Tips and Tricks, Thoughts and Impressions.

I figured I should pass on some of the ideas given me by others and things I’ve found out by trial and error!!
It could end up being a bit random but we’ll see. I’ll just add things as they come to mind over the next couple of days 🙂

Planning.
If you really want to do it, don’t let others be wet blankets on your dreams. It’s your life!

Get a second job, do whatever it takes – you won’t regret it.

Research well, ask anyone you know who’s done similar stuff, set goals. Make a date, buy the tickets. It’s amazing how having a date focuses your effort.

Have a drawer or bag that you throw gear, ideas, maybes into. Write lists, keep a pad and pen by the bed. It’s intensely annoying to get a great idea in the night and be unable to remember it in the morning.

Depending on where you’re going, check if you need jabs of any sort. Ask people who’ve been to the area recently as travel docs give “best practice” advice but it’s not always what actually is needed at that time.

Flights and Standovers.
Think about how your body works. Are you a wriggler? Do you sleep well on planes?  Do you need to go to the loo often? Are you tall?  Sore back or joints? Other health considerations? These things determine whether you want a window or aisle seat.

Long stand overs can be a boon or exhausting, depending on how you handle then. My feeling is, if it’s daytime, do something with the time. It not only passes the time quickly but you move about and that helps mitigate the risk of dvts etc.
I had 8 hours in Sydney and took the train into town, then the ferry to Manly. It wasn’t rushed, but got the wind in my face, a good walk, some relaxation in the sun. I boarded the long haul refreshed and pleasantly tired.

Don’t eat too much!! International flights mean long periods of inactivity. Your bowels slow down and not much is worse than being bunged up, take it from a nurse!!
Ditto alcohol. I’m not saying don’t have it, just have water as well and avoid dehydration.
Grab kiwi fruit, prunes and licorice when you can! Avoid bananas, they constipate many people, and watch out for grapefruit if you’re on medication (check the interactions on the packaging), it seems to be the main ingredient in all fruit salad!!

Visas etc.
Look up online what you need. American visas can usually be done online. Many African countries let you get them as you enter. I got good advice from Mini. She told me to grab the paper and fill it out ASAP, when I arrived in Tanzania. The queues can be long so get in line quickly. I did and actually got through faster than she did!!

Find out if you can barter!! Taxi drivers here will quadruple the price, so establish your price before getting in!!
Ditto goods and services.  Check about tipping too. It’s optional here so I’m doing it when someone has been good to me. There’s no hard and fast rule about the amount here, either!!

Getting About
So far I’ve only used the taxis. Only use the proper taxis in this neck of the woods, don’t try any Uber type arrangements.
Make sure they lock the doors as you get under way. There’s street hawkers everywhere and they’re very persistent.
It seems to be normal practice here for your driver to take you somewhere and wait for you to return you home. They don’t seem to mind how long you’re gone and you pay after, so you know you’ll have a ride waiting. It’s rather good, really!! Most are happy to be paid in US dollars or Tanzanian Schillings.

I’m told the little motorised 3 wheelers are good too, but they only work round the town centre, it seems, so I haven’t used one. My hotel is a bit further out of town by the beach.

Drink driving is rife and there don’t appear to be many road rules!! The driving makes your hair stand on end. Makes Christchurch drivers look like angels of mercy!!

Money
The exchange rate between USD and TS changes quickly. Check it in the paper daily and you’ll know roughly what to expect. Most exchangers give you near enough to the advertised rate. One thing though BEFORE YOU COME check the issue dates on your USD notes. Online you’ll be told they accept 2006 onwards. Not so in reality. Most places balk at notes older than 2009 so make your bank give you new notes.
Plus only bring 50’s and 100’s. The exchange rate for small denominations is terrible.
If you find yourself with a note you know is a liability, pay your taxi driver a US$20 instead of TS40000!! They tend not to care!

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