Printable Travel Checklist – 19 Check Points To Plan Your Perfect Holiday

Printable Travel Checklist – 19 Check Points To Plan Your Perfect Holiday

Leading on from my earlier post International Travel Information, I’ve had requests to make a downloadable and printable travel checklist to make it easier to follow through with all the necessary steps after you decided it’s time for a proper holiday break.

Going on a big (or small) trip might cause some people anxiety or headaches, whereas others just go with the flow and get excited.

No matter where you fall into the above categories, the following checklist will assist you make sure you won’t forget essentials in preparing and even during your holiday.

This checklist has been designed to help you enjoy your holiday more and don’t get anxious about all the “ifs” and “whens” and “hows”.


Planning The Trip

Before you’re ready to move on to properly planning your trip, you’ll have to decide where you want to go. Below you’ll find some questions that might help you decide.

What do you want to do during your holiday?

  • Relax by the beach?
  • Visit a city or go from place to place?
  • Do lots of sightseeing?
  • Combine relaxation and sightseeing?
  • Do you feel like adventure?
  • Do you want to experience different cultures?

Remember that the fancier your ideas, the more you might have to spend.

You might also have a destination in mind or something on your bucket list that you’ve wanted to do in forever.

Once you’ve made a decision on what your holiday should entail, you can move on to the next point.

Where to?

  • Are you looking to travel within your own country? (This is obviously the easiest option.)
  • Are you looking to travel overseas? (This is usually more costly and need more preparation as well as more time to prepare.)
  • Are you thinking about traveling to multiple countries? (This also need more preparation and time and is higher in cost.)

A good idea at this stage would be to read some travel books or google your favourite or chosen destination.

Once you’ve decided where you’re traveling to, move on to the next point.

How long for?

If you’re just going for a short time, say anything from a few days to two weeks, don’t book too many items for your travel itinerary.

If you’re going overseas, plan at least two weeks, but preferably three or more, as you have to calculate travel time, possible delays and possible jet lag into it.

  • Decide on length of holiday

Just a little tip on the side: If you’re going overseas or further away and might have to adjust to a different time zone coming home, give yourself an extra day or two at least before you’re going back to work.

You don’t want to feel like you’re in need of a holiday after your first day back.

When are you planning on going?

Do you know the climate and weather forecast for your chosen destination?

Remember that places on the other side of world for example can have opposite seasons to what you’re used to, or have a completely different climate.

  • Google climate
  • Google weather forecast for preferred travel time
  • Google holidays and seasons (more expensive/busier)
  • Buy current travel guide

What else do you need to be aware of?

Traveling to different cultures?

You don’t want to offend anyone by accident and you definitely don’t want to do something illegal without even knowing about it.

One such example would be tipping in China. It is not customary and might cause embarrassment or might even be insulting to the other person!

One more serious example is chewing gum in Singapore which is not allowed! This doesn’t just result in angry looks, but you can be fined quite considerably or even go to prison for it!

  • Find out about the country and culture and avoid faux pas/ illegal activities

What will you need?

Are you going on a winter holiday and want to take your own gear?

Do you need to hire gear?

Do you need someone to look after your pet?

Those things need to be sorted early on.

  • Find out how to transport specialty gear.
  • Find a pet sitter if needed.
  • Find a house sitter/ someone to look after flowers/post.

Do you have special medications or medical items?

  • Get script or enough of medications plus translated prescription.
  • Get translated prescription for medical items


What documents will you need on your holiday? Do you need a passport? Do you need an international driver’s license? Do you need a visa?


If you don’t own a passport, keep in mind that they take quite a while to get. Usually it takes about 6 weeks, but in certain countries it can be much longer, so make sure you give yourself enough time to organise.

If you already have a passport make sure it’s valid for at least another 6 months after the beginning of your holiday. You don’t want to be denied entry into a country because your passport expires soon.

  • Organise passport
  • (get new passport photos taken)
  • Check validity of passport

International Driver’s license

Are you planning on hiring a car or driving someone else’s car when overseas? Especially if you’re going to a country where a different language is spoken you will need to have an international driver’s license to even pick up your hire car.

These licenses can take a while from ordering to being able to pick them up, so make sure you organise early on.

