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21-Point Comprehensive Trip Planning

by Sonia Milosevic 23, April, 2017

21-Point Comprehensive Trip Planning

Some like to plan, others prefer to shove a few essentials in their bag…with a casual ‘she’ll be right mate’.

    Last week we gave you a super short 8-point trip planning list for the ‘she’ll be right’ brigade. This week we’re all over the comprehensive list for the planners among us… 😉

    Think of this list as Marry Poppins carpet bag… it just keeps on giving!

    1. What type of holiday do you crave?

      • Relaxing – spa, wellness, beach.
      • Stay and cruise – by ship or train.
      • Family/Group – holidaying/celebrating with your extended family and friends
      • Active or adventure based – Walking, cycling, golfing, camping, skiing, snowboarding, surfing, hiking.
      • Ecotourism/Wildlife
      • Cultural – festivals and events, food and wine, art, sporting events.
      • City escape/shopping
      2. What’s your destination?
      • Africa
      • Asia
      • Europe
      • North America
      • South America
      • Antarctica
      • Australia
      3. How long is your trip?
      • You’ll need this info when booking airfares, tours and for any potential Visa application(s).
      4. Self-paced, Tour-based or All-inclusive?
      • This decision will impact your budget and the level of planning you’ll have to do yourself.

      5. Research your holiday – what are your ‘must do’ things to see and do when away, put together a rough estimate the cost of your holiday, and create a budget. When you get to the end of this list add in the incidentals we discuss below that will also cost you money so you have a truer picture of the total holiday cost.

      6. Passport – is it valid?

      • You’ll need valid passport details to enter into the airline booking system or provide to the tour operator. Does your passport have more than 6mths validity left on it (6mths starts from the date you return home)? This question’s important because airlines check this at check-in and will turn you away at the airport.
      7. Airfares – ticket(s) booked?
      • Is there enough time between connections? 
      • Do you have an e-Ticket, or is the ticket an old-style paper booklet?
      • Do your airline ticket dates align to the dates of any tours you’ve also booked?
      • Can you check-in online before the flight? Will you need access to the internet and a printer while away for your return flight check-in?
      • What ticket paperwork do you need to bring with you to the airport?
      • Any special requirements you need to let the airline know about?
      8. Visas – do you need Visas for the countries you’re visiting?
      • How long does it take for a Visa application to be processed? Do you need to have a Visa in your Passport before you leave home, or can you get one on arrival in your destination country?
      9. Vaccinations and Medications – do you need specific vaccinations for the countries you're visiting?
      • How far in advance do you need to get the vaccinations? Do you have enough of your regular medication and any letters from doctors ready to take with you?

      10. Travel insurance – Can you afford to pay for unexpected items or hospital stays if something goes wrong while away?

      11. Spending money - How do you plan to pay for things while away?

      • Cash, Travel Money Card, Credit Cards?
      • Exchanging money before you leave?
      • Ringing the bank to let them know where you’re going?
      • Do you have the emergency numbers of your bank should you need to call them from overseas?
      12. Accommodation – Where are you staying?
      • Hotel, Resort, Hostel, B&B, Airbnb, rental, home exchange, yurt?
      • Have you booked it or are you going to wing it?

      13. Language –  Do you plan to learn some of the language, or are you going to rely on an App or phrase book?

      14. Transport

      • How are you getting to the airport/port?
      • Any transport or transfer bookings for your destinations to be made before you leave home?
      15. Technology – What type of technology are you taking with you?
      • Are you taking your camera, phone, tablet, or laptop?
      • What do you need to check to make sure they will work when you get to your destination? E.g. letting the telco co. at home know you are going overseas, international SIM cards, access code for the destination country, calling card rates, Wi-Fi availability, international power adaptors, all chargers for devices.
      16. Contact info – Do you have the contact info of friends, family, your travel agent, or government helplines if something goes wrong?
      • If in trouble overseas Australia’s DFATs consular emergency helpline number is +61 2 6261 3305
      17. Home care Who's looking after your home while you're away?
      • Do you have pets that you need to leave with someone or kennel?
      • Do you need to redirect your mail, or have someone mow your lawns?
      • Any bills that will need to be paid before you leave?
      • Have you gotten rid of any perishable foods? Is the garbage empty?
      • Are you breaking a lease and moving out?
      18. Packing list – will depend on the type of holiday you’re going on, the time of year you’re travelling and who you’re travelling with.
      • Split your packing between check-in and carry-on.
      • Check with the airline - what is allowed as carry-on, and what’s your check-in allowance.
      19. Travel warnings – Have you checked your home government's travel warning website?
      • In Australia that’s www.smartraveller.gov.au It provides you with up to date Australian Government travel advice and warnings for countries around the world.
      • Have you registered your travel plans with them as well? Important so that you are contactable in an emergency. If in trouble overseas DFATs consular emergency helpline is +61 2 6261 3305

      20. Customs and quarantine make sure you know what you can take out of and into the countries you're visiting – including when you’re coming home.

      21. Important stuff – have you made copies of your important documents, cards etc and left them at home with someone, or stored them online so you can get to them easily if they’re lost?

      And that’s it... 21 points is all it took – Enjoy your holiday!

      Photo: Eva Darron 

      Sonia Milosevic
      Sonia Milosevic


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      Size charts


      Measuring tips

      Waist – Measure around the natural indentation/narrowest part of your waist. Insert your forefinger between the tape and your body to allow ease in fit.

      Hip – Measure around the fullest part of your hips. Insert your forefinger between the tape and your body to allow ease in fit.

      Between sizes?

      If your measurements are between those listed on the chart, pick the next size up.

       Women's sizing (centimetres) 8 10 12 14 16
      Waist - at narrowest part (cm) 67-72 72-77 77-82 82-87 87-92
      Hip - at fullest part (cm) 97-102 102-107 107-112 112-117 117-122

       Women's sizing (inches) 8 10 12 14 16
      Waist - at narrowest part (in) 26-28 28-30 30-32 32-34 34-36
      Hip - at fullest part (in) 38-40 40-42 42-44 44-46 46-48


      Measuring tips

      Waist – measure around your waist, slightly below your natural waist, where you normally wear your pants. Insert your forefinger between the tape and your body to allow ease in fit.

      Between sizes?

      If your measurements are between those listed on the chart, pick the next size up.

       Men's sizing (inches) S M L XL XXL
      Waist (in) 29-31 31-33 33-35 35-37 37-39

       Men's sizing (centimetres) S M L XL XXL
      Waist (cm) 74-79 79-84 84-89 89-94 94-99