ANDRE’s TRAVEL CHECKLIST
More than 65 countries later, this is my personal Travel Checklist that I still refer to and tweak for every trip, to remind myself of what to pack and prepare for to avoid a problem!
VISAS & PASSPORTS
Leave copies of all important travel docs with someone at home as well as take a set with you in a sealable plastic bag. In addition scan and email to your online email address (such as gmail.com) then they are there when you need them and I suggest you use Gmail’s tag option such as ‘Travel2017’ to find things easily.
Scan your medical policy and store it electronically at your online email address. Tell the medical insurance you are travelling and ask them for proof of international cover – again print a copy and email this to yourself
If you bought your air ticket with a credit card you will probably be entitled to a degree of free travel cover (Amex is best) but remember that you may have to register your trip with the company to get the policy cover
Go to a travel clinic for vaccinations six to eight weeks before you leave.
Remember that SA may also require your vaccination docs on your return (ie Yellow Fever – Brazil not required on arrival but it is required in SA on your return)
Avoid heat exhaustion by carrying water and using a hat and sunblock.
Any tablets should be clearly labelled and if you have prescription medication keep the prescription with you. Heartburn tablets, hay-fever tablets, dental floss etc
MONEY & COSTS
When budgeting, remember the rule “every day on the road can cost twice as much as a day in one place”
Advise your credit card company where you are travelling to and the dates so they approve your overseas transactions without problems – particularly American Express cards. (0861 002 639 – One call to this number can also be used for any Nedbank cards inc the SAA Voyager credit cards). Note international limits and request increases if necessary as car hire companies block a large amount of your credit and this can leave you with a problem!
Photocopy all credit and debit cards and write down cancellation telephone numbers as you would call from overseas. Leave this info with a local person as well with the local numbers to call.
Take a good mixture of credit and debit* cards, and forget about traveller’s cheques (nobody wants them) and of course CASH in the foreign currency bank notes.
* Avoid spending money on a South African debit card unless an emergency as the cost is very high! And avoid drawing cash from ATM’s on any credit or debit card – fees can be crazy! Use the CREDIT card for purchases.
If you’re travelling with friends, divide your money up if one of you is robbed or loses money, the others will have cash.
Remember your Frequent Flyer Cards and at check in ask if the number is recorded in the system – such a hassle to try add miles later!
WHAT TO TAKE
Halve your stuff – then halve it again if you are going to be staying in more than a couple of places. The more destinations the LIGHTER you should travel.
International Drivers Licence as well as normal Drivers Licence
Books and magazines are very heavy – if you are a reader, get an e-reader (eg Kindle!)
A waterproof washbag is essential.
Very basic medical kit
Pack emergency toilet paper and wet wipes – no explanation necessary
Those things you can’t live without – like dental floss and tooth pics
Remember that you cannot board the flight with liquids and gels in hand luggage (other than under 100ml)
The more you take with the less you can bring back!
FOR THE FLIGHT
Wet Wipes (I loathe public toilets so these are always with me!)
If flying economy a non bulky headrest and eye covers (daylight flights) earplugs
Breath freshening sweets (maybe for the passenger next to you)
Wear a comfy throwaway t-shirt and keep a nice fresh replacement t-shirt for your arrival
Cable ties to seal baggage
A roll of cling wrap for bottles that may leak is great idea.
Take only those that you are really going to use!
Multi Plugs / Adaptors
TomTom / Garmin needs the right maps loaded in advance!
Do your online check-in as soon as it is available to get best seats!
OTHER… If applicable don’t forget your Business Cards