So you’ve handed in your notice at work, your bank balance is looking healthy-ish, your bag is packed and your tickets are in your hand, but what now? Taking that leap of faith and starting your travels can be a f*cking daunting task and the build up to getting on that plane is one of the hardest parts of it all, what do I pack? Will I make friends? How much money should I take? Where should I go? These are questions we’ve all asked ourselves before an adventure and these will always be a concern for people who are about to start their travels. Here at Tru, we’re all about making your first backpacking experience that bit easier and do all we can to ensure that your first adventure is going to be the beginning of something very special, to make things that bit easier to digest before your trip here’s a few ideas to get you prepped and ready before your adventure!
The main question we get asked here at Tru is ‘What should I bring?’ The answer we give time and time again is simple; a few t-shirts, a few pairs of shorts, underwear, sunscreen, medical supplies, cash, an open mind and most importantly: your passport! It’s very easy to over think what you’re putting in your backpack, some people arrive with a case which is twice the size of them and triple the weight, trust us, you DO NOT need that much stuff, within the first 24 hours you’ll realise ‘f*ck, I brought too much’, especially once you start seeing stuff that you want to buy on top of that!
Another burning question we’re frequently asked is ‘how much money should I bring?’ This is of course relative to each individual, taking into account how long your trip is, what activities you want to do and of course how you will be travelling from place to place. Firstly we’d suggest you split your money up, it’s no good having one ATM card, losing it and being stuck for money, take a mixture, a travel money card, bank card and a credit card, then you’ll be sure to never fall short. When it comes down to how much to bring, around $250 per week is more than enough anywhere in S.E Asia, though remember to budget for those big activities that you definitely want to take part in!
- Solo travel
The age old question of whether to travel alone or to travel with a buddy!? Honestly there is no right or wrong answer, there are massive benefits to both. Travelling with a friend/as a group will guarantee you companionship, fun and cheaper room prices throughout your adventure, though at the same time it could also restrict you on what you do (due to people’s preferences). Where solo travel can be a little bit more expensive at times, though you are guaranteed for your adventure to take you to places you may have never planned on seeing and meeting people you may never have met if you were in a group.
- Culture & Customs
Rule number one about travelling to a foreign country is of course to remember we are ultimately guests in someone else’s home, and we must do everything we can to respect the beliefs, culture and customs of the place you’re visiting. Do some research before arriving in a new destination, the world is a very big place and people’s ways of doing things vary around the globe, there’s nothing worse than arriving in a place and instantly doing something to disrespect the local people, not only will you lose a lot of respect but it will also be very embarrassing for yourself and it may take a while to earn that respect back.
So you know you want to travel but you just can’t decide where to go, Asia, South America, India….the list goes on and on! Again do some research, and truly get an idea of what you want to see and want you want to get out of the experience, for example if you want a cultural experience in South America, it’s probably not a good idea to hit up Cancun during Spring break/ever. Once you’ve decided on a location give yourself a ‘rough idea’ of the route you want to take, there’s nothing worse than having a concrete plan and then realising there’s somewhere you want to go and you just can’t as you’ve prearranged your whole trip. You’re going to meet hundreds of people on the road and you’re going to discover places what were never on your original itinerary, both these things will dramatically change the route of your trip (most of the time for the best), so go with the flow and don’t over plan! These few notes are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to questions about planning your trip, of course there’s a whole universe of queries that we could delve into, but for now we’ll leave you with these pearls of wisdom and our main piece of advice, don’t over think it, no matter what you’re going to have the most incredible experience of your life, so go out there and grab life by the balls….you deserve it!
See you on the beach x