I’m off in 2 days, I’m so excited! …And I have so much to do. Here is what I’m getting up to, to make sure I’m ready to go:
- Pre-pack your rucksack and go for a walk with it on to test the weight. You’ll look a bit ridiculous but it could be a back-saver. Also check you can actually lift it above your head if you’re going to be using the high luggage racks in trains and buses.
- Clear out your phone, cloud and camera memory. Delete any apps you don’t need, transfer photos to a portable hardrive… it’s way easier to do this at home than halfway through your trip, when you’ve got no storage space but want to continue taking 129375 photos of Rome. Trust me.
- Look up events early (eg one day festivals or the address and opening times of a museum etc), book ahead and put them in your phone calendar. This saves you wasting mobile data or looking for wifi when googling them later, and also you can add a reminder so you don’t forget.
- Ditto with hostel addresses. Put them in your phone, and then write down/screenshot the googlemap directions (or save the map so it’s available offline) so you don’t need internet to access the map.
- Download useful apps beforehand. AirBnB, TripAdvisor, HostelWorld and Rail Journey Planner are excellent. Want £25/$31 credit for your first AirBnb stay? Sign up here!
- Check HostelWorld reviews against TripAdvisor reviews, sometimes they differ greatly for hostels.
- Look up important contact details (your bank, mobile phone company and Embassy). Also let your bank know you’re going abroad.
- Buy a cheap pay-as-you-go phone that will work in the countries you’re going to – it’ll help keep your phone bill low. My phone works like normal in certain countries because of the plan I bought, but in other countries it costs a fortune, so having the spare gives me peace of mind.
- Read smaller travel blogs, not travel websites. Travel blogs are personal experiences, and are less likely to have sponsered posts, unlikely to be trying to sell you something, or write about wildly crazy or expensive things. This means they’re more likely to be honest, and do/talk about the same things you’ll do. Also they’ll be appreciative of your readership and will likely give you more tips!
- A basic first aid kit should contain (at LEAST): plasters, blister plasters, a bandage, small scissors, microdermal tape, bite cream, painkillers, sun cream (if you’re going somewhere hot).
- Actually read exactly what your travel insurance is going to cover before you buy it!! Eg, what if you get toothache and need a filling half way through, are you covered? What if your travels get disrupted for some reason and you have to go home for a bit before returning – will you get any financial cover? What happens if your phone gets stolen?
- Recheck your visas, any jabs or meds you may have to take. Check in/book seats on any travel you need to (especially if using Interrail).
Have you got any more valuable tips? Share them below!