Whether you have recently completed your A-Levels and feel its time to broaden your horizons with some inter-continental travel, or you are a more mature backpacker who has thrown off the shackles of your nine-to-five lifestyle to take a mid-life gap year – it always pays to be fully prepared for the journey you are about to undertake. Follow these travel planning top tips to ensure that you have all essentials covered before you even think about picking out the perfect swim suit or the most spacious backpack.
Medical Cover and Insurance
Filling in forms and being sensible is often the last thing that is likely to be on your mind before you set off on what is likely to be the most exciting and inspiring trip of a lifetime, but it is vital to make sure that you have covered all the bases when it comes to insurance and medical cover. Firstly ensure that you have the correct type of travel insurance, which can vary dependent on the location of your trip and what you are planning to do whilst you are there.
Keeping a track on your money both before and during your trip is another essential that without proper planning can go very wrong – very quickly. Attempting to plan how much money you will need for an extended backpacking trip is difficult even for the seasoned traveller, so try to ensure that you have saved more than you think you will need.
When carrying money it is best to carry it either as traveller’s cheques or use a credit card, which if stolen means you will not be left penniless in a country hundreds of miles from home. Another top tip is to leave some money at home with a trusted friend or relative, who can then send you this money via international money transfer as and when you need it.
When planning your trip, make sure that you arrange to have the correct vaccinations that are necessary for each destination. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office Website is the best place to look for the specific vaccinations for individual countries. Immunisations and vaccinations are essential for the backpacker as there are many diseases that are not widespread in the UK, such as malaria, dengue fever and rabies that are far more common in other areas of the world – so do not be tempted to run the risk of not getting your jabs, as the outcome could be extremely painful and unfortunate.
Once you have picked out the countries you are intending to visit it is important to research what sort of visa you will need when visiting. These visa requirements may be significantly different depending on the country, so be sure to leave yourself plenty of time to arrange them before you leave, as you may need to visit the countries embassy here in the UK to apply. Overstaying the time allotted to you by your visa can be a very serious offence in some countries, so make sure you have fully understood the limitations and restrictions of your visa before travelling.