14th Nov 2013
FONT SIZE: A+ A-
Frequently forgotten items to pack
Frequently forgotten items to pack
Image credit: Shutterstock

When you are in a last-minute frenzy of packing, it's easy to forget to pack some essential items. Check these items off your list before you zip up your suitcase.

If you rely on prescription medicines, glasses or contact lenses, pack an ample supply. Less is definitely not more in this case – who wants to put up with health issues unnecessarily, or end up unable to see the sights you are visiting at their best?

Take shoes which do double duty. A versatile pair of shoes which will take you seamlessly from walking around the sights to dinner. Something along the lines of a cushioned sandal in the warmer weather or alternatively a comfortable pair of boots when the temperatures plummet.

It's also worth packing a pair of runners, as they will be handy as an additional pair of comfortable walking shoes, but also great if you have some down time and can take the opportunity to keep your fitness levels up by pounding the pavement.

Pack a travel pillow in your hand luggage. This is not only a bonus when sitting in an aeroplane, bus or train, but it can also mean the difference between a comfortable or uncomfortable night’s sleep in a strange bed.

Include a canvas grocery bag in your luggage. Many countries are now environmentally conscious and will not supply shopping bags for free. It will come in handy when grocery shopping, and can be used to wrap souvenirs for transporting home.

Update you contact information before you leave on your holiday, whether on your electronics or in your address book. Check you have the correct telephone and email addresses for those that you may have to contact, even if the chances are extremely remote, while you are away on your holiday. Then make sure you pack your smartphone, iPad or address book in your hand luggage.

A battery operated alarm clock will ensure you're not slowed down by jetlag. Don't assume that your body clock will automatically adjust to your new destination – an alarm clock will ensure that you don't miss a breakfast or your tour.

Lastly, pack a notepad and pen. This is a no-fail solution to keep notes of your holiday experiences without having to rely on batteries. You can jot down your contact details to tear off and give to new friends you meet on your travels, draw maps for taxi drivers if language is a barrier, list notes about new dishes and experiences to add to your travel journal, whether you write it up at the end of each day or at the end of your holiday.

What items do you make sure always to pack into your luggage? Share your tips below.





    COMMENTS

    To make a comment, please register or login
    westozi
    18th Nov 2013
    11:17am
    Always carry a letter from your doctor stating that you are on your medication as prescribed under Australian Law and always carry your medication in its original packaging.
    biddi
    18th Nov 2013
    8:57pm
    Read somewhere that it is also OK to take your prescriptions as proof of your
    medications.
    Neil
    18th Nov 2013
    11:29am
    Get a copy of your glasses prescription from your optometrist.
    Put your digital files in a "cloud" service such as Dropbox. All important documents can be scanned and saved to access from anywhere, even if you lose your gadget.
    Suziq
    18th Nov 2013
    12:08pm
    I get my pharmacy to print out a list of all my medications including the dosage and when I take it. I carry it in my handbag so it's with me all the time.
    MarLin
    18th Nov 2013
    1:39pm
    Keep travel insurance contacts with copies of passports, credit cards, etc. Also a shawl that doubles as many things but is only a small item to keep you (and your companion) warm on those flights where the operators have the aircon "below zero" to try and sell their (more bulky and less flexible) travel blankets!
    Fossil
    18th Nov 2013
    3:25pm
    power points, not all are the same in overseas countries, make sure you take the convertible ones with you. I use a curling iron (still vain at 69) and I pack it first when I travel then I don't have to spend a fortune or hunt for one when overseas. start buying your prescriptions items I week ahead of when they are due and by the time you leave you will have enough for your travel Period. I am asthmatic and need them to be readily available 1 twice a day and the other every night... then start taking them 1 hour earlier or later depending where you are in the world so you can then be right on time when you get back...not that hard when it means you can breathe easy... If you have a spare pair of prescription glasses even if old fashioned pack them as well they can get you over the hurdle while you wait for repairs if needed. Remember a clear conscience is a soft pillow to sleep on.
    Kwacha
    18th Nov 2013
    6:19pm
    OBVIOUSLY NOT WRITTEN BY A TRAVELLER
    Dijana
    18th Nov 2013
    6:20pm
    Definitely the spare script for glasses, plus an old pair, copies of travel documents in all cases, pegless washing line, swiss army knife (not in hand luggage) and I always pre print address labels for my postcards, so much easier than hand writing them all. I also pack a small magnifying glass (great for reading small print on maps) and a small torch to keep at the bedside.
    Radish
    18th Nov 2013
    6:50pm
    1. door stopper...to keep out unwelcome visitors who may have a way of accessing to your room.
    2. a torch
    3. all travel and document information on a small flash drive which I hang on a lanyard (as well as spare hard copy of the originals)
    4. if travelling by air always have a change of clothing in your carry on luggage (as well as a toothbrush) in case your main case goes astray
    5. lastly don't take too much clothing...ever time I travel I find I use about a third of what I take..determined to not do it next time.
    tasmainia
    18th Nov 2013
    7:51pm
    One for the ladies: disposable panty liners help you arrive feeling fresh.
    Also, leave a copy of all important documentation with a loved one and report your travel on the governments international travellers website (just in case).
    I also leave good jewellery at home, hope this helps someone.
    Emby
    18th Nov 2013
    9:19pm
    If travelling overseas make sure you have the correct power plug but add an Aussie 4 pack of power points. which you can place in a convenient spot as often the power point is at floor level. Place the 4-pack on a table or desk giving you 4 power points which are easily accessible. Take note of other comments given, as they are well worth noting.
    Wader
    18th Nov 2013
    11:01pm
    Think of the cabin bag as emergency supplies and put in the necessaries should luggage get lost. Excellent ideas from other commentators.
    Rosy
    19th Nov 2013
    10:29am
    Like most of you, I always register at smarttraveler.gov.au, always take extra of meds, prescriptions for meds and glasses, torch, ear plugs (very handy!) leave copies of personal docs (passport, tickets, hotel vouchers, rail or bus tickets or confirmations, plus copies of credit cards and multi- currency cards) with a friend plus I type a day to day itinerary or where I expect to be and when, one copy with me and one left with a friend. All skincare, meds, spare glasses, toothbrush and spare undies in the carry-on. As I have a serious medical condition, I always wear a MediAlert bracelet. www.medialert.com.au It has a 24/7 free contact number from anywhere in the world with ALL of my medical details incl Doctors so if I fall off the perch in Birmingham or Barcelona, all my files are easily accessed. As a woman who at 65 still travels alone most years, I do all I can to prepare. One last thing, remember when overseas YOU are a guest in someone else's country so pack your sense of humour and play nice.
    A. N. Onymous
    19th Nov 2013
    7:45pm
    Did you mean http://www.medicalert.org.au/ ?
    A. N. Onymous
    19th Nov 2013
    7:46pm
    Did you mean http://www.medicalert.org.au/ ?
    Neil
    19th Nov 2013
    10:52am
    Love all these comments. I said I use Dropbox cloud storage, but also like the tip about duplicates on a small flash drive. Power adapters are critical. Consider buying an older style phone (can be as little as $20). We got two and then picked up cheap sim sards overseas. Always in touch with each other. Do not take your Oz sim card - roaming charges!!
    I bought an Ipad for last trip. Couldn't believe how good it was, and it takes great photos and videos. You can purchase an annual help contract with local Apple store and get personal lessons on all travel needs and use of Ipad before you go.
    westozi
    19th Nov 2013
    11:44am
    I agree with not taking your Australian sim card. I bought an international sim about three years ago and loaded with about $100. It is a dual sim so next time I go to the US when I switch on the phone it will give me a US number to use. Currently it has a UK number. I have been overseas with it three times and I still have something like 55 minutes talk time on it. Credit never runs out as long as I make 2 phone calls a year.
    Rosy
    19th Nov 2013
    11:22pm
    Hi AN Ononymous, that's it, an Australian company based in Adelaide. I chose a bracelet with a stretchy band as going through security checks it is easy to get off and on and with my failing dexterityty, I don't have to struggle with clasps.

