For younger people, especially students, backpacking trips in Asia have become a very popular type of trip. With a wealth of diverse climates, geographies, cultures and attractions, Asia is a great location for an adventurous vacation. Even on a minimalist backpacking trip, though, it’s important to stay safe. Here are four things you should take with you on your Asian backpacking adventure that will make sure it goes smoothly without weighing you down.
Medical Information Card
On any vacation, it’s important to prepare for the chance of a medical emergency. If you do get injured, it’s possible that you won’t be able to answer important questions about your own medical status. That’s why you should carry a medical information card that will give doctors or first responders a basic overview of your pertinent data. This card should list things like your blood type, pharmaceutical allergies and any specific medical conditions you may have. There are many generic medical cards you can buy very cheaply and fill out yourself to make the process of getting one easy.
Currency Accepted in the Country
Whatever country you’re in, you should always carry at least some cash in that country’s currency. You never know when your credit or debit card could be turned down due to an error, so it’s important that you have some cash as a backup. Ideally, you should carry enough cash to pay for something like a taxi back to your hotel at any one time, as that should cover most unexpected expenses. If you want to stay organized, consider getting one of the many slim wallets for men and women that have become popular over the last few years. Such a wallet won’t take up space or weigh you down, but it will give you a place to safely carry your cash and keep your various cards.
No matter where you go in the world, it’s absolutely critical that people be able to get in touch with you in case of emergencies and vice versa. Check to see in advance whether or not your normal cell phone will work in the Asian countries you’re visiting. If not, you can get a prepaid cell phone when you get there and use that for the duration of your trip. If you need to go that route, you should still be sure to bring your normal phone with you so that you can access the contact list if you need to find someone’s number.
Even though many of the tourist spots in Asia will have many signs in English, there’s no guarantee that everyone you meet will understand your language. This is especially true if you’re on a backpacking trip on which you’ll be going through more rural areas. For this reason, it’s important to bring along a basic dictionary or phrasebook that will let you communicate with the locals. If you have time before your trip, you should try to commit some useful phrases to memory. If you’ll be going to multiple countries that speak different languages, be sure to bring a language guide of some type for each country.
A backpacking trip through Asia can be one of the most exciting and fun experiences of your life, but you should also do what you can to make it safe. By putting these four lightweight items in your pack, you can be sure that you’ll have everything you need to make your trip a success. You should also remember to inform friends or family members of your planned path and your arrival and departure dates. If anything should happen to you, this will help them know when and where to contact local authorities on your behalf.