Today I will leave my country for my big trip. First flight will take me to Nairobi Kenya at the other side of the equator. So it’s cold winter here, but there will be hot summer. So time to do the last preparations.
I started to plan this trip five month ago, and to be honest, I would recommend to even plan longer before and do some of the stuff earlier than me. I needed that time mainly to save money with working six to seven days a week up to 16 hours a job sometimes two jobs with a minimum of six hours. I still are pretty limited with my money and not all flights a booked.
I started my preparation with doing a Checklist in numbers – a mac program like excel. They deliver in this program a very helpful travel list which I edited easily. I also used a budget list from the examples in numbers to calculate how much money I can save in what time and how much I can spend on the trip. This is very helpful!
Next step was to contact all my friend abroad to get tips about their country and how to get there cheap. Also I was looking for a couch to sleep in each city. This took a while of communicating back and forth with eMail and skype. I would recommend to invite all your friends in a communication platform and do a list of your travel contacts. I used Facebook for nearly all of them and also have a list of contacts in numbers.
I booked my flights two to three month before to get good prices. I would have bought them earlier, but I had no money then. I also asked people from the country I will go to, to recommend or find my special offer, maybe written just in their language. Travel cost for such a trip is about 3,000 to 4,000 €. Some routes are only possible to book directly in the countries, like ship and trains. Except the Japan Rail Pass, which is pretty cheep for it’s offer. You ONLY can book it abroad in your home country and then get a voucher from your travel agency which you can change into a rail ticket for one, two or three weeks and nearly all trains. I got a two weeks ticket for 360 €. So save some money for the travel tickets you have to buy while you abroad. Also think about ticket money for taxi, underground, busses, etc. I bought all my flights on websites like skyscanner.com. Only my international students card and the Japanese Rail Ticket was bought somewhere in a travel agency. It’s a bit cheaper that way.
For sure you need Visa to travel. I used a Documentary service from the internet, which is pretty good, if you have to apply for a lot of countries like me, and not just to one. It is a bit more expansive, but they help you, explain everything to you and they are much faster, then if you do it yourself at an embassy. Attention! Calculate a lot of time, not like me, because some embassies are very slow, like China and Russia. Some are closed for special holidays, like Russian embassy’s all over the world from the 20th of December to the 10th of January. I had to spend a lot money to get my Visa faster, which is possible but expansive. I got my Visas three days before now. Puh! Bye the way, you don’t need a Visa for each country. Your embassy or documentary service can tell you this. Documentary service is easier if you have so much Visa to check like me.
Take care about medicine and immunization. Your immunization will need about two weeks to protect your body and most of them are not possible to get at the same time. You also will get easier ill in the time the start to protect your body. So get it done early! Also get a last dentist and doctor check up for such a long travel. You might not want to go to a dentist in Iran or explain a Japanese doctor what illness you have. Take care about a health insurance for traveling abroad. They are additional to your health insurance, but usually not very expansive.
Plan put everything on your package list. I even wrote down things like number of socks or cables to connect my iPod to a stereo device. It will problematic or expansive and time intensive to get that things abroad. Don’t forget to check things like recharger and devices to connect you plugs to the energy network of the country you go two. In my case I needed lot’s of adaptors. Double check you list and don’t try to think about everything in one day. I added every one or two weeks new thing to the list I forgot before.
At the moment this I is my preparation advice for now. I hope this was helpful for you, and I can give you more interesting entries in the future.
Read you later!