Do you want to go on a long trip but don’t know how to prepare? I will give you some useful tips from my five years traveling the world.
What To Take On a Long Trip
First, you need to choose between a suitcase and a backpack. It depends on where you are going.
Don’t dare take a suitcase to India unless you’re joining a tour with everything included.
Then they will carry the suitcase for you. In Europe or other similar countries, it should be fine.
When you travel with a backpack, try to go in the summer to avoid taking many clothes.
If you visit only countries with warm weather, you will not need to carry heavy clothes.
In any case, you always need a jacket and a sweater. The rest can be shorts and T-shirts.
How Many Kilos Should I Carry?
If you don’t have experience as a backpacker, it’s easy to make the mistake of putting on your backpack and thinking it’s not heavy.
However, after walking for thirty minutes with it, you will change your mind.
Each kilo that you add to the backpack is a kilo you will carry on your back. Think wisely before choosing the contents.
First Aid For Traveling
It’s always recommended to bring the next items:
- bandage tape
- small scissors
- after sun cream
- insect repellent
- medication for pre-existing medical conditions, if you have any
Although, I have used some of these items only three times in five years. It is better to have them and don’t need them than need them and don’t have them.
In some countries, it can be difficult to find sanitary napkins or medicine.
I recommend you to bring enough for a month, and then buy more, if you need to, when you are in a big city. It will be easy to find a variety of products there, and cheaper.
Good-quality razor blades can also be difficult to find in some countries. Especially in Asia, because they don’t have too much hair.
Stay in a Good Shape While Backpacking
A long trip requires some stamina. You should try to be in good shape. If you get easily tired, it will make your trip harder.
You will not fully enjoy the experience, and you may not be able to visit all the places you plan to because you are tired.
Besides, if you are exhausted, your body can get sick.
Exhaustion doesn’t allow you to think properly, and you can make the wrong choices.
If you have been traveling for a long time and feel you are lacking energy, I recommend you to take a few days in a nice, quiet place.
Try to eat healthy food and do some exercise. When you feel fine, keep going.
Personally, I have had to do this a few times during my trip, because I have been traveling for over five years, pretty much without coming back home.
Alcohol and Tobacco Traveling
I don’t drink alcohol or smoke. So for me, it’s easy. If this is not the case for you – and you might not like to hear this – both are detrimental to your trip, not only for your health.
Getting drunk will make you an easy target, and you can end up without your money or your passport.
Besides, it will increase your expenses and can make your trip shorter. In Asia, alcohol and tobacco are cheap.
However, in northern Europe, Australia, and many other countries they are expensive.
Drugs In Different Countries
I don’t take these either. Again, it depends on where you go. In some countries, you can even get the death penalty for possession of drugs.
Some of them are extremely popular among travelers and Backpackers.
For example, China, Indonesia, India, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand or Vietnam.
It’s a complicated matter. I suggest you to get some information before you go.
Here you have a link about Countries with Capital Punishment for Drugs Trafficking.
Don’t get confused by the term Drugs Trafficking. Sometimes, possession can carry the Death Penalty.
In some countries, like Thailand, you may avoid prison or the death penalty by “paying” some money.
It will depend on the amount of drugs you are carrying and the policeman who detains you.
So you can’t be sure about that anyway.
In fact, you can be on a beach in Thailand and someone may approach you offering drugs. That person will sell it to you very cheap.
“It’s a great deal!” You may think.
If you buy it, a Thai Policeman will show up and scare you saying that you are going to jail.
After a few minutes of a great performance, the Policeman will try to “help you” accepting some money to forget about it.
In other countries, like Singapore, there is no way you can pay your way out of prison.
Keep in mind that prisons in some countries can be a worse punishment than the death penalty. Because you will suffer in prison and end up dying after all.
I don’t want to be dramatic. I want to keep you safe.
Please, I encourage you to do your own research into this matter if it’s important for you.
Your life may depend on it.
We all want the best for our trip, but it’s not a bad idea to have travel insurance. Wish for the best, but be ready for the worst.
Depending on what country you visit, having an accident can bankrupt you.
There are many kinds of travel insurance.
The most basic things to cover:
- 24-Hour Assistance Services
- Emergency Overseas Medical & Dental Expenses
- Emergency Medical Evacuation & Repatriation
- Worldwide Cover
This is the minimum. You can have more options if you are willing to pay more. Also, be sure that covers other activities like, hiking, diving or surfing, if you are planning to do so.
Keep in mind that insurances will not cover some events:
- If you’ve been acting like an idiot
- If you have used drugs or alcohol
- Certain pre-existing medical conditions
- Ongoing treatment at home
Read the article the Best Backpacking Insurance.
Know Your Destination
Visas, driving license, dangers, vaccines, whether the tap water is potable, what kind of currency they use, how you can get money, and so on.
The weather is also something to consider. Some areas can have tropical storms or other peculiarities that can affect your trip.
It may seem a lot, but don’t get stressed. Take your time to find the information. Nowadays, it’s easy thanks to the internet.
I recommend you make a copy of everything: I mean, passport, credit cards, visa, etc. I would also keep two different credit cards in two different places.
Besides, I would keep the most important things, such as your passport and a credit card, in a money belt.
WARNING: for people traveling to Barcelona, it’s a safe city but it’s full of pickpockets.
Advice that it is useful for other cities is not to carry anything in your back pocket. And for girls, have your handbag in front of you at all times.
It’s a simple security measure. Nothing should happen, but it’s easier to avoid problems than fix them.
I wrote a specific article about the topic: 7 Tips To Travel Safe.
Other Stuff About Backpacking
If you are traveling to a tropical country, you will need a mosquito repellent, sunglass, and a hat.
Depending on where you are going, you might also need an electrical plug adapter.
Having said that, travel and enjoy!