Do’s and don’ts for comfortable, hassle-free travel

Tour Guide Course

Do’s and don’ts for comfortable, hassle-free travel

Travel light!

Do take:

Light, durable clothing:

Shirts with zip-off sleeves at elbow and armpit, and side zips

Zip off trousers – both at knees and calves


Two sets of each item above is enough (one to wear, one to wash), apart from a couple of extra pairs of socks (comfortable thick ones don’t usually dry quickly)

Make sure underwear can be washed and dried overnight at room temperature

Wear boots to travel in rather than making your bag heavy with them inside

Lightweight wash bag that can be hung up

Travel towels – one large, one medium


Comfortable walking shoes and/or sandals

One ‘evening’ outfit – for women, a long sleeved top (mosquitoes come out at dusk) with high neck and long skirt or light weight trousers; for men, lightweight trousers, long sleeved shirt

Light weight fleece

Breathable waterproof (preferably one which compresses small) which covers head to ankles (water dripping onto your knees can be very uncomfortable)

Casual outfit: T shirt, shorts

Scarf, hat and/or bandanna

Gadgets: camera, adapter plug, ziplock packing bags, head torch (invaluable), waterproof liner for back pack, waterproof packing bag for wet washing, compact personal medical kit, padlock, travel alarm clock (don’t rely on your mobile cell phone – it may not work or you might forget to recharge it), phone and camera chargers, travel washing line

Toothbrush, dental floss or wood sticks

Playing cards, book/s, travel guides, all tour documents, phrase book if you don’t know the local language, small notebook to carry in hand baggage with pen – in it write down important telephone numbers in case you mobile doesn’t work or the battery doesn’t charge, small photos of loved ones (you may feel lonely and homesick, though not for long – you’ll be too busy!), your personal music player loaded with your favourites

Passport – with plenty of blank pages, in date for at least a month after the tour ends, with all necessary visas, health insurance (may be provided by your employer – check) document with emergency contact numbers. Leave a photocopy of your passport with family or trustworthy neighbour, and take a copy with you

Currency – enough for first 24 hours

Sunscreen, repellent, after bite gel, sunglasses (and spare pair), prescription glasses and spare pair, copy of all medication prescriptions including eyes, water sterilising tablets

Good quality, durable water bottle

Possibly sleeping bag if camping or in places where hygiene standards aren’t reliable

Pack all this into a good quality lightweight backpack or a combination pack with wheels

Finally, pack your Tour Leader’s essential kit (see ‘Responsibilities’, Unit  4)

Now you see why you won’t have much room for clothes!

Don’t take

  • valuable jewellery or watches (buy cheap -but reliable – ones for duration of tour), anything of personal valuable
  • real leather bags (they attract thieves)
  • anything  made of glass or in heavy packaging
  • large bottles or pots of toiletries – you can buy most things on location (and usually cheaper) But take enough for your comfort for the first few days as you may not have time to shop straight away. Whatever you can fit into the hand luggage liquids allowance will be enough for two days
  • electric razors or other electric items (the voltage may be different, the power point a different shape). Battery operated is fine but take enough batteries in case you can’t find the right ones on location

Don’t forget to

  • make arrangements for your pets
  • tell your credit card company where you’re going (or your card may be declined)
  • call Head Office for last minute instructions/updates

Self test questions:

  1. Why is it a good idea to wear your boots on the outbound flight?
  2. How many sets of clothing should you pack for a two week tour?

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