  • Organise international driver’s license
  • (get new passport photos taken)


If you’re booking everything through a travel agency you don’t usually have to arrange your own visa. And obviously if you’re traveling within your own country or are European and travel within European borders you don’t need one either.

The same applies to many other countries which have agreements with each other. When you hold a certain passport you are able to just travel to certain countries for a limited amount of time without having to obtain a visa.

For example, if you’re Australian and want to travel to Germany you can do so without a visa and stay for up to 3 months.

Make sure to double check whether you’ll need a visa.

  • Find out whether you’ll need a visa.
  • Organise visa if needed. (Many times possible electronically. If not, it can take time.)

Health insurance/Travel insurance

Many times you can get health and travel insurance through a credit card when you pay for your holiday using this credit card.

  • Make sure you’ll get enough cover for health insurance and travel insurance if needed.


Again, if you have everything organised through a travel agency, you don’t need to worry about a thing.

If you want to do it all yourself (many times cheaper), compare websites and offers. Many times you can take certain offers to your local agency and they will not just match the price, but book it all for you.


Are you flexible with your departure and arrival days? This can make a big difference in cost for you.

Also, if you don’t have to travel during holiday season, it’ll make it much cheaper.

Once you found the flight you want, book it through a trusted website (or show it to your agency) or directly through the airline to be able to choose your seats directly.

  • Use comparison websites to find best flight options.
  • Book seats (many times additional cost)
  • Choose food options
  • Choose other extras (more legroom, special needs assistance etc)


The same rule applies as for flights. If you’re a bit flexible it can make a big difference.

  • Use a comparison website to find best options.
  • Check what’s included.
  • Select minimum requirements (such as parking on site or air conditioning)
  • Check for online vouchers
  • Check whether other options might be okay such as motels, hostels, bed and breakfasts or AirBnB.

Travel Itinerary

Make sure you have the following handy:

  • Print out itinerary
  • Print out flight bookings
  • Print out hotel bookings
  • Print out car rental documents
  • Print out of any other booked items/entry tickets
  • Copy of important documents such as passport
  • Email all documents to yourself in case you lose them all

Packing And Getting Ready

Packing is a whole other big thing to think about and that’s why I have another post relating to only that. It also has a handy, downloadable and printable checklist at the bottom of the following post.

Checklist For Packing A Suitcase

This of course depends on where you’re going, so you will have to adjust the amount of items needed accordingly.

If you need help on how to pack your suitcase to make sure you can fit everything in, check out another post of mine.

The Best Way To Pack A Suitcase

Be sure not to over pack, as it’s easy to go overboard with what you think you’ll need. And this could get costly at the airport. And don’t forget you’ll need to haul it all around with you.

I’ve also got two more posts telling you what you should and shouldn’t have in your carry on, which you will find HERE.

Are there any special items you’ll need?

  • Do you need contact lenses?
  • Do you need a travel wallet?
  • Do you need anything to be comfortable during the flight? (pillow, your own eye mask, ear plugs or ear phones)
  • Have (most of) your luggage ready to go before the departure day
  • Don’t over pack
  • Check weight and size restrictions for luggage for your airline

The Day Has Arrived

  • Double check you have all your important documents
  • Plan for delays on the road to the airport
  • Plan to be at the airport early (2-3 hours for international flights, 1-2 hours for national)
  • Check in your luggage
  • Relax, your holiday has officially begun
  • Buy some duty-free

On The Plane

  • Find your seat
  • Stow away your carry on and personal item
  • Get accustomed to your seat and neighbours
  • Take breath mints for yourself and to offer others
  • Keep hydrated
  • Move around a bit/wiggle your toes
  • Get some shut-eye or enjoy entertainment
  • Go easy on the alcohol
  • Enjoy takeoff, you’re away!

While Away

  • Once you’ve arrived you will have to go through customs which sometimes can take a while. Relax. There is nothing you can do to make it go faster.
  • Take your time to find your connection. You’re on holiday after all. No need to rush. (Unless you have to catch a train or bus of course, but there’ll always be another one later.)
  • Find your hotel and check in. (I usually freshen up on arrival before heading out and making the most of the rest of the day.)
  • Get used to the new timezone you’re in. Don’t go to sleep early, as hard as it might be, it makes it easier to get adjusted.
  • Enjoy yourself! You deserve it!
  • Try new things
  • Be in the moment
  • Be courteous
  • Stay safe
  • Take lots of beautiful memories.

