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New to travelling and need help

Travel Forums Introductions New to travelling and need help

1. Posted by suziem (First Time Poster 1 posts) 5y

Hi everyone,

I'm a new to travelling and will be going on my own for about 6 months. I leave on the 1st Feb 2011 and I have loads to do but feel like a bunny rabbit in headlights, I don't know where to start and I'm not sure what exactly I need to do To start with...

Travel insurance...I want to do my PADI badge in Thailand so will be diving and expect to do some ad sailing in Oz but I've been quoted £360. Now, I'm prepared to pay for good insurance but this looks a bit high to me? Can anyone recommend a good place to get my travel insurance and an approximate cost I should be looking at or is this reasonable?

Travel money...I'm totally lost on what I should do here. I've been told about the CAXTON card basically you load your money up on it and it acts like a credit card. It doesn't charge you commission on exchange rates but you are subject to any charges made by the oversea bank. Has anyone used this card is it the ay to go or should I be doing it differently.

What to pack...travelling is really taking me out of my comfort zone (which is all part of why i'm doing it) however, I'm not really a combat trousers girl which zip down to shorts. Can anyone advise me on how to pack light and what i should be taking. I also need to buy a backpack any recommendations/advice?

Phone and netbook...can anyone advise me on what I should do here. some people say just take an old phone get SIM cards along the way and use internet cafes, others say take an iPhone (I have the HTC Desire) as I am hoping to keep up a blog while away. I've also been advised to take a small netbook as it saves time traipsing around looking for internet cafes but I'm also conscious of taking unnecessary stuff - is this a good idea or not?

I have a few questions on my route and what's the best way of getting around from place to place but will save that for my next batch of question as these questions are my biggest hurdle at the moment.

Sorry for the download but at the moment instead of feeling really excited I feel panicky and stressed x

Posts 2 & 3 were removed by moderators
4. Posted by akeemi (First Time Poster 1 posts) 5y

hiya! i have no answers for you as i am in the same situation. suffice tosay i will be watching your thread!! goodluck!

5. Posted by Suzi_00 (Budding Member 43 posts) 5y

I felt exactly the same before I did this last June so don't panic! I went alone too, but I found it easier than I thought. So many people say its dangerous but really you'll meet some great people, see some amazing things, you'll probably have the time of your life. I miss it lots, I'm planning to leave and go again very soon!! :)

With travel insurance, websites like STA travel recommend certain ones, but they for value your best bet is probably to go on a compare website. They all pretty much provide the same service.

I haven't tried the CAXTON card, though it sounds interesting. Though you may want to check it is accepted all over the world. I would make sure you have a worldwide accepted card like mastercard / visa. I withdrew from cashmachines and paid in cash on purchases to reduce charges. I would advice taking photocopies of your passport, and having spare credit cards etc. Also you could email copies of this to yourself just in case so you can access it all over the world. Even if you never use it, it's a back up plan :)

Try and travel light. I know it's easier said than done!! I bought a 55l backpack and I still struggled with it. Spend a lot of time choosing and get someone in the shop to fit it on you. Choose the most comfy one. I'm not really a combats person either but that's what I wore most of the time. Jeans are heavy to carry, a pain to wash and very hot although I love them! Maybe get something soft like jogging bottoms? Take a small first aid kit, a little something to remind you of home, a little bit of make up if you wear it, a small amount of clothes and toiletries, you can get more all over the world, something where you can keep documents money safe on you all the time.

If you have a netbook, it may come in handy some people take them, some don't, and Iphone or ipod touch comes in really useful. Lots of places charge for wifi use and its the same price to connect your laptop or use their computer. Sim cards are cheap out there to call home, or maybe try skype or viper on an iphone if you are taking one? This is something I'm hoping to use next time! If you take a laptop take the risk that it may get stolen, just like anything you take with you :(

Are you doing countries that are near each other or will you need to fly a lot?

Hope this helps, I'm still a little new to it all too :)


6. Posted by kiwimeg (First Time Poster 1 posts) 5y


I am new to this also, however I left NZ a couple of months ago. I am still here! I am solo travelling also.

Here is my advice from lessons learnt so far:

1. Travel Insurance. Compare with other companies, but ultimately I went with TravelSure. They seemed to cover everything I wanted to do, except snowboarding, which was the only downfall. Other than that, I am very well covered for a year.

2. For money, I went with both ANZ Travel Cards, and Travelex Cash Passports, which are loaded with different currencies. I also have the advantage of having a back up card for each, so when I drank a little too much in a bar in New Hampshire and lost my card, things were really simple! I simply called the bank and cancelled my card, and activated the back up card. I couldnt believe it was so simple and so much easier when I had the back up card!

3. Dont pack too much! Trust me, things are so cheap over here that what ever you need you can just buy for a lot less than at home. I have some essentials which I dont travel without, but the rest of it is very replaceable. I certainly dont wear cargo pants, but I would pack the 2 pairs of jeans (one nice, one ok), and 1 pair of trackies (comfortable pants!). Personally I have three pair of jeans, but I did buy them over here.

4. I bought a 65 litre Osprey travel pack. While this is an amazing pack, I would reccommend that you buy an 85 litre pack. I always have problems trying to fit my shoes and my laptop in, which is a pain in the arse with the 65 litre. For a while I was trucking round a suitcase aswell. If you get an 85 litre pack, you should be able to fit in everything you need, and only bring that with you.

5. I have a laptop with me, and I am very glad I do. I also have a HTC Magic, which I is unlocked (most are). I just buy a sim card whenever I get to a new country. So cheap this way! Both have been indispensable at different times. I also have an ipod, and a external hardrive to back things up as I go. I figure that if any of this stuff gets lost or stolen, then travel insurance will cover it.

6. Travel in the UK is really easy, and pretty cheap. Im not so sure about where else you are heading, but once you step foot in London, buy an Oyster card for 3pound and put some credit on it for public transport.

I gather you are leaving in only two days, and I wish you the best of luck! I have two more small pieces of advice:

  • After you say goodbye to everyone, and once you get on the plane, no more crying. I have had to say goodbye to so many people in the last two months, that this is the best peice of advice I have ever received! Once you are on the plane, make it a rule that you cant cry anymore.
  • Recognise when you are tired! When you are tired, you will feel terrible and isolated, and homesick. Remember that everything is always better after a nights sleep.

All the best for your travels! Good luck, and best wishes!


7. Posted by kattyjamez (Inactive 1 posts) 5y

Guud Luck Dear . . .

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