This is my list of what I perceive to be 10 essential travel items that you should take on holiday with you, to help ensure that you have a successful and safe trip. It doesn’t matter whether you’re going to Barbados, Bahamas, St Lucia, America, Scotland or any place in the world, my list of travel items are essential.
10 Essential Travel Items:
1. Travel Insurance: Probably the most important thing you should make sure you have before you go away on holiday. Don’t be one of those cheapskates that you here saying, it will never happen to me. Make sure you do your research and study what your getting for your money. Don’t just buy it because it’s the cheapest. I have first hand experience of having to claim from an insurance policy and it saved me over £1500 in costs.
2. First Aid Kit: Get a good one, not one of those that cost £1.99 and offer you little plasters and some savlon. Get a decent one, which includes a dental repair kit, diarrhoea tablets, sickness tablets, insect repellent, tweezers etc.
3. Money Belt: A money belt is essential for keeping important items and money safe. Get one made of fabric that won’t get drenched in sweat and is waterproof.
4. Handle Scale: If you are the type of person that always buys lots of goodies when you’re on holiday, this item is essential. Nowadays you will be more than aware how strict airlines have become regarding baggage weights. If you exceed the airlines limits, you will pay heftily for it.
5. Torch: This is an essential piece of equipment; get one of those powerful mini torches that you can easily carry with you. Also make sure you know where it is when you go to your bed at night. You never know when there is going to be a power cut and believe me it will be essential.
6. Compressing Pack: Are great invention which is basically a plastic bag that you put your clothes in, which when rolled up, air gets pushed out through special valves and as a result they save you space in your suitcase.
7. Luggage Straps: These will help to provide extra support and make your luggage extra secure. We are all well aware of the rough handling that our luggage receives once you put it through check in at the airport. How often have you seen busted open bags coming through on the conveyor belt and with the contents all over the place. If only the skinflints had spent a measly £2.00 on a luggage strap they could have avoided the stress. They are also great for quickly identifying your luggage when it comes through.
8. Neck Pillow: I would recommend one of these for anybody going on a flight, get an inflatable one which takes up very little room. Yes they do work and they are worth it, a little bit of extra comfort when flying.
9. ipod: You know when your travelling, especially when your flyi
ng that there is going to be delays, or the choice of onboard entertainment is going to be crap. Make sure you bring your ipod because when things get crazy, you can just listen to your favourite tunes and the world will seem a slightly better place.
10. Large Bag of Jelly Babies: These have saved my life along with my ipod, during crazy airport delays. My favourites are the green ones and the black ones.
To ensure a safe and successful trip, it involves a little bit of thought and careful planning, but as you can see it isn’t rocket science and I can assure you that it is better to be prepared, rather than sorry.
A near perfect list from my perspective, this wee lot works every time for me! If you have any good travel essenital items of your own let me know by leaving a comment.
When flying to Barbados or anywhere for that matter, it is always a good idea of have a game plan in operation. It really doesn’t take a lot of time and effort to organise your flight to make things a hell of lot easier for yourself.
When you book your flight it is always advisable to make sure you book it well in advance. This after all is common sense. It doesn’t really matter who you are booking your flight with or which airline you are using to fly to Barbados, the further you book your flight in advance the more money you will save.
By booking well in advance you will not only save money but you will be guaranteed the travel dates which you want, as we all know airline seats are booked on a first come first served basis.
There are only a few airlines that actually fly to Barbados, so it is a simple enough procedure to compare prices, how long they actually take to get here and the size of there seats. All these factors come into my equation when flying; I personally like to get to my destination as quickly as possible and with as much legroom as possible. When I fly to and from Barbados, for me personally the extra cost of flying in premium economy is definitely worth it.
Carefully consider how much luggage your airline will allow you to carry; I know from personal experience how strict they are nowadays. When I flew to Barbados in June, they wouldn’t even let me take an extra 1 kg without charging me and I was flying in premium economy. Airlines are getting stricter all the time, and they will charge you a hefty fee if you’re luggage is over weight. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to weigh them before you head to the airport.
I would advice anybody flying to Barbados, (if the airline you are using of course does it) is to book your luggage in the night before. It is a much less stressful way to start your holiday. It is worth the extra expense of booking a hotel room and as we all know there are some cheap hotels situated close to most major airports.
