1. Take Extra ID Photos
Keep extra ID (passport) photos with you. ID photo is often required at the visa, local phone number (sim card), Immigration fee applications and many other situations. There are surely ID photo booths in other countries, but you would want to have it when it is requested as in when you are in airport immigration office.
2. Photo Copy Print Outs of Documentations
Any important documentation such as passport, Driver’s License (local and international), immunization proof etc must be photocopied at least 2 of them and store 1 in your day pack and another in your backpack. I also keep scanned documentation in the cloud in case I lost all my physical belongings so that I can access my document reference # at least.
3. Apply for International Drivers License
Even though you do not drive at home, you might need to drive in other places. Ability to drive a vehicle (car in automatic and manual, motorcycle, scooter) is a life living skill anyway and also helps you with general safety sense.
4. Take Basic Immunization Shots
Basic immunization shots, for example, are Typhoid, Rabies, and Hepatitis. Rabies and Hepatitis take 3 separate shots between 6 to 10 months apart, so get it start it early. Some shots could be costly, however, never try to compromise your health. You won’t be backpacking anymore without being healthy.
5. Buy a Travel Insurance
Again, it is an extra cost considering you have not been in a medical care in the last decades of your life, but stepping out to the world of excitement, you would not want anything to stop you from challenging new experience. Have a basic health care on your back and embrace yourself to an adventure.
6. Apply for No-ATM Fee Debit Card/No Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Cards
Small fees add up! Also withdrawing money without fee saves money than exchanging at an airport or local currency exchange business which always takes % for their service.
7. Have Online Money Transfer Account
Especially if you are traveling with partner or friends, there is often a time one pays and another needs to pay back. Online money transaction account allows you to instantly move money to someone. This is also very useful when your foreign credit card did not work on online booking in some country such as India as our experience, you can ask local people to book it for you and you can pay them back instantly. Less financial issue the happier everyone will be. No more awkward moment like “Hey you still owe me $$…right..?” No one likes to remind the debt repeatedly.
What we use:
Paypal: Worldwide money transfer
Venmo app: USA based free money transfer application
Paytm: India based E-commerce website
8. Have your phone unlocked sim card
Has your smartphone unlocked or carry another unlocked phone? Some countries, it makes it easier to have a local number with data prepaid because public and even café free Wifi often requires registration with the local phone number.
9. Paste your Email address on valuable items
Items such as phone, laptop, wallet, even passport. Assuming most people in the world are good to let’s give them a chance to follow through the goodness. In most cases of item loss/found, people just don’t know how to reach you even though they are willing to return the items. Write your email address and stick on the items with clear tape. The phone number is not recommended due to some people may not like to make an international phone call.
10. Scotch Tape over a Portable Battery Spec
Portable charging battery is one of the must-pack items, however, if the spec (battery capacity and types) were faded away or unreadable, it will be taken away at the airport custom. Paste clear tape over the spec to protect.