My comprehensive travel checklist | Minimalist travel essentials
I’ve been meaning to write this post for a long time now but could never quite get my thoughts together until I went on my recent trip to East Africa. I'm hoping this brief post will assist someone in better packing for trips.
Why am I writing this post? The more I travel, I realise that we Nigerians pack a lot of junks and unnecessary items for our trips, resulting in heavy duty suitcases like my recent experience in East Africa. Infact, a lot of us (not me!) pack at the last minute. This shouldn't be the travel norm neither should we get accustomed to overloads. As travellers, we should be more organised and pack purposefully. God help me/(us)!.
There is an unconscious or perhaps deliberate process I go through before packing which is thorough research. Visa requirements, weather conditions, friends in the host country, possible international healthcare etc. On the back of these, I pack. Detailed below is my process and my travel checklist.
I have overemphasised this subtly on the blog. Always check the weather conditions at your destination. This is to ensure that you both pack and dress appropriately.
2. Travel itinerary
I don't joke with my detailed itinerary. It is always so detailed and typically incorporates my flight itinerary, hotels (check in and out times), activities for each day, restaurants, emergency numbers, dates of festivals in the host country etc. I also ensure that I have the printed copies alongside pictures of the itinerary, just incase.
3. Travel documents
If I was granted visa to enter a country, before departure I always double check the details of the visa and also ensure that it is still in my passport. No jokes!. LoL. I then rubberband my yellow card to the middle of my passport so there is no mistake or forgetting it. In addition, I occasionally make hard copies of the hotel reservations and also take pictures of all my travel documents.
4. Travel apps
After you download Uber, Whatsapp, Instagram and Google maps, which is a must, be sure to download a few others including
Duolingo: This app comes in handy when visiting a non-English country. It helps you translate languages to your preferred language
Evernote: This app helps you document details of your trip and keeps each moment alive and fresh
Booking.com: I know you wouldn't have guessed but this app has saved my life a couple of times for accommodation. From camps, to airbnb and hotels
TripAdvisor: This remains one of my invaluable resource for what to see or do in a new place
Skyscanner: Skyscanner provides airlines comparison at the most affordable prices
5. Gadgets and backups
If you have a camera, then that's a plus. Unfortunately, I don't have one as at today. However, I carry every form of gadget that can double as a camera and I also ensure I have a dependable power bank. I don't ever want to miss a moment while on a trip. Lest I forget, the peculiarities in some countries demand that you carry an international adaptor. Remember, we don't want a trip with surprises!.
6. Healthcare kit
I am yet to embrace getting travel insurance on my trips, but I certaining carry healthcare kit. This typically includes vitamins, antibiotics, and painkillers. Oh!. Mosquito repellant is a must as well. Senegal taught me lessons I can't explain.
7. Other essentials
A. Carry-on bag
Wipes and hand sanitizer
Hand cream and pocket perfume
Mouth hygiene set
Worldwide Travel adapter
Cards and cash
C. Luggage type toiletries
Make up bag
Razor and scissor.
Deodorant and perfume
Travel journal and pen
Sunglasses, scarf and a hat
Luggage locks and scale
Weather appropriate clothes and shoes
8. Finally, Rest
Yes, rest is a travel essential. LMAO. I rest before, during and after the trip. So, whether you're a novice or expert traveler, pre-travel panic and anxiety can creep up on you. Hence, after doing all the above, I recommend getting some rest.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON PACKING FOR A TRIP
As wonderful as travelling is, the journey is inevitably a little stressful and what you carry along can make your journey a pleasure... or a pain!. - TAB