It’s so exciting when you're about to take off on a travel adventure, but there's a lot to take into account before you go. To make things easier, putting together a short-term travel checklist helps you get all your ducks in a row and ensures you don't leave any essentials behind when you go.
Every individual’s travel checklist will be different, but we’ve put together a few basics to get you started:
Short-term travel checklist
- Do some research. If you’re heading to another country (or just somewhere local that’s so different to home it will feel like you’ve landed on the moon!), it pays to read up about your destination ahead of time. You’ll want to know things like the weather forecast (so you know what to pack), local customs and culture (particularly useful for the Middle East and parts of Asia), the best transport options available, and basic maps of the area (so you can hit the ground running straight out of the airport).
- Doublecheck your travel documents. Is your passport up to date? Do you have the right visas for your trip? These things take time, so it's essential to get onto them early in your travel plans. When it gets closer to your departure date, make sure your flights, transport and accommodation bookings are all confirmed.
- Call your bank. If you're using a VISA or Mastercard overseas, you'll want to let your bank know your travel dates, so there's no confusion about any funds drawn while you're on your trip. It's worth checking that your chosen card will also work overseas – if not you’ll need to discuss other options. Also, make a plan for what you’ll do if you need emergency funds.
- Visit your doctor. Get a check-up before you head off, so you know your good to go. Go to the government health website for the latest details about what vaccinations you might need for the countries your visiting and book to have these done well in advance of your departure – some may need to be repeated or take time to get to full effect.
- Make copies of important documents. Take some time to scan your passport, travel insurance policies, tickets, accommodation address and receipts, important phone numbers and credit card numbers – just in case. Then email them to yourself and trusted friends or family members – better to be safe than sorry.
- Register your plans online. Go to smarttraveller.gov.au and upload your travel plans so that people can contact you should – god forbid – an emergency arise. This will give your loved ones extra peace of mind should the worst happen. And while you’re at it…
- Contact your mobile provider. Find out what you need to do to ensure you can make and receive phone calls overseas. If you don’t already have it, set up a skype account (make sure everyone you want to video call while you’re away has one, too) so you can check in from anywhere if your phone reception is dodgy.
- Book your 24-hour secure parking. If you’re driving yourself to the airport, book your parking space early for the best deals. Even if you’re only after short-term parking, you could save big – and that means more in your pocket for having fun on your trip!