The internet has been an amazingly valuable tool in my preparations, and I am going to try to bring the most useful sites here to share with you :). IF you know of some that I don’t list, feel free to share!
- Seat61–for train travel preparations. This guy has videos, schedules, fares, and pictures of most routes and different trains! Amazing
- Kayak–for great low fare air searches
- Hostelworld–research and book hostel beds or rooms anywhere!
- Couchsurfing – Here you can connect with a couch to stay on, and amazing people to interact with around the world. I already am adoring the people I will connect with in Beijing and New Zealand
Round the World preparations and blogs:
- BootsnAll – Based in the UK, this site has a plethora of RTW information and resources
Apps (iPad and Droid)
- Worldmate keeps track of all your flights, hotel/accomodations, trains, meetings, etcetera! AMAZING app.
- SmartTraveller – so you can register with the embassy in case of emergency
- Skype – for keeping in touch!! sms, phone and video calls 🙂
- Words Free – for killing lots of time playing games with friends.
- Evernote – organize all of your travel details: visas, immunizations, language, where you want to visit, etc (anything not in Worldmate)
Packing and gear:
- REI -my preferred store, but get there during sales!!
- Magellans –travel clothes and gear
- Travel Independent packing guide..
- There are so many specific things that I rely on when it comes to packing for this trip, an entire list will be soon to come–with links to these items. For now, let me say that my that my most recent and adored additions are the Steripen for water treatment and my newest sleeping pad. Also FABULOUS for minimizing liquids are the Sea to Summit laundry sheets. Never leave home without the headlamp–for rummaging through bags in a dark hostel, reading on a long flight, in a tent or train, juice fairy (oh wait, this isn’t Diabetes Camp ;)), or early morning hikes ;).
- Travelers’ health page – Centers for Disease control advise on precautions, immunizations, etc…
- US State Department Travel — learn about political unrest or other safety concerns for your destination countries. Also whether or not a visa is needed for your destination
- AAA – For your international driving permit ($15)
- Travelguard – Insurance!!
- Travel Document Services – for easy, quick, quality processing of needed visas
- Health: being prepared with your health is a HUGE aspect of a successful trip… I count on Dr. Bruce McArthur for my dental care, Marcus Rhoden for my acupuncture care, and Dr. Monique Martin for my medical preparations, Dr. Joseph Hug for chiropractic care… I have discovered for malaria you can use artemisinin (Chinese medicine) instead of the traditional meds with such difficult side-effects. For prevention of mosquito bites, I HIGHLY recommend taking apple cider vinegar tablets (apparently it makes you more alkaline, and less desirable for blood! I can vouch for this after a month of use in the Amazon jungle, I was less bit than the other 22 people with me)
- Jetstar-cheap airline in NZ, BUT watch the baggage fares
- YHA, Backpackers, hostelworld, hostelbookers, agoda (for accommodation)
- Relocations Today- if you want to move a campervan 🙂
- Dolphin Encounter -AMAZING Experience, don’t miss the opportunity!
- Hanmer Springs
- Reavers Lodge, Chateau Franz -a couple of my favorites! Both have hot tubs…
- Jayride.co.nz to share rides
- Steve’s shuttle: cheap shuttle in Christchurch to/from the airport..
- Mosaic by Simo’s : great food in Christchurch
- Fjord land wilderness encounter – kayak Milford or Doubtful sound with these guys…
- Wings and water: if you have clear weather and want a flight in the fjordlands