Just a couple more days before we start our world trip!
Months of planning, years of preparation… many thanks to everyone that helped. Oh no, wait, we did not plan much! The last 10 days have began. We recently bought our backpacks and this is what we have so far:
- Wheeled backpack Osprey Sojourn 60 Liter .
- Backpack Osprey Farpoint 40 Liter.
- Osprey Daypack plus 20 Liter backpack.
So, what’s in the bags?
Besides that, we already have some stuff that we’ve found useful and almost necessary for our trip… like Steripen UV Plus+, Careplus mosquito net, rope to hang the mosquito net everywhere, Deet anti mosquito spray, Bandages and first aid kit, medicines, Hammock, GoPro camera, thin microfiber towels, walking boots, swimsuits, power bank, sunscreen, thermometer, locks, emergency blanket, writing paper and pens, lenses, desinfection spray, hand sanitizer, washing soap, and a lot of clothes… but less than you think.
So why all this? mostly, because it’s a long trip and we are not sure where we will go, but we know for sure we will go to places where tap water isn’t drinkable for us, and where there is malaria, and we want to avoid getting sick as much as possible. But everyone is asking us…
What is that steripen? this tiny magic device is an UV light that kills bacteria in the water. Meaning that wherever you go you can just use the tap water, and clean it with the steripen. No more bottles of plastic going to the trash! Besides, on the long run it will save us a lot of money.
Why a mosquito net? we are aware we might not need it, but we don’t want to take the risk. When we go to Kenya and Tanzania, we want to be extremely careful about mosquitoes that transmit malaria, therefore we bring a mosquito net to cover the bed. This one from Careplus is also impregnated so malaria mosquitoes do not land in it, you can buy it on amazon in this link.
Visa, yes or no?
As the travel is not planned, we do not know if or when we will need a Visa. For this the Wikipedia Visa Policy is a pretty handy webpage. For each country it tells you depending of where you are from, if there is the need for a visa and how you are able to obtain one. The Visitor visa policy map shows exactly what you need. This can be a e-Visitor Visa, which can be obtained online. An Electronic Travel Authority which is a simple form which has to be filled in before and at arrival, or a special purpose visa. In that last case you might run into some trouble. In our cases, we are both from Europe and both have a red passport so this will not be the case in most of our visits. For more accurate information, usually the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of each country offers updated information regarding what destinations require visa.
How about Money, debit and credit cards?
Exchanging cash in your home country is a good option, but not a good option when you are going to many countries during a long time. Most banks charge a high fee when you want to withdraw money at a different bank and mostly from a different country and currency. We will have to withdraw money often, so we did some research and found some online banking options. There is no international bank card which can be used free of charge everywhere and with any currency you want… Get over it… Even for Blanca and me (Richard) there are different options as we are from different countries, and there are Spanish options which can not be obtained by Dutch people. Here are the options we found:
- Revolut: Withdraw up to 200€ a month in other currencies, and pay up to 5000€ abroad with no fee
- N26: free ATM withdrawal in euros, and free payments in any currency
- Bnext: (Only for Spanish citiziens) withdraw up to 500€ a month in other currencies, and pay up to 2000€ abroad with no fee.
So I (Richard) got the Revolut card, as it offers more of what we need than the N26 (the free version) and I can not get the Bnext card as I’m not registered in Spain. Blanca has both the Revolut and Bnext. With this, we can withdraw together without fees up to 900€ a month, and pay up to 12.000€. Which of course, is much more than we will ever use.. In the Netherlands there is an avarage fee of 2,20 to 2.50 per withdraw from a foreign country and above a certain amount there is a fee of around 1.3 % which will be charged from your account. So this cards will save us a lot of money and they are completely free!
What is our next step?
No sure yet. Although as mentioned before we have a slight idea in our minds. The main goal of our trip is to make it last long. The longer the better. For that we need to make it a cheap travelling, and hopefully turn int into an economically self sustainable travel as we go, keeping in mind that we want to see as much as possible from the world we live in.