13 THINGS TO DO BEFORE YOU LEAVE

So your backpack is packed, your excitement is brewing, here’s a few things to make sure you’ve done before you embark on your big adventure!

  • Apply for visa (if needed), most can be done online, some can be done upon arrival and others have to be done in person.
  • Check with your doctor what jabs you need and what ones you’ve already had.
  • Arrange an appropriate method of contraception. If you’re prone to forgetting to do things or often lose stuff, the pill is probably not going to be best for you. Depending on how long you are away for the patch or implanon could be an option. Personally I can’t rate the Mirena coil highly enough, once it’s in it’s there for 5 years and you’re more than likely to stop having periods altogether – one less worry for the road.
  • Visit the dentist and invest in getting any dental issues resolved before you go. Nobody wants to be miles from home with a pain in the tooth.
  • Visit the opticians, check your prescription and stock up on contact lenses if you are a wearer. (Laser corrective eye surgery was one of the best things I have done to improve ease of travelling it also left me with a quarter of a bag more room. Even if it did cost a fortune and feel like somebody was rubbing raw onion juice in my eyes for a week! [I had Lasek, the painful one!])
  • Cancel/put on hold phone contracts and gym memberships.
  • Inform your bank of the countries you will be visiting and rough dates you will be there so they won’t put a block on your card.
  • Apply for a credit card which allows free withdrawals from abroad. I recommend the Halifax Clarity card.
  • Set up your online banking and download the app to your phone for ease of use.
  • Add a family member to your account so they can sort out any issues you might have. (Which will save costly cross continental calls).
  • Set up a Skype account and add credit in case you do have to make calls to your bank – works out a hell of a lot cheaper than using a mobile.
  • Spend a day unsubscribing to junk/unrelevant emails.
  • Buy travel insurance – ensure it covers you for the entire duration, for every country and for all the activities you plan to do (note: most travel insurance will NOT cover motorbike accidents). If you are taking expensive gadgets – single item limit will cover the cost if lost, stolen or damaged. Mobile phones are rarely covered on travel insurance policies too – buy separate phone insurance if taking a pricey handset. Try World Nomad Insurance.

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