Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Travel: Unorganised Chaos becomes Slightly Organised Chaos

I known for my lack of organisation, my regularly late arrivals but thankfully my darling friends have learned to accept this. The same goes for my travel preparation; 5 weeks to go and I'm in panic mode (I told you about this in my travel planning post and my preparation post).

WELL, I am now semi-organised and this weekend solved that.

I now have an Australian visa (SO EXCITED) which took around 20 minutes to apply for and by the evening it had been accepted. I can now legally work in Australia for a year from November 1st; but not with the same employer for more than 6 months - there are rules and regulations in place for working over there so it's worth checking if you're interested in a working holiday visa. To say I hadn't even thought about even travelling to Australia, I am now ridiculously excited to have the chance to go over there, travel and work; it's going to be a brilliant, eye opening experience. At £260 for the chance to stay over there for a year, that seems like a small price to pay - all you need to apply is your passport details and a credit card to pay on.

As well as my Aussie visa, I've also sorted out my money travel card (aka cash card). I've purchased this from STA Travel. The STA Travel Prepaid Mastercard Cash Card is available on their website for £22 - the card itself actually costs £12 and the other £10 is money to have on the card. These cards are able to be used at over 32 million locations worldwide which makes them an ideal travelling companion to keep you safe and to be able to access 24/7. And, one of the best things, friends and family can also top up these cards from your home country so you never get stuck money wise. This is especially ideal for me as I will only be planning to take a certain amount with me for South East Asia. They do say these take a week to two to arrive so don't be a last minute Larry about it!

A more trivial thing - bumbags. I've unfortunately given into the pressure of having a bumbag. I know I'm going to be backpacking but these things are just ugly and I'm really loathed to have one but I have to admit, they're a must safer way to carry your valuables. I scoured the web and, in typical girl fashion, found the prettiest one I could. I came across this one from Eastpak. This style of bumbag is usually £20 but the funky floral ones are reduced to £14 at the moment and they even offer free shipping! It's now been dispatched so I'll let you now what the quality is like as soon as it arrives.

I also managed to have a look at travel insurance and weirdly, the Philippines isn't covered in a lot of places. I've found the best way to access different policies is via Money Supermarket. They allow you to put in your requirements and they compare different companies prices and policies. I found one that'll cover me for 6 months with Explorer Travel Insurance for around £75 and it covers everything I could possibly need! So make sure you shop around, you can find a bargain out there rather than get ripped off by certain companies; sometimes you're just paying for the name and the reputation of said company.

So now, that's malaria tablets sorted, full moon accommodation booked, Bangkok accommodation booked for the first night, Australian visa sorted, bumbag purchased, backpack purchased, cash card ordered and travel insurance will be bought by the end of the week - a little motivation leads to a lot of organisation.

What now? I guess there's just packing to do...and the possibility of a money belt for extra security. I need to make sure I've got all the necessary first-aid-y things and mosquito spray etc. then I'm all systems go, I guess! I'm still debating whether a mosquito net is absolutely necessary but the little buggers seem to love me so it might be worth it.

I can't believe 5 weeks tomorrow I'll be on the way to the airport to set off on our adventure. I'm a mixture of nerves and uncontrollable excitement at the moment. It's a bit daunting knowing I won't see my family for possibly a year but I can't wait to jet off with the girls and have some fun! This sense of freedom is a little overwhelming but I have a feeling it could be the best decision I've ever mad. 

Watch this space.

N xo

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