Tip 0261 Take your medication
You may need to take some prescribed medication whilst travelling. Making sure you have adequate amounts for your pending travel is advisable and think about extended travel also. Medication can be very expensive in other countries and/or not easily available.
Make sure you don't forget to take your medication with you and whilst travelling. This is easily forgettable while you're having a blast and we mention about this in our pre-packing section of the website.
Do not take medicines out of the packaging for easy carrying. There are five main reasons for this. One, you may mix up your medication or become confused on dosage and regularity. Two, whilst travelling your medication becomes contaminated or instructions lost. Three, you may need to qualify what you have and why you are taking such medication. Four, should you become unconscious, there may be a need to know exactly what you have taken, when and why. Five, should you need additional medication whilst travelling, the packaging is easier to match up at a foreign pharmacy or medical centre.
Tip 0262 Do I need a passport
You may be inspired by getoutgotravel and want to widen your horizons just a little but if you are just planning on travelling around your own country, then no is the answer. You do not need a passport unless you live in a country that uses passports as identification.
There is the philosophy of why pay for something I don't or will never need and this is quite true "but"... there are many we know personally that have been caught out here. The world is becoming so accessible in this day and age and is quite simply, so easy to get around for so many.
Getting a passport is a fairly easy process but can be a lengthy one too. There are many opportunities to travel internationally these days and there are many extraordinary deals, prizes and circumstances in which you may find the need or want to travel internationally.
You may have relatives who live abroad, that you may have to suddenly visit for whatever reason at a moment's notice, or an employment position become available that might need an overseas visit. Any number of reasons could arise and circumstances always change.
If you are seriously thinking of increasing your travelling activity then we highly recommend you acquire a passport for future travel.
Tip 0263 Get your passport
In some countries you can opt for a "temporary passport" or short term international travel passport but these have many restrictions and are not ideal for travelling internationally.
Our tip here is to bite the bullet and get a maximum period passport, usually ten years for most countries. It will be more expensive than an annual passport but in the long run this is the most economical and the most flexible way of going about getting a passport for your future travels.
Your passport is a legal photo identification document that allows you to legitimately travel internationally and where your visa's can be attached. They are regulated by the governments of each country.
Getting a passport is relatively easy to acquire in the country of your citizenship. There becomes issues if you are not a citizen of the country you live in and for this reason you really need to start the process of applying very early on.
Our top tip, if you can apply in person at most Departments of State Passport Agencies with all the necessary information and documents, you will certainly speed up the process, rather than online of by post but remember to take with you originals or certified copies of what is needed and some documents need to be the originals in some countries.
Be aware that some countries have longer processes than others and you will have to wait sometimes longer than you think, so apply early to avoid disappointment.
Tip 0264 Up to date passport
Having an up to date passport is a must for regular travel and as already discussed going for a ten year passport is our best tip for the long run.
Our best tip here is make a mental note every time you think about your next travel adventure, to check your expiry date on your passport.
Ten years seems like a long time but you will be surprised at the amount of people that think they still have a couple of years left on their passport, only to find it has or is just about to run out. Life is short and time flies and the infrequent traveller often gets caught out.
You may have dual citizenship and mainly use one passport and forget about your other one. Keep them both together.
Tip 0265 DO NOT SELL YOUR PASSPORT!!
We hear you say, "What, who in their right mind would sell their passport." Well let us tell you this is not so uncommon! You will be offered big money for your passport and there are some that have been tempted, thinking it will be easy to just re apply for a new one. "You Will be Wrong"! It is a criminal offence to sell your passport.
You have your shiny new passport yeay. "Look After It" and "Don't Lose It"!
Like any legal document treat it with care. If you lose this just before your travel, you will not be travelling.
Whilst travelling if you lose your passport, it gets stolen or even if you try to sell it, you're in for a busy time ahead of you. (Yes don't try to sell your passport!)
Tip 0266 Passport expiry
Again we mention as in tip 0264 Up to date passport, of the need to regularly check on your expiry dates on your passports.
Most countries will not give you access on a passport that has less than 6 months outstanding, so even if your passport is current you may still be denied entry to the country you intend travelling to. Please be aware of this, as we know plenty of disappointed friends who have tripped up on this alone.
This is also a good reason for going for the ten year passport instead of the annual passport.
Tip 0267 Reapplying for a new passport
Renewing your expiring passport if eligible, is relatively easy but there are things to consider on how you go about renewing.
When your shiny new passport matures or nears expiry, you can apply for a new one but be aware that whilst you're waiting for your shiny new one to come, there have been or may be occasions of the need to travel.
We recommend you look at carefully picking your moment to re apply. Certainly if you re-apply online, as soon as you complete the application, your current passport ceases to exist and you cannot travel on it until your new one comes to you.
Tip 0268 Passports during travel
Top tip on passports is, if you lose your passport, make this your priority above all else.
Do not hope it will turn up or leave until the end of your travels to do something about it.
Obviously retrace your steps and check all your luggage, pockets and see if it has been handed in at reception. You must then immediately start the long drawn out process of contacting your local embassy or consulate and all the fuss that goes with it.
Treat your passport as if it was all the money you own. Check its location every day and make sure it is safe. This has the benefit of knowing exactly when and where it went missing or lost.
Whilst travelling internationally you will need to have your passport with you at all times and some countries use passports as form of local ID. Make sure you research on which countries use your passport as ID and which ones need it for entry and departure only.
We wouldn't recommend carrying your passport with you all the time whilst travelling. You may want to go to the beach or go white water rafting, where you can either lose it, damage it or even worse have it stolen.
If you are a dual citizen then it is worth taking both passports with you as it is often cheaper to get visas for entry to neighbouring countries with different passports. This shouldn't be the case but sadly it is.
Another top tip here is to always have four or more recent passport photos at the ready or leave inside your passport whilst travelling. There are countries that ask for additional photos on entry and this saves a lot of hassle at the border control points.
Tip 0269 Lock away passports
We can't emphasis enough how important it is to keep your passport safe whilst travelling. This is like your life line.
Where possible try to keep your passport as safe as possible by locking it away in a safe and not hiding it in your accommodation. Thieves know exactly where to look and trust us, there is nowhere you could dream up that they haven't thought about.
Tip 0270 Care of your passport
Our top tip here is to acquire a decent sized holder for your passport. One that could also hold your vaccine booklet, extra photos, additional passport and documents like itineraries or travel tickets. Maybe even a few other items like a pen for filling out your entry forms etc,.
This has two main benefits. One, you keep your passport and other documents clean, undamaged and readily available and the other reason is that it makes your passport slightly cumbersome and bulky. You are more likely to remember where you have it and less likely to slip it in your pocket for it to fall out of.
Tip 0271 Expensive jewellery
Obviously everyone wants to look a million dollars but when it comes to travelling, this can send out the wrong messages to some, let us say, unsavoury characters.
We guess a fairly safe place to be dripping with jewellery would be on a cruise. After all if anything goes missing or happens on board you have a captive audience so to speak.
In general though, we recommend great caution if you really have to be seen wearing loads of, or expensive jewellery whilst travelling around the world.
Hearing many stories of fellow travellers getting mugged or mostly just plain ripped off, we really are at a loss why anyone would want to advertise their wealth or standing in society.
A lovely couple we met in Taormina, Sicily, was more than perplexed as to why their midday lunch cost over AUD$600 when ours only cost us AUD$80. The lady was wearing probably $50k worth of jewellery on show and husband had a Rolex watch and gold chain probably worth about the same.
I got chatting to a great guy in Cape Town, South Africa, who had been mugged on Long Street coming home from a bar the night before. On further questioning, he told me he had been flashing his cash around in the bar and was as drunk as a skunk.
The stories we have heard are many and all pretty much the same. Not to say this happens to everyone but just please think a little as to appearance.
You will not be a needle in a haystack having "Gucci" luggage or an "Armani" handbag. Most tourists stand out like a sore thumb anyway and advertising that you are quite affluent will only lead to temptation. We talk more about this in our "luggage" section in "Processes."
Our top tip here really is, if you don't need to wear (expensive) jewellery whilst travelling, then try not to.
Tip 0272 Coloured strap around bag.
How many of you pick up or go to the wrong bag, thinking it looks like yours?
A simple tip of attaching a coloured strap around your bag makes it so much easier to see from a distance.
It identifies your bag easily making it a simple pick out from the many others.
This not only works well at luggage reclaim carousels but makes your bag stand out when looking from your transfer bus to make sure it gets put in with the rest of the luggage on the street.
You can use the strap to tie several bags together in hotel luggage holds, making sure all your luggage stays together.
You'd be surprised at the amount of times this simple tip will make life easier for you whilst travelling.
A sturdy strap is a very useful addition to have whilst travelling and can be used for many other applications.
Tip 0273 Good radio communications
Knowing the amount of travelling we would be doing around Australia and due to the solitude and vastness of the country we had installed on our rig, a good quality UHF CB radio and 6.5 dB HD Whip Antenna which gives us ample coverage on and off road driving and had us in touch with our travelling buddies and local vehicles all the way.
