Chillin' In A Castle In Ireland

Yesss! We’re finally closer to the date of our travel. By now, the ‘planning’ stage is almost complete, since we’ve finalised our destination, hotel, flight, itinerary and mode of domestic transport and internal transfers.

So we’re done right? What’s left?

The Check List

Create a checklist to ensure you don’t miss out on some of THE MOST important steps of your travel! Here’s what it should look like.

  • Visa
  • Passport
  • Printouts
  • Weather Check
  • Language Check
  • Shopping List
  • Packing List
  • Insta Check
  • Travel Insurance
  • Health Check-Up
  • Spa Day (maybe just for the women, eh?)
  • International Mobile Roaming / Local Sim

Visa – Most nationals are expected to have a Visa while travelling to another country. This procedure can easily be forgotten but is the most important. Because it can take anywhere between 5 to 25 days to get a Visa to some countries. And the paperwork it requires can be gruesome.

Passport – Ensure that your passport has a validity of over 6 months and enough of pages for a stamp! If not, you will get into trouble at the airport.

Printouts – In this digital day and age, perhaps this is not an important step. But if you never know when you’ve run out of battery or you’re stuck in a place without cellphone reception. It just might be wise to carry a few printouts of important things like your hotel address & phone numbers, your itinerary (incase you’re travelling with a group, you can hand this out to people so that they don’t keep bugging you) or some write ups about places you will be visiting.

Weather Check – Check what the weather will be like when you’re visiting. This will help you decide the kind of clothes you need to carry.

Language Check – Not everybody is well versed with English. So it’s best to know a few simple words in the local language of the place you are travelling to. Words like – Thank You, Hello, Restroom?, Good morning/evening etc. It also pleases the person on the other side when you talk to them in their local language – shows that you’ve put in some effort before coming to their country!

Shopping List – There are always a 100 things that need to be bought before a trip. From Toiletries (I always like to carry my own as spare) to clothing. Make that list before you forget things. Remember, you’re aiming for the PERFECT holiday here, not just an impromptu trip, where it’s okay to forget things and worry about them later.

Packing List – Trust me, if you start with a list about a week in advance, you will end up carrying way lesser things than you first started out with. At least that’s what has always happened to me. I start off by putting everything that’s in my closet and I slowly realise that it makes no sense to carry so many things! Scroll to the end to see my packing list.

Insta Check – For those of you who want to brag about your trip on social media, do an Instagram check to see what kind of pictures are floating around of the place you’re visiting and you’ll start to get some great ideas of your own, when you get there!

Travel Insurance – This is a MUST. Go get it done. It is so in-expensive and can be done online.

Health Check Up – Not a must, but it is always better to to do it – especially if you already have a pre-existing condition. It is just a precautionary step so that you can carry the right medication.

Spa Day – I don’t know about you, but I love to pamper myself just before a holiday to ensure I look my best on my Instagram! So if you’re like me, go ahead and schedule that appointment a couple of days prior to your travel. It’s always exciting to present yourself in a new avatar – which is released first on Instagram – to the people who know you in your day-to-day life.

International Roaming / Additional Sim – I’ve always kept my phone on during my travels so that I don’t miss out on any important calls. So while I activate my international roaming, I may use it only to receive important calls or sms/whatsapp. The charges for making a call or using data can get quite expensive – so find a pack that is suitable for your needs.

Data is quite critical on your trip, especially if you plan to travel on your own without a guide.

I’ve used a local sim (additional to my own) in some countries, which was quite useful as data was cheap. In my recent trip to Greece, I opted for a data pack on my existing Indian number, where I got a good deal. So it works fine both ways, you just got to check with your network provider and/or the local provider for the most convenient and cheap option.

FYI – I tried using a sim from Matrix years ago, and I didn’t find it all that convenient. I personally, wouldn’t recommend it. If you are looking for an additional sim, just get it done locally from the country you are visiting. Make sure you have some Identity documents if required while applying for the new sim (Passport usually works).

I prepare these lists about 30-45 days in advance. This also helps me plan for additional leaves or half days I may require from my workplace – especially for my Visa.

Once you are through with your checklist, you are finally almost done. Just make sure that 1 week before you travel you run through these lists again to ensure you haven’t missed out on any step.

I also sometimes opt to take

Here’s a basic template of my packing list. This changes depending on the nature of my holiday.

  • Clothing
    • Nightwear
    • Daywear
    • Coats/Jackets/Sweaters/Shrugs
    • Underwear / Socks / Napkins /
    • Swimwear
    • Shoes / Flip Flops
  • Accessories
    • Jewellery – Necklace / Earrings / Rings / Others
    • Makeup – Lipsticks / lipbalm / Mascara / Eye Liner / Others
    • Safety Pins
    • Hair Ties / Clips
    • Purse / Sling Bags
  • Toiletries
    • Cotton Swabs / Cotton balls
    • Moisturizer
    • Body wash / Face-wash
    • Shampoo / Conditioner
    • Mouth-wash / Tooth Brush / Tooth Paste / Floss
    • Sunscreen
    • Tampons / Liners
    • Vaseline
  • Documents
    • ID
    • Passport
    • Cash/Credit Card
    • Airline Tickets
    • Hotel Reservations
    • Itinerary
  • Medical
    • Crocin or the likes (for aches & fever)
    • Eno, Digene or the likes (for stomach issues)
    • Band-Aid
    • Vicks & Kanthil (My go-to remedy for cold & cough)
    • Any other prescribed medication
    • Odomos or the likes (Bug repellent spray/cream)
  • Others
    • Mobile + Charger + Power Bank + additional memory card + additional sim card (if at all) + Selfie Stick
    • Camera + Charger + Batteries + Tripod and other accessories
    • Empty Bottle (you really never know when this could get useful. Trust me.)
    • Sunglasses (😎)
    • Hats & Scarves

So NOW you are all set! Are you excited? You should be! You’ve been planning and waiting for this for 6 months! Have a happy and safe travel! Don’t forget to take a LOT of pictures!

Comment below if you found my tips useful and do let me know what are your holiday plans for 2019