Traveling can be a highly emotional time.
And unless you keep a travel checklist, many times you may be trying to remember what to pack, oftentimes at the last minute.
Here are things not to forget on your next trip.
If you are a frequent business traveler, you may be exhausted from traveling, and perhaps aggravated or even bored.
It’s different when you travel for work and not for pleasure.
These emotions can be just as strong as the giddy excitement vacation travelers experience.
Whenever strong emotions are involved, you can make mistakes.
Little things are forgotten, left behind, or remain unattended.
Many a house has been lost because excited travelers forgot to turn off an open flame on the stove top or to unplug small appliances.
But it doesn’t have to be quite as dramatic to put a damper on your vacation, even if it is some place as exotic as Phuket.
Those once in a lifetime vacations are the ones you especially don’t want to ruin because of some little thing you never even thought of until it was too late.
To ensure that your travels go smoothly, be sure to make a checklist.
This will also help you to pack light.
Do this well in advance when emotions are not so high.
That way when emotions are at their most volatile, you will have a note from the steadier version of yourself to get you through the packing.
Things Not to Forget When Traveling Checklist
When you are going on a long trip, you always want to have someone you trust to pick up your mail and newspapers so that your mailbox does not overflow.
You also want to ensure thieves don’t have an easy and visible indicator that you are away.
Another reason you need to tend to the mail is that life does not stop just because you are away.
There might be important business to tend to and sensitive information that can fall into the wrong hands.
But not everyone has trustworthy neighbors or anyone to ask to help while they’re away.
Halting your mail is not a good solution when there are actionable items that can’t wait for you to get home.
What you need are digital mailbox services that can handle your mail for you while you are away.
These services include a real street address where you can forward your mail and packages.
They will scan your unopened mail and notify you of what you have received.
From there, you can have them open your mail and scan it so that you can read it when you have time.
They can securely shred it, and even deposit checks for you.
A digital mail service provider is like having a good friend take care of your mail for you while you are away, only more reliable and useful.
Local Sim Cards for your Cell Phone
Right now, you have a great smartphone plan for your family’s multiple iPhones from Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T, or Sprint.
You might even have some add-ons like options for plenty of high-speed tethering.
All of that goes away the moment you leave the country.
If you don’t take care of that before you leave, you will return to a bill worth thousands.
The solution is to acquire a local SIM.
The downside is that you will have to use a different phone number.
But that can be solved by giving your contacts your Google Voice number which is free.
It is not always easy to find a SIM provider depending on where you are going.
Keep a sharp eye out for vending machines that sell something other than sugar water.
Rather than scurrying from place to place to find a provider, cover that detail in advance.
Have them mail you your SIM before you leave if at all possible.
This slight inconvenience can save you thousands.
VPN for Privacy and Security
You will never forget your trip to China.
Just remember that you will be behind two great walls.
There is the one that can be seen from space, and the one that blocks you from your favorite content on the Internet.
You’ll want to do some research to learn the policies of the place where you are going.
The best way to ensure access to the Internet you are used to is to secure a VPN service before leaving home.
While some VPNs are free, the best ones cost a little money.
What you get in exchange is the ability to access the entire Internet rather than the subset permitted to the locals.
You will also have a private and secure connection to the Internet so that you will be free from snooping and worse.
What to remember before your trip
For a great vacation, don’t forget the little things.
Those little things include, but are not limited to, mailbox services, a local SIM, and a good VPN.
When you can plan ahead on some of things which take advantage of the technologies available today, you will be prepared, no matter where you go and how long you will be away.
Round The World Packing List
Our Round The World Packing List – There comes a time when you need to take a look at your current travel gear, throw away the stuff you don’t need or use anymore, and swap it for something new and fresh.
Now that we are on our way to travel around South East Asia again (we will be in THAILAND) we feel it’s a good time to remix our gear list and upgrade everything.
We have spent the last year traveling around Europe – so now it’s time to ditch the warm jackets, jeans and thick shirts.
