Preparing to go travelling with Anne!
We caught up with one of our lovely travellers Anne to see how she got prepared to go travelling with Gap 360 and to share any tips for fellow travellers!
What made you decide to travel with Gap 360?
I found Gap 360 last year after searching online for volunteer travel experiences and they were excellent in helping me have an amazing time in South Africa volunteering with primates, so I looked nowhere else when deciding to travel in South-East Asia.
Why did you choose the trips you chose?
I had always wanted to visit Laos and to explore Angkor Wat in Cambodia. The Indochina Discovery trip allowed me to see four countries I’d always wanted to visit in just one month. When thinking of adding on a trip to Malaysia I found the Bangkok to Bali tour and it fit too perfectly with the first trip not to book that too. I also hoped to do some volunteering whilst travelling and looked for options in Bali, finding Sea Turtle Conservation an intriguing option. The one month I planned became three, but the three trips worked too well together not to go for it.
How did you find the booking process?
Booking was very easy. The website gave me all the basic information I needed and Jon, my Travel Advisor at Gap 360 added all the details to make me sure these trips were right for me. Jon made everything easy over the phone and put me in touch with Kali at Flights 360 who was excellent in booking my flights for me.
Did you have any pre-travel nerves? How did you overcome these?
I had incredible pre-travel nerves to the point I was unsure I would go right up to the day I flew. I even contacted Katie my Trip Organiser at Gap 360 to enquire about cancellation costs and she broke everything down for me in terms of what I’d lose. Without putting any pressure on me at all she made me consider all the reasons not to cancel, let me ask numerous questions and offered options to lessen my nerves, such as an airport pick-up at the start of my first trip. The more I got done, such as acquiring the relevant visas, buying clothes and equipment I needed, the less I felt nervous and I knew I had someone there to ask questions whenever I needed to. I may have still been nervous as I got on the plane but I knew no matter what happened, the biggest regret would have been not to go!
Do you have any tips on packing your backpack for future travellers?!
You really do need less than you think! Especially for South-East Asia, where you can, and will want to, buy amazing clothes that suit the weather and culture of the countries you’re in, at very low cost. Think about the type of trip you’re doing and where you’ll be. If you can buy toiletries as you go its better than packing doubles of heavy items that you may run out of. Volunteer projects based in one remote area means take all you need, trips where you travel around and are in tourist areas, pick it up as you go. Also think hard about how much and how far you’ll have to carry your own luggage! Pick a strong bag – I used my brothers old backpack which broke and had to find a replacement in Vietnam! Plastic bags are a great idea to protect and separate all your items inside your luggage.
Stay tuned to find out what Anne got up to on her trips – coming to the Gap 360 blog soon!