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General Travel Tips and Advice Have you traveled before?- Please share your tips and advice with fellow Tpunks!

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Old 10-05-2006, 12:37 AM   #1
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Hello All

Ive booked my flights now for my trip next Feb, ive posted a couple of posts as ive quite a few questions ! Theres a separate post for "things to do" but this one is for general solo travel advice !

Im travelling alone for 5 weeks:
Hong Kong (3 Nights)
Sydney (3 Nights)
New Zealand (22 nights on Magic Bus round both islands)
Adelaide (5 nights, staying with family so no need for hostels here)

Now, ive used hostels on city breaks and stag do's, but never for any holiday and never on my own.

- What kind of security do I need for my pack ? I know everywhere will be different but generally is it ok to leave it during the day and trust people ?
- Ive an idea of what I need to bring clothes wise, but do I need to bring anything like cutlery/bowl etc ? Or are these always provided ?
- Im taking a VISA Debit card (with free overseas withdrawals) do I need another card or will the one be enough as im only gone 5 weeks.
- I havent had a pack since I was about 11 years old and was in the scouts ! What kind of size pack should I be looking at ? I was also thinking of taking a smaller pack for hand/day luggage. Is it worth getting a pack where they have a small one that detachs ?
- Am I right in thinking the only paperwork I need are: passport / visa for Oz / travel insurance / Flight details / 1st night accomodation details / YHA membership ?

Any other hints and tips for travelling alone are also appreciated

Sorry for all the questions, especially if their trivial, im sure ill probably think of some more too !

Cheers everyone
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Old 10-05-2006, 08:54 AM   #2
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I think you're alright as far as docs are concerned - if you have any prescriptions (including for glasses) you might want to take copies along in case you need to renew while you're traveling...otherwise, money, passport and whatever visas, tickets you should be good to go.

Usually hostels have some sort of lockers, it's a good idea to use them if they're provided. Often you'll need your own lock - combination locks work well if you can remember the numbers, keys are prone to loss.

I've never brought my own bowls/cutlery (except a Swiss Army knife), but some people do - wait to get more opinions on this one!

Not a bad idea to have a back up card in case your main one goes missing, though it's good to keep it as an emergency back-up only, so you don't risk your budget! Keep it separate from the one you use daily, in case you lose your wallet or something. Also, keep a record of the number to call if you need to cancel your card - some people send this info to themselves as an email so they don't have to drag lots of paper around. Or leave the number (and your card number) with a trusted family member so they can call for you if you have a problem.

There was a big debate about the utility of daypacks - I think it's in the Gear Forum. A big messenger type bag would probably suffice for anything you'd need to carry for just a day around town - having a full up daypack is generally more than you need for a day, and sets you out as a tourist. Here's when being a girl is an advantage, no one looks funny at a girl carrying a big purse!

If you're just going to be walking around town for a day, you'll need something to carry a camera, bottle of water, maybe a guide book or notebook, and possibly a jacket...doesn't have to be that big. If you intend to do short overnight trips or do actual hiking day trips where you need to bring food or overnight gear, then it would be worthwhile to have a proper daypack, just depends on what you plan to do. When we lived in Lithuania, a lot of men I knew who were traveling in the region, found the best solution was to buy some water and snacks, and throw their other gear in the shopping bag (you have to buy that too, there). Almost all the locals walk around with a bag, so you blend in more, and if it's a bit crumpled looking, nobody thinks there's anything valuable inside. But look for that debate, you'll get lots of info.


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Old 10-05-2006, 06:19 PM   #3
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i guess you need to be very careful with your pack coming from asia to australia - make sure you've got one of those long wire locks that feeds through all your zips. i wouldn't trust the baggage handlers on those routes.

generally australia's very safe for travellers as long as you use common sense. most major train stations have a left luggage place. sydney's v. cosmopolitan so i don't know if you want to lug a huge daypack around the city for your trips, you might be better getting a satchel or something.

even if you don't want to lug your cutlery around, you can buy plastic cutlery at any 7-11 or Coles Express store which are on practically every corner in all Aus cities' CBD.
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