This FAQ is designed to answer your questions quickly, without having to read every word on this site. All this information can be found in more detail in the advice blog. Links have been added to related articles for each applicable question.
Will I enjoy it?
Almost certainly, yes! Travelling is what life is all about; meeting new and amazing people, being completely free, experiencing once in a life time moments, trying new things and above all having FUN!
Will I have a change of heart when I get there?
Everybody is different, the majority of people will at some point feel down for whatever reason. The important thing to remember is that this only happens very occasionally and lasts for a very short time. Stay positive, give it time to pass, and things will get better very quickly.
How can I afford to go travelling?
Firstly you need to set yourself a target of exactly how much money you are going to need. Defining an amount will help provide you with a focus and a goal rather than just a pipe dream. Then by following these steps you can easily save enough money to go travelling.
Would you recommend I travel alone?
Yes. Your experience will be greatly enhanced and more rewarding by travelling alone; ask anyone that has travelled solo and they will tell you the same thing. You do exactly what you want to do, exactly when you want to do it. No waiting around in places you aren't interested in visiting, no missing a bus because your friend was late, etc.
How will I meet people?
I was terrible at meeting new people before I went, but had absolutely no problem talking to and meeting people. You have to remember everyone is in the same boat; everyone wants to meet new people, everyone is there to have fun and is in a good mood!
Will I get lonely?
The decision of travelling alone shouldn't stop you or put doubts in your mind about going. You will only get lonely if you don't make an effort to meet new people. If you are really struggling on your own, mix it up. Invite a friend from home to meet you for a few weeks, or tag along with someone you meet. Try joining a tour, you will never be on your own there.
How much time will I need?
It is all down to how long you can, want and can afford to go for - I would go forever if I could. 3 months is more than enough time to see a hell of a lot - even in 1 month you can still have a great time and see large parts of the world.
How much will it cost me?
Start up costs vary from trip to trip and may include items such as your backpack (£60-£150), its contents (£0-£250), insurance (approx £200-£300 for a year), vaccinations (most free in the UK, up to £200/ $350), visas and flights (£600-£2500). Once travelling, a rough estimation of the scale of prices is: In developing countries - £60-£250 ($100-$425) per week. In developed countries £170-£550 ($290-$930) per week.
Are hostels like that horror film?
No, they aren't anything to fear, they are just very basic. You really shouldn't fear hostels in terms of cleanliness - most hostels have very good levels of hygiene and cleanliness. Sleeping is really only an occasional issue, the only real problem in reality is, lack of privacy and personal space. You should see hostels as a minor inconvenience, that allow you to travel the world cheaply for long periods of time. They're a fantastic place to meet people too.
How will travelling influence my career?
It will certainly pause your career for a bit, but should in the long term improve your career prospects. Your travels will make an interesting topic of conversation in interviews and something you should definitely bring up - people want to work with fun and interesting colleagues. You will learn plenty of life skills whilst travelling, consider how they can improve your CV and how they can be applied to a job. If you are really concerned a working holiday or even just learning a new language whilst travelling means you will still be developing different experiences and skills to add to your portfolio, whilst on the move.
Where should I go?
What do I need to arrange before going?
Visas, Flights, Accommodation, Passport, Backpack, Vaccinations, Insurance, Money, Discount Cards, Loose Ends.
What vaccinations do I need?
You are more than likely to need some vaccinations before travelling, you can read more about Vaccinations and Health here. The most important thing to remember is that vaccination courses can take up to a month to complete and often need time to take effect, so you should see you doctor around 8 weeks prior to your trip.
Do I need insurance?
I have to advise you to get travel insurance, if something goes terribly wrong it could save you a hell of a lot of money or even your life. Make sure activities you wish to do are covered or it is pointless getting though - insurance companies do not like paying out. Most cheap policies don't cover things like accidents whilst intoxicated - make sure you read the policy in full.
How big and heavy should my backpack be?
Between 40 and 70 litres for your main pack is the goal, you should be OK anywhere between that. Your daypack should be around 8 to 20 litres. Once packed it should weigh somewhere between 10kg and 20kg for your main pack and 3 to 8kg for your day pack - anything over 23kg total you are going to have a bad time and really need to start unpacking things.
What should I pack?
Half as much as you think you need to.
How do I prevent jet lag?
Jet Lag is worse when you travel from west to east because you are travelling in the opposite direction to the earth’s spin and therefore your body finds it more difficult to adjust. Read our tips on How To Avoid Jet Lag
Will I get by without speaking a second language?
The majority of the world understands basic English, however it would be polite to pick up a few words in the local language like "hello", "please" and "thank you". You will have no problem in heavily touristic destinations like Thailand or multicultural places like Malaysia. South America, you will be able to get by, but speaking the language will greatly enrich your experience. It is countries like Japan and China (where both language and alphabet are very different to English) that you may need to invest in phrasebooks (although pointing does work too).
How do I save money?
Think before spending every penny: "do I really need to buy this?"; "would I rather spend this money on something else?"; "can I afford to do this in the long term?"; "can I go without?". You can save money everywhere and it all adds up.
How do I check my destination is safe?
Check your country's foreign office website, this will provide the official position of your government on your destinations safety. However a travel warning from your foreign office doesn't necessarily mean you can't go - cross check with other foreign offices and safety bureaus.
Are there extra safety precautions for females alone?
There are precautions for women travelling alone, but most apply to women travelling with others too.
How do I avoid becoming a victim of crime?
Use your common sense would be my main advice. Don't show off your valuables, stay alert, and don't go to an area that you have been advised not to. You must act immediately if you are a victim of crime, by informing the police, your embassy or insurance company.
Should I keep a diary?
Writing a travel journal is probably the best way to document your trip - you will note down so many more memories than with a camera. There is no need to write a novel (unless you want to), just write in bullet points the main things that happened to you in that day. A diary is a great way to pass time on long journeys and to reflect on your travels - it can even be a friend in hard times.
How will I cope whilst on the move?
You will be heavily reliant on the internet when booking transport and accommodation - fortunately you should never be too far from it. However people did travel before the internet so it is still easy to plan without it, it really needn't be a worry.
Will my personal hygiene deteriorate?
Your personal hygiene really shouldn't differ too much from back home, however you will sweat a lot more when in the tropics. It goes without saying all hostels have showers - if you are worried about the hygiene of the showers themselves, try to be the first one up in the morning as they will have usually just been cleaned. The only real problem in regards to your personal hygiene will be when camping or on long journeys. Prepare yourself and you will be fine - take a change of clothing, wash cloth and deodorant to freshen up.
Is street food safe?
Street food isn't as bad as government health websites make out. You often see the food cooked right there in front of you, so you know if it has been handle properly and cooked right. With street food, choose food that is freshly cooked to a high temperature and served immediately while still hot. Read more about Food and Water Safety
Can I work abroad?
Yes, but if you are planning on working in a country, make sure your visa allows you to. Many countries offer Working Holiday visas that allow young people to work and travel. Obviously countries like Australia pay much higher wages, but remember it is relative to the living costs.
Can't find the answer to your question?
Then Contact Me and I'll add it.
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