Making sure you’ve crossed everything off your to-do list in preparation for travelling takes military-like precision. From arranging travel insurance to ensuring your hotel is locked in – and even making sure you’ve packed all of the right documents in your bag – there’s a lot to consider and arrange. To ensure you have a smooth holiday – and to give you some ideas on how to handle things should you encounter any hiccups – we have rounded up the Over60 community’s top travel tips – and there are some real gems in here!

‪Sandy Dalzell says…

“1. I typed up a travel/packing list several years ago when we started to travel overseas and I have saved it on my computer, so that when it is time to start getting organised and pack, I simply print off my list. I have all weather contingencies covered so obviously if we are going somewhere in summer, I simply cross off the thermals, gloves, scarf etc. It also has listed on it jobs to be done like turn off the water to the dishwasher and the washing machine etc.

2. We also put all of our house and car keys in an envelope and give them to one of our daughters for safekeeping – if we get broken into, they won’t be able to unlock doors to steal stuff easily nor will they be able to drive off in our car.

3. My husband and I always get our travel insurance organised at least a month before we have to pay our final payment for our tour.”

‪Debra Hall‪ says…

“1. Coordinate your clothes around one or two basic colours. Black evening pants/skirt is all you need for dressy occasions. Scarves/shawls/sarongs also make great accessories.

‪2. Know the local laws/customs and abide by them.

‪3. Carry baby wipes/facewipes.

‪4. Carry tissues that can double up as toilet paper. Plus carry a hand sanitiser.

‪5. Pack thongs for use in beach/pool/showers. Showers can be gross.

‪6. Buy and wear good walking shoes. Blisters are not fun and high heels don’t work on Europe’s cobblestone.

‪7. Take Imodium, bandaids, antiseptic cream and Panadol.

‪8. Don’t have a strict fixed itinerary… be flexible enough to enjoy and spend extra time at special discoveries.

‪9. Sit and people watch. Absorb the wonderful surrounds.

‪10. Talk and eat with the locals.”

‪Judy Ward‪ says…

“If travelling with a companion, put half of your clothes in their bag and vice versa. That way, if one bag gets lost you will still have some clothes until you can buy more.”

‪Ally Macklinsays…

“I always get my doctor to give me a script for a general antibiotic – two doses. Get the script filled before you go. It has come in handy on two occasions. Better to have it on you than trying to find a doctor in a strange place. Also take a small first aid kit.”

Gai Brown says…‪

“Take one adaptor (or universal if you’re visiting different zones) and an Aussie power board with four to six outlets. Then you can charge all of your devices and use hair dryer/straightener at the same time – easy!”

Lesley Bradford‪ says…

“ALWAYS photocopy every document – both sides. Leave one lot at home with a family member or trusted friend. And take a copy with you, in a separate area of your luggage. It is amazing the people who need the information when they lose passports, purses etc. And take out travel insurance – it is amazing the number of people who go overseas and spend thousands and complain about another few hundred dollars.”

‪Denise Trainor‪ says…

“Be methodical and develop routines. Lists are invaluable, start about three before the trip. Don’t forget to cancel the paper, gym membership and set up all household bills on direct debit. Organise someone to keep an eye on your house and collect your mail etc. Organise your SIM card for your overseas travel. Pack your suitcase and then take half out. Plan to take only comfortable clothes and shoes. Take old underwear and throw it out before you arrive home.”

Rosemary Thomas says..‪.

“I pack an old towel in the bottom of my case. When I handwash clothing while away, I wring out as much as I can then put my clothes inside the towel then stomp on it – to remove most of the moisture. Clothes are usually dry by next day.”

‪Amanda Candy says…‪

“Less is more. I like to travel light. Leave room for serendipity if your entire trip is planned to the last second it doesn’t leave room for those spontaneous opportunities that always happen when you are travelling. Don’t be afraid to talk to people when you’re in new places – if you only spend time with your travel companion you miss out so many magical moments. Talk to the locals.”

‪Helen Newton‪ says…

“Having just recently returned from overseas, in future I would have the following ready and accessible: travel insurance policy number, passport, and credit card. I had to call a doctor in the middle of the night for a medical emergency and it is very difficult to think of where each of these documents/cards are stored in your hotel room. If you have a copy of each of these things in a folder or envelope, it would make things less stressful.”

‪Kathie Wright says…‪

“I always take a photo on my iPhone of all the printed documents including passports and save to iPhone.”

‪Christine Maree Cieplucha says…‪

“I roll all of my clothes and put them in zipped bags that have names on them – for example, dresses, trousers, blouses, underwear. Plus, I have shoe bags and if possible I put the shoe colour in the same colour bag (yes a bit OCD) but it does help. I find I don’t have to reef through things to find a top or dress – instead, I know exactly where to look.”

Image credit: Shutterstock

This article first appeared on Over60.