No matter if you’re a seasoned traveller or a backpacking novice, it’s always wise to have a travelling checklist. What to pack, how to pack, what to bring, and what not to bring – all the travel necessities are here, nestled alongside the kind of things you’d facepalm about if you forgot. You know what we mean – vaccinations, passport validity and visas: crucial but boring enough to forget.

So if you’re heading off on travels soon, do yourself a favour and take a good look at our ultimate travelling checklist. You won’t regret it.

1. Book ahead

Don’t book hotels last minute – the odds are not in your favour. The chances of saving money with last minute bookings are pretty slim, and by the time you get wherever you’re going, you probably don’t want to pound the pavement looking for a good hotel. It’s best to book in advance (same goes for flights. Book 53 days in advance for the best fares!)

2. Get flexible

Do think long and hard about whether or not you should book a flexible (i.e. with a cancellation policy) ticket, and hotel room. They might cost a bit more upfront, but it could save a lot in the long run.

3. Will they even let you in?

Do you need a visa? Check out whether or not you need one – also for countries you’re just passing through – and remember to check how long it takes to get it. If you’ve already got one, make sure it’s valid for your whole stay.

4. Don’t be that guy

Make sure your passport is valid for more than your whole trip: some countries won’t let you in if it’s not! Remember to check the passport rules for the specific country you’re travelling to before you go. Many countries require a passport to be valid for a certain number of months from the date of entry, or a certain number of months after you leave the country.

5. Bare those arms!

Vaccinations! No one likes them, but they’re better than the alternative. Make sure to get all of the recommended and/or mandatory medication and jabs, and check that your existing ones are up-to-date. If possible, see your GP at least eight weeks before you go. Some vaccinations need to be given well in advance to allow your body to develop immunity.

6. Prove you’re leaving

Some countries won’t let you in unless you have a flight booked out of it – so double check the rules for your destination before you leave, and bring a photocopy of your ticket in your hand luggage.

7. Going out of date?

If you’re travelling with any kinds of discount cards, like student or pensioner cards, check they’re valid, or pay the price. Literally.

8. Spread your cash

If you’re travelling with cash, don’t keep it all in the same bag. That way, if you lose one bag, you’ve always got the other

9. Copy those documents

Photocopy and scan any important documents – passport, tickets, hotel confirmations, etc. Give a copy to someone responsible (like your mum), and take the other one with you.

10. Email yourself

Send an email to yourself with all your details in it, like passport, flight and phone numbers, and the like. If your wallet and phone go missing, you could be your own hero

11. Call the bank

Call your bank and let them know exactly where you’re travelling to and the dates you’ll be gone to avoid having your credit/debit card declined. Some banks have monthly withdrawal limits – make sure to check yours before you go. Don’t forget to jot down the best way to contact your bank just in case your wallet goes walkabouts

12. Pack. Then pack again

Have another look at your pile of packing. Do you really need four pairs of shoes and six pairs of trousers? If in doubt, have a look at our packing guide

13. Check those containers!

Is that a shampoo or deodorant in your hand luggage? Are they under 100ml? All your liquids better be (or you’ll have to ditch them at security).

14. Are you insured?

Double-check your travel insurance (which you do have, right?). Make sure it covers both where you’re going, and what you’re doing. And make sure you have a copy of it on you at all times.

15. Stock up on memory

Check that your camera works – and that you’ve got enough space for all your photos and videos.

16. Get plugged in

Make sure you’ve got the right plug or adapter. You really don’t want your battery running out mid-Instagram.

17. 999, 911, 112?

Make sure you know the emergency numbers for where you’re going. A good app to have is Emergency Numbers (Android) or Emergency Phone Numbers (iOS), which gives you the local emergency numbers in most countries.

18. Get offline

Download a city guide and navigate the city like a pro! momondo places city guides are available in 14 cities (with many more on the way). They’re free, include detailed maps, and are 100% offline – kiss data roaming goodbye!

19. Be prepared

Pack a set of clothing (but keep it light!) in your hand luggage, just in case your bags go a wandering (you might want to play extra safe and include toothbrush and paste, and deodorant just in case your hotel doesn’t supply them)

20. Be brave

Venturing to a new, unknown place can be an exhilarating experience. Now that you’re out of your comfort zone – seize the day!

21. Stay curious

That’s all there is – stay curious!

Check out the ‘News & tips’ section of the momondo blog for more expert travel advice.

About the author

Lara MuladyPut Lara, our copywriter, anywhere in the American Southwest or Scotland and she’s blissfully happy. When at home, she’s still happy, hanging out with her family, watching Ken Burns films and reading as much as she can. Her wife would say she has too much LEGO, but Lara would strongly disagree.

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