What I do and pack for a long haul trip
So, you’re thinking about or about to go on a long haul trip? Well, hopefully this post will help. I’ve done a fair few long haul hols in my time, like travelling to Malaysia and I think I’ve managed to get into a good routine of what to prep for a long haul trip. Of course you need to do the obvious things like book the holiday and pack your clothes, but how about some things which are quite easy to forget about…
You can scale this up or down based on where your holiday is going and how long you’ll be away for! I thought I’d share my current list I made for our trip to Malaysia and New Zealand.
What I do to prep for a long haul trip
Visas and travel jabs
This is first as they are often the things which need the most amount of time. Check out whether you need any visas, for some places you need to register for them a few weeks in advance (or you may need to renew your passport).
For travel jabs, they generally recommend having them 4 weeks in advance for most. But if you are going somewhere which needs a course of injections then you may need up to 3 months to get the whole series. If you’re heading to Asia or Africa, check these things out early! I also recommend actually going to travel doctor rather than research online. They often will do a free assessment and tell you what you do actually need.
Any new clothes or shoes
If you’re like me and not a big clothes shopper, I always forget that I probably need to buy some new bits for holiday! It can be hard for a holiday which is both hot and cold or one which is just somewhere in the middle. For Malaysia / NZ I mainly took dresses – meaning I could wear them just as is when I was in Malaysia and then add tights / layers when it was chilly in NZ.
That said, whenever I go to Asia, I forget about the humidity and in reality, super loose trousers are the only way to go. Luckily they are very cheap and easy to pick up whilst you’re there!
Pick the right bag for your holiday
Probably one of the hardest things to get right – the bags!! I always try and travel light. We had a three week trip so between the two of us we took a suitcase and I took my Cabin Zero backpack*.
Honestly, this backpack was a life saver! It’s the same size as the rolley suitcases that I used to take on flights but so much easier to manage. It counts as hand luggage which is so useful. It was perfect for us to put a few days clothes in so that we only had to go to the big suitcase every now and again. Honestly, I will probably be taking it on every short trip I ever go on from now on! All I ever need! You can get 10% off your order if you use the code JASXCHARLOTTE too!
Prep the medical kit
Even though you think you won’t get sick on holiday, something is bound to happen! And even though it’s quite easy to pick up things when you’re away, there is nothing I fear more than having to go to a foreign pharmacy. Often when overseas everything is behind the counter and it can be a pain explaining what you need!
So I always make a little kit up – painkillers, antihistamines, everything you need if you get a bad stomach, extra prescribed meds, plasters, antiseptic cream etc. This trip I ended up using pretty much everything I had packed so I was very pleased that I had it sorted beforehand!! This turned out to be a lifesaver. My mum didn’t think that I was taking enough medical supplies with me and even told me that I should consider packing a full first aid kit. I think she’s on a bit of a buzz about the things. Her workplace recently invested in overhauling their own, and she was keen to make sure they knew the full AED packages include defibrillator, accessories, and cabinet, and that they spring for it when needed. Which, they did, and after they got it installed she is now convinced that I should look into something similar before I traveled. I love how much she cares for my safety, but for some reason, I don’t think I will be able to carry these with me during my trip, let alone being allowed to take it on the plane. On saying that, I may take a more detailed look at these pieces of equipment when I get the chance as you never know when you may need some of these items. But for my trip, I definitely had everything I needed to stay fit and healthy, and it was because I was already prepared!!
Entertainment for the plane and holiday
The TV on planes is usually good, but it’s nice to have some good options in case there’s nothing you feel like watching! Prior to this, I bought a heap of kindle books – and a couple of hard copies in case my kindle died. I downloaded a heap of podcasts and some bits of Netflix which I can watch offline.
I always like to pick up a puzzle book and download some new games on my phone too – as I’m a nervous flyer, it’s good to have something which keeps my mind a bit busier if I’m watching a movie! If it’s a particularly long flight, I’ll make sure I pack my travel pillow so I can get some shut eye. Take a look at these sleeping on a plane tips if you’re about to do the same, because it can actually be more difficult than it looks.
Luckily now with Europe travel, getting data usually just carries over! But if you’re going somewhere further afield then check out whether it’s worth doing roaming or maybe buying a local sim card which can sometimes be much cheaper (like in NZ / Australia).
How to keep the memories
Finally I always like to think about how I’m going to capture the trip. Sometimes on longer trips I like to do a specific travel diary, if I’m going to scrapbook then I’m always sure to pick up more mementos, or is it just going to be pictures?
For this trip I decided to do a photo book once I got back, so I made sure I took a good combination of photos of scenery and for instagram and then photos with the people I love!
I hope this helped if you’re planning a trip soon – what else do you normally do if you’re off on a big holiday?
*I was gifted a cabin zero bag but all loving opinions are my own!