You need the following every time you head overseas. Print this sheet out, and tick off the items every time you travel.

Item to pack Why you need it Did you pack it?
Your pre-booked tickets (e.g. flight, buses, trains, etc.)
Appropriate clothing Appropriate clothing means different things to different travellers. Perhaps they’re going to somewhere wild, where clothing should be tough and easily laundered. Or, perhaps you’re travelling somewhere exotic, but requires you dress conservatively due to cultural expectations. The question is always the same when you’re packing: ‘Is this appropriate for where I’m going?’ Think ‘dry-fit’ clothes that are easy to wash.
Backpack Lugging a suitcase around limits your ability to stay mobile. This is less of a problem with a good backpack.
Detailed information about your travel insurance policy In the event you need to claim, it pays to know your policy inside and out. But, not everyone’s an expert! So, it’s a smart idea to travel with information about your policy – so you can determine the extent of your coverage at any time.
High quality, comfortable shoes No matter the situation, having good quality footwear will at least mean you’re able to stay mobile – crucial on any trip with a busy itinerary.
Medications/doctor’s notes explaining your need for this medication Make sure your medicine is legal in the country you’re visiting and, if you are required to carry a note from your doctor, ensure it is translated if the country you’re visiting doesn’t speak English. Take enough to last the entire trip, but ensure it’s not in excess of what the country allows you to bring across.
Money/cards/credit card numbers written down, and hidden away In case you need to cancel the cards, in the event they’re stolen or you lose them. You may not be able to rely on the internet to get the numbers there, depending on where you’re travelling.
Notepad, and a couple of pens Whether it’s a hot tip from a local on where to eat, or directions to your hotel, there’s no situation where it doesn’t pay to record your thoughts – for safety.
Passports You’re not going anywhere without this.
Toiletries At the very least, always travel with your toothbrush, a small tube of toothpaste, and some soap – that’s the bare minimum.
Valid visa (if necessary for your trip) Again, you’re not going anywhere without this.
Your driver’s licence / secondary photo ID Photo identification is handy no matter where you go, especially when you don’t necessarily want to reveal your passport.

Final tips

  • Don’t want to overpack? Bring fewer clothes, and wash them as you travel.
  • Much of the time, you’ll be able to buy essential items you need at your destination (e.g. toothpaste).
  • Don’t worry too much about bringing toiletries wherever you go. If you’re staying in hotels, they’re often complementary.
  • Need more tips? We’ve got you covered for anything you might need to know about travel cover.

Sources

  • http://smartraveller.gov.au/guide/all-travellers/everyone/pages/advice-for-all-travellers.aspx
  • http://www.flightcentre.com.au/travel-news/travel-tips/essential-items-international-flight/
  • https://www.comparethemarket.com.au/blog/travel/lighten-the-load-on-the-road/