Planning for a trip away is always exciting, especially if you are heading to a place you always dreamt of. However, planning can soon turn into a sweaty panic, especially if you have no idea where to start.
When I took off on my first world adventure back in 2013, I had no idea what I was doing….seriously, I couldn’t have been more clueless. My timing was off, I didn’t even know vaccinations existed and to top it all off, my passport was out of date! I was a complete rookie and had the learn the hard way.
Now with a little more experience, I have put together a list of things you need to do before travelling the world & hopefully you won’t make the same mistakes I did.
There is nothing worse than gleefully packing up your backpack with your new bikinis, swimming trunks and 10 bottles of overpriced suncream, to be greeted with two solid weeks of blinding rain. Oh…I had no idea it was monsoon season.
November to March is the wet season in Australia’s Top half & also their summer. For us Western folk, the Aussie climate is complete back to front: Summer: December to February; Winter: June to August.
South-East-Asia does vary but is normally stunning all year round. However, seasons do generally fall into 3 categories – dry, hot and wet. November to February is relatively cool and boasts beautiful dry heat and clear skies (this is also the high season). The Wet season is generally October-December and everything in between is disgustingly hot….and sticky.
Anywhere in the Gulf States in the US is blistering hot between mid-April and the end of October (same as Europe).
With South America, remember that the southern hemisphere seasons are reversed – with summer arriving around November to February & winter from June to August. January and March are considered the rainy season, but this does vary slightly between countries.
Booking your flights is the first big step to solidifying your trip. Once the flights are booked, there is no going back.
It’s important to remember, airlines generally release their airfares 11 months in advance, and the cheapest “Earlybird” tickets are the first to go. As you may expect, flights will always get more expensive as departure day looms nearer. For long-haul fights, having stopovers and connecting flights will save you money.
PASSPORTS & VISAS
We should all know this one, but it’s all too easy to forget to check. Your passport NEEDS to be valid for at least six months before you enter another country. Some airlines & country immigration check-ins insist on six months’ validity from the date you return home to make sure your passport is up to date.
When booking a holiday, make sure that all the details entered match the details in your passport document. Some tour suppliers see name changes as a cancellation. The last thing you want to do is pay an unnecessary fine.
Visa requirements differ in every country, so make sure you check check with the relevant visa office before departure: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice
** Note: Please ensure the name on your passport matches the name on your tour booking and airline tickets. Your passport details are required to complete your booking. Take a copy of the main passport pages and other important documents with you, and leave another copy at home with family or friends.
MEDICATION & VACCINATIONS
The last thing you want to think about before you hit the road is your health, medication and vaccinations. However, if you need prescription medication…its wise to make sure you are covered throughout your trip. It is important that you take all prescriptions with you as proof of medical authorisation in different countries and note that some countries forbid certain meds.
If you’re trekking in a remote part of the world, farming or living in the wild, you can seek further advice from the Travel Doctor. This website is an awesome source: traveldoctor.co.uk
Malaria tablets are wise in certain countries, but again this is totally up to your discretion. Personally, I would advise them but be aware of the side effects before purchasing (different types/brands cause different effect on the body).
BUY A TRAVEL MEDI- KIT!!! This is important and saved me loads of times, especially when on long hikes away from towns or cities.
Vaccinations -Yes, unfortunately, vaccinations are an unnecessary necessity and you need to make sure you are up to date before entering a new country. Once again, Goko-travels has your back. Check out all necessary vaccination requirements on each specific destination here
In order to complete any of the GoKo trips it is essentail that have travel insurance in place. There is nothing worse than breaking or losing your phone in the first week and not having the money to replace it.
When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your Tour leader, who will take note of your insurance details and emergency contact number. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.
Best bet is to buy insurance that not only covers your flight tickets but insurance that covers you for cancellations due to international travel restrictions.
Due to their amazing covid-19 cover, we highly recommend Campbell Irvine, although, there are many more options on the market.
Before heading overseas to start your epic adventure, make sure you have an international travel card or a credit card with no international transaction fees. They soon add up and can really bite you in the butt. Here is a list of a few UK cards some of our customers use while travelling:
1.Post Office. The Post Office credit card charges no fees on purchases made overseas. …
2. Saga Platinum.
3. Halifax Clarity.
4.Lloyds Bank Avios Rewards.