Travel Advice

Far from I’d planned or imagined, I haven’t documented (publicly online) the first semester of my Year Abroad (YA), for various reasons. Good news however for anyone considering a YA, you will end the semester wiser, more well-rounded and well traveled (If you don’t then it appears you haven’t quite stepped up – the reality being that you need to do the stepping up).


On that last note here are my travel tips (so far):

What to pack:

I always try to pack light but here are my key items, obviously there will be some variance depending on destination/season and length of travel:

  • Passport
  • Credit card (that will work internationally)
  • Student card (some places offer discounts)
  • Pen
  • Paper
  • Medicine
  • Plastic Bags
  • Correct currency
  • Torch
  • Spare batteries (for torch)


  • Research but don’t overplan as a tight schedule and strict plan can be stressful and don’t allow for flexibility which is exactly what you will want if you are travelling for a while – of course some things will need to be booked in advance. (Too put it simply, too many plans spoil the adventure).
  • Email scanned documents (Passport etc) to yourself.
  • Write your name/contact details on things.
  • Keep your accommodation business card (with address on it) with you when out and exploring.
  • Explore a residential area.
  • Pack light.
  • Book accommodation at least one night in advance.
  • Check you can get from the airport to your accommodation at the time you arrive before you book your flight – a taxi can be a surprise nasty expense (Yes Osaka I’m talking about you).
  • Eat where the locals do (rather obviously).



A good time, or a good story nonetheless.



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