Travel broadens the mind and provides a wealth of new experiences and memories to look back on. However, a long trip is also something to look forward to, and part of that looking forward is planning and preparing.
Obviously, every trip is different, and how you plan depends on a number of factors. The climate and culture of your destination will largely decide what you need to bring with you in terms of clothing and essential items, as will the purpose of your visit. Are you travelling for business or pleasure? Do you have a fixed itinerary of things to do, or will you be freewheeling? Are you staying in a hotel in a big city or going on an adventure holiday, where you’ll be camping, climbing, and generally roughing it? You might also be visiting a number of different countries, in which case you may need to pack for both hot and cold weather, urban and rural, conservative and laid back.
However, female travelers need to take a little more care in their preparations than men, especially if they’re travelling alone. Personal safety should be of paramount concern, and as women, we also generally need to think a bit more about what we wear and how we look; to some extent, this also comes under personal safety. There are also hygiene issues and making sure we stay healthy.
Do plenty of research
The first thing to do is to thoroughly research your destination. This means not only earmarking places you really want to visit but also finding out about cultural norms and expectations. How are women expected to dress and behave in the country you intend to visit? What is the national religion, and how closely is it adhered to? Look into the current political state of affairs and consider avoiding any areas where it looks like there could be trouble.
Prepare yourself physically
This doesn’t just mean getting in shape for any hiking or other strenuous activity you might be undertaking, or indeed making sure your body is bikini ready for the beach. It means making sure that you’ve had all the necessary vaccinations for your trip. You might also want to take the opportunity to sort out other medical issues, like correcting your eyesight. Glasses or contacts can be a burden when travelling; and having 20/20 vision can help you to stay safe. Visiting a cataracts specialist in Nashville for treatment or an intraocular lens implant could make your eyesight as good as new.
The golden rule with packing for a long trip is: take less stuff and more money. Invest in a good quality backpack, but don’t take more than you can carry yourself. Don’t take disposable items that can be bought once you’re there; do take lightweight, low maintenance, flexible clothes that you can mix and match. You’ll need a selection of footwear, but don’t overdo the shoes. Do take a headscarf and sunglasses but leave expensive jewelry at home. A Diva Cup is a great alternative to tampons or pads in locations where those aren’t easily available.
Think ahead, research carefully, and give yourself plenty of time. Follow these rules and you’ll be free to enjoy your trip to the fullest.