    One purchases either a bracelet, necklace, watch tag or similar, get a doctor's letter with all your medical details including any specific conditions or allergies etc ( you can do it all online or to soeak to someone who can talk you through it) and once registered, they send you your purchased item plus a card for your wallet with all basic, important info and another for the fridge in case you take ill at home. It has the 24/7 free international call number, your membership number. The renewal costs are about $30 annually to keep you on the database so the only other cost is the price of the jewellery you choose.

    Oh Radish, I love the idea of the door wedge..wonderful, thanks.
    Flotsam
    20th Nov 2013
    1:36pm
    Be careful with mobiles. Firstly is it locked to a supplier? although unlocking is quite easy in most countries.
    Telstra uses a 850 Mhz. frequency All other companies in Oz and Europe use 900Mhz. so unless you are in a very strong signal area, Telstra phones will not work on other company systems!
    MarLin
    20th Nov 2013
    8:57pm
    Are you sure about that, Flotsam? I used my unlocked Telstra phone in USA, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Holland, Belgium, France and England last year and never had the slightest problem anywhere. And we travel several times a year to SE Asia, mainly Vietnam but also Cambodia, Laos and Thailand occasionally - and always use our Telstra phones.
    MarLin
    20th Nov 2013
    9:08pm
    Just googled it and found a rather complex but nevertheless complete answer here: http://whirlpool.net.au/wiki/mobile_phone_frequencies
    We also found somewhere online to test our Telstra phones' compatability with the various national networks before departure to Scandinavia and Europe last year, but I've unfortunately forgotten(!) the link...
    chocciefrog
    25th Nov 2013
    12:34pm
    Lots of money!!!!!
    MarLin
    25th Nov 2013
    10:04pm
    No, Chocciefrog - quite the opposite. We did a mini-world tour with Telstra phone and Travelsim SIM card (bought from Post Office) - phoned people in every country to let them know we'd arrived and make arrangements to meet, and still came back with lots of change from the $50 initial charge! We still use the Travelsim in Australia for long phone calls and calls to 13 numbers when we're likely to be left on hold forever - worth its weight in gold!


    Join YOURLifeChoices, it’s free

    • Receive our daily enewsletter
    • Enter competitions
    • Comment on articles