One of the worst thoughts when it comes to travel comes shortly after leaving. The taxi en route to the airport is about a mile from your house and then the overcoming feeling hits you.
“I feel like I’ve forgotten something,” is usually the line that follows. Maybe it’s just me, but I always feel like I haven’t packed something and sometimes that’s the case.
Fortunately, I have never left behind anything major. But there are some things that quite often slip my mind, and I’ll either remember them at the last minute or forget them all together. Here are five of the ones that easily slip from pre-travel thought.
Although some people may argue that we, as a race, are too technology-obsessed nowadays, plug adapters are a vital part of a traveller’s toolkit. If you want to stay connected, or you don’t trust the hotel’s hair dryers and would rather take your own, then a source of power is vital. Most foreign countries don’t use the standard type G plug like the ones we have here in the United Kingdom, so cheap plug adapters are usually a necessity when visiting a foreign country.
European health card
You’d be surprised about how many people don’t know what the European Health Insurance card actually is. The EIHC card gives its holders the right to access state-provided healthcare on temporary stays in many European countries. It means that if you need any treatment while away in one of the qualifying countries, then the card will ensure that you are taken care of accordingly.
It’s easily something to forget when there are all of the other bits and pieces to think about, but if it is needed then it could save thousands of pounds.
Where can I find them? Complete the application form here, and you’ll be sent one free of charge.
A pen and paper
Okay, so this isn’t a must-take, but I always like to take a pen and paper away with me for a variety of reasons. Whether it’s just to play hangman on the plane, write thoughts down at the end of the day or even have a pen handy to fill a form out (such as we had to when we went to watch Ferencvaros in Budapest last year), there’s always a time when I will need one, or both, of those things.
But even though I deem it important, I quite often forget to put a pen and paper in my luggage, though hopefully this serves as a reminder for next time.
Where can I find them? Any good stationer, or pretty much any general store, should have pens and paper in stock. There are also plenty of suppliers that can be found online with an easy Google search.
Okay, so you strictly don’t pack luggage tags, but they are an item which is easily forgotten – especially if you’re in a frantic last-minute dash to get everything together.
Luggage tags can be really helpful when it comes to identifying your suitcase at the other end when it comes out on the carousel, especially if you’re travelling with a budget airliner and have to put hand luggage in the hold.
They can also help items get back to their owners if they are lost somewhere along the way which – when you consider the magnitude of a baggage operation for virtually all airports – is something that can easily occur.
Travel insurance and relevant documents
Travel insurance used to be something I would always leave to the last minute for my parents to complete. I went away to eight different countries last year, and didn’t really consider taking any out until my Mum or Dad would remind me.
It cost them somewhere in the region of £25 ($35) each time, so to make it cheaper, and for ease of mind, I took out an annual policy for this year. It was about £50, but in the long run saves me both money and time, so it is definitely worth it.
It’s also a good idea to bring some form of documentation along containing the policy number so that claims can be made when they need to be, and delays can then be avoided.
Where can I find them? There are many, many travel insurers out there, and each offer different policies and bonuses. Websites like Money Supermarket and Compare the Market give you an overview of who offers what, so it is worth looking at them for ease. For more information about travel insurance, then read this blog post!