Free trip planning info from Lonely Planet

One of the challenges of planning a multi-month, multi-country trip is figuring out how much time spend in each region/country and what the best time of year is to visit.

Travel Tip: Lonely Planet offers free, online access to the Getting Started chapter for each of their guidebooks. In addition to providing an overview of the country, its history, and culture, the Getting Started chapter also covers the three most important trip-planning topics: when to go, costs & money, and sample itineraries.  Use this information to determine the best time to visit each country and how much you should budget in terms of time and money. This will allow you to develop a good, overall sketch for your trip. Once you have this established, you can then dive deeper into your trip planning.

Scan your important travel documents

Losing your wallet – or even worse, your passport – while traveling can be a major headache and having copies of the original documents or cards can make them a lot easier to replace.

Travel Tip: Before your trip, scan all of your important documents, including your passport, birth certificate, driver license, credit cards (front and back), health insurance card, medicine / eye glass prescriptions, any travel/medical evacuation policies, and, if you’re a diver, your certification card. Then store all these online, as PDFs, so you’re able to access them while you’re traveling. If you have a Gmail or Hotmail account, an easy way to do this is to simply email yourself the documents.

Bring extra passport photos

Passport-sized photos are often required to obtain a visa upon arrival, in countries like Nepal, and for purchasing a local SIM card for your mobile phone, in countries like India. They’re also handy to have in case you have to get a replacement passport while traveling.

Travel Tip: As you prepare for your trip, be sure to stock up on extra photos. If you’re visiting just 1 or 2 countries, bring at least 4 extra photos. For trips involving more countries, an extra 6 to 8 should be good. The cost of getting extra photos is often nominal and you’ll save yourself the hassle of getting them in transit.

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