A Conversation for Ask h2g2

Travel plans - What have I forgotten?

Post 1

Just Bob aka Robert Thompson, plugging my film blog cinemainferno-blog.blogspot.co.uk

I'm going to Japan for Christmas and, with two weeks now before I fly out, it's time to put the final plans in place. I've booked flights, accommodation, made an approximate itinerary, ordered a rail travel card to help me get around, found insurance which I will finalize this week, investigated travel money, checked what I need by way of a visa*, and made sure my passport is well in date. Among other things. I know I have yet to finalize the insurance, make a more detailed budget, purchase some travel money (just to be starting out with), read up on some of the sites I'll be visiting, print off a few maps for things like hostels, and of course, pack. smiley - towel
The question is, what have I missed? Fire some ideas at me, please, while I still have time to sort things out. Even if it's obvious, it may have slipped my mind.

* Nothing, it turns out, unless I'm there for a lot longer than I am planning to be.


Travel plans - What have I forgotten?

Post 2

Peanut

Spiller is packing for Japan also

One thing he is getting is new socks as you take your shoes off quite a lot and he thinks it is good manners to have clean and not holey socks


Travel plans - What have I forgotten?

Post 3

SiliconDioxide

Figure out how to get cash while you're there if necessary. If you take a mobile, check it will work there and whether you can get a better call package to reduce the costs. Check rules for carrying medicines into the country if you need to carry prescription (or non-prescription) drugs.


Travel plans - What have I forgotten?

Post 4

~ jwf ~ Dook, Dook, Dook; Dook of URL

smiley - smiley

Re: the visa

Be aware that should you encounter an opportunity
for employment while there, that you will have to
leave the country temporarily and apply from outside
to obtain it before returning. It seems rather arbitrary
and it leaves you floundering in some nearby nation with
no resources or plans as you wait, but if you begin working
without doing this you may be permanently deported. At least
this was true for teachers of ESL back in the 1980s.

smiley - cheers
~jwf~




Travel plans - What have I forgotten?

Post 5

Whisky

Scan all your essential documents (passports, insurance policies, tickets, hotel reservations, etc.) in short - any paperwork you might be taking with you...

Stuff a copy of all these documents onto a USB stick which you can then drop into the bottom of your bag (encrypted if you're feeling really paranoid) and use a webmail account you'll be able to access from anywhere in the world to e-mail yourself another copy of all the docs... (again, encrypted or in a password protected zip file if your really paranoid)...

It just means that in the event you loose your papers or have them stolen you've still got a copy of all the appropriate numbers when you're contacting your consulate/embassy/travel agent/etc.


Travel plans - What have I forgotten?

Post 6

Teasswill

Although there are quite a few ATMs around, you may not find it that easy to get cash locally. On our travels to Japan, we have taken enough yen with us to last the trip.

Good point about socks. Footwear that's easy to put on/take off is a big help. Public toilets are very clean, but sometimes lacking soap or towels. It's useful to carry a hankie for hand wiping & hand gel.

Have a great time!


Travel plans - What have I forgotten?

Post 7

Mol - on the little netbook

*And* leave a copy of all that, together with a copy of your itinerary, accommodation details, flight info, contacts in Japan etc, at home with whoever might have to co-ordinate things from there if something awful happens. I'm sure it won't. But it's helpful to have all the info to hand if you're the person at home.

Also, if you're planning on using a bank or credit card abroad (even if just for emergency), tell the bank/card provider beforehand the dates of your trip. Otherwise they might block a transaction for being suspicious.

Mol


Travel plans - What have I forgotten?

Post 8

Rod

"Bad Request" wonder if it'll work this time?
- - - -

Little notebooks stashed in odd corners of your baggage.
Twice as many pencils.
At least one dictaphone thingy.
At home, in the kitchen, by the kettle, a big notice: "Now Write It Up & Send It In"


Enjoy



Travel plans - What have I forgotten?

Post 9

Mol - on the little netbook

Oh, yeah, good point. I took my netbook and wrote for two hours every night on my big trip. But I needed the notebooks and pencils during the day to keep enough records to be able to do that. My rule was, take notes not photos, so I only took a few pictures on my phone, of things I knew I would want to describe in detail. My photos aren't very good generally - I knew I was better writing.

On the other hand, you might be a brilliant photographer - so, camera and spare batteries.

Phone charger adaptor.

Mol


Travel plans - What have I forgotten?

Post 10

Teasswill

Just Bob, whereabouts in japan are you planning to go? May be able to suggest some good sights!


Travel plans - What have I forgotten?

Post 11

Just Bob aka Robert Thompson, plugging my film blog cinemainferno-blog.blogspot.co.uk

The itinerary is pretty much set: Tokyo for several days (still some flexibility there), then near Mt. Fuji for 31st-New Year's (a big thing in Japan), Matsumoto for a day, Nikko for a day (probably not enough), Sendai and Matsushima for a day or so, then back to Tokyo for my flight out on 6th Jan.
In case you're wondering if I have any option to go elsewhere, I'm travelling with my sis, who is based near Sendai on her teaching-assistant placement.


Travel plans - What have I forgotten?

Post 12

Teasswill

Oh, terrific, your Sis will probably know what you'd like to see. I expect you've got the stamina for early starts & late nights to fit plenty in.

We went to Sendai & Matsushima a few years ago - enjoyed the Loople bus in Sendai & boat trip round the Matsushima islands, but it was Summer. Winter probably has different activities & sights worth doing. Nikko in a a day was a rush because we went to Lake Chuzenji too - in hindsight wish we'd just stuck to Nikko.

Matsumoto is on my wish list for a future visit!


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