Awesome Tips and thanks for the sharing best information
Awesome Tips and thanks for the sharing best information
General tips (some may have been mentioned already):
- pack light, you can always buy things as you. I met a family of 6 cycling around Europe for 6 months and including home school books, tents and gear they were able to fit everything into saddle bags onto 4 of the 6 bikes. 1 of the kids was on an attachment bike, and another was too young to take any weight. it was summer, but you won't need your winter gear for the duration.
- basic medical supplies are useful to have with you, particularly if you have allergies, but generally you will find cough drops, blisters, etc. anywhere you go. I once managed to get cough syrup in russia by walking into an apoteka (apothecary, pharmacy) by coughing, gesturing to my throat and miming a headache. It worked wonderfully.
- I prefer hand wipes / baby wipes to sanitizers. No risk of spillage in bags, no liquid to worry about if you're flying, and easy to use and dispose of as you travel. They are also easy to replace and squish into a bag easily.
- cards might be useful with the kids
- layers are your friend. Vests (particularly down ones, if you happen to have any), are quite compressable and very warm. long sleeve clothes will also assist with mosquitos.
- accommodation can be quite cheap, even last minute, but with the kids it is probably easier to book in advance. homeaway or airbnb can be quite useful if you're planning longer stays and will get you out of hotels for periods of time (they are also often cheaper)
- look for food stalls with long queues, or a lot of people if you're trying street food. most times this will be the most fresh food, so you know it has not sat out for any duration. it is also more likely to be better.
- have fun, and don't get too stressed when things go sideways - and they will go sideways, even if it's just a cold, missed train, delayed bus, etc. - it's all a part of the adventure and it will work out in the end.
- flights might be cheaper than trains/busses depending on where you're going, and in some places (vietnam, possibly others) you can quite reasonably by scooters / mopeds to drive through the country and sell it back to the same company at the other border. I'm not sure if there are other options for more passengers, but I wouldn't be surprised.
- be flexible with your plans where possible. you may meet people that tell you about amazing places, so don't be afraid to detour
Things I find useful:
- a sarong - it can be used as a pillow, blanket, scarf, head cover, skirt, etc.
- a mobile phone - even when it's not active (which mine rarely is when i travel, regardless of the duration) it can be used to quickly get your bearings from a wi-fi hot spot when you're in a strange city and is extremely portable. There are plenty of apps that allow you to maintain contact with family / friends over wifi that don't require a mobile plan. Unplug while you're exploring & enjoy.
Hope that helps!
A couple things I forgot to mention:
- don't rely on 1 card or even one account for cash
- most countries will have ATMs available somewhere, so you can withdraw on an as-needed basis
- some accounts don't charge currency exchange fees, so if you haven't done so already, I'd suggest seeing if you have enough time to get one sorted out. They can add up!
- Keep copies of your passports saved somewhere safe in the event that you run into any problems with yours, at least you have a backup somewhere that you can draw on (hopefully this will not be an issue)
- there is long term travel insurance available. I'm sure you have something sorted, but if not, I'd highly recommend it. It is well worth the spend, although hopefully unnecessary
Thanks Tiff. We can never have enough advice. It's all useful stuff.
What's reassuring is that we can now tick off many of these points. Back in December, we had nothing in place, but there's a wealth of information out there from experienced travellers that's helped us enormously. Layers - check ; long sleeves - check; wet wipes - check......
It's been quite a shock how expensive the preparations have been. As a family, we get used to discounted prices for the children, but when it comes to visas, vaccinations, insurance etc, they cost the same as an adult, so in effect, we are a group of five people and the cost mounts up e.g. the visas to get us from the UK to Japan have come to over £2k. Vaccinations have cost around 1k. We found comprehensive insurance for less than 1k and interestingly, they were more concerned about me as an older traveller than the children.
Fortunately, the kids get discounted travel, so the 3 year old goes free on Eurostar, trans-Mongolian and the ferry from China to Japan. The others go half price.
We gave notice to the school today of our intention to 'home educate'. Again, lots of resources online to help us keep up with their schooling when away.
Only 3 weeks to go. Don't panic!!
No need to panic. You'll meet friendly and helpful people along the way. That's one of the joys of traveling. Best wishes for an excellent adventure, filled with sharing, caring and lots of love. Keep us posted; and share some photos!
I want to give only one tip for traveling... that's to enjoy your trip, don't thing anything about your home, office work, house chores once you arrive your tour spot. Thanks to all the guys here for providing invaluable travel tips.
One afterthought. You might want to bring along a camera or two to capture the memories. The kids might even want to try their hand at it. Again, best wishes.
Thanks Tom, but we may have to just use the cameras on our smartphones as we are running short on space. We've followed everyone's advice and have gone for small backpacks. Adults - 35l, girls - 18l and the boy has a small day pack, although when we put it on him, he promptly fell over backwards. You live and learn. Plan B - His kit is shared out.
Hi Thanks you have mention great point. That we need to keep in mind while traveling.
Thank you for your lovely comments.