1. Travel insurance
Make sure you have adequate health and travel insurance before embarking on your trip – it could save you a lot of money and hassle.
2. Make copies of everything
We mean EVERYTHING – passports, credit cards, travel itinerary and anything else you can think of. Leave one copy with your family at home, and take one with you too.
3. Get all appropriate shots
Visit your GP a few months before your trip and find out what shots you need for where you may be going. These will stand to you and may save you from getting ill.
4. Give your family or a close friend your exact travel itinerary
Leave copies of your itinerary with them so they know what area of a country you will be in at any given day. If you make any changes to your plans you should let them know as soon as you can.
5. Don’t bring valuables
This one should be obvious – leave the jewellery, laptops and iPads behind. They will only draw unwanted attention and may end up being more of a hinderance than a help.
6. Always be aware of your surroundings
Never allow yourself to get too distracted and always try to be aware of who and what is around you at any time.
7. Carry a first-aid kit.
You need to have a good first aid kit when travelling, especially if you want to trek through jungles and climb mountains. Plaster, pain killers, antiseptic wipes and cream, bug repellent, oral rehydration tablets and anything else you can think of that may make your trip a bit easier.
8. Stay hydrated
This is so important. You need to make sure you are drinking lots and lots of water to ensure you stay alert and avoid dehydration or sunstroke. In many countries you should only drink bottled water and always check the seals. The local water may not be dirty but it could have microbes our immune system is not used to and could make you ill. Water purification tablets are also a very good idea.
9. Be aware of the culture
Always be aware of what the culture is regarding women and clothing before entering a country. To avoid unwanted attention it is important to dress appropriately. Have a small collection of shawls for entering churches and religious sites.
10. Be a traveller, not a party animal
It’s no lie that worse things happen at 3am than they do at 3pm so take it easy. Remember you can drink and stay up all night at home any time you want but you are here to experience a different country and culture so get a good night’s rest!