I have just set off on an epic travelling journey, starting in Australia, taking in NZ and South East Asia afterwards. It has been months of planning and weeks of getting ready, when you are going away for so long you have so many things to think about! And after spending so much money on flights you don’t want to board that plane only to have forgotten the most important thing. But how do you prepare for such trips and what do you need to get ready?
Here are my top 7 tips
1. Have Your Documents In Order
I’m talking passport, visa, flights etc. Your passport will need to be 6 months in date of your return so think about how long you will be gone and if your’s is valid that long. Make sure you apply for your visa in plenty of time and have the correct documents and any supporting information with you. You might only be catching one flight to start with but having multiply copies of any other booked flights is handy – I would advise paper and electronic copy, not just for flights but for everything!
If you are going away to work you will want CV and any qualifications necessary with you.
2. Insure Yourself and Your Belongings
Make sure you have travel insurance to cover all the crazy things you want to do – if you are going to sky dive then you need to be covered but if you have no dream of doing crazy things then don’t pay extra for no reason. There are plenty of good companies which provide gap year insurance. Make sure you know how long your policy is in-case you stay longer an need to increase it. If you have gadgets worth a decent amount of money make sure these are covered, most standard insurances only cover gadgets up to £250 – no good if you take a DSLR camera with you.
3. Make a list, Pack, Pack and Re-Pack
I always forget things when I’m forcing myself to think about it so by writing lists and going through my rucksack several times in the last week helps me to make sure I have everything but also makes me take out things I know I won’t wear or need. It is even useful to look at other travellers packing lists. Make sure you think what your trip is about and what clothes you will need – If you are applying for jobs don’t only pack beach clothes.
4. Get Yourself Checked
I know, you probably think you are young and healthy but if you get stuck in the middle of no where with horrendous toothache or worse you are going to have wished you got checked before you left. It’s important to visit the doctor for travel vaccinations but while you are there get them to give you the once over so you know for sure you are okay. It might not be the right time for you to go to your dentist but they won’t turn you away so just get that final check up to be safe. It’s important to make sure you have enough medication with you if you take any – and leave plenty of time before you leave to get it.
5. Get The Gear
Be it your first or fourth trip around the world, there is always new and fun gear to be purchased in the traveller market. On your first trip there is plenty to make sure you have; rucksack, padlocks, travel pouch, micro-fibre towel, head torch etc. The list can go on and on some useful some nonsense It’s up to you to pick what you need to make life easier, but if there is one thing you invest money in, it’s a rucksack to suit your needs!
6. Budget Your Money
It is best to work out exactly how much you have before you leave and a rough plan of how to budget it depending on your type of travel and what you want to be doing. If it is a case of just finding work when you get low you might be able to relax a bit compare to someone who is away for 2 months and only has a certain amount to spend. Check your balance regularly, make sure you cancel or budget for any out coming bills in the last few days or while you are away. Look up the numbers in case you lose your card while you are away! I even give my Mum a list of all things important for money – including my pin. Trust me from experience when you use your card to swipe for 2 months then change country and have to use the chip and pin you won’t be able to remember it!
7. Spend Time With Friends and Family
Even if you won’t miss them, they will miss you! Before you leave it is important to make chances to spend quality time with the people that matter the most in your life. You never know how long you might end up being away for and how different things will be when you come back! Don’t let your excitement and travel planning get in the way of your friends and family.