Wear loose fitting and lightweight clothes, and take a light jumper because it can sometimes get a wee bit cool on the flight. Why not get some flight slippers to wear; after all you’re on the flight for at least 7 hours. I would also recommend purchasing a neck cushion; they are worth the few dollars that they cost. I normally take every free newspaper and magazine that are given away free before I board the plan and also bring some comfort snacks with me, they all help to pass the time.
Don’t just sit on your seat for the full flight journey; our bodies are not designed to sit on an airline seat without moving for hour upon hour. Get up and periodically go for a walk, if people around you don’t like it, tough luck on them, it’s your health that counts.
Arrival In Barbados:
Upon arrival in Barbados make sure you have filled out your customs clearance form. Fortunately it doesn’t take very long to clear customs and receive your luggage at Grantley Adams International airport. What I love about arriving in Barbados, is that you don’t have to walk miles to clear customs and then get your luggage, it’s a breeze compared to places like Heathrow, Gatwick, JFK, Miami etc
Also I would recommend that you get one of the luggage guys to carry you bags for you on their trolley to your transportation. It is worth it the few dollars that it costs. I normally give them BDS$10 which saves my back and arms.
My motto when flying is to make everything as easy as possible for my family and myself. As you can see it really doesn’t really take very much planning to make things easier and more comfortable for yourself.
For some great pictures of Barbados you should visit The Barbados Photo Blog.
Whenever I travel I do everything that I can personally do to make sure that my journey is as comfortable as possible. For me one of the most uncomfortable and annoying forms of travel is flying, the seats are never comfortable and without fail I would come off a flight with a sore and stiff neck.
In the past I would just accept it, as the downside of travelling and anyway it would usually sort itself out after a few hours or days if it was a long haul flight. But as I got older and wiser I started to think about things more and the desire for making my travel journeys more comfortable become a priority.
Why should I suffer when travelling, if there is something that can be done to make my journey more comfortable? I had in the past noticed fellow travellers on flights with travel neck pillows, I must admit I use to be a sceptic and wasn’t willing to waste my hard earned money on such a devise.
But 3 years ago I was facing a 7-hour flight to Barbados, when I thought, I better give a travel neck pillow a go. I had a look at an inflatable one, it had some advantages, it wasn’t going to take up much space, and it only cost about £5, but I absolutely hated the feel of the material on my skin, in fact it made my skin crawl it felt so bad.
With a little bit of help from the master of the universe Google, I found a huge choice of different travel neck pillows. I eventually settled on one filled with micro beads, which has a nice soft removable cover and it even comes with its own travel case. It may take up more room that an inflatable one, but I would rather sacrifice other things. Since I don’t want to come across as if I’m doing a paid advertisement, I will not name the name of the company I purchased it from.
My travel neck pillow is now my perfect travel companion, it is shaped to perfectly support the neck when travelling. I have used it to my benefit on planes, trains and even ferries. I quite frankly won’t travel without it. It’s awesome.
All I can say is that, I paid under £10 for my neck travel pillow and I’m not exaggerating when say it has made a massive difference to the way my neck feels when I come off a flight, whether it’s a 2 hour flight or a 22 hour fight.
A travel neck pillow may be a humble and cheap piece of travel equipment, but for me it is a must have item.
The boring old suitcase, I never thought I would be writing an article on something so unexciting and trivial. A few months ago I flew on a UK internal flight, from Aberdeen to Heathrow. Nothing too different during this journey, the usual BMI delay at the start of the flight.
The fun began when it was time to collect the luggage, all i can say is that someone working within the baggage handling at Heathrow must have been annoyed about something! As I was patiently waiting for my bag, I couldn’t help but notice there were not one but three suitcases that had been busted open and all the contents were coming along the conveyor belt. Another guy was almost in tears as he discussed the damage that had been done to his new very expensive hard silver Samsonite suitcase on its first journey.
I personally had a bad suitcase experience last year, when I was flying back from Barbados. A suitcase owned by some bright spark, had at some point during my suitcases journey started to leak on to mine. It was a disgusting and stinking liquid that had penetrated my bag, which may well have been from fish. Some paper documents which were in the suitcase, had been destroyed, luckily I had copies held online. My suitcase was obviously not water proof.
So what is the best kind of suitcase to travel with? A hard one, or one of those fabric ones, with wheels or without wheels?
