Going on holiday is always exciting. Because if you’re anything like me, then it normally requires an intense shopping session beforehand which always sees you buying a new bikini or two (as well as some other exciting purchases!) However there are some less exciting (but equally important) things you need to remember to pack, or they’ll cost you a fortune to replace when you’re away! So what are they and why is it such a pain when you forget them? Well everybody’s list if different but below is a list of things that I find crucial to take when going abroad…
Many people have this included with their bank accounts, so check if you’re one of those lucky people. If - like me - you don’t then make sure you buy some. Seriously, there’s really no excuse and you can get cover so cheaply now. You may think it’s unlikely that you’ll ever need it but what if you did and you got into a serious accident and had to get medical treatment? Chances are you wouldn’t have the money in your bank account to cover the cost. So stop being stingy and just get insurance. I like to use MoneySuperMarket.com for buying travel insurance as its cheap and easy.
I know there’ll be pharmacies there but (having learnt the hard way) they might not be open when you desperately need help so it’s always best to buy tablets in your home country and take them with you. Obviously if you have to take regular pills prescribed by your doctor then take those with you too and make sure you take enough to cover the trip. Bandages are just in case you get a nasty cut and you need to cover it up quickly.
Some countries don’t sell tampons. So if you use them, then take some with you. I come from Thailand and I swear I have never seen tampons there ever! Maybe this has changed but do you really want to take the risk!?
Whether it’s a Kindle, mobile phone, epilator, camera… you’ll probably need to charge it at some point. Saying that though, if you can take as few of these as possible that’d be better, as they tend to get quite bulky and take up a lot of room.
If you’re taking gadgets and chargers with you then you know this makes sense: different countries use different voltages and sockets. Don’t get stranded with devices that need charging with no way to charge them. These vary in price depending on where you buy them from but if you take care of it, then you should only need to make this purchase once. Definitely worth investing in for any savvy traveller! (I suggest Amazon.co.uk. )
Before leaving home, make copies of travel documents, insurance details, passport(s) and keep them safe and hidden away. This is just in case (heaven forbid) you lose anything. I also recommend giving a copy to a close relative or good friend at home. It’s also best to give them your flight details too – just in case. Finally make sure you research and write down local emergency numbers, hotel number(s) and family/friend details and then keep these with you whilst away.
So many people forget to do this and it tends them to bite them in the ass later. Think about it, in the instance that you need to use your card and you do so in a foreign country it's likely that your bank (if it’s a decent one) will flag the transaction as suspicious and chances are that they'll block it, leaving you looking stupid. Don't get caught having to ring them up during your holiday to explain that it was really you and yes you really did plan to buy that inflatable crocodile floatation device from Funky Co Co’s Bongo Beach Hut shop.
Note the use of the word emergency. This meaning don’t fucking touch it. This is in case it all goes horrible wrong and you lose all your stuff. Keep this stash hidden with your back-up documents and out of site from potential thieves.
Camera phones just don’t do it sometimes, so make sure you bring a proper camera and protection case with you for all those memorable holiday moments. Don't forget to bring some spare memory cards.
Admittedly, not the end of the world of you forget to pack this (you can probably buy one there) but still annoying when you forget it. Consider buying a manual brush just for the occasion and chuck it into your bag, that way you won’t have the problem of forgetting to pack your regular one after you’ve used it. Don’t worry it happens to us all…
Again, not the end of the world but annoying (you can buy one there) especially if it means that you’ll be smelly as a result of not bringing it.
If you suffer from blood clotting or are taking the pill then buy these and wear them during the flight. DVT is serious and many illnesses and conditions can increase the likelihood of it happening. Sitting for prolonged periods of time increases it, combined with the alteration in air pressure during flight and...yeah. My boyfriend laughed at me for wearing them but once we reached Mexico after 7 hours his lower legs looked like tree trunks and he wasn’t laughing then and has never done since. I also recommend doing flight exercises during the flight.
Remember practice safe sex. Yes, you could probably buy those at your destination but it really is better to buy the ones you’ve used and know. Besides, I once saw a shack in Bali selling “Doorex” condoms. They didn’t look safe or legit. So don’t let dodgy condoms (or lack of condoms) ruin any potential sexy time during your holiday! Pack some packets before you go! That way you can enjoy (safe) sexy time galore!
I always like to pack brands from home as I know the quality will be high. Not that I’m saying the quality abroad is low, it’s just that in asian countries they tend not to make sunscreens that are hypoallergenic (which is what I need as my skin is so temperamental.) I find that buying them before you go is just the sensible thing to do (for me anyway.)
As I was saying at the beginning of the article, everyone’s packing list is different which is why I recommend taking the time to type one out (at a time when you’re not rushed or busy) and save it in your computer for future reference. I’ve got one for adventure holidays, hot holidays, city breaks and cold holidays. That way, you can just print it off every time you plan to go away, thus ensuring that you (probably) never forget anything ever again! Hurray!