Travelling overseas is exciting, and whether you’re travelling for business or leisure it’s always nice to have a travel checklist to refer to, to make your preparation a little less stressful.

There are a few important items that need to be on every travel checklist you compile. You can start with our suggestions below and add new items to your personal travel checklist. The more you travel the more you’ll wise up to your general needs.

Don’t forget your Passport

Passport & Visa
Forex – This can be in the form of a travel credit card, cash, and traveller’s cheques
Travel Insurance
E-ticket & itinerary
Overseas adaptor
Camera and spare batteries
Cellphone – Make sure you’ve put your phone on international roaming and don’t forget your cell phone charger
Make your luggage identifiable by tagging it. I’ve used white duct tape in the past and wrapped it around a handle
Business travellers – remember to switch on that out-of-office autoresponder

Travel Packing Tips

Use Google docs to upload copies of your important travel documents thereby making them accessible from anywhere in the world. Avoid hassle at the airport by paying attention to the LAGS regulations. LAGS stands for Liquids and Gels and there are restrictions on the number of LAGS you can take in your carry-on luggage. If you worried about someone slipping something into your bag or your bag being spoilt by someone else’s leaking luggage then consider getting your bag wrapped at the airport before you check in. Why pay every time for a bag wrap? Find out more about Bbagzz – a transparent cover for your bags. Remember to get tax clearance too so you don’t have to pay duty on your items when you arrive home.

What to pack when travelling overseas

What to pack when travelling overseas largely depends on where you’re going and how long you’re going for. The weather at your destination is obviously a large determining factor. Just remember if you’re flying from a warm South African summer to a cold European winter then pack an appropriate change of clothes in your carry-on luggage.  This travel checklist reminds you to check what the weather will be like at your destination and to follow up on the baggage allowance of your flights.

Irregularly shaped baggage

OR Tambo International Airport (Ortia) is cracking down on irregularly shaped baggage in a bid to prevent blockages and, therefore, delays in the baggage handling process. From November 1, according to OR Tambo’s estimated date of implementation, the airport will implement its ‘irregular bags solution’, which will prevent travellers from checking in luggage that falls into the following categories:

· Round bags

· Bags without a flat surface

· ‘Irregular’ shaped bags (not a standard suitcase)

· Oversized bags (sizes still to be qualified)

· Bags with long straps

Bags that are considered ‘irregular’ will have to be repacked at the airport’s approved wrapping company.

More details regarding this process will be released in the coming weeks.

In its implementation plan, the airport gives the following reason for the decision. “Even the most technologically advanced baggage systems can be disrupted by irregularly shaped, or oversized bags. Bags that are round, or do not have a flat surface of any kind are by far the largest source of baggage jams. These jams can shut down sections of our system, delay baggage delivery to the aircraft and inconvenience our customers.”

The airport plans to advertise the news to the public within four to six weeks and display signs that communicate the new baggage rule at check-in counters and wrapping desk areas.

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