This three week adventure through parts of Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam is one to cherish on many fronts. Always, seeing new sights, experiencing new tastes and cultures is fascinating, and sharing it with good friends who Jeanne labeled the Traveling Sisterhood makes it even more unique. The trip was seamless in every way, and that is due in large part to another Jean in Australia. She has Cape Lux Travels, and if you ever think about going to southeast Asia, you should contact her first. She is amazing!
If you are considering travel to the area, here are some tips that may be helpful.
1. Check to see if there are any special health requirements. You can do this online or by visiting a clinic offering travel consultation. These days there are fewer must dos, but it’s good to know what, if any, they are.
2. Be sure your passport is current as some countries will not admit you if it is close to expiration. Also, be aware of visa requirements and take cash enough to cover any associated costs at the airport. Entering Vietnam, for example, the visa fee for Americans is $60.
3. Make a to do list for things to be done in advance and compose a packing list. Check out an APP called Packing Pro that is invaluable for both purposes .
4. Take the smallest suitcase you possibly can which means planning carefully your clothing requirements. Most of us take far more than we need, and if you are moving from place to place, schlepping a heavy suitcase around gets to be a pain. Travel is not a fashion show, and you will enjoy it far more if you take clothes that are both comfortable, practical and can be mixed and matched .
5. Take appropriate shoes. If your feet don’t feel good, the rest of you suffers. On this trip, I took 2 pair of what are great walking shoes, but they didn’t allow my feet to breathe and in a hot, humid climate that was miserable. Luckily, I had a pair of very comfy flip flops in my bag and for 3 weeks they were my shoes of choice. Who knew, but I’ll tell you a little secret. I liked them so much I just bought another pair with a bit more support for the next trip!
6. Take extra camera batteries and a charger so that your camera will always be ready for all those photos you want to take. And, don’t forget to put a couple of those extra batteries in your pocket when you go out. Nothing is more frustrating than having your camera die part way through the day! Does that sound like I may not have followed my own advice?
7. Don’t carry lots of cash. There are ATM machines, or as I call them money walls, most places these days and often the exchange rate is better than you might get at an airport or hotel. In Cambodia, American dollars are welcome, but in Thailand and Vietnam, having the local currency is a must. Another handy APP is My Currency Converter which will keep you in the know about exchange rates, helpful, too, when you are shopping.
8. Eat the food. It is not only delicious, it is healthy. In fact, this is the only trip where I’ve eaten so much and came home having lost a few pounds!
9. Be prepared to sweat! Most of the time is is warm and humid in these countries which makes it all the more important to have lightweight, comfortable clothing. To lessen the physical impact, be sure to drink lots of water.
10. Most of all, travel with your eyes wide open. You never know what is going to touch your heart and mind and you want to be ready for that unique and special moment.
Enjoy your travels whether they are right down the road or far away, and if you have tips for us, please do add them. Again, thanks to all of you who traveled with me. It was great having you along.
i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind