9 Ways to Prep Before You Hit the Road

Reiterating the fact that I do not think I have any sort of expertise in backpacking, I just felt like reporting back on how I went about the daunting adventure that is prepping. I’m not talking about clothes and electronics, I’m talking about what you actually have to do before your trek. This will be a short, but I hope, quite informative post 🙂

  • MONEY

    • Have at least two cards, one connected to a checking account that you manually transfer small amounts of money into periodically (in case it gets stolen, your entire savings will not be on it) and a credit card that provides you with rewards 
    • Exchange money in local currency; but never at the airport. Go to your home bank and utilize their services. You’ll need at least two days to get that sorted out and will incur a nominal fee (USD$5-10)
    • Get your loan situation handled for while you’re gone, such as recurring monthly payments
  • DURABLE BAG

    • Get fitted by experts before you start getting crazy and purchase a big ass backpack. I have the LL Bean White Mountain 55 Women’s Backpack
    • Ensure that you have enough small locks if you plan to check your backpack at any point or for security while staying at your accommodations
    • Bag should certainly include: headlamp (trust me), refillable water bottle, lightweight hammock and/or tent |thanks Oona|
  • HAIR

    • In my case, I have 3C curly hair that had a hang time of 14inches. ENTIRELY too much hair to be dealing with; who wants to spend 15mins in a hostel shower multiple times a week? Not I. So I cut 11in. and donated it to Locks of Love. The more convenient, the better (for me).
  • PRACTICE PACKING

    • Don’t wait until the night before to realize your bag is not only too heavy, but you can’t buckle any of the straps -____-
  • IDENTIFICATION

    • Ensure that your driver’s license is not only up to date, but also that it won’t expire while you’re gone, especially if you plan on renting autos of any sort
    • Passport should be active for at least 6mos. AFTER you plan to return home
    • Make paper copies of each of these items, including any other vital documents you would need in case you lose the tangible copy
    • Go to CVS, Walgreens, or Target and obtain a few more passport photos in case you need them when crossing borders (very common in SE Asia)
  • IMMUNIZATIONS

    • Check the CDC website and take note of the vaccinations you’ll need for the countries you’re headed to and get them on a WHO international health card to carry with your passport
    • Ensure that all your necessary medications and medical info is in order. I would give a call to my health insurances (if you have them) and see if you’re covered overseas. If not, obtain travel insurance.
  • FEMALES

    • Go to your gyno and get all the necessary check ups you need along with a few months’ supply of your BC, if you use that. If not, stock up on some sexual protection from your home country as it’ll probably be cheaper in the long run as well as more…reliable. 
    • Consider tracking
    • Invest in a Diva Cup.
  • SUBSCRIPTIONS

    • Cancel or freeze them. This means your gym, any random magazines, and the like.
    • Consider getting a VPN and thus you can maintain your TV subscriptions like HBO and Showtime. This is also great when you want to do any sort of online banking — this blocks other users/hackers from quickly getting your information and f**cking your stuff all up. I use, Hide My Ass!.
  • CONTACT INFORMATION

    • Always have this information handy: phone number, address, email, and name of Ambassador at your closest embassy (honestly, you just never know)
    • Put your contact information on an index card and wrap it in sturdy tape to keep somewhere in your bags, in case they get misplaced
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4 thoughts on “9 Ways to Prep Before You Hit the Road

  1. Great post – only think I would add to it is travel insurance. Never travel without it, even though it is expensive and you probably wont use it. Totally agree about the Birth Control thing as well – I always travel with a 6 month supply so that I don’t have to stress about it! 🙂

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      1. I know what you mean! I never bothered until one trip with my sister, for some reason we had both bought it for that trip (luckily) as when we arrived in Dubai for a stop over her luggage never turned up… it was never seen again.

        Like

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