Planning Your travels
So often we find that people do not make the most of their travels simply because they haven't planned ahead. They find they can't visit a country due to the fact that they haven't got a visa or with a week to go they find out it's the rainy season. So here are a few pointers.
1 Year to 6 months before travel. Decide what you want to achieve; work in the local community or do an environmental project, just travel, climb mountains?? Are you going to organise it yourself or through a Gap Year or travel company. For Gap Year providers perhaps look at www.yearoutgroup.org. Check out the weather, is it monsoon or hurricane season. Every year we have travellers on the course in December or January, about to go to Peru and Bolivia, not realising that Dec to Feb is the rainly season in the highlands. Check out: www.weather-and-climate.com. How much will my trip cost, decide who you might travel with, do they have same ideas, will they be compatible & on the same sort of budget??
6 to 3 months. Check your passport is valid for 6 months after you get back, do I need a visa: www.fco.gov.uk, for India, China, Russia, Burma to name a few you will need a visa before arrival. What inoculations do I need, www.fitfortravel.scot.nhs.uk., some such as Hepatitis B require course of 3 injections over a number of months to get full protection. Start booking flights, 'warm up' any contacts and recheck the weather on your planned route.On flights we would recommend an open return, will be more expensive but gives flexibility.
3 months to Departure. Finalise you travel and placement arrangements, complete inoculations and get necessary visas. Sort out budgets and how to carry money (Preloaded money cards, debit/credit cards, traveller cheques), Insurance, purchase or borrow kit, get a guide book and country/continent map. Book first night's accommodation. Start reading up and researching your destination. Book our travel safety course! It's really good to attend the course a few months before departure if possible as we give lots of advice on destinations as well as all the practical safety stuff. Coming early allows time to reorganise routes, get kit, complete inoculations etc.Before you go its worth getting some good Apps for your phone; hostelworld, hostelZ, travelhealth, tripsplitter (if going in a group) Also consider getting e-version of guide books, the Lonely Planet books are excellent on ibooks!
The FCO has produced an App called Plan, Prepare, Explore which is helpful:
For Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.uk.fco.ppe&feature=search_result#?t=W251bGwsMSwyLDEsIm9yZy51ay5mY28ucHBlIl0
For iPad and iPhone: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/plan-pack-explore/id552693482?ls=1&mt=8
Before setting off, it's essential you make a checklist of the things you may need on your travels.
|Documents:||travel tickets, vaccination card, contact addresses, visa(s), passport, good Apps for phone|
|Insurance:||public liability, health & kit|
|Money:||cash, credit/debit cards, travel money cards,Travellers Cheques,|
|Contacts:||friends, friends of friends, consulates etc.|
|Equipment:||rucksack, money belt, head torch, mosquito net (?), silk liner|
|Health:||injections, anti malaria, medicines & med pack|
|Essentials:||Essential Items & Packing List
Objective's Essential Items Packing List PDF
Pre departure link list
Click on a category to see more links.
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