Here under Preparation, you will find information and advice which will help you to prepare your trip.
What Kind of Trip?
Traveling Companions. If you decide to travel with others, bear in mind that travel can put any relationship to the test like few other experiences. Traveling with someone else also has financial benefits as single rooms cost more per person than doubles in most countries.
If travel is a good way of testing established friendships, it is also a great way of making new ones, because camping grounds and hotels are good places to meet fellow travelers.
What to bring?
It is relatively easy to find almost anything you need in shops and, since you'll probably buy things as you go along, it's better to start with too little rather than too much.
A backpack is still the most popular method of carrying gear as it is convenient, especially for walking.
Travel packs (combined backpack / shoulder bags) are very popular. Backpacks or travel packs can be made reasonably theft-proof with small padlocks. Another alternative is a large, soft zip backpack with a wide shoulder strap so it can be carried with relative ease. Forget suitcases unless you're traveling in style, but if you do take one, make sure it has wheels to allow you to drag it along behind you. Watch out on cobblestone streets, though.
The climate will have an influence on what clothing you take. Remember that insulation works on the principle of trapped air, so several layers of thin clothing are warmer than a single thick one (and easier to dry). A minimum packing list could include:
- underwear, socks and swimming gear
- a pair of jeans and maybe a pair of shorts or skirt
- a few T-shirts and shirts
- a warm sweeter
- a solid pair of walking shoes
- sandals or thongs for showers
- a coat or jacket
- a rain coat, waterproof jacket or umbrella
- a medical kit and sewing kit
- a padlock
- a Swiss Army knife
- soap and towel
- toothpaste, toothbrush and other toiletries
Visas & Documents
Your most important document is your passport, which should remain valid until well after you return home. If it is just about to expire, renew it before you go. Some countries insist your passport remain valid for a specific period (usually three or six months) beyond the expected date of your departure from that country.
Applying for or renewing a passport can take anything from an hour to several months, so don't leave it till the last minute. You should take with you: photos of a certain size, birth certificate, population register extract, signed statements, exact payment in cash etc.
A visa is a stamp in your passport or a separate piece of paper permitting you to enter the country in question and stay for a specified period of time. Often you get the visa at the border or at the airport on arrival, but not always, especially if you are traveling by train or bus and the procedure is likely to hold up others. Check first with embassies or consulates of the countries you plan to visit; otherwise you could find yourself stranded at the border. With a valid passport and visa (if required) you will be able to visit most of countries for up to three months (sometimes even longer), provided you have some sort of onward or return ticket and / or sufficient means of support (money).
don't forget about your camera!