Also from now on we’re traveling a little differently:
we will be taking with us more high-tech gear like the Canon 550D DSLR Camera, a Tripod, Wireless Microphones and a Macbook Pro laptop – all to be used for our up-coming online weekly Travel (TV) Show, as we travel around exploring Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia for the next 4 months.
We will still be using 40 Liter backpacks, although we threw out the old ones and got ourselves two matching new backpacks.
Checkout our Round The World Travel Guide and you can buy it here
Sofia’s Packing List
– 2 t-shirts
– 3 Sleeveless tops
– 2 Bikinis & 3 Bras
– 2 Pairs of socks
– 3 Pairs of panties
– 1 Button up shirt
– 1 Dress
– 1 Pair of leggings
– 1 Skirt
– 1 Pair of shorts
– 1 Pair of Loose Workout Pants
– 1 PolyPro top
– Lundhags Dovre 40L
– Sea To Summit – Pocket-size Foldable Daypack
– 1 Silk sheet
– 1 Travel towel
– Lush Solid Shampoo & Bodywash bars
– Face Wash & Makeup
– Tangle tweezer hairbrush
– Earrings & Sunglasses
– Merrell Continuum Shoes
– Havaianas sandals
Nathan’s Packing List
– 3 t-shirts
– 3 long-sleeve shirts
– 1 pair of shorts
– 1 pair of boardshorts
– 3 Pairs of underpants
– 1 Thin jacket
– 3 pairs of socks
– 1 Silk sheet
– Lundhags Dovre 40L
– 1 Travel towel
– First Aid Kit
– 1 pair of Columbia Cruzado shoes
– 13.3″ Macbook Pro with case
– Mono Tripod
– 11.6″ Asus Eee Pc laptop
– Zoom H2 Microphone
– 2 Audio-Technica Omnidirectional Lavalier Mics
– iPod Shuffle
– iPod Touch
– 2000GB External Memory
– Canon D-SLR 550D
– Kodak Zi8 Video Camera
– Travel Power Adaptor
Personally I think it seems like a lot of stuff once you add it all up, but believe it or not, it all fits into our 40 liter carry-on backpacks, and that’s all we ask for.
Hope this gear list is helpful for you guys as well, remember you don’t need all that extra stuff – keep it simple, keep it light and it will make life so much easier!
That Extra Stuff I Can’t Travel Without
For me, one of the toughest things when backpacking around the world is having to resist the temptation of buying every pretty and new thing I see.
There have been so many things I have wanted to buy, but since I don’t have much space for it in my 40L backpack and honestly the PAIN from having to carry it around outweighs the PLEASURE – I simply promise that I will return one day and buy it.
When you settle down for a while, you really get used to having an abundance of choice to wear ANY clothes, and as much make up and jewelry as you want.
But when out traveling you are really forced to learn how to live with only a few important things.
I’ve done pretty well I think, but there are still a few things that I simply won’t travel without:
I always, ALWAYS have a few of these on my wrist, because even if I don’t need one now, I know that at some point during the day it will come in handy.
The worst thing I know is having your hair sticking to your sweaty back…. yuck!
Hair ties are also useful for so many other things, it’s amazing how many things you can tie together to save space and when organizing stuff.
I know I don’t need them, but wearing long dangling colorful earrings is my way of making myself feel extra pretty on those ‘bad’ days.
Also they seem to just make any boring old travel outfit that much nicer!
Using concealer is pretty much the only make up I wear or take when traveling.
It is great to touch up a few random spots etc.
Gift From Home
For me this is about having that little bit of certainty – I like having something from home, a letter from a close friend, a special photo, or something I bring with me which I can look at and feel that warmth and safety, remember that there is always a place I can go back to where people miss me, and feels like home.
Good Face Wash Product
Yes, another face product.
But for me the skin is really important, and when traveling you often travel under pressure, stress and in so many different climates.
All of this can cause bad skin, so using a good face wash/soap is a must for me.
It’s better to prevent than treat.
Tester Sized Perfume
I don’t use perfume very often when traveling, but I like to have it there in case.
Have you ever sniffed that ugly smell only to realize it’s your own shirt that smells?
