The last of the four sections of your packing list covers paperwork. Probably the easiest to compile and all absolutely necessary so there will be no need to leave any behind.

  • Passport – are you aware that you must have at least 6 months validity on your passport expiry date when you travel? If your passport is close to expiry, get a new one.
  • Visa(s) – some countries still require certain nationalities to obtain visas through their embassies/consulates prior to travel. Thankfully these are few and far between and most countries now either provide a visa free-of-charge upon arrival or don’t require one at all. Check country websites or ask your travel agent for guidance.
  • Vaccinations – carry an official record of any necessary vaccinations you have had with your passport to show upon entering a country.
  • Travel insurance – don’t leave home without it. It’s a small price to pay for complete peace of mind. If you are going to be undertaking any “dangerous” sports, make sure to take the higher insurance cover on offer. Keep a copy of the policy on you – just in case.
  • Flights and accommodation details – handy especially when filling out landing cards, etc.
  • International drivers licence – don’t forget to take your own driver’s licence with you as proof you have a current licence.
  • Small notebook – lightweight and will fit into a purse or backpack. Great for writing down names of people you meet, email addresses, etc.

Good grief. That’s an awful lot of things to pack.

Now, go back through the list and start deleting unnecessary items or reduce quantities. Still seems a lot? It probably is! Rule of thumb – discard half, you won’t need it (mostly clothing, especially shoes). Modify your list to match and put everything away until a few days before your holiday begins.

Tip: scan all your paperwork details, including your itinerary, onto a USB stick and give to a family member or friend. Fabulous back-up should you be unfortunate enough to lose your luggage.

Done. You’re ready for your holiday – well ahead of your departure date.