Travelling the world - what you should know
What things do I definitely need to take with me when travelling the world?
You definitely need to pack valid identification documents, and it is a good idea to have some copies of your passport and ID card with you, too. Of course you must not forget your plane and/or train tickets, and don't forget your emergency contact numbers. These should include phone numbers of relatives as well as the phone number to report your cash or credit cards should they be stolen.
Before you start out on your travels, you need to ensure you are well informed about the countries you are visiting and their entry and safety requirements. For example, you'll need to clarify whether you need to apply for visas, and if so, what type of visas you'll be required to carry with you. Also important: before setting off, you'll need to have International Health Insurance cover. Remember to pack the corresponding English-language documentation and don't forget any medication you need, including, where required, a course of malaria tablets.
What else should you take? Your camera of course - invaluable for all those wonderful memories! Also useful would be an international driving licence, and possibly an international student card. And maybe your favourite cuddly toy... and think about possible presents for your hosts, if required.
What do I do if my ID card/passport is stolen?
If your ID document is stolen, get in touch with one of your home country's diplomatic missions, namely your country's embassy or consulate in the country you are travelling in. If your passport is lost, they can provide a travel document to enable you to get back home
Are there countries I should not travel to?
When planning your itinerary, check the Federal Foreign Office current safety warnings ("Aktuelle Reisewarnungen" - German only) for your target destinations or for specific regions within the countries you intend to visit. When you are abroad, check with local people whether there are dangerous places you should avoid.
How much money should I take?
If you intend to spend a long time in any one country, on holiday or on a travel-and-work basis, depending on that country's regulations you may need to be able to demonstrate that you have available funds of around € 2,000 to € 3,500 and/or a return air ticket - for example, in Australia and New Zealand. A current bank statement is usually accepted as proof.
It is advisable to research the cost of living in the countries you intend to visit, and to calculate how much money you are likely to need, for example, for travel in the country, accommodation, food, pocket money etc.
And what do I do if I run out of money?
A number of banks offer credit cards that enable you to withdraw cash free of charge throughout Europe, and worldwide if you use "Visa" cash terminals.
In an emergency, the diplomatic missions will help. They will facilitate contact with friends and family back home and will advise on the fastest possible money transfer (express credit transfer, telegraphic transfer, Western Union money transfer). If the country you are in does not support these modes of money transfer, your diplomatic mission may handle the transfer through their own system.
A hot tip from the Eurodesk team: go "wwoofing" - work for food and accommodation on an organic farm. Workcamps are another good tip: they fit in well with travelling and offer a great opportunity to work on a project together with other young folk while getting to know the country and its people. Again, your food and accommodation will be taken care of. Just as with any other Work&Travel scheme, you need to make sure you have the right visa.
Is there an international emergency number I can call in any emergency situation?
In all EU countries and in Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland, Russia, Ukraine, and several other European countries, you can call the European Emergency Number 112. This telephone number connects you to a control centre that will alert the appropriate emergency service, i.e., police, ambulance or fire brigade. The control centres are supposed to be able to deal with distress calls in a number of languages. Here, too, the diplomatic missions will help if required.