You’ve decided to make the plunge and booked your trip, the next step is figuring out exactly what you’re going to need, and I mean that in the most approximate way possible. There are no exact guidelines but there are a couple things you do need to look into before getting into the what’s what.
Find out what Travel Visa’s you need.
This can be a huge stop to your trip if you are unable to receive your visa in time. That will allow you to enter the country as well as determine the duration that you can stay in the country. The type of trip you are doing is what will determine what type of Visa you need (Extended stay Visa, Business Visa, Free Visa…). There are sometimes extra costs for a visa so make sure you budget for this as well, they can get quite pricey.
Make sure you are vaccinated.
Many countries have different wildlife and vegetation that could carry diseases and viruses that you’ve never been exposed to, so your body has not developed the anti-bodies it needs to fight these off. Getting vaccinated is a great way to help give you that boost in case you become in contact with any of these illnesses. In some cases, countries will force you to have a certain vaccination, yellow fever being one of those. Verify what the country’s recommended and required vaccinations are as quickly as possible because some vaccines need to be given to you over a 6 week period. They can also be expensive so make sure you have a budget for this too. Many vaccinations are recommended but upon further research you might discover that you might not need them because of the areas of the country you’ll be visiting aren’t exposed to the disease you are trying to fight off. I was taking malaria pills in the Peruvian amazon, which got me very sick, after speaking with the local guide, she informed me that the area of the amazon we were in had no trace of malaria. I immediately stopped taking the malaria pill and felt better the day after. The malaria pill was recommended to me by a travel doctor, which he was right to warn me, but do your own research because you might not need to take them and it’s your body, it’s your trip. It’s not on the doctor to look into the very specifics of your trip.
The weather is a huge factor when it comes to trip preparation. Every country in the world has different weather and a variety of different seasons, so if it’s summer where you’re from it might be monsoon season somewhere else, yes, there is a season called monsoon and you typically want to avoid it. Verifying the weather of the destination countries will let you determine what to bring on your trip, tank tops or hoodies, rain jacket, snow jacket or both, in the worst case it will let you know if you should avoid the country as a whole. These are the items you need to prioritize bringing on your trip and make sure to have room for in your luggage. You could always buy what you need once you get there, but if you like to be ready for most situations, like I do, the weather is one of the most important factors when it comes to planning and prepping your trip. If you look at the graph below, (This is just for an example, do not use this for any fact check) you can see how July and August have twice the amount of rain as any other month so if travelling to New Delhi during those months, it’s probably a good idea for waterproof gear and at the very least a rain coat.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to research, research and even more research on the countries you’re visiting, there is a lot of information out there on the internet and conflicting opinions, make your own. These are meant to be helpful tips based on my personal experiences, to give you a heading on what you’ll likely NEED to look into most for your trip to be the greatest success it can be.
Along with this list, I will make a backpacking check list, listing items I judge from high value to low value, this is going to be based on a size efficiency scale and price scale of what you should bring on most trips, remember to prioritize what you see in this post first!
Stay awesome and follow your dreams,