I’m a big dreamer, I am constantly imagining far away places and planning adventures abroad.. Constantly Wanderlusting… The only problem – As most people my age, I don’t always have money to just book a flight and leave, it takes Months, even years of saving, but I am willing to make the sacrifice to see the World!
I went on an European Contiki by myself last year and loved it, that was my second time traveling to Europe and I have to say the travel bug bit me hard!! My next adventure will be shared with a very special friend, but it’s still a while before our trip – keep an eye out for more deets on that!! But in the meantime (while I am very excited for my trip in the far future) I thought I’d share some travel tips I’ve picked up – I’m no expert but maybe some of these might be helpful!!
Travelling takes planning especially when you go at it alone and not in a tour group, here are a few things to do before you go:
– Decide on a destination / destinations
– You have to decide If you are going to travel alone or with friends
– If you choose more than one destination – decide on a travel route or if you are going to do a Tour like Contiki, Busabout or Topdeck to name a few.
– You have to decide if you will use a Travel agent to assist with booking your trip or are you going to book it by yourself – Travel agents are great for travel tips and advice
– Choose a date you want to go – this forces you to make a commitment and start saving
– Do a Budget to figure out if you will be able to pay for the trip and have enough pocket-money to enjoy your stay
Budget Tip: Use Excel to draw up a monthly savings plan, with when you will need to pay for what, this will motivate you to save the money in stead of spending it all..
– Make sure you have a valid passport
– Keep an eye out for Flight specials
– Remember to get Travel Insurance and medical Aid
– Does the country you are going to require you to get a Visa, if so how much does the Visa cost and how, where and when do you need to apply
– If you are not doing a planned tour with a touring company: Decide on what type of accommodation you want: Hostel, Hotel, Resort & Spa, B&B, self catering Cabin etc. Check out reviews on the places before you or your travel agent books.
– Make a list of everything you want to do whilst on holiday, what you want to see, what guided tours you want to do, where you want to go shopping etc. – by doing this you can make sure you do as much as you possibly can and also that you don’t miss out on something and regret not doing it – also you can calculate these cost separate from your daily pocket-money.
– Do research on the destinations you choose: what will the weather be like when you go, is it peak travel season, what is the country’s currency and what is the exchange rate on that, what is the cost of living there – to calculate daily pocket-money, what mode of public transport do they use and how much does it cost, what are the customs and religious views regarding dress code, what is the official spoken language of the Country and how do you say basic things like hello, yes, no, thank you etc.
– Save enough money to be able to pay for flights and accommodation on time and also to have enough pocket-money once you leave.
– Most important – if you are travelling with someone, make sure both of you agree on what you want to do, that both can afford the trip and that you agree on accommodation and everything else.
Travel essentials you might need on you trip:
* Universal Plug
* Luggage ( Personally I like a 60/62 cm suitcase and 1 Big handbag for on Flight)
* Copies of all documents, ID, Passport, Visas, Tickets Bought online, Medical & Travel Insurance and a Page of all you important details and who to contact in case of emergency – Make 3 copies of these docs, carry 1 copy on you in your day bag, leave a copy in your suitcase and leave a copy with someone reliable at home.
* Travel Wallet – To keep plane tickets and passport in – Typo sells really nice ones
* A Good Book – to keep you busy on the flight and if you are traveling far by Train
* Travel towel – if your accommodation doesn’t provide towels
* Padlock – personally I find the pin padlocks best for my main suitcase, it’s easier to unlock and there’s no key to lose..
* Plastic Zip block baggies – for dirty clothes or any wet clothing (eg. Swimsuit)
* Chargers for phone, batteries and laptop, if you are taking these items.
* Camera – I see this as a definite travel essential item
* Basic medical aid bag with band aids, headache tablets, nausea tablets and any other “incase” medicine you will need – believe me going to a pharmacy in a country where they barely understand english and there is no english directions on how to drink the medication on the box – not fun…
* Mini sewing kit
* Day bag / handbag – that is safe and not easy to pick pocket, a side bag with a zip and flap over the zip is perfect or a backpack with a padlock.
* Day planner / Travel Diary
I hope the tips above are helpful, if you have anything to add or any travel tips feel free to leave a comment below, I still have so much to learn!!