Make a list
Make a list of everywhere you’re planning on visiting along with how long you’re planning on spending in each spot. (my previous blog post details this.)
Getting around takes time
Plan how long it takes to get from A to B. Unlike Europe, travel in Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam doesn’t really lend itself to doing lots of overnight trips to save time (and money).
Get a map
Get a map and mark on it where you want to go. At each point you’re overnighting at write the number of days you’re planning on spending there. Allow a day for travel between each point — while the travel will often take less than a day, planning this way gives you padding to compensate for other, less realistic points of your plan.
Around 6 weeks before my trip I arranged to have my vaccinations carried out. Talk to your doctor about what vaccines you might need for your trip. Each is based on your destination and planned activities.
- I booked a consultation at The STA Travel Clinic, which offers a full range of travel vaccinations, anti-malarials and expert advice.
- As I was working a full time job I didnt have time to organise my vaccinations through the NHS so I decided to bite the bullet and pay for them.
- (FYI: Some vaccinations aren’t available on the NHS) They are very expensive but worth it. Here is the list of prices https://www.statravel.co.uk/travel-clinic.htm
These are the main ones I have had for the areas that I am travelling to:
Diphtheria and tetanus – vaccinations for these two diseases are usually combined. After an initial course of three injections (usually given in childhood), boosters are necessary every 10 years.
Hepatitis A – this vaccine provides long-term immunity after an initial injection and a booster at six to 12 months. Alternatively, an injection of gamma globulin can provide short-term protection against hepatitis A – two to six months, depending on the dose. It is reasonably effective and, unlike the vaccine, is protective immediately but, because it is a blood product, there are current concerns about its long-term safety. The hepatitis A vaccine is also available in a combined form with the hepatitis B vaccine – three injections over a six-month period are required.
Hepatitis B – travellers who should consider vaccination against hepatitis B include those on a long trip, as well as those visiting countries where there are high levels of hepatitis B infection (such as Cambodia), where blood transfusions may not be adequately screened or where sexual contact or needle sharing is a possibility. Vaccination involves three injections, with a booster at 12 months. More rapid courses are available if necessary.
Rabies – vaccination should be considered by those spending a month or longer in Cambodia, especially if they are cycling, handling animals, caving or travelling to remote areas. It’s also recommended for children, as they may not report a bite. Vaccination involves having three injections over 21 to 28 days. Vaccinated people who are bitten or scratched by an animal will require two booster injections of vaccine; those not vaccinated require more.
Typhoid – vaccination against typhoid may be required if you are travelling for more than a couple of weeks in Cambodia.
Malaria – If there is a malaria risk in your destination, your doctor or STA nurse may prescribe pills to prevent malaria.
Some of these drugs must be started 1–2 weeks before you leave, so if you’re leaving sooner, let your doctor know. Other drugs to prevent malaria need to be started only 1–2 days before you leave. Since none of the drugs is 100% effective, you will also need to take steps to avoid mosquito bites, such as using mosquito repellent spray or bands.
1. Length of trip? 28 days
2. Climate(s)/temperature? Humid 25’C
3. Access to laundry? No
4. What activities will I be doing? walking, visiting sites
5. How much am I willing to carry? Enough to fill my backpack without it hurting too much
6. Will I be with my pack at all times, or do I need a day bag? I have a bumbag and rucksack
Below is a photograph of my packing for 28 days in Southeast Asia.
1. North Face Rucksack for day time trips and bumbag- used on day trips but I will not have it on display as it can advertise to thieves that I have money etc.
2. Samsung Note 10.1 Tablet- Play films and Tv series and WIFI on it.
3. Passport holder- Holding Passport, Debit Cards, Money and important items that can be stored out of sight underneath your clothes. I also keep scanned copies of my passport and Visa and Passport sized photos inside another compartment in my Rucksack incase I happen to lose my passport, Visa.
4. Main Rucksack- I am using a backpack that I used last time I went travelling. It is sturdy enough to carry everything I am going to use on my trip, yet it also is light and comfortable enough to carry for hours on end.
5. Products listed below:
I bought this handy little travel set in the 99p store, which includes 3 screw top bottles and 1 pump action bottle which are brilliant for storing in a rucksack. I won’t be taking these on the flight with me as they are slightly over the 100ml mark, but they are great as they don’t take up as much room as a regular sized bottle of shampoo or conditioner.
FYI: Each bottle is 150ml.
I also dispensed the shampoo and conditioner from my regular 250ml bottles. You can buy mini shampoos and conditioners from shops but i didn’t think it was worth it for the price they charged when I could dispense it myself.
I dispensed 150ml into this bottle from a 250ml bottle of Original Source Mint and Tea Tree Shower gel.
My hair tends to get extremely dry in most weather conditions so in order to protect my locks when I hit the pool or beach is to use some type of oil. Oil coats the cuticle by protecting your hair colour as well as your hair from sun damage.