That’s what this is for – a quick spray and the shirt is like new again…! 😉
This round the world gear list will see you through for months.
Depending on the climate, you can find in-season clothing and gear at secondhand shops once at your destination.
Preparing for a Cruise – The Technophile’s Checklist
When Preparing for a Cruise, there are several elements that go into successfully planning a vacation, and it can seem like there are countless considerations along the way.
You must decide on the perfect destination, time and length of the trip, as well as each individual activity on you vacation.
Additionally, you you must plan for transportation to get there and secure the necessary accommodations upon arrival.
On the other hand, you could choose a cruise and knock and all of these aspects in one go.
If you do choose to go the cruise route, the majority of your preparation may come down to packing.
Especially for technophiles who are not particularly used to leaving the comfort of civilization and high-speed internet connections, this can be a challenging prospect.
Not to worry; this guide has collected all of the major gadgetry that any tech fan should not be without on a cruise.
Preparing for a Cruise – Technophile’s Checklist
The basic necessities should go without saying.
You will need to pack the bathing suit, flip-flops, sunglasses and any items that would be brought on any beach vacation.
The following checklist consists of the gadgets, devices and accessories that would make any tech geek feel at home while on the ship.
Waterproof Smartphone Case
For the majority of modern individuals, our lives are in our smartphones.
Not only are they necessary for most of the basic elements of everyday life and work, they hold personal and vital data, some of which cannot easily be replaced.
Especially if you are on a cruise, the phone itself cannot be replaced; there are not that many Best Buys located in the middle of the ocean, but there is a lot of non-gadget friendly water there.
Unless you plan to pack a bowl of rice and a lot of patience, you would be safer with a waterproof smartphone case.
Many modern devices like the Samsung Galaxy Note8 and the iPhone X have some level of water resistance, but it is better not to take your chances.
Aside from the basic protection they provide, a waterproof case would allow you to take photos underwater without spending more on a waterproof camera.
Depending on your needs and what you plan to do, you may need to pack several wireless accessories.
Wireless earbuds and/or small speakers can be a necessity for lounging around on the ship.
Additionally, a wireless keyboard would be necessary if you hope to write anything but do not want to bring your computer.
A Bluetooth headset may be helpful if you plan on being on the phone a lot.
The one thing to remember with all of these: buy water resistant if possible.
We can get so caught up in purchasing and packing all of the cool, new gadgets that may come in handy that we forget about some basic, simple necessities.
If you are planning to bring multiple items which need to be plugged in– which you probably are– a power strip can be absolutely critical for a successful cruise.
Even though the cabins rarely provide enough outlets, some cruise lines do not allow power strips; in this case, a small two- or three- outlet strip with USB outlets should do the trick.
Going back to the idea of protection, at least one or two waterproof pouches will be definite necessities aboard a cruise ship.
In addition to protection for any digital gear you may bring along, these can also be useful for your cash, passport, wallet and other important items.
Some come with lanyards, giving them the additional benefit of being easy carrying cases.
Although they can be annoying in the real world, a selfie stick can be an invaluable tool on a cruise.
You certainly want to take plenty of photos of yourself with your significant other and/or children enjoying the fun and the sun, so bring one of these to avoid repeatedly asking strangers for help.
Essential Gear For Your Adventure Ski Holiday
As many of you probably know we are currently in the Bavarian Alps in southern Germany enjoying a ski season.
Now that spring is approaching, we’ve had some amazing days of sunny warm weather lately, but this also affects the snow and makes it more dangerous if you go skiing off-piste.
Many people who go for ski holidays think it sounds cool to ski off-piste, not realizing the precautions they have to take, and end up getting trapped in avalanches.
If you’ve planned to do some off-piste skiing this spring, take a look at this gear guide to make sure you have everything you need for your trip to the mountains.
We’re going to assume that you’ve already figured out that you need a ski jacket and pants, gloves and base layers, and consider some of the less obvious items that can come in handy while you’re away.
