The list and comments below refer primarily to the 2003 trip. A great deal of the pleasure of travelling is the preparation. However, once you know where you want to go and have read all there is to know about it then there are many practical matters to attend to. Here is a list of things to think about. Start preparing in time and you won’t have the last minute rush which is when things tend to go wrong.

Travel Checklist (The paperwork):
Health Documentation
Transportation Tickets
Frequent Flyer Cards
YHA membership card
Emergency Information
Hotel Reservations
Traveller's Checks
Credit Cards
Driving licence
Guide Books and Maps
Trip Cancellation/ Medical Insurance
Personal Identification
Copies of Airline Tickets & Passport
Special Event Reservations

Home Checklist:
Stop deliveries (e.g. newspapers)
Have Post Office hold mail
Arrange care for pets, lawn and plants
Set-up a timed lighting system
Notify local police, neighbours and friends of absence
Leave house key and trip itinerary with a neighbour
Empty refrigerator!
Eliminate possible fire hazards (unplug appliances, etc.)
Turn down thermostats
Turn off water heater
Store valuables in a safe place
Lock all doors and windows
Reconfirm with airlines

Packlist 2003:
This list can be made as long or short as you like and depends to a great deal on the type of trip you are planning. In this case it is more or less what I will be taking with me.

Rucksack (no more than 90L)  or equivalent capacity in other format (As yet I am undecided. I may take a wheeled suitcase as we will be in a car most of the time and suitcases tend not to get mistreated as easily as a rucksack in airport baggage handling lines)
Day pack (30/35L - ish!)
(LED/krypton bulb headlight)
Camera (and film, batteries, etc.)
Wash bag
(even though I don’t shave)
Glasses + prescription
Polaroid sunglasses + case
Trek towel
Sewing/Repair kit
Small combination lock (for rucksack)
Diary + Pen
Address book
Alarm clock
Sun cream/block
Lip balm

Experiences 2003:
Again, no big problems, just a few adjustments and one absolute miss. As it turned out I took a suitcase with me which was great for putting my four piece rods in when flying but not so good when it came to packing the luggage for three people in the boot of a small Toyota. The miss was not having a thermos with me! It is good to have with you filled with hot water for those times you really need a cup of coffee. I bought a pair of  Polaroid sunglasses that fit over my normal glasses for 100 NZD. At first I thought that it was expensive but it proved to be a real bargain. The sun was strong and they really were needed. A useful addition was a string. Very practical when I was tying on flies and needed to take off the sunglasses. A roll of toilet paper was also something necessary. Ask those who needed it in a hurry! I wasn’t too happy with the trek towel and was lucky enough to be able to borrow a proper towel from friends in Christchurch.

Modifications 2005:
As mentioned above there were no big problems. However, on this trip I did some business as well. I had to weigh up the pros and cons of taking a lap-top computer with me which is of course an additional item to carry, is a potential theft risk, but helped in my work, I was able to use the mapping facilities together with my GPS and it was available to store my digital photos during my trip. So it is listed below, but not a given item to be taken Afterwards I can say that I am still a bit undecided as to if it was a good thing to have it with me or not. I had one bag with clothes in it and a rucksack with the laptop and various gadgets to connect things together and charge them. All very well when electricity is available but a few days away from an outlet and I ended up having nothing that worked.

PC and adaptor

Modifications 2006:

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