Things I'm Glad I Did & Didn't Take Travelling
In hindsight, however long your trip, you always seem to find that you take too much, pack too much that you end up not using and not packing the things that you thought you wouldn't need. This post by Kay Lloyd is about those things as well as those errands that should and shouldn't be on your to do list.
The Best Things I Took
Making an appointment with the travel nurse at your GP (as soon as you know you are going away - as some of the vaccines you need more than one dose for to be fully protected). This is the most important thing I did before I went away. Always travel knowing that you have protected yourself the best that you can. Your nurse will ask for a list of places you are visiting and advise you accordingly. I had already had some vaccines because of a different trip so I was given a Hepatitis A/Typhoid booster and a course of anti malarials. Surprisingly a lot of travelers I had met didn't bother with the anti-malarials but personally I don't think it is worth the risk! A course of around 17 malarone from Tesco cost me around 30 gbp. The combined Hepatitis A/ Typhoid is free on the NHS.
So glad I took bug spray, preventing malaria is much better to try than to cure it. There are also other diseases that they can give you, as well as just being a pain in the butt. If there are mosquito nets where you stay, use them. At dawn and dusk in malaria zones try and keep as covered as you can. Bug spray comes in a range of different DEET percentages and the higher the better.
Medication - Painkillers and Antihistamines
These are the two things I have been using most and also been giving to other people. Travelling long distances, late nights etc or feeling a bit unwell these can be useful. Antihistamines are great - itchy bites etc. Most importantly though - drink bottled water. Water solves lots of things and its important not to dehydrate as you can get into trouble quickly.
Travel Journal, Coloured Pens and Tape
A more light hearted item to add to the list! Documenting your trip will be something you'll be glad of, I just have a standard travel journal but it's full of stuck in scraps and most importantly amazing memories. Even in note form, you'll never regret it and it will bring you happy memories or funny memories for years to come.
I really wish I hadn't taken...
Yeah seriously! And others agree too. Recently I have been advised that it wasn't the backpack that was the problem but the TYPE of backpack. I had a toploader - a backpack that opens at the top and bottom. I would have been happier with one that opened like a sports bag down the side, the things you learn after eh?!
Too many clothes, too many shoes
I knew that my clothes would get trashed, so I went to Primark and bought clothes I would feel okay about getting rid of. But I still bought too much!! The clothes they sell in Asia are gorgeous and cheap and your bag will feel much lighter until towards the end of the trip!
By Kat Lloyd
- Backpacker tours
- Working holiday jobs abroad
- Volunteering programs abroad
- Internships abroad for students
- Scuba diving courses abroad