Before we left…
Here are two of my best friends, Deanna and Jennifer.
We’ve been friends since high school and on a regularly-scheduled “let’s get together because we miss each other” night, the idea of travelling South East Asia came up. Obviously devastated that I couldn’t make it because of work I didn’t think much of it. Fast forward two weeks – turns out I had vacation I needed to take, so why not go across the world with my two best friends!
As we began to plan our trip we found it pretty overwhelming. We had so many things we wanted to do, so many things we needed to see, and so many different opinions from everyone. It was also challenging because I wanted to visit my family in Malaysia and De and Jenn had one more week than I did.
We created a Facebook group to post helpful links and ideas for the trip. It also helped us organize the 1001 links available to us a little better. After researching a bunch, we created a general plan of the cities we wanted to travel to and booked a return flight!
Some things you need to know before leaving for a backpacking trip:
- Don’t buy a backpack unless you’re planning on getting a lot of use out of it. I guarantee you know somebody willing you lend you a backpack.
- Do your research and create a general plan, but not TOO specific. You’ll want to have a general idea of where you’re going but you’ll need some time for “last-minute-I-didn’t-know-this-existed” plans.
- Learn how to pack properly and travel light. Bring only the necessities. Remember, you can buy anything else you need when you’re there (clothes in South East Asia are so much cheaper, don’t bother carrying extra weight). There are plenty of helpful blogs online that can give you a general idea of what to pack. This one was particularly helpful for me.
- Ask your friends for their advice. Chances are they know the best way to get around, the cheapest and coolest hostels, and great things to see and do.
- Looking for a travel guide book? Go to Value Village. I picked mine up for less than $3.
- Book your flights sooner than later. The prices increase closer to your date, as much as you hope they go down…