DO: Work out a budget before you book
Backpacking around Asia for three months sounds amazing – but can you afford it? Ensure you have enough cash saved for everything from transport to emergencies. A trip doesn’t just cost the ticket there and the roof over your head.
DON’T: Pay with credit
Financing your trip with your credit card or a loan will come back to bite your sorry behind. Seasoned travellers pay in cash and keep the plastic for emergencies – and no, a champagne-and-oysters sunset cruise with that hottie you met on the beach is not an emergency!
DO: Pick a popular destination so you’re not stranded if something happens
Sometimes you get hit with a curveball: the weather can wreak havoc or flights can get cancelled. You can’t control everything – but if you’re in a country with lots of other tourists, at least you won’t be on your own.
DON’T: Just go off on your own to somewhere off the beaten track
Exploring is fun – but alone can be dangerous. Rather pick a place where the locals can speak English and transport is reliable.
DO: Pack the right things
Remember suntan lotion and mozzie repellent. Pack the right plugs. Common meds and hand sanitizer will also come in handy. If you’re going to a tropical country, take a small fold-up poncho for when it suddenly starts to rain and leave your fancy footwear at home – you’ll be living in your slops day and night.
DON’T: Think you can get away with bending the rules
When they say you can only take 100ml bottles in your hand luggage, they mean 100ml, not 120ml. Don’t think you can sneak in your trusty old pocket knife or even a bottle of deo. You’ll only be handing it over to the guy checking your bags.