Travelling around the country or the world is a fantastic experience - getting halfway across the world and discovering you have no phone contact or nowhere to stay is not. So before you jet set off or embark on the best road trip EVER, take a look at this checklist for travellers to make sure all your bases are covered.
Got a valid passport? - Make sure your passport is valid until the end of your holiday, as you need to get back into the country too.
Got a visa? - Make sure you have checked local border security laws and that if you do have a travelling visa if you need one.
Scan and email all of your travel documents so that, if the worst case scenario occurs, mum will be able to print it off from home and send it to you.
Got Travel Insurance? - Think it's something not worth buying or a waste of money? You won't when you're bitten by a huge, rare, exotic wasp and end up in hospital where they don't speak English and charge international citizens an absolute arm and a leg for medical treatment, or when your luggage ends up in Zimbabwe instead of Paris. Even if it's basic cover, take it out.
Had your vaccinations? - If you're going somewhere you don't think you need vaccinations for, double check. It's better to be safe than sorry!
Got travellers cheques or local currency? - Make sure you have some local currency for when you arrive/depart.
Got Money? - Make sure you know what your credit card limit is. Iff you're going to be using a prepaid card, make sure that institutions will actually accept this over there and that any special requirements for withdrawal of money over there is met. Ask your bank if you're not sure.
Got a phone? - Have you turned on international roaming with your phone provider? Make sure that while you're over there, you will have coverage. Ask your phone provider if you're unsure.
Make sure that you have also checked the prices for calls/texts and data usage. There is nothing worse than coming back with no money and finding out you have a mammoth phone bill because you decided to check your emails. One way around this is to buy a cheap phone and buy a SIM card while you're over there - no nasty, unexpected bills.
Checked your baggage allowance? - Check with your airline provider, especially if it's something that you have to pay extra for.
Read up on your trip? - Weather, dos and don'ts, the must see sights, best restaurants, where to go for the best pizza, markets; do your research to make the most of your trip and to see if there are any special events while you're there.
Checked your Camera - Make sure your memory cards are big enough to house the thousands of photos you'll be taking. Pack extra batteries or disposal cameras as there'll be times you don't have access to power and might miss out on the perfect snap.
Got Internet Savvy? - Register with smarttraveller.gov.au so that you're contactable during an emergency and get a Skype account so you can report home, face to face, and often cheaper than a phone call.
Packed Lightly? - Try to pack as lightly as possible. You'll be thanking your lucky stars when you have to heave a suitcase up 12 flights of stairs or when you buy so much over there you end up wearing everything in your suitcase to make it lighter.
Bought a phrase book? - Essential if you're staying in a non-English speaking country.
Eating musts - Eating out overseas can get expensive. If you're eating out, sit indoors; in Europe they charge you extra for sitting outside, and they won't tell you until they give you the bill. Carry a pocket knife (no not as a weapon) so you can eat cheese, fruit or bread on the run or for dinner.
Accommodation musts - Make sure you have print outs of all the address details and contact details of where you're staying (and you've told someone back home where you're staying) as it's easier to point at a piece of paper instead of stumble your way through Portuguese directions.
Packed your chargers? Phone charger, camera charger and laptop charger
Security - Have you got locks for your luggage and got a money pouch if necessary?
Packed hand sanitiser? God's gift to travellers, hand sanitiser will save you in the most unlikely of messy situations.
Packed your toothbrush?
Above all else, make sure you have fun! Try something different, unusual and exciting, and then tell everyone about it. Have a wonderful trip, wherever you're off to.