What you should do before you go

  • Arrange care for pets and plants.
  • Make your home seem lived-in while away by putting lights and a radio on timers.
  • Turn down/off the thermostat at home.
  • Leave keys and itinerary with a friend.
  • Lock windows, doors and garage.
  • Regular medication.  If you take medication it is recommended that you carry an additional supply in the event your trip is unexpectedly extended.  We recommend you also carry a duplicate of any subscriptions you have, including your prescription for glasses or contact lenses.  It may also be wise to split any medication between 2 bags in the event a bag is misplaced.   A letter from your doctor outlining what your medication is for can also be handy in the event customs authorities somewhere take an interest.
  • Neighbour to watch the house.
  • Have you got a list of valuables and serial numbers in case of theft for insurance claims?
  • Re-direct mail or arrange to have collected.  Free newspapers and junk mail will still arrive so make sure someone is collecting that or it will be quite obvious to thieves you are not home.
  • Cancel newspapers and milk deliveries (yep some still get it delivered).
  • Lawns – arrange for someone to mow.
  • Arrange someone to water indoor plants.
  • Power-off where appropriate.  Unplug as many appliances as you can.
  • Place Sky TV rental on hold.
  • Empty refrigerator.
  • Eliminate fire hazards. Unplug as many appliances as you can.
  • Check if your mobile phone has international roaming. Texting is a great and affordable way to stay in constant touch with friends and family.  Take an extra charger, just in case you leave one behind somewhere.  Load all the applicable numbers you want to text/call while you are away and record them somewhere else in case you lose your phone.
  • International Drivers License. You may require an International Driving Permit to drive in another country.  This is proof that you hold a valid NZ drivers license.  Check out the list of countries that require an International Drivers license on www.aa.co.nz.
  • Registration with Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade.  It is recommended you record your itinerary and travel details with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade.  This is voluntary and the information provided will be used for consular purposes only, for example, in the case of an emergency or terrorist act.   Go to www.safetravel.govt.nz.
  • Baggage tags.  Make sure that your luggage has a tag with your name, address and telephone number – preferably mobile phone so you can be contacted whilst overseas. Tie a colourful ribbon or attach distinctive stickers to your luggage so you can identify it easily, and other travellers will not take it by mistake at a busy airport.         
  • Arrange access to your email from overseas. Again email is an excellent way of staying in touch while away.  If taking a laptop ensure your travel insurance covers it.
  • Organise Power of Attorney.
  • Make sure your Will is up to date.
  • Visit your doctor and dentist before you go for a check up.
  • Find out what can’t be brought back to New Zealand. There will be a brochure with your NZ Travel Brokers documentation or check it out on www.biosecurity.govt.nz.
  • Check the weather at your destination and pack accordingly.

What you should take

The following is a list of items you should consider taking depending on your destination, time away etc.

  • Pack your most valuable items in your carry-on bag – you are less likely to lose that than your checked luggage.
  • Travel light!  You won’t regret it.
  • Container size limits. Don’t exceed container size limits of carry-on liquids, gels and aerosols, otherwise your toiletries will be confiscated.  All liquids, gels and aerosols must be containers of 100 ml or less in a re-sealable transparent plastic bag of 1 litre volume (this is a re-sealable sandwich bag like those available at your local supermarket).
  • Guide books and maps.
  • Jewellery – leave it at home (take the genuine imitations!).  The richer you look, the more of a target you will be for pickpockets.
  • Car & House Keys.  Leave unnecessary keys at home or with friends/neighbours.
  • Passport and visa(s).
  • Foreign currency of your destination country(s) or load up a cash passport with the currency you need.
  • Credit cards.
  • ATM card.
  • Insurance: trip cancellation/medical.
  • Personal identification.
  • Photocopy documentation.  Birth Certificate, Marriage License (if necessary)
  • Adapter plugs.
  • Calculator.  Handy for converting currency, etc.
  • Appropriate Luggage.
  • Luggage locks & ID tags (Lock checked luggage with TSA Approved Locks).
  • Appropriate clothing.
  • Comfortable footwear.
  • Rain protection.
  • Camera.  If you are taking a digital camera (or using your phone/tablet) as is most common now, make a habit of saving photos regularly to a USB drive/SD Card and put in a safe place, or regularly back up your photos to cloud-based storage.  Photos of your holiday are the worst things to lose.  A charger (with correct power adaptor) is essential.
  • Small flashlight.
  • Travel alarm clock (or .
  • Pocket knife.  Travellers often are in need of a can or bottle opener, scissors, tweezers or corkscrew – remember to keep this in your checked luggage when flying.
  • Small binoculars.
  • Brimmed hat or visor.
  • Sunglasses.  Protect your eyes from harmful ultra-violet and infra-red radiation, especially if you are travelling at high altitudes. 
  • Reading glasses (take spare pair).  If you don’t have a spare pair, then take your prescription details for replacement, although it will be rigmarole to replace them overseas.
  • Reading Materials.  Good books make those long flights a little more bearable .
  • Playing cards/games.
  • Address Book.  Nothing worse than wanting to send postcards and not remembering the addresses.
  • If heading for a beach holiday consider taking dry snacks (granola bars, nuts, trail mix, jerky?)

Maintenance Items

  • Mini Sewing Kit (place in check-in baggage).
  • Travel iron or steamer.
  • Travel clothesline & clothes pegs.
  • Sink stopper.
  • Folding scissors (place in check-in baggage).
  • Laundry bag & soap packets.
  • Zip-lock plastic bags.

First Aid

  • First Aid Kit. A compact travel health kit is a must for every traveller.
  • Aspirin/pain reliever.
  • Cold/sinus medication .
  • Diarrhea medicine.
  • Insect repellent.
  • Contact lens preparations.
  • Antibiotic ointment. Alcohol wipes.
  • Sunscreen/sunburn relief.
  • Motion sickness medicine.
  • Personal hygiene items.
  • Personal prescriptions.

Toiletries

  • Comb/brush.
  • Toothbrush/paste/dental floss.
  • Blow dryer. Make sure you take an adapter.
  • Lotions/creams.
  • Lip balm.
  • Shaving cream.
  • Towel/washcloth