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Planning Your Holiday

Most of us know how to plan a holiday, but it often takes longer than we think. We’ve outlined things to consider and our suggestions on what steps to take. Hopefully you will find these suggestions useful.

This section is broken down into the following areas:

  1. Researching Your Holiday
  2. Preparing for Your Holiday
  3. What to Pack

1. Researching Your Holiday

There are many considerations when researching a holiday and only you know what your interests are. Hence this section includes our tips on how to research rather than specific detail.

Travel Inspiration

Travel inspiration often comes from a culmination of sources including television shows, books, magazines and friends' travel stories. However, to further your research and determine what you want to see in each location and perhaps joining two or more destinations into a single holiday, you probably want to perform some specific research.

We strive to include the right level of detail in the Destinations section of our website to provide an idea of the possibilities of different destinations. Further to our website though, other sources that we find useful are:

  • Travel guidebooks. We prefer the books that cover the high level with lots of information and pictures of the attractions, like DK eyewitness Travel Guides.
  • Reading about destinations on the web. We find wikitravel quite good as it covers the high level as well as the detail.
  • Travel inspiration books like The Lonely Planet Asia Book (via Amazon UK or Australia & NZ).
  • Cooking and travelling adventure books like Rick Stein's Far Eastern Odyssey (via Amazon UK or Australia & NZ).
  • Travel novels like I Come Alone (via Amazon UK or Australia & NZ).

When to Travel

"When to travel" is a very difficult topic to cover, but we all wonder when the best time to visit a particular destination is. Unfortunately this very much depends on the destination. Most destinations in Asia can be visited all year round, although some periods of the year may be hot and humid with a greater chance of rain, or freezing cold. However the benefit of travelling out of peak season is that prices are less expensive.

We advise deciding where you want to go and then discuss the pros and cons of different times of year with our Asia Travel Experts before setting your heart on a particular destination and date. Alternatively if you are set on a particular date, speak with us first and our staff can advise you what destinations are most suitable for the date you have in mind.

Different Travelling Styles

There are several different styles of travelling available to us when we travel to Asia. Different styles suit different travellers, and people tend to change from one style of travel to another when their circumstances change. We have created some general categories and named them to compare the options.

Travel Style

Description

Single Location Holiday
Organising flights to a single location (perhaps a resort) and spending a relaxing holiday at this location.
Backpacking and Independent
Organising flights to a destination and travelling independently, organising transport, accommodation and sightseeing as you go. This is usually suitable for people with no set schedule and lots of free time.
Private Tours
Travelling solo, as a couple, with family or friends, on your own private tour with your personalised itinerary. Transport, accommodation, experiences and tour guides are organised in advance to suit your interests and schedule. This is the GetAboutAsia style of travel.
Group Touring
Travelling on a set itinerary with a mixed group. Transport, accommodation, experiences are set for the tour group. Often referred to as group bus tours. This is the style of travel that most large tour companies organise.


​There is no right or wrong style of travel, however GetAboutAsia is focused on personalised private tours. You're in control of the itinerary but benefit from our advice, advance booking, purchasing power and access to unique experiences.

2. Preparing for Your Holiday

When preparing for your holiday there is a number of things to think about in advance. Our staff can help guide you with some of these steps and your GetAboutAsia Travel Itinerary includes a list of critical preparation steps to follow. This section outlines useful things to consider.

Early as You Can

  • Flights: We can help you with your flights, including any inter-Asia flights you may require. However, if you are booking your flights directly, ensure that you book them as far out as feasible.
  • Passport: Ensure that you have a passport that is valid for at least 6 months from when you travel.
  • Immunisations: See your GP or a specialist Travel Doctor to have any immunisation shots you require depending on where you are travelling to. For some destinations you require an immunisation certificate to get a visa and/or gain entry to the country / return to your home country. For an idea of what vaccinations are likely to be required, read the following:
  • Visas: Check what visas you require and get these as early as feasible. The table below gives you an idea of common requirements.