I hope this checklist and information helps you with planning and enjoying your holiday.

For your convenience you can find a downloadable and printable PDF just below where you can tick off the points as you go along.

Have fun!

Safe and happy travels!

Let me know if you have any questions or comments below in the comment section. I’ll get back to you soon.

15 Replies to “Printable Travel Checklist – 19 Check Points To Plan Your Perfect Holiday”

  1. Thanks for putting the effort in to create this printable travel checklist. I am a but for checklists and use them all the time. They keep me on track and have saved me more than once from missing one or more critical steps in whatever the subject is they pertain to.

    Traveling is an area where they work particularly well. If you are traveling alone, they speed the process up for getting ready, and if you are traveling with a larger group, the checklist can literally save a chaotic time from start to finish. I have made trips with 7-10 people and when no checklist is used, that has been the outcome.

    The other checklist on packing a suitcase I will also download and use. I will pass it on to other members of the family too, as they need it more than I do. For some reason, I always end up buying an extra suitcase when I go to the USA or even to some places in Europe.

    Super post, super useful, and super checklists. Thanks once again!

    1. You are very welcome indeed! You can also follow on Facebook or Pinterest or just bookmark the page for future reference 🙂

  2. I love your checklist. There are so many point that I only think of, the day of traveling. Like who will take care of my place while I am away. It is always a problem to find someone 24 hours before, because I assume that not so many people are travelling on the same period but that  is not the case mostly. So, to find an house and pet sitter becomes a fight and costs a lot more.

    I will adopt your checklist and make sure to have everything done days before the departure.

    Thanks for sharing!

  3. Wow! Thanks a ton for sharing this post. This travel checklist is useful for both newbies and travel experts and I really gained more insights as to major requirements and things to put in place before embarking on a travelling adventure. 

    Its a sure thing that I already had this printed before offering to commend your good work. Thanks

  4. First I would like to thank you for writing such a good blog on travelling issues. I really enjoy visiting different countries, cities. I love to meet new people. I love other people’s culture and I really enjoy the natural beauty of every place. 

    In your blog, you write how to plan a trip, how to get a visa, make sure about the health insurance, what should I take on the trip etc. You illustrate everything smartly. I think your blog will definitely help me on my next trip. Thank you.

    I will share your post with my friends.

  5. Travelling is fun and adventurous to those who love it. Traveling is part of my hobbies and am able to do that only during vacation. 

    Getting everything done for traveling is helpful and will prevent one to get stranded. 

    Despite my love for traveling, variation in other cultures normally pissed me off. Though I don’t expect all cultures to be the same but there are some cultures that are kinda funny. 

    Example, ban on chewing gum and eating chicken. Very funny and serious. This checklist will be helpful for my next summer vacation. Thanks for sharing!

    1. That whole experiencing other cultures makes your vacation more interesting doesn’t it 🙂 Don’t forget to follow on Facebook or Pinterest

  6. Because i have only traveled to Europe, i didn’t know about the Visa and the passport stuff so it was nice to learn(mostly about the passport – 6 weeks is quite a long time). I never used a travel agency because it is more expensive as you mentioned and personally it’s better to get things sorted yourself and learn the process.

    Also i liked the section about travelling to other cultures. I saw some YouTube videos about what to avoid doing for example in Japan, Korea. Travelling to Asian countries is an adventure so anyone who likes travelling and learning other cultures, it will be a pleasant experience (if you do things right!).

    Thanks for this interesting article. Since there is a PDF included, i should as well download it for future reference. 

  7. This is the most comprehensive advice I have ever seen when it comes to preparing to travel. One of these days I will be roaming the world at my whim, so I have to bookmark this site so I can take your excellent advice.
    You have things here that I didn’t even think of when we were traveling short distances (intrastate) so this will definitely be useful for whatever trips we take.

    Thank you so much,

    Gwendolyn J

  8. This is the most comprehensive advice I have ever seen when it comes to preparing to travel. One of these days I will be roaming the world at my whim, so I have to bookmark this site so I can take your excellent advice.
    You have things here that I didn’t even think of when we were traveling short distances (intrastate) so this will definitely be useful for whatever trips we take.

    Thank you so much,

    Gwendolyn J

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