Preparing for the trip to the end of the world

The hitchhiking trip to New Zealand is coming soon. I announced it here. In 10 days me and Mat are starting our travel to the end of the world. Leaving from Warsaw, we'll go across the Baltic States, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, South-East Asia and Australia. I've been dreaming about it for so long. Obviously this kind of adventure requires some special preparation. It wasn't always easy as I'm not good at planning and organising but I had to focus on some important stuff.

Georgia, 2015

# Visas

As Polish citizens we needed to get touristic visas to Russia and China. They are both valid for 30 days. The Chinese visa lets us enter the country twice, so we can also visit Hong Kong. We applied for visas from Malta with help from a Polish visa agency. We sent all of the documents by courier and got both visas ready within a month.
Later on, we'll also need a visa to Vietnam (we'll apply for it in China), Laos and Cambodia (visas on-arrival) and Australia (free visa, application on-line).

# Vaccines

It was quite a difficult subject, as some of the diseases sound really nasty, the vaccines are expensive, they don't fully protect you anyway and you're probably just gonna die alone. After doing some research we decided to get vaccinated against Hepatitis A, polio, typhus, tetanus, pertussis and diphtheria.

# Insurance

After spending hours browsing internet we decided to buy a Planeta Młodych TSD insurance card, which is valid for a year in all of the countries excluding USA and Canada.

# Money

That's the most difficult one. How do I protect myself against being robbed? What do I do if they rob me? How do I avoid losing money while withdrawing it abroad? I was browsing and browsing, looking for information from people who have been travelling for months. Finally we decided to get 2 bank accounts. We will have access to only one of them, with a little amount of money. Most of our savings will be safe and sound on a different account. It's also better to withdraw a lot of money at the ATM to avoid going there again the next day and paying bank fees again. We also should get a Visa and a Master Card to avoid surprises. And to keep a hidden $100 bill for a rainy day. Ouch.

# SIM card

What do I do? Do I take my Polish sim card and pay shitload of money everytime I want to call someone? Do I only use the airplane mode and get in touch through wifi? Do I buy a SIM card in every country to pay less? All of the above are a pain in the ass. We have a different solution. We accidentally found out about KnowRoaming, a global SIM card that lets you make cheaper calls while abroad. It's better than overpaying and more convenient than buying new SIM cards all the time. But that's not all - the KnowRoaming card lets you communicate through Whatsapp (including making calls and sending pictures) for free everywhere with 3G access. I couldn't actually believe it, but I decided to give it a shot. I bought a $10 card from Canada, I didn't have any money on my account and Whatsapp was working. Sounds like a perfect plan... as long as you can connect to 3G.

# Accomodation

We're taking a tent, so we can sleep anywhere outside of the cities. In urban areas we will look for cheap hostels and Couchsurfers. I updated my profile and I'm gonna get in touch with fellas from Kaunas, Helsinki, Moscow and many many more. Meeting locals is always incredible and lets you explore the city in a perfect way - following a paper guide is just boring.

# Transport

Black marker, maybe a few of them. Cardboard found on the streets and in shops. Patience, smile and some positive energy.

# Packing

Sleeping bags. Waterproof covers for backpacks. Powerbank. Rope. Medicaments. Down jackets. The list of things we were missing was actually very long. But what do you really have to take for a few months long hitchhiking trip? I'll write about that soon.

We are preparing for this trip using our experience and with help from other travellers. I've never travelled for so long before, I haven't gone so far either. Time will tell if we made good decisions. I'll publish the list of things I take with me soon. Now I'm going to relax.

---> home

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