Packing to go on a trip you have never been on before can be very overwhelming and difficult to get started with. When talking to other travellers, the general consensous is always “I overpacked!” There are no two packing lists that are exactly the same and being honest there are no right or wrong things to pack – it completely depends on you. Having said that, over the years I have accumulated a ‘must pack’ checklist of travel essentials that some people wouldn’t even consider, but have made my travel experiences so much easier!
Caxton FX Global Traveller Mastercard
By far the number 1 thing I always recommend to anyone, anywhere leaving the country. The Caxton Visa Debit Card is linked to your current account and gives the best exchange rate of all the travel cards. Gone are the days of rushing to the Post Office the afternoon before you fly to buy currency, the Caxton card works at almost all bank ATM machines all over the world and doesn’t charge you a penny for taking money out. The only extra cost you can incure is if you pay for a transaction with the card (2%), so always try to use a hole-in-the-wall and pay with cash. The card also works in all UK ATM machines so any leftover currency can be spent when you get home!
– When asked if you would like the bank you are drawing money from to convert the curreny, or for your bank to do this- always choose your bank!
– Download the Caxton FX App to view your balance and move money around easily.
Although this may sound lame to some people because why the hell would you want to be on your phone while you’re travelling?, there are a number of reasons why it’s useful and important to always have charge on your phone, especially if travelling solo. Firstly, you don’t want to miss a great photo opportunity that you may never get again all because you ran out of battery on your phone. Secondly, it’s always handy to have your phone when meeting fellow travellers to exchange details or add on social media. Not to mention, it’s so much safer to travel with a fully functioning phone- so I would also recommend buying a SIM card for the country you are in (they’re always so cheap on Pay-As-You-Go).
Not only is a head torch practical for any activities such as caving and climbing to the summit of volcanoes in the early hours, but it will come in handy with day-to-day life in order to save your phone battery life when rummaging through your bag on a night bus, or locking up your bag in a 16-bed dorm at 01:00.
– Take spare batteries!
Although at the time of travelling, you think you will be able to remember all of the details, when you get back home and look over your whole trip, often the tiny details disappear and your adventure becomes one big blur that you have to piece together with the photos you took. There isn’t always time to write a diary as such when you’re busy meeting new people and seeing the world, but at least having somewhere to store details of good companies you used, cute restaurants you found, and contact details of fellow travellers is so handy, and really helps to fill those missing pieces when you get back home.