Contributed to Fair Dinkum Traveller
There is no doubt that planning a big trip to Asia can be extremely daunting if you have never set foot on the continent before. So, to help alleviate your nerves and up your excitement levels, you should make sure to do plenty of preparation so that you feel totally ready for your trip of a lifetime.
Check out this checklist of some of the most important tasks that you need to accomplish before embarking on your Asian adventure.
Asian Adventure Preparation Before You Go Into the Continent
Visit a Travel Clinic
Give yourself plenty of time before heading out on your trip to visit your doctor and have all the necessary shots that you need to get before you go. Some vaccinations such as hepatitis require a series of shots several months apart in order to achieve immunity. You may not need some of the inoculations if you are only planning on staying in Asia for a short period of time, but a travel doctor will give you the most detailed and up to date information.
Apply for Travel Visas
The visa situation varies from country to country, as well as your home nation. Some are available free of charge, some can be applied for at the airport and others should be applied for before you arrive. With all this information to sort through and applications to file, you need to give yourself the longest possible time to make sure that you get them all. It is worth getting your information directly from the consulate to get the latest details.
Book Your Flight
While it may be commonly held the knowledge that you will get the best deal on your flight if you book a long time in advance, this doesn’t always ring true. In fact, around two months before the trip may actually be a better time to do it. And if you are flexible with departure dates and airports, you are much more likely to save yourself some money this way. Try leaving from a city which is a major hub as they are more likely to have deals which you can take advantage of.
Get Travel Insurance
While travel insurance may seem like just another expense to add to an already long list, having peace of mind when you are travelling around Asia is invaluable. The right insurance for travel to choose depends on how long you will be going, what you need to be covered and what activities you plan on doing. Before you travel, it is a good idea to make copies of receipts, record numbers etc for all your expensive electronics.
Plan Your Trip
Now that we have gotten past some of the admin-based tasks, now is the time to get onto the fun part – planning the trip. Probably the biggest and most common mistake that you can make is to pack too much into a short space of time. However, transportation isn’t always going to be as straightforward in these vast and developing nations as what you are used to. Check the weather before you decide to visit a country.
Many parts of the continent tend to have clearly defined wet and dry seasons, and it is certainly worth avoiding travelling in the former if you can! Research any festival dates which may be taking place while you are there and pushing the prices up significantly. Don’t worry too much about the language barrier beyond learning a couple of basic words and phrases to be friendly. The most tourist-friendly parts of the continent are used to receiving tourists and you will find that English is widely-spoken.
Hit the Ground Running
When you arrive, you want to get settled into the Asian way of life at the earliest possible opportunity. You are likely to arrive a little jet-lagged, so it is worth checking out some common remedies before you get there. Check out the currency exchange rates before you get there to avoid being ripped off on the road. Contact your bank to let them know that you will be travelling so that they don’t start to get suspicious about the strange charges that you are racking up! Pack light and you can take advantage of the cheap shopping opportunities that you have here.
This checklist covers many of the main things that you should do before you get going on your trip of a lifetime to ensure that it goes as smoothly as possible and you avoid complications that could damage your enjoyment of your adventure.