More often than not, we get so excited about something that we tend to forget the most important bits — and that happens with traveling a lot. I’m not talking about your phone charger or toothbrush but items that could turn your trip into a disaster if neglected.
Suddenly a holiday isn’t so relaxing when you’re faced with inconveniences.
Here are 5 of the most important things that people tend to leave behind when they go on a trip. Keep these in your checklist the next time you travel!
You’ll never know when you’re going to fall sick. As ironic as it sounds, going on a holiday actually puts our bodies through a lot of stress. Traveling in general, has a negative effect on our immune system as it puts us through a myriad of risks.
There's sleep deprivation from red eye flights, risk of deep vein thrombosis from the lack of movement in the airplane, change in bowel movements from the sudden routine change, or even food poisoning from dodgy food stalls in different countries. If you really think about it, the chances of falling sick is really high.
Prepare a mini first aid kit. Most medications can be obtained over the counter in pharmacies such as charcoal pills (food poisoning), paracetamol (headaches), antihistamines (allergies), antacids (heartburn), etc.
Extra Copies of Important Documents
People often remind us to not forget our IDs and passports when we travel, but nobody ever reminds us to bring extra copies of those. Having an additional copy could help expedite the process of filing reports just in case the original copies got lost or stolen.
This doesn’t just apply to IDs and passports, but also to other important documents such as itinerary, travel insurance, hotel bookings, tour confirmations, car rental receipts, as well as other relevant documentations.
Save trees by saving the additional copies into your cloud such as Google Drive, iCloud or DropBox. Or else, simply email it to yourself!
Set Up Your VPN
I’ll give you an example. Have you ever travelled to China only to remember you cannot access some of your commonly used apps such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram and more? What if you needed to access restricted platforms in order to obtain important information?
The best way to get access to geo-restricted platforms is through a virtual private network (VPN). This helps you to mask your specific geographical location by making your virtual presence appear somewhere else, which tricks websites into giving you access.
Besides that, it also encrypts your internet connection which prevents monitoring by Internet service providers (ISPs), hackers and government agencies. This is especially important while traveling because you would most likely depend on public wifis for internet connection, which is a prime spot for hackers.
There are plenty of VPN apps that you can download for free but follow the checklist below for the best experience.
- Compatible on all platforms
- No hidden fees
- Good choice of servers
- Available in as many countries as possible
Activate Your Card For Overseas Use
Imagine checking out a cart full of souvenirs and realising your credit card is not activated for overseas use. While this depends fully on the type of credit card you hold, it’s best to check with your bank if your card requires any activation before you travel.
The same thing applies to your debit card -- withdrawals from ATMs overseas would be rejected if your card isn’t activated for overseas use. Each bank has their own activation procedure, either via their app, website, phone call or by physically visiting the bank itself.
Most travel credit cards automatically allow for overseas usage without any activation required, but read the terms just to be safe!
Get Travel Insurance
This is probably one of the more important things that people tend to forget. Travel insurance providers would highly recommend buying it immediately after the trip has been booked. This is due to the fact that people tend to leave it for the last minute until they actually forget to purchase it.
But apart from negligence, a large number of people don’t purchase travel insurance when they travel simply because they are not aware of the value of it. Or rather, the risks that they are putting themselves through as they travel unprotected.
Purchasing a travel insurance ensures that you would be protected against travel-related risks. Some of the common travel mishaps include lost or stolen baggage as well as personal belongings, flight delay or cancellation, hospitalisation, and more.
Imagine having to purchase another baggage because it was damaged during the unloading process, or spending exorbitant amounts on an unexpected visit to the hospital because of an injury. With travel insurance, you can be reimbursed for these mishaps, and you get to travel with a peace of mind.
There are plenty of plans available in the market to suit the varying needs of travelers. Looking for something on a budget? The Sompo Travel Lite goes as low as RM7. Planning to go on a scuba diving adventure? Plans like the AXA SmartTraveller VIP offers protection for high risk sports.