Smooth Sailing

Are you packed and ready to go? Do you have everything you’ll need to cover any event during the next few months backpacking around the world? Here are a few things you’d be foolish to forget.

Before you leave home, in fact when you are in the planning stages of your trip you should get comprehensive backpacker-specific insurance. Many of the countries you will visit think health and safety is optional so you the responsibility of dealing with any accidents, illness or losses will fall heavily on your shoulders, so make sure you are prepared.

You may only ever need plasters and painkillers, but you should still keep a first aid kit in your hand luggage, in case you are hit by something more damaging. You’re likely to suffer from �Delhi-belly’ whilst you’re away and not just in India either. Toilets and sanitation are likely to be unsanitary so keep re-hydration sachets and Imodium tablets to hand.

Whilst you’re away you’ll no doubt take an immense amount of photographs, probably more than you can deal with and definitely more than you need. So instead of cropping and deleting too many while you’re still on the road, periodically download them on to memory sticks and keep copies for yourself and send copies back home in the post.

You will avoid losing your image library and spending costly hours in Internet cafes painstakingly choosing which ones to save and which to discard. Save this job for the comfort of your bedroom back home.

Your passport is arguably the most valuable item you will take with you on your travels so guard it with your life. However, just in case something does happen to it, keep a photocopy in your hand luggage, stored separately from the original. It’s also worth keeping details of your flight connections and numbers to call if you lose or have you bankcards stolen.

A head torch is unnecessary and it’s most definitely a ticket to loserville, right? Wrong. This small, inexpensive item can come in handy in a variety of situations. From reading on a dark night bus to finding a safe route to the toilet on the campsite, a head torch will soon prove its worth.

Finally, carry your hand luggage in a rucksack not a handbag or shoulder bag. You will probably walking long distances, hiking through rainforest, and climbing mountains and a rucksack is far more practical than a handbag. Also, you can carry these over your shoulders on your front, which although looks a little geeky is the safest way to transport your passport and money.

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