Travel planning can be more than a little intimidating. Whether you're off on a long-term adventure or a weekend away, there's a lot to think about.
What should you pack? How do you find flight deals, or the perfect place to stay? Can you travel more sustainably? How do you budget? Who really needs travel insurance anyway?
I'm here to help. I don't have all the answers, but I've learned a few things along the way, and I want to share those with you.
This is something that's become more and more important to me as time goes on. Making sure that the money you spend goes back into local pockets is so important. Taking care of the environment and protecting this planet for generations to come is something that I'm passionate about. Animal tourism in particular can be difficult to navigate.
I've been lucky enough to meet amazing people who are making it their mission to increase awareness, and I'm trying to incorporate what I learn into more of my travel choices. I'd love to help you do the same.
Sometimes the perfect trip comes in the form of the irresistible flight deal. More often than not, it's the destination that you can't stop thinking about, and getting there in some sort of affordable way becomes the only thing standing in your way. From planes, trains and automobiles to boats, bicycles and your own two feet, there are more options than ever before to get to your destination.
I've put together a guide that will put you on the right track to your dream destination.
WHERE TO STAY
So you've found a great deal on flights, but now you need to find somewhere to stay. No matter where you're going, there's a huge number of options available for you. I've slept on airport floors (11/10 do not recommend), in hotel lobbies, under the stars on hidden beaches and in everything from hostels to five star hotels.
I'm confident that my guide will give you what you need to find the perfect place to stay on your travels.
WHAT TO PACK
I've packed up and moved my entire life to different countries three times, and gone on trips ranging from weeks of backpacking in South East Asia to corporate weekends in California. You'd think I'd be a pro at this by now, but even I need a packing list. The longer the trip, the harder it can be to decide exactly what to pack. There was this one time that I just bought a second suitcase in Manhattan to get everything home... Don't be me.
After years of trial and error I've finally worked out how to travel light in order to make room for all that camera gear I insist on taking everywhere.
Nothing eats into those carefully set aside savings funds like travel can if you let it. The key is to make sure that you've planned for as many things as possible. A little preparation can be the key to dealing with anything unexpected that the world can throw at you.
From saving for the perfect trip to making sure that you stretch those funds as long as possible, here's my guide to managing your money whilst travelling.
So who really needs travel insurance? You do.
My most memorable trip to Egypt involved a heatwave, near death experience, and iced-water enemas. For years I've been the doctor treating people who've had to cancel their dream trip mid-holiday. I feel that I'm pretty uniquely equipped to discuss the benefits of good travel insurance.
From accidents to cancelled flights and accomodation that no longer exists (yes, I've been that person too), this is the one area that you can't afford to neglect.
YOUR HEALTH ON THE ROAD
Whilst being prepared for the unexpected with insurance is vital, making sure that you're looking after your health is just as important. Whether it's pre-trip vaccinations, getting informed about endemic diseases and outbreaks, women's health, sexual health or just managing plain old diarrhoea, you need to know what to do.
I'm also a huge advocate of having a good first-aid kit when you travel. There's nothing like getting bitten on the face by an unidentified insect in the middle of the Sahara to make you regret not taking your mother's advice.
I'm not your mother, but I am a doctor. Trust me.
I'm probably the biggest fan of list making that you'll ever meet. Planning is, for me, one of the most enjoyable parts of the trip. From researching locations to planning the perfect playlist, there's nothing about it that I don't love.
If you're not a planner, or the thought of having to negotiate the unknown on your own is just a little daunting, then read on!