I have never travelled alone, nor backpacked in my life and planning to start my trip at the end of this month.
My plan is to travel for about 4 months and I want to go to China and South-East Asia. I'm planning to start in Beijing to meet up with some friends and will stay there for about 10 days. After Beijing, I plan to go to SuZhou and Hangzhou, for a few days and move on to YunNan to spend about 10 days there. After this, I plan to move on to Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and India. After India I plan to go back to Beijing, through Tibet, Uighur and maybe Inner Mongolia.
Does this backpack route sounds to ambitious or is it good for 4 months to take enough time to see all the places? As you can see, I mostly stated countries and not really the places to drop by every country. Therefore, do you have any suggestions and tips to give me an indication via what places I should go to reach another country?
Your help, suggestions and tips would help me a lot, thanks in advance!
Just an observation.
Make sure you research the visa requirements for each country. Some countries may require a "proof of onward travel" in the form of a plane ticket out of the country in a specified amount of time. Treat each country separately and do not assume all requirements are the same. Your first obstacle on this trip will be just leaving your home airport.
By now you should know how much you can afford each day for accommodation and other day to day expenses. Know how to have money available for your trip. If you intend to use a debit card for traveling money know that there will be ATM charges. Also you must FIRST notify your bank that you will be using their card overseas and what countries. (Otherwise when ATM withdrawals start coming in from overseas they may suspect fraud and deny the withdrawal.)
Do NOT rely on a single debit card. Lose a single card, have it stolen from a random person you you chat up or even get that card damaged - you will be out money! Have back up credit cards in case an emergency comes up or you are in an accident and need hospitalization. Good travel insurance may come in handy too. If you intend to carry thousands of dollars or pounds (or equivalent "whatever") in your bag - take care! On planes, buses, trains and even taxis do not let the bag with valuables out of sight. On a bus with storage keep your valuables with you at your seat!
Have photo copies of your visa stamps and data page in case your passport is stolen or lost. This information MIGHT be helpful with your embassy. If you are a woman traveling alone keep your friends and family notified where you are and who you are traveling with. Wandering out in the boonies all alone with a total stranger could be dodgy at times.
Take the time to read some of the many posts for "solo traveler" or even "woman traveling alone" for hints. Some general advice for different Asian countries may also reply.
My advice is to at least have a definite hotel or hostel to head to for the first night. Some young travelers think they will be okay sleeping on a beach or in some park to save money - that could be costly! Your cell phone, passport, cash even your clothing may be worth more than what some people make working for many months at a time.
Have bags you can lock. Check out the weather conditions for each country you plan on visiting during your trip.
Sanitation. If from a Western country some food may not be as safe as back home. One thing I do before touching any food that I put in my mouth is to immediately clean my hands off. Anything I touch I assume is contaminated because not everyone washes his hands after using the toilet. They also touch many of the things other people touch. (Doors, hand rails, chairs, etc.) First thing I do is to clean my hands off before touching food. Works for me!
Always think safety first!
[ Edit: Edited on 06-Feb-2016, at 11:52 by karazyal ]