And don’t forget, as the season draws on a lot of the gear you need will be available at a discount, so look out for a good ski sale before you buy.
This is an awesome tool which lets you charge your phone, ipod or other 5V device without having to find a plug socket.
Which can be tricky on a mountain.
The latest version is solar charged, so you can top it up when you stop for a rest. Solar PowerMonkey
This will make your fellow skiers or boarders really jealous – a battery heated insole for your boots – not recommended for late season sun, but if you’re on the mountain in early January they’re worth their weight in gold.
Toko Hot Wax
Ideally, your board or skis need to be serviced after every trip away.
So rather than paying for someone else to do it, buy some Toko hot wax and a file and do it yourself.
It’s easy (as long as you haven’t been hitting too many stones) and has the added advantage of letting you give your kit a quick once over half way through the trip.
This is one for the snowboarders; a pocket tool lets you adjust your bindings, or more importantly tighten them up if they get loose.
This can happen with surprising ease if your set up is new.
And if you’re set up for freestyle and hit a huge downhill, then you can change the angle of dangle in a couple of minutes.
Two Way Radios
A phone signal can be hard to find in more remote parts of the mountain, so a couple of radios are the ideal solution.
There are a lot on the market, so take your time and read some reviews before you decide which set to buy.
A lot of good ski and board jackets have an avalanche transmitter built in these days, but if your friends haven’t got a transceiver they won’t find you.
Essential for deep off piste conditions high up the mountain.
Avalanche Probe is essentially a lightweight stick that collapses to fit in your pack.
It has one invaluable purpose – finding someone when they’re buried, and can literally make the difference if one of your party gets caught under the snow.
Does what it says on the tin, and once you’ve used the transceiver and probe to locate the buried person, it will help you get them out a lot faster.
The fact that it can also be used to build small kickers is an added bonus.
If you’ve got the transceiver, probe and shovel in your pack, then statistics say it should take no more than 16 minutes to find the avalanche victim.
Without them, it will take over an hour – so choose your mountain equipment carefully.
What gear would you recommend bringing on a ski trip?
How to Pack
Humans used to be a nomadic race, going from one place to another in search of better food and water.
There are still some communities in the world, which retain their nomadic beginnings.
We can just imagine the very first humans, who inexplicably bring up an image of the Flintstones, deciding to take their first journey.
That is when they would have come face to face with the most difficult of things:
How to pack correctly?
Like everything with traveling, it is best to prepare for your holidays in advance.
Frankly, how do you pack for a trip?
We can understand the urge to take along everything, but unless you live in a big RV Bus, it is quite impossible.
If you do live in a huge RV, even then taking everything along on your trip to overseas would be impossible.
So, now having established the need for packing, let us finally move towards the methods the can be employed.
PACK SMART NOT HEAVY
Just as you should work smart and not work harder, so is the case with packing. P
acking smart is only possible if you have a proper system in place.
You can take the following steps to ensure that you pack smart for your next trip.
SELECTING THE RIGHT BAG
You start your packing by selecting the right bag.
If you are packing for a hiking trip then a bag form North Face would be more appropriate than your regular duffel bag.
On the other hand, an overseas trip would warrant an upright trolley suitcase, which is easier to carry around.
Being organized is the key to packing everything you need for the trip.
We suggest that you should start by making a checklist of all the things that you will need.
If you are traveling overseas, then it would be better to have all the things in separate sections.
The documents need to be present in a very accessible place, so that they can be taken out at a moment’s notice.
On the other hand, if you are packing for a stay at a hotel, there is no need to pack every little accessory.
PERSONAL COMFORT IS IMPORTANT
Your handbag should ideally contain things which you need to keep yourself comfortable during the actual travel.
If you’re traveling by air then this could include your neck pillow, a sleeping mask, your favorite pair of headphones, etc.
It should also have your travel documents, just in case you need to show them.
Perhaps, it would be better to make the checklist before you start anything else.
Start with making a list of all the things that you may need on the trip.
This should include your clothing, shoes, laptop, toiletries, etc.
After you have made this first draft, it is highly advisable to revise it removing anything which has been included purely because you are attached to it.
