Do you find yourself drifting off into a daydream wishing that you were somewhere else? Do you spend your spare time scouring travel forums and the Lonely Planet website marvelling at how many beautiful places there are in the world? If so, you have been bitten by the travel bug and are suffering from a severe case of wanderlust.
The need for travel and adventure features heavily in the thoughts of many people. As they say, travel broadens the mind and immersing yourself in new cultures is one way to do just that. If you are planning to set off on a voyage of discovery, then these tips should help you to transform your dreams of travel into a reality:
While it would be amazing to head off in search of adventure whenever you like, unfortunately, life doesn’t always make that possible. For many people, the idea of sorting out the practical side of going travelling can be the main barrier to them doing it. Some careful planning can help to eliminate many of your concerns and get you closer to achieving your goal. While dealing with the practicalities is not the most exciting part of travelling, it is the most essential. Here are some of the things to think about before you start booking flights:
Your Commitments – If you are currently working, you may be concerned that going travelling means that you need to quit your job. You may worry that you will need to search for a new one on your return. Check your employer’s HR policy and see if there is anything in it regarding career breaks. If not, you may want to discuss this with your boss anyway to see if your position could be held open for you.
If you own your home and plan to be travelling for an extended amount of time, you will need to think about what to do with your home while you are away. You may decide to rent it out while you are gone, or ask a friend to house sit for you to keep your home safe and looked after so that it is not left empty.
Paying For Your Adventure – While travel is an exciting thing to do, it can also be pretty expensive, even if you plan on backpacking. You will need to think about how you will pay for your adventure, and work out a budget of how much you think you will need to spend on your travels. Think about the best way to fund your trip. Will you need to take out a loan such as a guarantor loan from Buddy loans or are you already saving up in preparation for your trip abroad? Some people choose to work during their journey by taking on casual jobs such as bar work or waitressing. Think about which option would best suit your plans and will cover what you need.
The Exciting Part
The very best part of planning your trip has to be researching destinations and deciding on which places you should visit. Do you have countries that you have wanted to visit since you were a little kid? Are you planning to release your creative spirit and be inspired by the city culture and architecture on a European trip through Paris, Barcelona and Rome? Maybe the magic of the Far East is more appealing to you, and you’re keen to experience a completely different way of life. Trying to decide where to visit, and all the endless possibilities available will be a fascinating part of your experience before your journey has even begun.
Don’t forget to take a look at the reviews for places you are planning on visiting. Use reviews to learn from the experience of others to help you to make the most of your trip. Hearing about other people’s experiences can help you to firm up your travel plans and decide which places you want to see, and those that you should avoid.
Whatever you are hoping to get from your overseas adventure, a bit of planning can help you to achieve it.
Getting your paperwork sorted before you travel is crucial, and it is best to start researching what you need to do far in advance of your trip. You will need to find out things like whether you need a visa to enter the country you are visiting. If you are planning to earn money while you are on your travels, you will need to find out if a work permit is required. Sorting out your travel documents early will leave you free from any added stress and able to focus on the more exciting parts of planning your trip.
Don’t forget to check that you still have plenty of time left on your passport before it expires. A passport close to expiring could cause big problems if you decide to extend your stay. Depending on where you are travelling to, you may need six months left before your passport’s expiry date to enter the country. The rules surrounding expiry dates vary from country to country, so if you are planning to visit many destinations, you will need to check this carefully.
Travel insurance and medical insurance are essential for any trip abroad, but even more so if you are travelling from area to area over an extended period of time. Travelling without travel insurance or medical insurance could potentially leave you in a stressful situation. This is especially true if you were unfortunately taken ill or a victim of crime on your travels. Having the right insurance offers peace of mind that you are as prepared as you can be for your exciting adventure.
Staying Safe While You Travel
Travelling should be a memorable experience for all the right reasons. Therefore, it’s essential to do all that you can to keep yourself safe both before you set off, and also while you are on your adventure. Here are some of the things you can do to help protect yourself from harm when you are abroad:
Travel Advice – The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) provides British citizens with foreign travel information. The FCO advise whether a country is considered safe to enter. On the gov.uk website, the FCO lists all the countries in the world. You simply need to click on a country to find out if it is considered safe for British citizens to visit. Pretty detailed information is included in the government website when safety and security concerns are present, including which areas present the most significant risk of harm.
Vaccinations – Travel vaccinations protect you from potentially harmful diseases. Therefore, it is vital to check which vaccines you will need to keep yourself safe in the countries that you are visiting. Remember, not all illnesses are found in all countries, so make sure you check which ones you will need before you travel. Contact your GP well in advance of your departure date to find out which vaccinations you have already had, and which ones you need. Your GP should also be able to advise you on how far ahead of your trip the vaccines need to be administered to be effective.
Check with your GP surgery to find out if they can offer you travel vaccines free of charge. The free provision of travel vaccinations isn’t available from all GP surgeries, so make sure you find out the costs involved when you book.
Once your immunisations are all up to date, don’t forget to take your paperwork proving that you have received vaccinations with you. This paperwork is called your International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis (ICVP). Some countries require you to show this paperwork before allowing you to enter.
Be Cautious – Sadly, when travelling, you will need to be aware of the possibility that you could become a victim of crime. Of course, many of the things that you do at home to stay safe apply when travelling:
Don’t walk around alone at night
Staying in well-lit areas
Don’t travel with all your valuables
Be aware of your surroundings
Look after your drink so it can’t be spiked
Stay with your group
Don’t give out the address of where you are staying to strangers
Don’t make yourself stand out as being a tourist
Don’t wander into non-tourist areas after dark
While it may seem like there is a never-ending list of things to organise before you head off into the sunset, it will all be worth it in the end. Exploring unfamiliar lands packed with new sights and sounds is an experience that you will never forget. You are sure to meet interesting people along the way and discover things about yourself that you never knew. Your mind will be opened and then filled with memories that will last a lifetime. As Saint Augustine’s famous quote says, “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.”