Sunday, 1 November 2015


Travelling can be an amazing adventure; you explore new exciting places and meet interesting people. You even grow as a person and learn a lot about yourself you didn’t already know. Travelling truly pushes you to your limits and your more open to trying new things and taking on new opportunities.

Before I left in June 2014 for one of the best trips, I did some research online and spoke to travellers about their experience and what I should expect. I was told about the amazing beaches, incredible landscapes and unforgettable experiences but not all the little useful bits of information. I thought these 5 tips are something every new traveller needs to consider before starting your trip.

1. Packing
Packing can be a difficult task for most people. The best advice I can give you is to pack light and only take the essentials, especially if you have to carry it. Do you really want an extra 25KG on your back? At the end of the day most people wear the same 20% of their wardrobe, lay all the items out then reduce the pile by at least 50%.

If you're not sure if you'll wear it, don't take it!
If you're pretty sure you'll wear it, you probably still won't!
If it can't be worn for 3 days and then washed in the hostel laundry, don't take it!
Are you seeing a pattern? Basically pack simple, easy to wash pieces!

I know its always important to have your favourite pieces with you, although if it says "dry clean only" leave it at home. It will still be there when you get back! Pack plain coloured clothing, this way you can mix and match almost everything. Pattern clash is great but not for everyday! Plain colours and styles makes your wardrobe versatile. Finally, remember there are shops in other countries so if you pack light you're able to bring something new back home with you.

It's not only important to know what to pack, but also how to pack. Using all the space efficiently is a big task but anyone can do it trust me! Here are a few quick tips:
  • Roll your clothes don't fold them
  • Don't waste space - If you've got some trainers, put some socks or toiletries in your shoes
  • Don't use all your baggage allowance on toiletries, buy them when you arrive

2. Budget
The best way to understand how much you will need is to talk to people who have travelled the countries you'll be visiting. Then you'll get a realistic answer. There are various things to consider in your budget, such as:
  • Travel - Plane, train, bus or boat? Let's imagine ... You've arrived at your destination but you're thinking of the next town away, you haven't pre-booked any transport so you've got a choice. A bus which takes 13 hours and cost $30 or a plane that takes an hour and cost $150. Think about your budget in every decision you make that $120 difference could mean accommodation for the next week.
  • Food - Don't believe the horror stories of 2 minutes noodles for 3 months, it's not always the case you just need to know where to get cheaper but good quality food! Have a look around, find a small fruit and vegetable stand and only buy meat for a few days a week to save money.
  • Accommodation - hotel or hostel? Realistically if you're travelling for a long time hostels are the cheapest option and you'll meet so many people travelling this way. Download apps such as HostelWorld, you can find the cheapest hostel in your area
Basically, take more money just incase!

3. Don't underestimate the distance between towns/countries
A map can be deceiving, take the time to learn the distances between your locations. Take Australia as an example, the distance between Bryon Bay and Sydney doesn't seem that big although it's a 13hour overnight bus. If you were'nt aware of this and you had a plane to catch, well you would be in trouble.

4. Be organised but not to organised!
Travelling is about exploring the world and being spontaneous, take some time to get lost in the city. That said its still good to have an idea of the places you want to visit and things you want to see. Every week take 15 minutes to map out your next steps. If your anything like me your plans will change every day or so!

A great time to be organised is travel days, make sure your packed and ready to go! You don't want to be leaving valuable things in the hostel or missing a flight. Also double check if you need an outbound flight otherwise you won't be able to fly. This happened to me in both New Zealand and Philippines when I was asked to produce evidence that I had an outbound flight. Unfortunately I didn't have one for New Zealand as I though I would book one nearer the time I wanted to leave, in the end I booked a flight online while in the airport so I was able to go on my trip. Although this was double the price I would have paid if I pre-booked. 

5. Be prepared to talk to people
Even if you're a shy person it's important to communicate with the people of the world! You may meet your new best friend or the love of your life! I was quite shy when I left for travelling, now I can strike up a conversation with almost anyone. Travelling and meeting people can push you out of your comfort zone and help you develop you confidence. Sometimes you will come across people who clash with your personality, this is bound to happen! Just go with the flow and don't let them ruin your experience.

If you're off travelling I'm sure you'll have a great time but remember every now and again to consider the "boring" aspects of travelling, such as budget, flights, packing etc. It will save you a few headaches and some money!

I hope these little tips will be helpful!

Sincerely, Kimberly.


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