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 🙂
- 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
- 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|
- 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).
- 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 -____-
- 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)
- 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.
- 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!.
- 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