In the past I have used Moroccan Oil and Kerastase Elixir Ultime whilst working for a Makeup Artist. I found this small 50ml bottle of Got2b Oil-licious Tame & Shine Styling Oil with argan oil in Savers. Both Morroccan Oil and Got2b have similar ingredients but with a different price tag!
You only need a pea sized amount of oil as you want to avoid having greasy hair.
1. 200ml VO5 Plump It Up Dry Shampoo- boost body & grip whilst refreshing your style in between washes.
2. 50ml Batiste Dry Shampoo, Blush, Floral and Flirty.
3. Parasol face care
4. Parasol Sun care 25+
(I have previously written an article on Parasol products)
6. Snack bars
7. Electronics are useful for times of travelling on an airplane or on a five hour coach journey. I have packed my ipod and my Samsung Note Tablet. I probably wouldn’t have chosen to take the Samsung Note Tablet with me but I will need it for when I am in Australia to apply for jobs etc.
This is an external battery charger made by Anker, Astro3E Portable External Battery Charger.
I purchased mine off Amazon for £29.99. It features:
- Huge capacity (13000mAh) charges the iPhone almost 6 times, large-capacity phones like the Galaxy S4 more than 3 times or about an 80% charge to an iPad 3 / 4.
- Super-fast charge output (5V / 3A total) through dual USB ports (5V / 2A and 5V / 1A) allow for simultaneous charging of your iPad, iPhone, Android, and more at high speed.
- Smooth, ivory varnish allows you to power up in style, while 4 status LEDs keep you informed of remaining capacity. Built-in flashlight for dark or low-light environments.
- Premium lithium-ion battery ensures quality, supplying 500+ recharge cycles over a lifetime. With a charge input of 5V / 1.5A, use a 1.5A adapter (not included) for fastest charging (6.5 hours).
- Package contents: Anker® Astro E4 External Battery, Micro USB cable, travel pouch, instruction manual.
The only downside is that it is quite heavy. My friend has a light-weight battery charger but it holds less battery charge and is more expensive. PNY PowerPack Digital 7800mAh (Priced at £40)
9. Medication and Invisalyn
10. Footwear- I have chosen to bring converses with me for days out, a red pair of handmade canvas FCUK shoes, and one pair of sandals.
11. Sleeping bag liner is a must when travelling using hostels or on sleeper trains to avoid bedbugs. Suncream and torch
12. Backpack protector and Jack in a pack is useful for in the tropics when a downpour occurs unexpectedly. Jack In A Pack – packing down small enough to fit in your rucksack.
13. First Aid Kit
14. Clear bag for underwear
15. Suction Bags are useful for putting all your clothes in them, zipping them up and then pushing all the air out. Your clothes take up less space. If you want to save space, try rolling your clothes rather than folding them. It not only creates more room, but also helps minimise creases.
Separate sources of money
You know how you keep all your bank cards in your wallet/purse when you’re at home? Well, don’t do this while you’re travelling. Keep at least one in a different place where you will remember where it is. If you lose all your cards on the road it is very difficult to get replacements.
2. Scan travel documents
Scan your travel documents and email them to yourself. It was traditional to photocopy your passport and visas, travel insurance etc, and keep them in a separate part of your luggage. But that’s old school. These days, digital is best – that way your documents won’t go missing even if your bags do.
Tips for Travelling and surviving the longhaul flight
1. Bring an eyemask and earplugs
Bring along ear plugs and an eye mask if you want to sleep on the plane. It sounds simple, but they really do help you create an ideal sleeping environment by blocking out all the sound and light. I prefer bringing my own eye masks instead of using the cheap, scratchy eye masks that the airlines sometimes pass out on long flights.
2. Pre-pack an in-flight toiletry kit
Include the basics (toothbrush and toothpaste, your sunglasses, facial wash and lotion, lip balm, hand cream) is something you should have with you on any flight longer than 5 hours. This case, along with my tablets and headphones, stay in the seatback pocket in front of me.
3. Pack a scarf or shawl.
Why must the temperature vary so widely on airplanes? One moment you feel hot and sticky being in such close proximity to people, the next moment the air is blowing in your face and you’re freezing. Either dress in layers or bring a large scarf or sweater. This will also keep you from having to ask for a plastic-wrapped blanket—one less thing to throw out.
4. Prior to boarding, I’ll put everything I’ll need during the flight inside my hand luggage
I like to be able to access my things easily. There is nothing worse than rummaging through your bag, looking for something lodged at the very bottom, while jabbing your neighbour. Being in the middle seat may be one of them.
5. Prep your entertainment.
There is nothing I hate more than going to use my ipod and the battery is dead. Charge up all your devices. Download movies or seasons of your favourite TV shows.
6. Get comfortable.
Change into a comfortable outfit before you board. I opt for loose cotton trousers, a cotton tank top and long-sleeved top, a cardigan, and compression socks. I also carry a pair of cashmere socks if my feet get cold and a scarf to use as a blanket if I get cold from the air-conditioning.
7. Hand sanitiser
Pack a pocket-sized hand sanitiser to help nix any germs in the cabin.