For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” – Robert Louis Stevenson
- Decide where you want to go. There are so many countries, plan where you want to go and what you want to do in each country or town. Decide if you want to do island, museums or safaris
- Apply for a visa in advance, so if it gets denied you have enough time to reapply. Make sure that you have all the documents required for the Visa Application otherwise you will get this letter. Please know that I do not speak Dutch but received this from the Netherlands Embassy. Translation: Refusal of Visa
- Pack light and according to the weather. Do not overpack! You can always wear a jean 2 or 3 times before giving it a wash. You can wash your clothes at hostels or hotels. Remember to pack laundry detergent. Or use your shower gel. Leave space for souvenirs and sweaters that you want to buy there. I used the “rolling” technique, it definitely saved a lot of space. A pair of good, comfortable walking shoes are a must. Buy luggage tags so you can easily spot your bag and or a safety belt for security reasons, make sure that it is approved by airport security.
- Travel Wallet and Money Bag. Buy a travel wallet or file where you can store your passport, flight tickets, train tickets, banking card, emergency contact details as well as your travel insurance. A money bag can be used for extra security and safety, I used mine only to store my passport and my emergency credit card, one reason being I went camping and then stayed in hostels a few nights there are not any place where you can store passport safe. And I don’t think it would be pleasent waking up in your tent or hostel and realising that someone stole your passport through the night. So I will be sleeping with my passport in my money bag.
- Travel Documents. Make hard copies of your passport, front and back of your credit cards, cash passport, international student card (if you are a student take your card with you get great discounts, I use ISIC as well as my University card), travel insurance, visa, accommodation and prescription medications. For incase store it on Dropbox and or on a USB which you can take with you
- Capturing the moments. We are fortunate enough to live in a time where our smartphones can do everything. But it might be a good idea to take a DSLR or your small camera with, reason being the quality might be better, the battery lasts longer and you can take extra SD cards with. But if you are using your smartphone, install Dropbox or use iCloud to backup your photos and videos immediately.Write down all your experiences. Post your photos on Facebook and Instagram, who does not want to brag about the elephants you saw close up or have the caption “Ich Liebe Deutschland” with a photo of Berlin’s East Side Gallery.
- Download traveling apps. I am currently using Visit A City which is probably my favourite! Not only does it allow you to download maps for offline use you can also see what attractions there are in each country and works out an itinerary for you, with visiting hours, admission, information, walking distance and visiting duration.When looking and comparing flights, accommodation and car hire use SkyScanner. Book flights in advance as you get better prices then and put your browser on Incognito mode.
- Extra things that are cheap but might come handy in the trip. I bought earplugs (I am a light sleeper), paper soap and small packets of tissue, dry shampoo and wet wipes especially when camping because you don’t know the ablution set up and it might not be favourable to shower or bath there.
- Do research and get inspired. Watch movies depending on where you are going, but I mean who does not love Eat Pray Love feauturing Julia Roberts. Read books, articles, blogs about the country’s or countries’ history and their rules and customs. Make sure that you obey them and di not offend anyone by your clothing or manners. When reading you get someone else’s perspective and opinion, this will help you decide where to go and what to do when visiting. The site, World of Wanderlust I found to be extremely helpful!
- Save money! You don’t want to be in Budapest and not be able to experience fine wine and foie gras or be in Africa and not be able to afford a trip to the Kruger National Park to see the Big 5 or be in London and not to the London Eye or Go up in the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Open an investment account where you can save money and give 32 day notice. If you are a student take up a tutoring job or waitering job to help you save.