This is by no means, an exhaustive list…I’ve definitely missed things and will pop back and add bits if they come up but it hopefully gives an idea of what you need to do.
When you’ve decided that you’re going to go travelling
- Book flights! – Definitely check out STA travel (if you’re under 26, they have youth contracts with various airlines so you save a bundle!)
- Start researching the places that you’re planning to visit
- Look at travel insurance options
- Squeal with excitement!
1/2 months before you go
- Buy adequate travel insurance (NB: don’t assume that just because it says ‘worldwide’ that it covers Asia and Australia/NZ…)
- Phone your bank to let them know that you’re going abroad
- If you have a contract phone, give them a ring and see whether they can pause your contract/offer any worldwide package that you could add on etc. NB: O2 don’t do this unless you’re in the armed forces…
- Vaccinations – speak to your GP or pop into a travel clinic (sometimes you need multiple injections so make sure you factor this in!
- Visas – check what the visa requirements are for each country that you’re going to. You can do some of them online (ESTA and e-Visitor – Australia) but some are only by post/visiting the Embassy (i.e. Vietnam)
- Contact the Student Loan Company and fill out a Overseas Income Assessment Form
- Book accommodation for the first few nights (also, if you’re going anywhere during a busy period, i.e. Sydney over Christmas/NYE, book this as early as you can to get the best room at the best price!
3 weeks before you go
- Book haircut, wax, eyelash/eyebrow tint etc. etc.
- Scan in important documents and email them to yourself and your nearest and dearest
- Photocopy your important documents so you have an immediate backup if all goes awry.
- Start filling up your kindle/iPod
- Relax a bit…you’ve done the important things now (or you should have), everything else can be done en route!
1 week before you go
- Have the aforementioned haircut, wax, eyelash/eyebrow tint
- Stock up on any home comforts that you might not be able to get when you’re away (I’m taking teabags in a ziplock bag – yes, I know other countries have tea but it might not be the same!)
- Maybe try to only eat things that you won’t be able to eat while you’re away, i.e. your Mum’s Shepherd’s Pie or Fish & Chips?
- Plan your journey to the airport
- Charge EVERYTHING!
- Do a practice-pack and then halve the amount of stuff. Then repack.
The day before you go
- Don’t panic, have a lovely dinner, a good night’s sleep and make sure everything’s charged/charging!