Everyone puts so much emphasis on packing for their holiday, i.e. how many pairs of shoes to take, what toiletries you might need, the different bikinis and swim shorts to buy, and not many people really pay that much attention to perhaps something a little more important overall – hand luggage!
If you don’t pack your hand luggage accordingly, you could end up forgetting something very important indeed! All your vital travel documents are held within your carry on baggage, and if you forget one of those pieces of paper, you’re probably not going to get much further than the airport check in desk!
If you have no idea what you need in that hand luggage bag, these are the must-haves:
It goes without saying that you should never travel without adequate travel insurance, so make sure you arrange this and print out the details, placing them in your hand luggage bag. This allows you a good standard of health care without extra cost. If you have one already, check it is still well within date, and if not, head online and do a quick and easy EHIC renewal.
Passport & Visa
If you don’t have your passport then you’re going nowhere! Check the validity dates ahead of time, because you will generally need three or six months (depending on your destination) left on your passport after the date you return. On top of this, check ahead of time whether you need a visa for entry into the place you’re going, and do the necessary in terms of how to obtain it. Most destinations won’t even require one, but there are many that do.
Confirmations & Tickets
These days many flights are ticketless, but not all, so make sure you print out any confirmations you receive. This also includes your accommodation vouchers and transfer confirmations too. It’s better to have more pieces of paper than you need, than not enough!
Decide how you are going to take your cash with you, whether you’re going to change some into the local currency, or whether you are going to use your cash card abroad, and store these safely in your hand luggage. Remember to inform you bank if you are going to be using your card overseas.
If you take any regular medications, these need to be stored in the labelled boxes in your hand luggage. For more specialised medical equipment or medications, you may need a letter from your doctor explaining that you need these for travel, and that should also be kept in your hand luggage.
Of course, there are more practical things you need to remember, such as your phone, earphones, tablet, phone charger, and perhaps a few snacks for the journey, but if we’re talking about the vital pieces of paper and items you need to jet off on your travels, tick these off your list and you won’t go far wrong.