person looking up to the flight schedules

What to pack for your first trip overseas

Going overseas is a scary, yet exhilarating feeling. The people, the different culture and traditions you will come across will blow your mind and you basically can’t wait to take pictures of EVERYTHING.

However, a trip overseas requires a great deal of preparation. The more you put in, the better time you’ll have.

Create a checklist

Make a checklist of every item you plan to take on your trip. You checklist should include clothing, shoes, toiletries, maps, reading material, guidebooks and hotel or rental car information. Commonly forgotten items include toothbrush/toothpaste, socks, sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, pajamas, and deodorant. So put this first on your list before anything else. Take along luggage sets that have lots of compartments to store smaller items.

The checklist will also help when packing for the trip back home as you will have a list of everything that you brought with you.

Don’t over-pack

Never underestimate how quickly your space will fill up, so plan your outfits ahead of time to avoid over-packing. Also check out the weather forecast for your destination. Take along empty plastic bags for dirty items. If you won’t have a chance to wash your clothes, storing them away in a separate bag will keep you from having to mix the clean with the dirty. It will also be easier to sort through your clothing each time you want to change. Stretch your travel wardrobe by colour-matching. If you make sure every piece of clothing you pack suits many other pieces, you can create a host of mix-and-match possibilities.

Know the do’s and don’ts

If you’re flying to your destination, there might be restrictions on the amount of liquid or gel you can bring on the plane, meaning you may find yourself forced to choose between hair conditioner and toothpaste while going through airport security. Go to the airline’s website to check out their guidelines.

Keep your most important items in your smallest bag

Most airlines allow one small and one medium piece of carry-on so that people are still able to bring things along on the flight. Since you will most likely be storing the largest bag in the overhead bin, avoid putting things in there you will need during the flight. Or you’ll have to stand up in mid-flight to dig through your bag.

Keep your personal belongings on your person, when you need to provide it to an official, then you will have it on you, instead of having to go through all luggage. You will be creating lasting memories so don’t find yourself stressing about the small stuff.


Check with your mobile service provider what data charges are required for overseas roaming. The last thing you want is to be slapped with a hefty bill, as has been the case with South Africans in the past.

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