Planning Your Trip

Friends planning a trip. Here are some tips – and don’t forget your travel insurance!

Your first trip overseas? Or are you a seasoned road warrior? Either way, here are a couple of tips to help you plan.

Staying in touch

Global roaming charges from your phone provider can get pretty hefty. Some travellers suggest buying a local SIM card once you land in the country. Or prepaying Skype calls – most airports and some cafes have wi-fi even if where you’re heading doesn’t have much connectivity. Don’t forget to leave a rough itinerary with the people who love you too.

What to take

Can you manage with just enough to fit in your carry-on baggage? It’s a lot cheaper and easier, and there’s less chance of your stuff going missing in transit. If not, make sure you’re only taking the essentials – enough clothes for a couple of days, something to keep you amused on a long flight, comfortable shoes, and something to keep you warm. Plus travel documents, and any medications you need with a letter from your doctor.

Entry and exit

You should always check the visa requirements for your destination – some places won’t let you in unless you can prove you will also leave within a reasonable time. So if you’re planning on arriving or leaving on foot or bike, maybe buy a cheap bus ticket or similar so they will let you in. Check visa and other requirements for the countries you’ll be going to at Smartraveller.


Vaccinations – for yellow fever, tetanus, diphtheria – and a host of other nasties. Protect yourself and also the people you will be visiting – you don’t want to be transmitting unwanted bugs to them either. Check vaccination information before you go at The Travel Doctor.

Work experience and volunteering

Good to suss this out before you go. Some volunteer programs close early and have limited places. Also it makes sense to get work experience in a field you’re interested in working in after your travels. For volunteering ideas, check out the OTI Blog.

Region Guide

Our region guide below give you our best bets for places to go and things to do, worldwide, in Asia, Europe, the US, New Zealand and Australia.

Travel Insurance Guide

Finally, have a look at travel insurance before you go. You never know what might happen, and it’s good to be safe. Here’s our where, why, what, who and how of travel insurance.