With international travel more popular, and easier to achieve than ever, there is a seemingly endless amount of advice available on the internet in relation to travel, travel preparations, and what to expect while abroad. Frankly, sifting through the mountains of often contradictory advice can get exhausting very quickly, and produce additional stress that you really don't need on top of the already considerable levels you've built up while planning your holiday.
For that reason, we've collated as much of our own travel advice into one article as possible; and with our over 70 years of combined experience in helping young people and extreme travellers to make the most out of their holidays, you can be sure that we know what we're talking about!
General travel tips for long stay holidays, gap years and more
Some travel tips are universal; whether you're intending to go away for a long weekend in Europe, or intend to spend a month or two exploring an entire continent, there are some pieces of advice that you simply cannot ignore! When you're preparing for your holiday, make a list of all of the general services that you either expect, or anticipate that you'll need when abroad. Now is the time to make sure that you've crossed all the Ts and dotted all the Is.
If you're intending to drive on your holiday, make sure your license is transferable, and if you intend to be working, you need to ensure that you have the correct variety of visa. And it goes without saying that you'll be looking to get to your destination in the cheapest manner possible, in order to make the most out of your holiday savings.
On the subject of holiday savings, make sure that you have made all the necessary preparations for an enjoyable holiday; as well as ensuring that your bank knows you're going abroad, and that your account is stocked with all necessary funds. You'll also be wanting to make sure that you left your house in a safe, secure state; so that you don't return to find it empty!
We've created an extensive 'Know before you go' holiday checklist, informed by our membership to the Foreign and Commonwealth office's know 'Know Before You Go' campaign, to make sure that you leave everything at home as it should be before your trip, and also to ensure that you have some good, general advice for when you are abroad.
The advice on offer in said article is no less important for its wide area of coverage; advice from how to maintain personal safety in foreign lands, to the best advice for phoning home, can all be found within. Our many years of travel related experience also makes us ideally placed to deliver travel tips and advice for those unsure of what to expect, on what may well by their first trip abroad by themselves, or at the very least without parents. The easy to understand advice on these pages will provide you with key information on what to expect from flying, airport park facilities and if the worst should happen; what to do if your passport is stolen or lost.
Travel Insurance is our central point of travelling expertise, so, as you would no doubt expect, we offer a wide range of travel insurance guides for all varieties of trip; from establishing whether or not you have given yourself the correct level of cover, to advice on insurance for specific geographical areas, all the way to what to expect in terms of a pay-out if your trip were to be cancelled. To make things as transparent as possible, we also offer a handy glossary, to demystify some of the more complex terms associated with travel insurance.
Backpacking tips and advice for your next trip
Backpacking requires more than a few pieces of extra advice no matter how far you're intending to travel, or for how long; you'll be travelling light, and be enjoying far less comfort than you would normally expect on a holiday. Of course, the upside of this is that you'll spend far less money, and be able to travel further for longer!
It largely goes without saying that backpacking requires a fair bit more planning than ordinary travelling; it can be difficult to know where to start! We've provided extensive advice on what needs to be done in terms of pre-travel preparation. We offer useful advice for the parents of those contemplating a backpacking break, travel advice from the government, as well as tips on whether you should take gadgets with you on your travels, and what you can do to help prevent the theft of those that you do bring along.
For ease of reference, we have also created a few backpacking checklists, so that you can be sure that you'll have everything that you'll need on your adventure! Of course, preparation is just the tip of the iceberg, and there are plenty of tips and tricks to make use of while you're out there; 'backpack-hacks', if you will. One of the chief skills you'll need to quickly master if you are to get the most out of your journey, is how to best conserve money. There are numerous ways to do so, though some are a bit more intuitive than others; couchsurfing is an excellent manner to save money on accommodation for example, while it's always useful to get hold of providing counsel on. From dealing withbudgeting, to conqueringhomesickness, we've got your backpacking needs covered. We've also taken the liberty of creating a few guides to specific destinations around the world in order to ensure that you get the most that you possibly can out of your backpacking experience. This way you can spend more time enjoying the best a destination has to offer, rather than wasting time finding the best experiences!
Multiple trip tips
Planning a single holiday can be a bit of a daunting experience; planning multiple trips over the same time period, or within the same year, multiplies the complexity further. However, with experience as extensive as ours, we are able to provide enough guide and advice on the subject, that we're essentially planning the whole thing for you! Because we know how much of a difference a few trips to quality locations can make to someone's life, we've even provided some tips and tricks on how to find more time to travel.
Unlike with backpacking, you're far more likely to indulge in the delights of hotel accommodation during multiple trips; and we can offer some sage advice on how to go about your search. Just so you don't get carried away, however, we've also provided an in-depth checklist, to ensure that you have everything that you'll need for you to begin globe-trotting. When on multiple trips, it's even more important to play it safe when it comes to both your person, and your possessions.
It's important to take note of the potential scams that you may come across; a subject that we've had an unfortunate amount of experience with over the years. Other potential dangers and irritations are likely to cross your path over multiple trips, such as unpleasant plane passengers, short battery life on gadgets, and the many pitfalls of camping; we can provide you with the tools you need to overcome each.
At the end of the day though, it's always worth making sure you take out the necessary insurance to cover multiple trips; especially gadget cover under a specialist policy or through your home contents insurance; the more journeys you make, the higher the odds that something may break far away from home. As with our backpacking specific tips, we also have a range of detailed destination guides for making the most out of your destination packed holiday. Whether you want to see the cinematic sights and sounds of Hollywood, checkout the historic attractions of Rome, or both back to back, we have the guides to help you get the most out of your holiday experience.
Tips for travelling with a medical condition
If you want to see the world, you shouldn't let anything stop you; we've already given advice on how to travel on a shoe string budget, and provided advice on how to get the most out of multiple back to back planned trips; we also want to ensure that medical conditions don't prevent you from getting the most out of a holiday. While it will certainly ensure that more planning is necessary, to ensure that it goes off without a hitch, it is still a more than viable idea to go on holiday with an illness. The advice below should allow you to plan your experience accordingly.
In terms of preparation there are a number of important steps to take, such as ensuring that you have an appropriate stock of medication to transport with you, a ready supply of inhalers, for example, if you suffer from asthma. While you will want to be travelling light in most cases, it's important to have a few spare doses of medication with you; you don't want to be left in a dangerous situation if one of your bags goes missing, with your sole supply of medication inside.
Just in case the worst should happen, ensure that you have taken all the steps possible to obtain and purchase medicine abroad should you need to. Choosing the right destination also goes a long way to guaranteeing that illness will not plague you during your holiday; if you have a dust allergy you should probably avoid visiting the Sahara desert, and if you're menaced by hayfever, it may be a good idea to avoid journeying to a destination during the height of summer.
These examples may seem particularly obvious, but they illustrate the point; don't expect somewhere to change to meet your medical needs! Of course some ailments are endemic to all travellers; it's a good idea to read up on exercises to minimise the threat posed by Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), as well as how to sidestep the comparative irritations of travel sickness and jet lag. Travelling while pregnant also poses its own complications and necessities; but travelling with child is still far from impossible.
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