Yay, you booked your trip, now for the adulting…

Travel Insurance

The risk is just not worth it, work those few extra shifts and pay the insurance. Make sure you add on any extras like motorbike or skiing activities at the time you organise it.

Backpack or Suitcase?

The age-old debate! If you’re travelling for more than 4 weeks, a backpack with wheels will be easier to get around with. If you’re only going for a few weeks & you’re not moving around too much, opt for the suitcase - the smaller the better and with wheels is easiest.

Get Healthy

Obtain proper medical advice before you go - visit the Department of Health website at health.gov.au for all the latest updates. Your local doctor will be able to help you with vaccination advice for the particular countries you’re visiting. Make sure you take these steps well in advance to travelling. Many vaccinations require repeat doses, and/or take time to take effect. Make sure you have letter from your doctor for any medications you are carrying, each country has their own rules on pharmaceuticals.
Don’t forget to buy some probiotics and traveller’s diarrhoea tablets!

Read up on your destination

The do’s & don’ts, transport, weather, culture. Respect local customs by packing a ‘conservative’ outfit too – in some areas of the Middle East & Asia and in some religious instances, you’ll need to cover up from your shoulders down to your knees.

Check your ATM cards

Call your bank and let them know that you will be overseas so your funds do not get cancelled while you are travelling. Your bank will also be able to advise whether your bankcard/credit card will work where you are going. It’s best to take a mixture of money – credit card, debit card plus cash just in case. If all else fails, have someone you can depend on for an emergency transfer.

Scan and email

Have copies of your Passport, travel insurance policy, emergency phone & card numbers, as well your ticket details. Leave another set with family or friends too. And it’s also handy to have copies of your itinerary and hotel receipts in one place, just in case.
Hard copies are a great back up if your phone battery dies or you have lost your phone.


Think all-things-camera. Make sure your memory card/s are big enough (you’ll want to snap everything you see!) and pack extra batteries. There will be times you don’t have access to power & you don’t want your camera dying at Machu Picchu. If you are using your phone to record your memories, clear your memory card before you leave home and buy an extra battery pack.

Stay in touch

Make mum, dad, grandparents and friends happy by registering your travel plans with www.smartraveller.gov.au so you’re contactable in an emergency. Set up a Skype account too so you can chat to and let them see that you’re ok.

Don’t want to crowd everyone’s Facebook feed with your fantastic photos

Create a Fb page for your trip and invite your friends and family to follow your adventures. That way you won’t be accused of bragging (even though you are because you’re on holiday and they’re not!)


Always travel as light as possible but make sure you squeeze in an inflatable pillow, sleeping mask, international power adapters, an extra change of clothes (or undies) in your hand luggage, socks for the plane, baby wipes to freshen up & a lightweight rain coat.

Try to avoid jetlag

Drink plenty of water and stick to simple foods. Avoid drinking alcohol during your flight. Try to acclimatise to your time zone as soon as you land– if you arrive in London at 7am, don’t go to sleep, just try to struggle through.


Getting on a train or bus when you’re travelling is rest time so use your luggage to your advantage. Suitcases double as a fantastic seat on packed trains, and backpacks make an excellent pillow – doing this will also ensure you have all of your belongings as close as possible.


If you’re a bit of a clean freak, take a travel sheet or a sarong to sleep on. Take extra locks for your luggage & for lockers in hostels too. Make sure you have printed directions to where you’re staying and the full address. It's easier to point out an address on a printed page than attempt to pronounce a foreign name if you are in a hurry.

Finally, what we look forward to the most…

Food is glorious but it can get expensive. If you’re eating out, eat inside instead of on the sidewalk (in Europe they charge extra for sitting outdoors). Make sure you pack a pocket knife so you can stock up on fruit, bread, cheese and eat on the run. Asia is super cheap, but beware of places where there isn’t a lot of patronage or the person who cooks your food also handles the money. Lots of nasty bugs live on paper notes and coins.

Lastly, step out of your comfort zone

Last but definitely not least, it’s important to get out of your comfort zone and if that means using the trains in Delhi, or eating ox balls in Vietnam – go for it. You only live once, right? And what happens on the trip, stays on the trip!