1. Get Prepared!
Sort out what you’re going to do with all your belongings! If you’re lucky, you may have wonderful parents, or friends, that can store your stuff for a while. If you do, that’s awesome! If not, you need to search for an alternative. You can find a good storage option for a reasonable price these days, you just need to look around!
Make sure your bank knows that you are off your travels! Set up payments for any bills that you still have, so that they come out automatically. That way, you won’t need to be worrying about is your card being blocked or being charged for late payments when you should be enjoying your adventure … not to mention that that money has far better uses!!
Get all your documents together before you go travelling. Is all your visa information, itineraries, flight details etc in an easy to find spot? Take a photocopy of these documents and any other important ones and leave them with someone at home too, in case you lose anything important along the way. It sounds boring but the last thing you want to be doing after a 26 hour flight to Sydney is having to unpack everything because you left all your documents at the bottom of your backpack!
Don’t leave it until the last minute to pack – packing the only belongings you are going to have for a long period of time into a backpack can be stressful – it is almost guaranteed that you will need to pack and unpack a few times before everything fits, and you’re bound to forget something! Do a practice run … or five – you won’t regret it later on!
2. Get your phone unlocked!
Phones are so handy when you’re on your travels! If you have a smart phone, even better! It is your map, your camera, your translator, your local tour guide … not to mention that if you don’t keep in touch with your mum while you’re gallivanting around the world, you will never hear the end of it! All things considered, making sure you can use your phone when you’re away is important. If you get your phone unlocked, you will be able to get a PAYG sim card from the country you are travelling in … shop around for the best deal – if you find one that has a good rate for international calls, you could save you a lot of money!
3. Sell sell sell!
You need all the money you can get and while you’re clearing out all your stuff is a great time to see what you can make money on. As much as it’s a pain, start listing your things on Ebay, go to car boot sales and, as a last resort, because you don’t get as much money, bag your things up and take them to a Clothes For Cash joint where they pay you by the kilo. It may take up some of your time, but it’ll be worth it! Especially when you raise enough money to pay for one of your internal flights in Thailand, that awesome trek in Vietnam, or your skydive during your East Coast trip in Oz! Plus, the more stuff you sell, the less you have to store!
4. Soak it in!
We bet you can’t imagine that when you start your adventure, and you’re finally doing all the things that you have been daydreaming about for months, you’ll miss ‘the little things’ from back home … but it’s almost definitely going to happen. It could be something small like your favourite takeaway or bar, or it could be that you will wish you have gone somewhere more often before you left … make sure that you take the time to make the most of your surroundings. Don’t stop making memories at home because you’re so busy planning for the new memories you’re about to make elsewhere!
If you have lots of friends and family to get round and say goodbye to before you leave, it’s going to take you a while and you’re already short on time! A personal goodbye one on one with everyone you know is not really feasible, so get all your favourite people together at the same time. Meet everyone at your favourite bar, go for a meal or have a house party. Because you’re (obviously) their favourite person, they’ll probably shout you a few drinks on the night – awesome! Whatever you do, it’ll be a blast, a night that keeps you smiling long after you’ve said goodbye at the airport!
There’s plenty more to add to this list … what’s the best tip you’ve been given while preparing for your trip? Let Ultimate Travel, and your fellow backpackers, in on the secret!