Essentials before you go
The boring but important things not to forget
If you forget your toothbrush, just buy a new one. However, some things arent that simple. Read our guide below to make sure you're prepared
The old stamp collector of course. Also referred to as your passport. Firstly make sure you have a passport. Secondly make sure it has enough validity on it, some countries ask for 3-6 months left on it and can refuse you entry so it's always better to check the country entry requirements if you are close to expiry. Plus travel plans can change and you might stay longer than anticipated, so you don't want to be left stranded. Finally make sure your passport is in a secure place. Ideally locked in your rucksack or in a travel wallet. FYI always keep your passport on you don't let anyone take it or don't store it in a compartment under the bus. If your bus gets stopped for a police check you'll need it for identification and if you're crossing a boarder obviously you'll also need it. If you get off the bus for the toilet , take your passport. Guard it with your life!
2. Travel insurance
Most of the time or we would hope all of the time you wont need to use your travel insurance. However you will meet people that have had things stolen, broken, lost, fallen ill, had travel pans cancelled and so on. The ones that have insurance are relieved and somewhat consoled in the fact that although they haven't backed up their phone to the cloud in 2 days, they have a shiny new phone waiting for them when they get home. The ones that didn’t get insurance, well let’s just say they won’t board a plane without it again! FYI always get a lost or crime reference number from the local police station within 24 hours of the incident. It’s usually a requirement to make a claim and its near impossible to obtain one once you’ve left.
Two comparison sites that we find useful are Money Supermarket and Compare the Market
3. Bank and cards
Tell your bank that you're going away so that they don't block your cards and think it's fraud. It might be helpful to have 2 cards just in case one goes missing. If you're traveling with a friend consider taking it in turns to draw money out to save on transaction fees. If you're traveling alone make sure you have back up money just in case you get stranded with no cash machine in sight. Set yourself a red zone amount and never let your cash drop below this amount.
Depending on where you're going make sure you take some local currency with you. Some countries you cant get the currency until you get there but USD notes are often easier to change. Make sure you check the health and advice section by country before traveling. Some people prefer credit cards, others cash cards so look into the pro's and cons. Don't carry too much cash on you though, think logically and consider stashing some in different places just in case.
5. Vaccinations and medication
You should seek advice at least 8 weeks before you travel, as some need to be given well in advance. It can also be hard to arrange a suitable appointment time if you're working. Some jabs are free on the NHS so make sure to check which ones are. It's also important to remember to get any other prescriptions that you will be needing while youre away. Not all countires will offer the same brands and they might be hard to find or explain if there's a language barrier. So if you need contraceptive pills make sure you get enough to see you through your trip or good luck acting that one out in the pharmacy!
Safe travels, Yugen Explore.