I think this has got to be one of the most daunting things I’ve ever had to do. I was worried I would forget important items I needed while being away. I definitely thought that I might somehow miss the coach and the plane I had to catch. I kept thinking what happens if I get lost? What happens if I missed all the transport I was supposed to get and then be stuck? Maybe I didn’t fill out the right visa online to go where I needed to and they’d send me on the first plane back home. If you’re like me and worry a lot then maybe these are all valid to you. I know we sometimes wish we could plan ahead for everything that could happen, but it’s also not practical. However, planning is important and I’ve got way more experience travelling alone now, so let me share it with you!
It doesn’t matter where you are traveling to, write out a list! It also doesn’t matter if this list is on your phone, paper, the wall, just don’t lose it. Seems simple but I’ve had friends do this and complain they can’t remember everything. Make sure to make note of all the things you need to pack and everything you need to do before you leave. I like to be organised so I usually start making lists a month in advance of going on my trip. This way it gives me time to think of anything I’ve forgotten and to make sure I get everything done before I actually leave. When it comes to getting the items I need and packing them, I take my time and do it over the month. It’s easier to write a list if you know what items you use daily! It’s easy to forget toothpaste, shower gel, you’ll be surprised. Obviously the list will change depending where you are going, weather etc, but the essentials don’t change such as tops, trousers, underwear.
Big or small, having a bag for your important items like tickets, paperwork, passport and the list can go on. Personally for me it doesn’t make a difference if I’m traveling across the UK or planning to go on a plane, I’ll always take my backpack. The backpacks I tend to use a lot are ones that have hidden pockets, ones that are more secure. Anything important I keep on my person in zipped pockets or in a secure pocket in my backpack. This means it’s more difficult for someone to steal off you. Little things like this might be like ‘well duh’ but I also know so many people who put passports and tickets in their back pocket. Even had a friend lose their ticket before this way! Anyways, let me run through with you some of the items I like to make sure are in my hand luggage.
*Pens (You never know when you’ll need one)
*Phone charger (Plug adapter if needed if going to another country)
*Hand sanitiser (Public transport, lots of germs, this is a no brainer)
*Bottle of water/empty bottle (It costs money in airports to buy simple things like this. There are now areas you can fill up an empty water bottle for free!
*Paperwork (Such as insurance, tickets, flight and travel itinerary etc)
*Entertainment of some kind, Nintendo Switch, DS, Book, Tablet (Just remember to bring chargers with you in hand luggage)
*Snacks (I’ve taken chocolate bars, cereal bars, grapes etc)
*Addresses of where you’re staying (Sometimes they ask this for immigrations forms and it’s useful to have if you’re getting a taxi to your destination)
*Toothbrush and Toothpaste (Might seem daft but if your journey is a long one it’s nice to freshen up)
*Ipod/Phone (Sometimes it’s nice to drown out all other noise)
*Wallet/Purse (Obvious I know but I take it wherever I go so on the list it is)
*Passport (If you’re going on a plane, don’t forget it!)
*Medication (It’s important to have on you anyways, but just in case they somehow lose your luggage at least you’ll have that with you)
However, if you’re going on a plane make sure to check out what items are restricted before flying such as, liquids in containers can only be a certain size. The little clear bag you get at customs to put items in such as mini toothpaste, well if you can’t fit all your liquids in that bag you’ll have to get rid of some. You’re only allowed so many in your hand luggage!
The more I’ve travelled, the more tips I’ve picked up along the way to make it smoother! The main ones would be, don’t over eat throughout the journey. Trust me you don’t want to feel sick or bloated. Entertainment is also crucial if you’re on the train, coach or a plane for hours on end. So maybe take a book, adult colouring book, something to draw on, if you’re like me then taking a Nintendo DS or Switch can pass the time quickly. If you’re not so much into gaming then perhaps you have a tablet you can travel with? Not everywhere you go will have entertainment you can watch! I’ve been on planes where either you don’t have a TV screen in front of you or you have to rent a tablet for the flight which of course costs money. If you don’t want to spend money on food while on your journey then make sure you take some snacks with you. It’s expensive to travel so why spend extra when you can bring food from home?
I hope in some way this post helps you out for your next trip! I still remember my first ever solo flight went so smoothly, but then my second time was more on a budget flight and I got caught out on so many things. I’ve done this so many times now that I have a routine down and I know what to expect so it’s easier for me. Remember, even if travelling isn’t your thing, there are a lot of people around to help you out if you’re stuck. I’ve made friends while being on the train, waiting around for transport and someone even bought me a dinner on a flight because my card didn’t work! He was a chef and we talked about loads of things! It’s about exploring and trying new things so GO FOR IT!