            Country             

  Australia  

  New Zealand 

  United Kingdom  

China
Pre-arrange
Pre-arrange
Pre-arrange
Hong Kong & Macau
N/A
N/A
N/A
Thailand
N/A
N/A
N/A
Vietnam
Pre-arrange
Pre-arrange
Pre-arrange
Cambodia
On arrival
On arrival
On arrival
Laos
On arrival
On arrival
On arrival
Burma (Myanmar)
e-visa
e-visa
e-visa
India
Pre-arrange
Pre-arrange
Pre-arrange
Sri Lanka
Pre-arrange
Pre-arrange
Pre-arrange
Nepal
On arrival
On arrival
On arrival
Tibet
Speak to us
Speak to us
Speak to us
Bhutan
Speak to us
Speak to us
Speak to us
Maldives
N/A
N/A
N/A
Malaysia
N/A
N/A
N/A
Singapore
N/A
N/A
N/A
Indonesia
On arrival
On arrival
On arrival
Philippines
N/A
N/A
N/A
Japan
N/A
N/A
N/A
South Korea
N/A
N/A
N/A
North Korea
Speak to us
Speak to us
Speak to us
Bangladesh
Pre-arrange
Pre-arrange
Pre-arrange
Pakistan
Pre-arrange
Pre-arrange
Pre-arrange
Iran
Speak to us
Speak to us
Speak to us
Mongolia
On arrival
On arrival
On arrival
Russia
Speak to us
Speak to us
Speak to us
Kazakhstan
Speak to us
Speak to us
Speak to us
Kyrgyzstan
On arrival
On arrival
On arrival
Tajikistan
Speak to us
Speak to us
Speak to us
Turkmenistan
Speak to us
Speak to us
Speak to us
Uzbekistan
Speak to us
Speak to us
Speak to us

    Notes:

  • “N/A” includes scenarios such as a free visitor visa on arrival, which may be limited to 15 or 30 days depending on certain conditions.
  • The above is a summary only, and some visas have detailed conditions that usually would not be relevant for tourist visitors.
  • Fees vary, but almost all are between USD$15 and USD$90.
  • The above assumes arrival at major entry points only as some visas cannot be used at minor entry points.

Before You Travel

  • Travel insurance: It is mandatory to have comprehensive travel insurance on our trips. GetAboutAsia can recommend travel insurance providers for the region that you're travelling in or you can research you own. Although travel insurance is a fairly dry subject we encourage travellers to do their due diligence when choosing a provider. Think through the key scenarios that you may require coverage, even if these are unlikely, and check that the policy covers these. Don't assume that the cheapest policy, a policy recommended by a company that stands to make a commission, or a policy that comes free with your credit card is sufficient without checking the coverage. We highly recommend Allianz Insurance for your insurance needs.
  • Backups: Some customers like to photocopy passports, documentation and credit cards and write out emergency phone numbers. Keep a copy in your day pack as well as in your main luggage, or store in travelling companion’s luggage. Also keep a copy with a friend at home and remember their email address and phone number (remember not to email personal information like credit card numbers though).
  • Banking: Inform your bank of your travel plans so that they do not cancel your cards when you try to use them overseas.
  • Money: Ensure you have adequate funds that can be accessed via your debit card (ATM card) while travelling and withdraw any cash that you wish to carry.
  • Mobile Phone: Contact your mobile phone provider to check that your phone can be used roaming (overseas) and what the costs are. Alternatively check that the phone is unlocked so that you can use a local country SIM card in the phone. If you have a smartphone (iPhone, Blackberry, Samsung etc.) check that you know how to set the wifi settings so that you can use your phone for email in hotels and wifi areas.

Leaving Home

  • Inform family: Remember to inform your family and friends where you are going and when. It can be useful to provide them with a print out of your GetAboutAsia itinerary.
  • Mail: Organise a friend to empty your mail so that thieves are not alerted to you being away.
  • Power saving: Switch off electrical appliances.
  • Rubbish: Empty all your bins before leaving.
  • Lock up.

