When planning any backpacking trip, no matter if you’re going away for only a weekend or a year long trip around the world, using a checklist of everything you need to pack and do before your leaving date is a great way to keep yourself organized and prevent missing any essential items. Here are a few items that should be included in any travelers checklist and are overlooked by many people:
- Travel insurance may be boring but it is vital for a trip of any length and there are such inexpensive policies around these days that there really is no excuse not to have it. Do you really want to be trapped in a foreign country with a broken leg and a bill for thousands? Before you leave, carefully check the wording of your travel insurance – pregnancy and other pre-existing conditions are often not covered.
- Make copies of all your important documents, keep a copy with you and give one to a friend or family member for safekeeping. Hundreds of people have their passport, tickets and other travel documents stolen every year and it can be a real hassle to sort out. Having a copy can make things a little easier – keep an electronic version in your webmail or other online storage for easy access.
- Let your friends and family know your travel itinerary. You may not be entirely sure of where you’ll be on what date but it’s important for safety reasons that you give them at least a rough idea and details of any pre-booked hostels or flights so they have a starting point for tracking you down in an emergency.
- A silk sleeping bag liner should be on every travelers packing list. They don’t take up much space, are incredibly light and useful for using under hostel sheets, on their own in hot weather or to cozy up in drafty bus stations. To round things off bring along a good quality travel pillow that provides support for the head and neck.
- Travel vaccinations are something that are often overlooked. Make sure you visit your doctor several months before your trip to see what vaccinations are required to keep you safe and healthy while away from home.