makeup wipes and makeup
For the kids:
Travel games and cards
A scrapbook to document your holiday (don’t forget glue and scissors)
Colouring pencils (and sharpener) / textas and a colouring in book
Notepad for drawing
And a few suggestions depending on your destination…
Camera with zoom
Beaches and tropical locations:
Loose cotton clothing
Tropical strength mozzie repellent
Remember: not all countries show as much skin as Western countries. Having at least one pair of pants or a below the knee skirt is recommended, as is a top that covers the shoulders or a shawl to cover up with.
Take clothes that are good for layering
Have some thermal layers
Fleece jacket / coat
Gloves, hat / beanie, scarf
And some packing tips...
Pack your toiletries in a plastic bag in case there are any leakages. Zip lock bags within a toiletry bag are also a good idea
Rolling your clothes will also give you more space
Leave some space for some holiday shopping
Choose your shoes wisely – they are a big space taker so think through what shoes you will need
Take your valuables in your hand luggage
Take clothing that can be versatile
When packing your suitcase, if you will be in and out of your suitcase a lot it makes sense to arrange it wisely from the get go. Categorising your clothes (i.e. pants go with pants, tops go with tops) means you’ll be able to find things more easily.