Holiday checklist | What are the essential papers to always carry with you abroad?

I am addicted to checklist when preparing my next travel journey. Especially if the trip is to abroad!

Then, I take notes of everything I may need (or not) before, during and after my trip. It can be annoying sometimes, but as the same time, it has helped me to get more organised and avoid unfortune surprises at the airport.

This summer has been particularly challenging because I had to prepare not just mine, but also my parent’s travel documents. It was their second time abroad visiting us from Brazil, and we had stopovers in different countries as well. So, it’s needless to say I was preparing all necessary documentation way before the summer starts.

A checklist is what saves me time when preparing my holiday. So, here’s the list of what papers are essential in a journey abroad:

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Photo by hjl on Foter.com / CC BY

Don’t dare to forget your passport!

It seems silly to say but I heard stories of people that remembered to pack the whole house but managed to forget their passports on the table. If you are going abroad, a valid passport ( and a copy of this, just in case) is the first essential in your luggage.

I triple check my bag before and during the trip. It became a bit obsessive now and I have spent part of this summer checking my parent’s passport in every airport we passed by. They had great memories of their trip to Europe. That wouldn’t be possible without a passport. Don`t forget to also check if you need a visa to the destination your are planning to visit.

I know, more papers to deal with.

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Medical Travel Insurance avoid big headaches

Yes, I know sometimes we just don`t feel like we need travel insurance because it’s unlikely something will go wrong in your trip. Sorry to break the news, but things can go badly wrong when you are abroad. And medical travel insurances can literally save your life in this case.

So, I do recommend researching for the best options in the market right after chosen your destination. There are different prices and plans to every type of medical conditions and people’s needs. All you need to remember is that it’s as essential as the passport when travelling to certain countries all over the world. And it will literally avoid big headaches when you are far from home!

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Save the date and save your itinerary too

Yes, I am not very good in directions. So, I am always relying on apps to show me directions in the city I am visiting for the first (or second) time. I don’t like wasting time looking for information during the trip anyway, so I plan my days according to the places I will visit. Sometimes, Internet fails. So, I refer printing all that information too and carry with me in the flight. This is not environmental, I know. But I prefer having the names of streets, restaurant’ addresses, tickets of museums and any kind of attraction I am joining with me than get lost and stressed during my holiday.

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Photo by WordRidden on TrendHype / CC BY

Travel Guide is still a thing!

Yes, I love travel guides. I love papers in general. So, I don’t miss the chance of having a travel guide of the city I am planning to visit. Most of the famous guides, like Lonely Planet, for example, are frequently updated. So, there is no excuse to not pop up to your local library and get one to pack with you. Besides, it can be also being exciting to read more about your destination before stepping on it. There is always something different in that map that can explored, anyway.

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Money, traveling checks, debit and credit cards – you name it!

Yes, it’s horrible to say but the hardest part of being adult is having to deal with the fact that we need money to most of the things we want to do. Money of all types. Paper money as travelling checks can be safe, but local currency and debit and credit cards are also important part of this checklist. You may not need to use all of them but play safe and don’t forget to research with your bank the best interests and currency fees before splashing the cash abroad.

Cover Photo by fdecomite on Trend Hype / CC BY

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I'm a Brazilian journalist based in West Midlands. In Brazil, I have worked with International Trade and Logistics publications. Now in the UK, I keep writing and I dedicate myself to a new project : Midlands Trade - a blog focused on business in Europe and Brazil. It's also supporting small businesses throughout the #MeetTheBusiness.

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