So you’ve had enough of work? Finished University? Been Made redundant? and decided you want to go travelling…. Hooorah!
Bugger… Now what!?
Unless your one of the lucky few, going off travelling is a somewhat daunting prospect,
with so many countries to choose from, so much to organise and so many different ways of doing it, where do you start?!
This is the exact position I’ve found/find myself in when sorting out my travels, but the more you organise and research, the more it all slowly clicks together.
Where to start
First thing first, its always important to remember you are not the first person to have ever done this in fact there will be people this very moment having the exact same plans as you in their head, so once you join the travelling communities you will never be alone again when planning your trip!
The best thing you can do to start off with is to sign up to a few forums and join any groups on facebook that bring travellers together. I personally used:
Ok – So you’ve joined the forums, Joined the facebook group and you’ve had a read… Now what!?
This is where it gets hard… you need to start making decisions…. eeek!
Choosing you Countries
With roughly 196 countries in the world, there’s plenty to see! Obviously some countries are easy to get to than others!
At this point nothing will be set in stone, but its ideal to have a general idea of where you want to go, even if its continents, it just makes progression easier
Your standard routes would include SE Asia, Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, USA, South America, India
With the vague idea of the countries you are wanting to go to, its now time to make use of the EXPERTS!
The Experts (aka… Travel advisers)
There are several companies available to help you through the next stages. They can do everything from booking your flights, organising your visas and generally be a font of knowledge!
a couple of companies available are:
Personally I used RoundTheWorld Experts, and I’ve had no quarms with them at all. The beauty of using one these companies, is that you can have a trip tailored to your needs with a big chunk of the worry taken out!
Ok, this was the bit I was most lost at… So many countries to visit, how on earth do I get my money there!! Obviously carrying around big chunks of cash isn’t the brightest idea…
There are several ways you can go down, but this is the combo that seems to have suited me:
For you who haven’t come across one of these before… A cash card is basically an empty Visa Debit card that you can add cash too, the beauty being you can put as little as you like on it – so if you lose it, or some little blighter nicks it, its not the end of the world – inconvenient, but not the end of the world.
There are many companies out there offering cash cards – and when I say many… what I actually mean is freaking loads!
but I’ve decided to for the Caxton FX card, it offers ‘free’ withdrawals world wide… But the catch is, is that the exchange rate is lower than transferring the cash over the counter or using other cards.
Other cards such as FairFX offer you a good exchange rate, but you have to pay a percentage on all transactions… so its all swings and roundabouts!
This is going to be used as my ‘get out of jail’ card, I’ll hopefully never use this… but you can never say never! Most banks offer good cards, Halifax… Santander… Its just a matter of looking around.
On my travels I am going to be settling in New Zealand for a few months, so it made sense to get a bank account. After a quick look around I found the ANZ (Australia and New Zealand) bank, and was offered the following accounts:
* Everyday Account (transaction account)
A straightforward account that lets you bank how you want, when you want and
as often as you want.
You will have access to unlimited transactions using ANZ ATMs, EFTPOS and
personal cheques, as well as phone*, Internet* and branch deposits and
- Monthly administration fee $5.00 (waived until up to 6 months after your arrival in New Zealand)
- Withdrawals Free (using ANZ ATMs, EFTPOS, personal cheque, Internet, Phone and Branch banking).
- Deposits Free (using ANZ ATM, Internet, Phone and Branch banking).
- Optional cheque book.
- Design your own ANZ Night & Day.PIX card
* Registration required. (You must be in NZ to be able to register)
After you arrive, if you are happy with an internet based account, the
branch can change the account type to a ‘Go Account’ and you will keep the
same account number. This account has no fees as long as all transactions
are made electronically.
* ANZ GO Account (transaction account)
An account that helps you to avoid bank fees by banking electronically.
- No monthly fee when you are registered for Internet Banking
- No electronic transaction fees to use EFTPOS, ANZ or National Bank ATMs (charges for using other bank ATMs apply)
- No electronic fees for using Internet Banking, Phone Direct, access to TXT Banking (The usual service provider fees and standard download and text fees apply)
- Manual transactions: $3 per transaction. Manual transactions include;
* Branch and staff assisted transactions
* Deposits using the fast deposit box in branch
* Using a chequebook
Statements will be delivered electronically via ANZ Internet Banking once
this function is available. Until then, paper statements will be provided at
* Online Call Account (savings account)
With an ANZ Online Call Account you get access to your money 24 hours a day
via ANZ Phone Direct, ANZ Mobile Phone Banking and ANZ Internet Banking –
plus you earn high rate of interest on every dollar in your account.
- Monthly administration fee: Free.
- Service fee Nil. This includes using Pay Anyone and ANZ Phone Direct access fees.
- Deposits and withdrawals Free.
- Interest is paid on every dollar in your account – calculated daily and paid monthly.
- You get 24-hour access via ANZ Phone Direct, ANZ Mobile Phone Banking and ANZ Internet Banking*.
- With this account you cannot access overdraft facilities, cheque books, or ATM/EFTPOS machines. You also can’t arrange automatic payments from your
account to another bank account or make bill payments and direct debits.
You will need to register in New Zealand for these services.
I am happy to set accounts for you at any stage, to enable deposits only to be made. Before you can withdraw or
transfer money from your account, we need to check your ID and have a copy of your signature on file,
which means we need you to visit an ANZ branch on arrival in New Zealand.
The best thing if you are interested, get in contact with the bank, explaining when you are going to be in your country and how long you’ll be there etc.
I’m learning very quick that the more research you can do the better…. In fact there’s probably no end to the amount you should do!
Every country have there own way of living, beliefs and cultures, and its only fair you try and adapt to them!
Places to research…
- Blogs – There are many blogs available of people who have ‘been there, done that & got the T-Shirt’
- Youtube – Typing in the country or city/region you are looking into will more than likely yield many a tourist video and home made videos of the areas.
- Forums – The forums mentioned earlier in this article plus many others will provide you with a wealth of info at your finger tips + many willing people to answer questions!
- Books – I’ve been using the Lonely Planet books, I could not recommend these enough! Not only do they give guides to local areas, but recommend accommodation, estimate travel cost, give you maps + much much more!
- Newspapers – Newspapers often have travel pull-outs, with many an interesting article
- People…. Delve into the knowledge of anyone who has done it before, they will normally be more than happy to relive their experience through you, giving you information first hand on things they have learnt.