TIPI Travel Checklist & Packing Tips

Monday, March 09, 2015

Counting down the days to the trip of a lifetime Tipi has the ultimate checklist, tips and packing hacks to get you ready and sorted!
Countdown 3 Months OUT

1. Book your tickets 
An obvious travel tip but savings can be made by booking earlier but not necessarily early... 

The majority of airline tickets are booked within a month of the departure date this is too late! Stats dictate the magic number is 47. 47 days out from your international flight is generally the cheapest time to book.

Remember also when booking flights and accommodation to enable private browsing.

2. Sort out visas
Only the countries you plan to visit can provide up-to-date information on their country's visa requirements. Make sure you understand if your visa can be organised on arrival, and if at your particular entry point into the country.

3. See your doctor
Travelling to particular countries or regions can leave you exposed to disease or infection it's important to get vaccinated. 

Discuss with your doctor at least 4-6 weeks out the countries you plan to visit and organise a schedule for vaccination as some require multiple doses.

4. Go back to school
Chances are travelling around the world is a little more expensive that you planned and cash is running out. Picking up work overseas is easier if you get certified! 

A short coffee course or responsible service alcohol certificate, it all helps and worth the small investment!

Countdown 1 Month OUT

5. Organise travel insurance
If you're lucky purchasing airline tickets with your credit card may come with complimentary travel insurance. However for extended trips, particularly for the adventurous a comprehensive travel insurance policy although a little more pricy will cover you for everything imaginable on your once in a lifetime trip. It pays to shop around!

6.  Purchase luggage 
It pays to invest in great luggage for multiple reasons. 

  • Against damage; a quality suitcase will protect your contents from rough baggage handling on multiple leg flights. 
  • For support;  particularly if you will be carrying it on your back it pays to invest in proper fitting backpack to distribute weight correctly. 
  • For protection; luggage with in-built locks and extra padding around the zips ensures that extra protection against theft.
  • Passport
  • Travel insurance
  • Airline tickets 
  • Accommodation details 
  • Medical prescriptions
  • Resumes/ certificates (if for working holiday)
  • Iodine neutraliser 
  • Anti-diarrhoea 
  • Anti-malaria
  • Anti-histamine 
  • Travel sickness tablets 
  • Personal medication

Remember when purchasing luggage to check with the restrictions and policies of the airline you booked with. The number of bags in total, and combined weight limit for checked and carry-on varies between airlines. Exceed the limit and you will be charged heavily. 

Countdown to the final days before DEPARTURE

7. Scan and email documents
Ensure all hard copies are uploaded to your cloud, your personal email and emailed to a trusted family or friend. Also check with your country's travel authority on updating your details and travel itinerary. Australians, you can register your details with smart traveller here.

8. Stay connected
The last thing you want to be hit with is a hefty phone bill upon returning from your international trip. Contact your mobile network provider about international roaming & call rates.

An alternative to using your own phone is to research international call cards you can use in multiple countries.

Final nothing beats face-time with loved ones, so exchange Skype contact details your family & friends, and download the app for your phone!

Chances are with visas on arrival you will be needing some passport photos. Skip the queues, and stress about having correct $US  and bring some with you!

10. Have mates flying with you? Share suitcases
It's unlikely but in the chance that your luggage gets lost on a multiple leg flight it pays to divide your clothes and travel items with your travel buddy. At the very least have a spare change of clothes in your carry-on so you are prepared!

11. Flight Check-in
Depending on your airline, you will have the option to check in 24 or 48 hours before your flight. To secure your seating, state your dietary requirements or additional baggage get in as early as possible! There is also the advantage of skipping the lengthy queues!

The contents of your medical bag will depend on the countries you plan to visit but worthwhile considerations include;

If you at the chemist remember to pick up sunscreen and mosquito-repellent as well!

13. Download your apps.

Do you want to be the old guy lugging his Lonely Planet around? Travel smart and download all your travel apps

Contact your bank a few days out to inform them you will be overseas. Also check with them if they have ATM's in the countries you will visit or have partnered with foreign banks to reduce ATM fees and international charges. 

For security it makes sense to take as little cash as possible combined with travel card or credit card. 

Heading to smaller countries a better exchange rate is available in country than exchanging it before hand outside the country. 

15. Pack
When placing items in a backpack place lighter items at the bottom and heavier items on top to distribute weight equally in the middle of your back. Roll clothing, pack string & pegs (doubles as a washing line), zip-lock bags for liquids, and a toilet roll just in case..

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