Safety

Governments publish travel advice on their websites including up to date information on countries in Asia. We also stay informed on safety and issues in destination countries, but it can be useful for people to read government advice themselves.

3. What to Pack

Baggage: Most travellers take a day pack which they take as their carry-on luggage and a single check-in bag. Remember to pack as lightly as possible, but include all the essentials. Your main bag should be easy to move around with you. Any medium sized bag with wheels is usually ok although some people prefer a large travel backpack. Remember to leave room for souvenirs.

Packing Tip: Lay all your items out on the floor at home. Group them into essentials and extras. Pack all the essentials first and then work out what extras can fit in comfortably and leave the rest. Keep valuables like your passport, wallet and camera in your day pack. Never store these items in your main luggage.

We encourage you to pack items that can be mixed and matched, layered and removed as required. It’s better to bring versatile clothes than to over pack. The most important item is comfortable shoes that have been tested and well worn in before your trip.

Specific items for consideration are outlined below.

Documentation & Money

  • Passport: Valid for 6 months after the date of travel. Extra passport photos are useful to carry if required for visas etc.
  • Pen.
  • GetAboutAsia Travel Itinerary.
  • Airline tickets.
  • Drivers Licence.
  • Money:
    • At least one Bank card (ATM card), two is better.
    • Credit card.
    • Some cash in your local currency (examples: Australian dollars / UK pounds).

Toiletries & Medication

  • Any medication you currently take with enough to last your holiday.
  • If taking prescription medication it can be helpful to take a note from your doctor.
  • Include basics like paracetamol/aspirin.
  • Ideally include medication to deal with minor stomach upsets (example: Imodium and electrolyte powder), minor colds, stings and blisters.
  • GetAboutAsia advises you to see your GP or a specialist Travel Doctor and ask about what medication you require when you have your travel immunisation shots.
  • Purchasing a travel medical kit can make it easier to prepare.
  • Insect repellent.
  • Standard toiletries.
  • Sunscreen and lip balm.

Clothing

  • Standard clothing including underwear, sleep wear, t-shirts, shorts, skirts, long pants etc.
  • Gym, running or adventure gear can be good to replace some of your usual items as these clothes are often light, do not take up much room, are easy to clean and dry.
  • Warm clothing if going somewhere cold, although it’s always prudent to take at least a light water resistant jacket.
  • Comfortable shoes (should be purchased and worn in well before holiday).
  • Swimmers.
  • Flip flops / thongs can be handy.
  • Hat.
  • Sunglasses.
  • Prescription glasses / contact lenses.
  • Consider the situations you are likely to be in on your holiday and check that you have adequate clothing for each situation. Examples that may be applicable for your holiday include: Beach, pool, walking/sightseeing in hot / mild / cold climates, hiking, sun, wind, rain, mosquitoes, restaurants and museums, flights / bus / car / train trips.

Other

  • Books / magazines.
  • Camera.
  • Mobile phone: Ensure phone is set for roaming and make sure you know the roaming charges overseas. And/or ensure the phone is unlocked and you know how to remove the SIM card and buy a cheap prepaid SIM card in your destination country at arrival in the airport. If you have a smartphone you can access wifi Internet while travelling and send emails or check the web without the risk of having any of your passwords stolen while logging into an Internet Café or Hotel computer. We advise contacting your telecommunications company in advance of travelling to confirm the above for your phone.
  • Music on your MP3 player / IPod / mobile phone.
  • Travel power adaptors.
  • Small torch / flashlight
  • Cheap watch with alarm clock
  • Plastic bags which can be very handy for lots of things.

Further Information

For further information and help, consider:

Why GetAboutAsia?
Destinations & Trips

For questions please contact us, as our Asia Travel Experts are waiting to help.

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