Asia: What To Know Before You Go

PPMeow! turned one year old a few weeks ago … and in an effort to make the most of this New Year,  I took a START-STOP-CONTINUE approach to help me focus on what I wanted to accomplish and focus on.

I promised myself to START Shopping Less, to Travel More!  

Well…I’m doing just that friends!!  I’ve taken the bulk of March off work to explore South-East Asia!

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In 2012, I was fortunate enough to finally visit The Motherland (India) …without being limited to strictly visiting one distant relative’s home to another, as I remember doing as a child on our only family trip to Calcutta.   This time I travelled with a gf  — we took 21-days to explore several cities in Northern and Eastern parts of India, which included: Delhi – Varanasi – Agra – Jaipur – Pushkar – Udaipur – Goa – Mumbai.  This was the most adventurous trip I had ever taken – complete with 8 near-death experiences.  Click here for a few pics of that fab trip.

That was my first time travelling to Asia as an adult.  And in preparation, I did a bunch pre-trip research at that time.  Research that I needed to refresh myself on as I prepare for this next visit in a couple of months.  So I thought I’d share my tips with y’all in this post 🙂

According to The Rough Guide’s First-Time Asia there are 5 ESSENTIALS to know before you go…

1.  Visas & Boarders

A Visa is a document showing that a person is authorized to enter the territory for which it was issued. The country issuing the visa typically attaching various conditions of stay, such as the territory covered by the visa, dates of validity, period of stay, whether the visa is valid for more than one visit, etc.   Many Asian countries issue visas free of charge on arrival at major airports and land-boarders. You simply show that your official your passport is valid for at least another six months and that you have a ticket out of the country. India, however, requires visitors to buy a visa in advance before arriving.

Screen Shot 2015-01-14 at 10.16.32 PMThis table gives a broad outline of visa requirements in Asia, You should confirm the details of a visa requirements for a particular country before travelling as rules at each embassy changes often.   The forms can be lengthy and may require you to hunt down info that you may not know off-hand.  So, best to start the visa process early, if you can.

2.  Booking the Flight

Once you have your visa application, you can now BOOK A FLIGHT.  The travel industry is hugely competitive business so it pay to shop around! talking to a travel agent will help you come up with interesting alternatives within your destination as well.  Some of the sites I’ve had the most luck with are Flight Centre; CheapFlights.ca; and SkyScanner.
online flight booking

3.  Travel Insurance

Whatever the length of your trip to Asia, it is strongly advised that you arrange travel insurance to cover medial treatment and perhaps the loss of personal possessions. If you get seriously ill or are involved in an accident, your insurance coverage will enable you to get the best care as well as medical evacuation to your home country, if necessary. The insurance industry is also a highly competitive one, so shop around and price compare on websites to help you make your mind up. Also check with your company benefits provider, as well your credit card providers –  there might be some cardholder deals available to you for travel insurance. 😉

4.  Vaccinations

Preparing for a great trip doesn’t just involve packing right, it also involves preparing yourself medically to ensure your travels are healthy and worry-free while you’re there and upon your return.

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This Incredible Map Shows All The Infections That Vaccines Could Have Prevented Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/map-of-vaccine-preventable-infections-2014-1#ixzz3OrGLkI6n

It is wise to get medical advice as early as possible about which vaccinations you require for your trip as many are given as a course of two or three intervals in order to be effective. You also need to find out early about the type of malaria-preventative medication that is recommended for other areas you are visiting as you may need to start taking tablets in advance of departure.  While your family doctor may offer some injections cheaply or free, you may want to contact a private travel clinic to make sure you get the most specialized information available.

5.  Budget

Last, but certainly not least, is determining a BUDGET.  When planning a big trip like this, everyone’s budget will be different and unique to them.

Now, the Western Dollar goes a pretty long way in Asia.  Here are a few “sample budgets” to help illustrate top-end…mid-range…low-end begets might work out when traveling to different parts of Asia.  Hopefully to give you a better idea of how much things will cost and how much you should expect to be spending on certain things.

Screen Shot 2015-01-14 at 10.50.03 PMCongratulations —- You are now armed with the essentials to know before you go and travel Asia!!!!

Are any of you thinking of doing any big travel this year? Where are you off too?  Did you find this post helpful as a starting point to getting your travel ducks-in-a-row?  Hope it helped you recognize the importance of planning BEFORE a big trip.  Tell me your thoughts in the comment section below.

Ooooh…I’m getting excited (and nervous) for MY big South East Asia trip now!!!   I’ll announce the countries I’m planning on visiting this March in my next wanderlust post.  Stay tuned friends. xo

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