The good thing about hard suitcases is that they are obviously waterproof and the contents shouldn’t get too squashed during the journey. The downside to hard suitcases is that they seem to get scratched, knocked and are more easily damaged. They also generally don’t stand up to wear and tear as good as fabric ones. I must admit I have in the past owned a hard suitcase which was damaged beyond repair during a flight.
Fabric suitcases are generally longer lasting and harder wearing in comparison to hard suitcases, but most of them, if any, are not waterproof, but you can get ones with a vinyl like zip able interior, which may keep the rain off your belongings for a short period of time. Your contents in a fabric suitcase will of course get extremely squashed, during any flight. They can also get slashed open if they somehow get caught up in something they shouldn’t, believe me it occasionally happens, you know how careful baggage handlers are!
You would have to be either cheap or stupid not to buy a suitcase that comes with wheels and a sturdy pulling handle. I hear the voices of dissent, but you get luggage trolleys at either end of the airport. Do you get trolleys at your house? do you get them when you leave the airport? do you get them at your hotel? do they go up escalators? There will be countless occasions when you will wish you had wheels on your luggage bags. I have witnessed numerous people struggling like crazy with wheelless bags at airports and in the street.
As you can see, there are pro’s and con’s to both, fabric and hard suitcases. I think it just come down to luck at the end of the day whether your suitcase survives a journey. If you are using a fabric one and your carrying valuable paper documents, put them in a waterproof holder. One of my friends had their wedding License destroyed when something leaked on to their baggage during a flight back home from Barbados.
Weight is also a factor when traveling nowadays, I was recently traveling on UK internal fight, and as you know the luggage allowance is not very good, and nowadays they will charge you extra without blinking, if you go over your baggage allowance weights! Before I packed my very pretty looking and I may also say, fairly expensive suitcase, I weighed it without anything in it, and it weighed an unbelievable amount, almost 5kg. Needless to say that suitcase is now history!
When buying a suitcase, put a little bit of effort into the process, test it out, pull it along the shop floor and get a feel for it, make sure that it does what it is supposed to do. My wife bought a new suitcase not so long ago, and the trolley handle is too short, which makes it very difficult to pull along the ground, she is only 5,4 and she struggles with it!
All I would recommend is that you must have a wheeled suitcase with a sturdy pulling handle, and don’t make extra work for yourself by buying one of those massive suitcases that look as big as a bed. You could spend all day at your destination upon arrival waiting for a taxi that it will fit in!
My advise to you is, chose your suitcase wisely, do not become the next victim of a second rate, unsuitable and useless suitcase!
Barbados is a fairly safe country and it is certainly one of the safest Islands in the Caribbean. In order to make your trip as safe as possible, here is my personal list of 10 travel tips, which I feel will help to make sure your holiday is a safe and successful one.
I cannot stress enough the importance of staying aware and alert at all times while on holiday, even on a safe Island like Barbados. Unfortunately nowadays many travellers end up in situations that could have easily been avoided if they used plain old common sense.
1. Never list your home address on the luggage tag. If on business, put the company’s address on the tag; if visiting friends you can list their address. Use covered luggage tags as well
2. Carry important papers with you; NEVER check anything that you simply cannot afford to lose. Photocopy your passport, driver’s license and credit cards.
3. You should never accept a drink from a stranger. Keep an eye on your drink at all times.
4. Pay the driver upon arriving at your destination and while you are still sitting in the vehicle
5. Do not discuss travel plans, your room number or any other personal information in public within earshot of strangers
6. Bring along a basic first aid kit with bandages, iodine, mosquito repellent, sunscreen, alcohol packets, dramamine, pepto bismol, diarrhoea medicine, etc.
7. Bring a small flashlight. You never know when you’ll suddenly be “in the dark” and find yourself in unfamiliar surroundings. At night, keep your flashlight by your bed.
8. Watch for scams on the street. Children working with adults are notorious as pickpockets.
9. your child’s name and your hotel number on each card; include a close friend’s or relative’s contact information on the card. Give a card to each child which they will carry with them as long as you are away. Destroy once home.
10. Never flash your money in public. Exchange funds with reputable and recognized exchangers only.
Stay alert, stay safe and always be aware!
1. 15 more great and practical travel tips can be found at 15 Tips to follow for an overseas trip!