Before you go and Packing Checklist
This is hopefully a guide to what to do before your holiday to the United States and to packing. It is not intended to be comprehensive and apply to all holidaymakers, individual requirements may vary, please adapt to your own needs.
Print out a tick sheet of this list HERE
BEFORE YOU GO:
Documentation - it is a good idea to make copies of these and leave them at home and /or with a family member or friend who can be contacted in the event of accident or loss. An alternative is to e-mail yourself all the details, so that you can access them whilst away - be mindful of security regarding credit card numbers, travellers cheque numbers etc.
Check all the parties names are correct on documentation and dates of birth where necessary.
Inform - who/what to tell others:
- Passport - check it is in date (a photocopy of the photograph page is useful to carry round as proof of identity, rather than the real thing and has useful info if you lose the real thing).
- ESTA - Ensure you have a valid ESTA for your current passport, advisable to take a printed copy with you.
- Travel documents - tickets, hotel and car vouchers.
- Insurance documentation - including contact telephone number easily available.
- Driverís licence if needed.
- Hotel/Accommodation details, including address (for Visa Waiver) and map from airport.
- Theme Park Tickets and Passes
- If on any prescribed medication and/or carrying syringes, needles etc - make sure you have a covering letter from GP or hospital regarding this and that all medication is in packaging as dispensed to you.
- List of pre-booked events, meals and activities.
Actions - things to do beforehand
- Bank and/or Credit Card Company - that you will be abroad and for how long, some banks will put a 'note' on your account to avoid them ceasing activity on your account if they become suspicious, however, not all banks will do this, and may have alternative procedures. It is advisable to contact your bank and find out what the procedure is, and what number to call should you have a problem whilst in the USA.
- Mobile Phone company, ensure authorised and activated for use in the US, check charges.
- leave details of hotel, itinerary with family or friend to contact in emergency.
- Neighbours aware (if trusted) of your absence
- Make arrangements for pets.
- Check suitcases are in order and meet current specific airline requirements
- Obtain TSA approved locks or straps to prevent damage to your luggage
- Put address labels inside cases, in case of loss of case/identification.
- Check you have correct plug adapters and charging units for camera, mobile phone, laptops etc.
- Print off money saving coupons for restaurants etc before you go, these can be found on the DIBB:
- If driving to airport, check car petrol, tyres, oil, water etc.
- Pre-order groceries online to save having to go out shopping immediately upon return.
- Reduce heating settings, set light timers
- Secure outdoor items
- Water plants
- Unplug electrical appliances
- Clear out fridge of perishables
- Day of departure, check all doors and windows locked including outhouses and cat flap.
Hand Luggage - this will vary according to current security regulations. Please be aware of these and act in accordance with them.
Documentation - as indicated in the list above. Additionally:
DONíT FORGET PASSPORT, TICKETS, KEYS & MONEY (including travellerís cheques, credit and debit cards)
- Cash and Credit/Debit Cards
- Jewellery and watches - as comfortable with on person rather than in hold luggage.
- Prescription glasses and sunglasses
- Personal items as required - camera, mobile iPod, books, hand held games consoles, laptop etc
- Toiletries - such as required for the flight (currently liquids and gels under 100ml only are allowed in hand luggage), including earplugs if needed.
- Flight socks
- Personal medication
Be prepared for any delays by carrying sufficient medication to cover for these. A change of underwear for each member of the party and basic toiletries are also a good idea to have in carry on baggage if circumstances allow.
if possible, split packing between cases (rather than have a case each) to avoid one person being without, in case of luggage loss.
For those with children, having swimwear on top of cases can save time upon arrival at Villa, if children like to get in the pool as soon as possible.
- no need to list as this will vary according to the make up of your party, time of year and length of stay; not forgetting any special events or activities you may be undertaking on your holiday, think Halloween parties, diving etc.
Crucial categories are:
- Underwear including socks
- Daywear - shorts, t-shirts, trousers if in cooler months etc
- Evening bits and pieces, if eating at better restaurants i.e. shirt with collar, trousers, dress or skirt for the ladies
- Footwear, including aqua shoes if required for water parks and Discovery Cove.
- Sun hats for all members of your party
- A fleece or equivalent for cooler evenings (and days) if travelling out of season.
- Prescription medication for whole trip
- First aid kit including plasters, antiseptic cream, antihistamine, paracetamol and/or ibuprofen, Imodium or equivalent (for diarrhoea), bite and sting relief ointment or spray, calpol. * NB: You cannot buy anti-spasmodic/cramping tablets over the counter in the US, so if you use them, make sure you take some with!
- Blister treatment (just in case!)
- Feminine items
- Cotton wool
- Make-up items
- Make up remover
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Face wash/wipes/soap
- Shaving foam
- Nail file/emery boards
- Tweezers (must go in hold)
- Sun creams and After Sun
- Insect Repellent
- Lip salve
- Wet Ones
- Cooling spray
- Shampoo and Conditioner
- Hair spray/mousse/gel/wax
- Hair dryer
- Hair brush/ Comb
- Hair bands and clips
Enjoy your trip and travel light!
- Laundry tablets
- Chargers for camera, mobile phone, laptop, camcorder
- Batteries as required for above.
- 4 way extension cable if you're likely to have several things to charge at once; US Adaptor plug
- Walkie talkies
- Deck of playing cards
- Hand held games consoles
- toys/books for children
- Envelopes for meals
- Daypack/Backpack/Beach bag for daily use
- Bum bag for parks
- Handbag for evenings (if not hand luggage)
- Handful of small sandwich bags
- Digital luggage scales (to avoid problems at check-in)
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