As an engineer, Mazlan had the opportunity to travel and work abroad. He has traveled to over 30 countries.
In the first part of this two-part series, we learn how to do the initial travel plan that covers the budget, how to buy and book air ticket, hotel rooms and tours at the destinations. If you miss this, click here to go to the article.
In this piece, I will cover How to Pack, List of Things To Do Before You Go, How to Manage Jet Lag, and Things You Shouldn't Do at your Travel Destination.
Top in the list of packing tips is to travel light. Whenever possible, just bring two pairs of shirts and trousers and four pairs of socks and underwear. One pair of shoes such as loafers or sneakers that are comfortable will suffice. Of course, you will need warm clothing for the cooler weather.
However, if you get carried away when packing and insists on bringing more; then learn how to pack.
The best solution is to roll the clothes and put the heaviest at the bottom. This will take less space.
Cotton materials are more comfortable when you are on the move, but it can be a hassle as it will get wrinkled and needs ironing. Synthetic material will get by with easy care for washing, drying, and ironing.
Another useful item that you can bring along is a small sling bag that you can use when out sightseeing or at the airport. This bag should be big enough for all your important travel documents, handphone, camera or even your tablet/iPad.
Airline Rules for Liquids
When flying, remember the rules on carrying liquids. Otherwise, you may have to remove them at the security checkpoint!
Ultimate Packing List
What To Pack
This depends on your personal requirements and may include the followings:
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Shampoo and body wash (you can leave these out, if your hotel provides them)
- Cleanser, toner, moisturizer, sunblock, lip balm, cosmetics (as required),
- Deodorant ( as mentioned in Part 1, use the 'once a week' deodorant, to reduce luggage weight!)
- Hair brush, nail clippers, razor & shaving cream (as required)
- Feminine items (if applicable)
- Washing powder for emergency laundry
- Vitamins, medicine and a small selection of first aid kit (bandages, antibiotic cream, Panadol, cold tablet, throat lozenges)
- Clothes, shoes, sunglasses and other attires
- Travel books
- Travel documents (passport, visas, air tickets, hotel booking, tour booking)
- Handphone, camera, laptop or tablet and their chargers (if required)
- Power point adaptors (you can leave this out if you can get it from your hotel)
Travel Tips - Before You Go, Don't Forget the Cat!
Before You Go:
- If you have cats, dogs or other pets; arrange for someone to take care of them, or put them in the animal daycare.
- Compile a list of emergency numbers and bring them with you. This will include your bank, doctor, embassy, friends & family members' telephone numbers (which are probably already in your handphone or tablet's contact list!)
- Call your bank and credit card company and inform them of your travel plan (to allow usage at your destination)
- Stop all mail, newspaper or other deliveries while you are away on vacation
- Arrange for someone to check your place at least once a week
- Give your family members, office colleague or neighbor your itinerary, flight detail and contact number of hotels etc. in case they need to contact you (they can also call you on your mobile if you are on roaming, WhatsApp you, email you etc.!)
- Have enough cash in your destination local currency to pay for taxi & tips, upon arrival at the airport
- As mentioned in the earlier article, do research on your destination. Get to know the culture, religious belief, health issues, security issues, weather condition, public transport and sights to visit. Check several travel websites and compare.
- Make copies of all your important travel documents and save it in your Dropbox account or attach it to an email, for easier retrieval.
- Pay all your current and any outstanding bills including utility bills, credit card bills, loan etc.
- Unlock your phone (if applicable) to use the local SIM card. This will save you on roaming charges.
- Lastly, buy travel insurance
Travel Advice - Hand Carry Bag
The following items MUST be in your hand carry bag:
- Passport & other legal & travel documents
- Money/Credit cards
- Airline ticket, hotel & other confirmed reservations
- Laptop/Tablet, camera, hand phone
- Your medication (limited quantity)
Handling Jet Lag : Tips and Advice for Traveling Abroad
Jet lag can be annoying as it takes away your time and energy. Different people will react differently to various remedies, but the followings may help:
- Drink lots of water: Stay hydrated during the flight by drinking lots of plain water. Avoid tea and coffee as there are diuretic and can increase dehydration
- Sleep whenever you can during the flight and watch movies only during mealtime. Bring along an eye pad (some airline will give you one) to shut off the 'bright lights'
- Forget the 'different time zone', instead follow your destination city's time schedule. So if it is lunchtime, have your lunch.
- After you have arrived and check-in at your hotel, get out of the hotel room. Go for a short walk to get the sunshine (if it is daytime) and fresh air. That will really help. If you feel tired, take a short nap and push yourself to stay awake until dinner time
For more information on jet lag, check out this article on Jet Lag Symptoms and Natural Remedies.
Enjoy the Local Dish, But Be Selective
Part of your holiday experience must include savoring the local flavors and eat where the locals eat. While this may sounds exciting and adventurous be selective as you may end up with stomach upsets or worse, food poisoning. Here's what you should avoid.
- Tap water and ice in drinks
- Fresh salads and raw foods
- Cut fruits
- Cold dishes
- Milk and other dairy products
- Food in open container or reheated foods
(You may want to bring a flask for hot food or drinks)
Things You Should Not Do or be Aware of, When Overseas
- Avoid walking alone at night or in dark areas
- Beware of pickpocket whose modus operandi is by distracting you
- When someone approaches you to sell a branded item at bargain prices or offer to be your tour guide, avoid them as you do not know if there are sincere in their intention
- Keep all your valuables and important documents in the hotel safe
- Take only registered taxis with official stickers that are clearly displayed.
- Be aware of food or drinks offered by strangers, it could be spiked.
- If you drive follow the traffic rules and when possible avoid driving at night
- Don't carry large amount of money and be discreet when taking money from your bag/wallet
Final Quick Check List
- Money/Credit Card/traveler's check
- Air Tickets
- Travel Insurance
- Accommodation & other reservations
- Mobile phone with roaming/camera & charger
- Universal Adaptor
Have Fun When on Holiday
Enjoy the holiday and experience the local scenes, but at the same time be wary of your expenses, safety and health. So, take care and have fun as
“Travel brings power and love back into your life.” - Rumi
© 2012 Mazlan A
Your Travel Comments?
Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on February 15, 2013:
@dommcg and tanveerbadyari , thanks for dropping by and commenting. I am glad you found these travel tips and advice useful.
tanveerbadyari on December 14, 2012:
thanks for these tips they are going to help me in many ways.
dommcg on November 07, 2012:
many thanks, i enjoyed your part one and part 2 was ust as good, plenty of useful tips. Cheers
Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on May 16, 2012:
Hi Naznin, thanks for visiting and commenting. I hope the travel tips are useful.
Naznin on May 15, 2012:
Thank you very much for such a wonderful tips.
Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on April 19, 2012:
Hi services4all, thanks for the visit and will return the courtesy. Any coffee served? hahaha, have a great day and have a Good Earth Day. Don't forget to do something for mother earth!
services4all from U.S. on April 19, 2012:
Nice tips for packing bags for travelling. It will help us.
I have similar post on the relevant topic, so Visit my post and please comment on it.
ChinSyme on February 22, 2012:
I read your Part 1 and now your part 2. Like your tips on Jet lag. Very useful. Also nice photos used for illustration.