Tuesday, 23 August 2016

5 of My Top Pre-Travel Tips!

As you will know if you regularly read me old blog, I have recently traveled the world for six months. It was fantastic blah blah blah. Its taken me a while to write this as I have had major travel blues but I am ready to talk about it now! Before I went traveling...I felt so clueless to all this travel lingo, and did not know what to expect or where to start. There are so many things that could have prepared me better so I'm putting this together for anyone tackling the big wide world, so you will maybe be a little less damsel in distress than I was!
Disclaimer, I went to: New Zealand, Australia, Fiji, Bali, Thailand and East Asia. Most of this applies to any travel but of course travel to really remote places of the world requires more than this!
Tee: Cosmic Drifters

Plan Your Route And Book Flights

First thing to do in my personal opinion is plan your route. Know where you want to go and what order, and then book ALL your flights. 
Traveler's will tell you "oh no you don't want to do that you want to be free to book as you go". NO. Book them. You will save so much money and booking all your flights in advance DOESN'T mean you can't change them. If you want numbers ALL of my flights together cost me £1400. I think thats pretty amazing considering the amount of planes I had to get on! Book them all up and then find yourself a multiflex pass, I got mine through STA which you can find here. I simply paid around £50 for this pass to enable me to change my flights 3 times for free when I was away, whats more STA sorted it all out too. I didn't think I would use this at all being the 'stick to the plan' girl that I am but I ended up using all 3 changes. Due to cyclones and sickness. So this is my best best recommendation!

Research Your Ass Off

The more you know before you go the more stress free its going to be for you. I don't mean booking everything as sometimes you can just do it all as you go. 
But know about the countries your going to! For example I was worried about people trying to scam me in Bali and parts of East Asia. It only happened once, and I did feel safe there, but I already knew what to look out for. Googling things like "how to stay safe traveling in..." brings up some fantastic articles written by experienced travellers. I also found this helpful for Australia, particularly when it came to knowing which snakes and spiders to watch out for. For me knowledge truly is power the more I knew the safer and more relaxed I felt!
Research what jabs your going to need in advance. Because as a child (and adult lol) I refused to go near any needles I needed A LOT, and this took about 2 months to get over with. Jabs and vaccinations take time to book in as sometimes you have to have a specific amount of days in-between appointments. Its for sure something to get knowledgeable about as far in advance as possible.
Lastly ask other people! I am always open to questions and love helping out others with any queries they have, theres no better research than asking those who have already done it! Obviously you will make your own memories but asking friends or even people online for help reassured me LOADS.

Know When To Pre-Book

This is a big one. You need to know what you NEED to pre book and organise, and what can be left as free as a bird. In my case, I pre booked pretty much everything for New Zealand and Australia. Busses, Hostels, Activities. The whole shabam. I was hearing left right and centre, oh nicky your so silly your going to want to change it. But you know what I was totally right, everything in peak season in both countries was fully booked. I watched as friends I had met along the way struggled to get into hostels and had to sleep on the beach. I watched as busses that were said to be casual were all full and people got stuck left right and centre. Its so important in these countries in peak season to be on the ball. You defiantly don't have to organise this alone though the following companies will do it all with you. I used STA, Kiwi Experience, Greyhound and Peterpans, who are all amazing and know exactly the right thing to do. They are all linked so check them out!

On the other end of the spectrum know when to not plan a thing. In East Asia I wish I had booked less even though I barely booked a thing. It is all at your fingertips and there is always somewhere to stay. You can book busses on the street or your hostel will do it for you. Activities are sold everywhere and hostel world always has vacancies in these countries. Don't take my word for this, I speak only from experience. But get talking to other people and find out what you need to plan and what you can leave alone!

Use Hostel World

Hostel World, Hostel World Hostel World
This App is your BEST FRIEND when it comes to planning your own travel. If you haven't booked accommodation with an agency hostel world is the best thing to use. Every night before moving onto the next location in Bali, Thailand and the rest of East Asia, I just hopped on there and booked my accommodation in 5 minutes. Never did it let me down. It has amazing reviews you can read through to your hearts content to see if its worth a stay. You can also look at the location in relation to other hostels and the centre of where your staying, which is perfect in places like Bangkok! It has everything for any need, party hostels, double rooms, relaxing retreats. All 100 times cheaper and more interesting than any hotel site. Trust me on this one Hostel World is what you want!

Dont Have Premeditated Ideas

Last but not least, don't go traveling with a set idea of what a place was going to be like. I walked into Australia thinking "this is where I am going to move to", I had never been there, and had no idea what it was going to be like. I then spent the first few weeks in the amazing country wondering why I didn't feel how I thought I was going to there. Truth is I had just built my expectations of the place so high, that it just couldn't live up to what I had imagined. To realise actually I don't want to move here, left me feeling deflated for a while. Until I stopped thinking and embraced it! You never know what its going to be like until you arrive. I thought I would dislike New Zealand and it was the absolute highlight. I thought Bali would be true paradise but there are a lot of other things in the mix!
Just be open to new surprises and experiences and don't expect too much or too little, basically the more open your mind is to a place the more you can absorb!

I hope you Enjoyed this little post. I loved writing it and am 100% going to be typing up more travel tips soon for during your experience. 

This is also the perfect post to talk about my sunny English beach vibes with this amazing tee from Cosmic Drifters. What are the chances that these beauties have a tee with pretty much the exact tattoo design I want on it. So I basically couldn't be more obsessed with sun and moon patterns right now.

Head over to Cosmic Drifters SITE or INSTA for more!


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