Monday, March 1, 2010

Family or Business Travel Checklist : Items to carry on a tour!

"Less luggage, more comfort"  is true and easier said than done in practice! Many a times you see that you have overpacked on something, but forgot some essential items. Here is a checklist which I am using based on my years of business and family travel, cross country backpacking tours both in india and abroad.

Travel Accessories and few advisory
  • Shoulder hanger {VISA/passport/flight ticket/purse} /neck carrier - easy access and safe carriage
  • Backpack: Select a suitable backpack for you to carry on the intended hike, with space for tent, water, gadgets etc. 
  • Flight: 
1. Laptop bag/Vanity bag + Cabin baggage + Checkin baggage  - be aware of weight limits and charges for extra baggage. For eg, for europe travels it would be 20kg for checkin and 8 kg for cabin baggage.For every additional kg in checkin baggage, depending on times and flight, you could be charge around 30-35 euros per kg. A tip is to arrive very early and checkin,  try for a group checkin with friends who has less baggage. 
2.Keep essential pair of dresses and accessories in cabin baggage - incase if checkedin baggage is delayed/lost by airline, you could survive.
3. Keep all blade, shaving razor, in checkin baggage only during packing.
4. Keep only small tubes of paste,lotion etc in your vanity bag. Sometimes during strict security check, airport security wont allow it in cabin baggage.
5. Confrm your seating(window/aisle) and food(vegetarian/nonveg) preference with your travel agent and get it confirmed in writing. Your travel agent or airline might goofup but airhostess will actually show you a printout with your name marked against a asian vegetarian special meal.  Keeping a copy of confirmation will help.Otherwise, you have to talk your way out!
6. If possible keep your camera/ mobile camera handy - you could get breathtaking pictures inside the plane. Be careful to be aware of the airline rules and regulations
Travel secure shoulder carry bag
  • Passport, Printouts of eticket, Travel medical Insurance
Always scan the important documents and send it to your webmail/ have copies made and ensure it is available in different bags with you - in the unfortunate event of loosing it!
Passport size photos - keep enough copies with you in case
Check your VISA to be multiple entry, before you plan or go out on tour out of the destination country
Laptop Bag
  • Laptop with Charger, Universal/ Multiconverter adapter (depending on where you travel)
  • Headphone with microphone for your VoIP calls (skype, google talk,...), Webcamera
  • iPod with charger, earphone
  • Mobilephone with charger, with blue tooth headset, charger, earphone,
  • Laptop Corporate VPN security pin (eg. RSA), USB stick, Corporate ID card
Cabin Baggage
  • 2 good pair shirt , black pant
  • tie, socks, underwear
  • belt
  • shaving kit without any sharp objects 
  • thermals(depending on weather)
  • optional: suit

Checkin baggage
  • Small travel iron box, if you are on formal business travel
  • Formal - Shirt, Pant
  • Casual - Tshirts, Jeans
  • Suits,
  • First Aid kit
  • Shaving kit
  • Swiss knife, will be very handy and i recommend it strongly (victorinox, ofcourse!)
  • Recommended : Take a suitable size of the checkin baggage, as per the recommended weight of the airline carrier
  • When you are in airport, you could go to an empty airline checkin counter and check your bags weight.
  • Print out A4 size papers with your name and contact info with from and destination in bold - Stick it safely in sides of your bag. This will help you identify the bag from carousel / airport conveyer belt. Also to avoid baggage loss during transit!

Vanity Bag
  • Essential makeup, tooth brush, children's essential etc
Shaving kit
  • Shaving Razor(Gillette), sufficient new blade cartridges
  • Tooth brush and paste
  • Essential creams - hand, face, body
  • Camera batteries, charger, charger adapter (depending on where you travel), carry case.
  • Usb /Pc cable,  memory card reader,...

First Aid kit
  • Check for expiry date of medicine in your first aid kit
  • Indigestion: eeno, pudin hara, digene
  • Head ache: Aspirin
  • Fever: Paracetamol
  • Balms: Vicks/Tiger balm
  • Diarrohea/Loose motion: 
  • Wounds: Handyplast, Cotton, antispetic
  • Dont miss the first aid kit thinking that you are healthy when you pack the bag - do make it a policy to carry first aid kit always! 
  • Also, have atleast basic knowhow or training on giving first aid. This would come handy in emergencies during travel, in unknown land.  
Thermal wear (for negative temperatures /snow)
  • Thermal Innerwears
  • "Head band" which covers both ears - advantage is that your combed hair wont be disturbed as in woollen monkey cap
  • Excellent quality rainproof jacket with good thermals inside - it is preferable with a head cap!
  • Excellent quality light weight woollen sweater (eg. Montecarlo)
  • Hand gloves - light weight with good grip
  • Monkey cap - which covers ears

Mobile Roaming
  • Before travel, check with your mobile service provider on data, sms and voice roaming charges and for any preferred carriers.
  • If possible, you can also consider buying calling cards or prepaid international sim cards (eg. matrix)
  • Satellite phones are also an effective tool, depending on your usecase
  • Cost effective would be to use VoIP
  • Binocular
  • LED Torch
  • Maps, Compass or GPS enabled mobile(consider roaming charges :)
  • Suitable dressing
  • Suitable shoes
  • Tent
  • Sufficient stock of Water 
  • Recommend: dry fruits/ apple/ orange /biscuits.
 Happy travelling! Do crosscheck again with this checklist!

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