The main thing to understand here is that when packing, space is at a premium.
For example, you don’t really need those three pair of shoes for just a weekend.
THE ACTUAL PACKING
Packing a suitcase properly is an art.
However it can only be done after you decided what you’re going to carry with you.
So, traditionally this step would come after you have made the checklist and revised it to leave out any unnecessary things.
To pack efficiently, please use the following tips.
Tips for packing
When packing a suitcase, especially a vertical one, it is better to put the heavier things at the bottom.
This will prevent it from twisting and falling at every turn that you make with it.
Pack all your toiletries in a small plastic bag and make sure that even if something untoward happens, the bag won’t leak and ruin all your beautiful clothes.
If you’re going to carry jackets then it would pay off to buy reusable compressor bags.
They can save up to 75% of the space originally taken by outerwear apparel.
For your regular clothes, the best way to pack them is to use the time-tested roll method.
To do this, simply fold the items using the regular method and then roll them into a tight bundle.
Contrary to popular perception, it will actually help in reducing the number of wrinkles on your clothes.
Also, using this, items can be stacked one over the other without taking much space.
It is highly un-advisable to pack any sharp objects for an airplane ride.
Just go over the list of common items which are not allowed, to be sure that you do not have to deal with the hassle of parting with your favorite knife.
More packing tips
It would be better to carry any valuables on your person rather than in the luggage.
You never know what is going to happen to it and the insurance will not cover the cost in case your items are misplaced.
Using wheeled upright bags can save you a lot of trouble, especially if you are traveling alone.
Sometimes, it is better to skip common accessories like shampoos and other toiletries which can be easily bought for nominal amounts from the place you are traveling to.
This is it. These are our tips for packing smart instead of having to lug around all the heavy stuff.
And what’s more, we have summarized all of this into the following infographic:
How to Travel with a Laptop and Keep It Working
Having a laptop while traveling can be such a great asset – you can connect with your friends, upload pictures, save money by booking flights and hostels online etc.
But when traveling around the world, by nature you are forced to put your laptop through so many challenges that it can be really hard to keep it in a good working condition, especially if you don’t know the best ways to look after it.
On my first big trip, I took a small laptop which broke down halfway through and I was forced to purchase a new one – I had no idea how much pressure I put on my little 8 inch laptop, and that cost me a big portion of my travel budget.
Here are some lessons I learned:
Use a good protective laptop case:
This is probably the most important issue when traveling.
You move around a lot, and it will get bumped into things no matter how hard you try to avoid it.
If you have it in a big backpack/suitcase it can get hit when someone throws your luggage in the bag storage on the bus, or handles it badly.
Never leave your laptop in a cold environment:
If you do, and then bring it into a warm environment, condensation on the circuitry will build up and cause the laptop to short itself out.
Never keep your paperwork between the screen and keypad:
Paper is pretty sharp and will eventually cut into the screen or scratch it.
Use good virus software:
When traveling you never know how safe the internet connection you’re using is, so always make sure to keep your laptop safe with a good firewall.
And make sure you update it and clean your data every few weeks.
Avoid placing your laptop on soft surfaces:
This will block the air vents and overheat your system.
Doing this too often isn’t good for the laptop.
Don’t pick the laptop up by the screen:
I did this way too many times, and eventually the screen cracked…
I followed none of this advice, and as you can imagine every single consequence mentioned – happened…
One Last Tip:
Even if you follow these rules there is still a risk that your computer will break.
If this happens, you can lose everything on it.
Make sure that you have saved your photos (and other important documents) somewhere else too, like on a USB memory or an external hard drive.
If you have an iPod with a lot of memory which you don’t use, you can even save them there.
Since both laptops and hard drives run high risks of breaking, I recommend you to store your photos online as well.
This way you have at least three places for your photos.
I’ve learned this from past experiences.
Our hard drive was full, and we hadn’t uploaded our photos from parts of our trip online.
Of course the laptop broke and the photos were gone.
Learn about studying a language while traveling and tips for e-learning success.