It is important to know that there are more affordable systems out there and you can even buy hand held two way systems for a fraction of the cost but you will have limitations and you really need to do some research into what will be good for you.
The mounting of your antenna is also worth careful considering especially if you are towing a trailer or caravan. If you are travelling in convoy, you can adjust your lead and rear vehicles to suit most of your own specific set of circumstances.
Having a good communication system set up between groups makes for a fun and safe journey. Apart from the usual banter that goes on along the way, you have the benefit of another pair of eyes that is useful for things like overtaking road trains safely, and plotting danger areas on the road ahead of you. For off road driving it is an essential piece of kit and if used correctly will greatly assist you, making life on the road a lot easier.
You also have the added advantage of knowing that if you drop back a little you won't be left behind for very long if you should need some assistance.
Treat your communications like the "Diving buddy" system. Buddy up with the nearest vehicle in your party and you will not go far wrong.
Top tip, if you have a whip antenna, tape an old plastic pipe over it to stop it breaking whilst on rugged terrain.
Tip 0274 Vehicle Insurance
I know we've said it before but Insurance is a must in all aspects of travel and none more so than with your vehicle. Make sure you have the right insurance and that it covers you for every eventuality.
Think about tailoring you insurance with your travels in mind. Leaving off certain items on your policy to bring your premiums down can be costly in the long run.
Roadside assist is a wise choice if you plan on travelling long distances on a regular basis but check what each company offers and what the real benefits are in relation to each plan they offer.
Stone chips to windscreens happen often particularly when the track is not tarmac and driving too close to the vehicle in front is asking for trouble. Not many people realise that vehicles coming from the opposite direction can also flick up stones and care should be taken especially on bends.
Think about picking your moment when overtaking and remember stone guards are mainly for cars behind and not at the side. Road trips are all part of your travel experience, you should be in no rush, so take your time and enjoy.
Tip 0275 Run a second battery
If you are serious about camping long term then we recommend running a second battery system, either in your vehicle or on your camper trailer if you don't already have one.
We opted for a vehicle dual battery system with BCDC and a constant power outlet, mainly because we decided on having a dual fridge for our long travelling adventures but found that there are many more benefits by having this system installed. Having a 240 volt plug outlet also allows you flexibility in your travels.
Being virtually self sufficient means that you don't have to always look for powered sites all the time and this alone will save you in costs over time.
Tip 0276 Body pillow
This is a top tip in general for all types of travel. A long body pillow strategically placed between yourself and any vibrating part of the vehicle you are travelling in, will isolate your body and give a greatly increased level of comfort, reducing vibration, noise and assisting in better sleep.
You don't even have to be in a prone position, we recommend placing the pillow between you and any hard surface, like window, handles, lower door panels, side rails and arm rests.
Try it out and get some quality sleep/rest whilst travelling.
Tip 0277 Downloaded music
Many people have downloaded music on their phones nowadays and for those that may be a little behind in the hi-tech, we highly recommend you update yourselves with the means to download all your music onto some sort of device, be it a mobile phone, MP3 player or if your car supports Bluetooth you most probably have it all covered.
Gone are the days we carry loads of CD's around with us and this also saves on space.
Tip 0278 Hydration for the journey
When driving we tend to forget to look after ourselves. We are hell bent on getting to our destination and time seems to be suspended whilst at the wheel.
If you are travelling alone, we recommend you organise your cab with access to plenty of water to hand. With a co-pilot/partner or other passengers, make sure you all work together to ensure that you are all well hydrated. Lack of hydration can bring on fatigue, drowsiness and lapses in concentration.
Tip 0279 Shop around for fuel
It is all too easy to panic buy fuel when you are in the middle of nowhere. Prices are higher in remote and rural areas.
The key here is to plan and do your research, "know your vehicle and it's fuel consumption." Obviously driving round and round for a few cents cheaper is false economy but knowing when to fill up, or top up makes good sense.
Many small towns have more than one station. Keep an eye out for return station prices and work out your fuel economy. this could save you a bundle
Tip 0280 Cryovac some meals
If you're planning for a long trip or being away from home for quite some time, we recommend some cryovaced meals.
There are many advantages in this method. Cost, time saving, longevity, ice blocks, easy storage, variety, easy cooking and hearty food.
With planning, these type of meals cost very little. Whenever you cook at home, increase the ingredients and cryovac the extra, or the leftovers.
You can purchase many pre-pack cryovac foods now and these stay fresh longer if unopened.