Any overseas travel advice

Submitted: Tuesday, May 15, 2007 at 11:13
ThreadID: 45498 Views:2833 Replies:7 FollowUps:14
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Hi Guys
I know, I've been on about this in several forms, but if I never ask I'll never get advice. Sorry if it goes on a bit.

I'm driving to the UK starting Jan '08 in a 2004 78 Troopy. I already have a route. I've researched all about the Carnet, Visas, insurances (health & vehicle), respecting local customs, food/water illnesses/medicines, having key phrases handy for each country, money access/changing (emergency stash), flying home if I have to, & other 'red-tape-stuff'.

On the vehicle side, I've fitted bars to all windows, will sleep in local hostels when I can or in back of the truck, (bed available) & will always park in Police compounds etc when I can (personal security). This is just some examples of how I'm approaching the trip.

What I'm looking for is thoughts on things I may have missed. Some ideas I will have thought of, others will start me thinking. I'll respond to all, some I'll pick up on, some I'll have already covered & others I'll not agree with. Let me have it!

Regards, Rumbler
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Reply By: Willem - Tuesday, May 15, 2007 at 12:20

Tuesday, May 15, 2007 at 12:20

I can't give you any advice but I have been following via a newsletter, a young couple, who are driving from London to Cape Town. They have lots of tips for overlanders.

Check out and also as the latter have done several world treks


AnswerID: 240112

Follow Up By: Rumbler - Wednesday, May 16, 2007 at 10:24

Wednesday, May 16, 2007 at 10:24
Thanks Willem

I was going to visit those sites before I responded, but maybe I'll do that later. My partner may already have those one's on her list. She's in-charge of all "website" research.

FollowupID: 501270

Reply By: Mike Harding - Tuesday, May 15, 2007 at 12:39

Tuesday, May 15, 2007 at 12:39
Depends exactly where you're going but I'd probably pick up a small hand gun (.22 ideally) at an opportune time and have somewhere organised within the vehicle to stash it for border crossings. You could drop it off the ferry into the English Channel at the end of your trip. Just another form of insurance.

Mike Harding
AnswerID: 240116

Follow Up By: The Landy - Tuesday, May 15, 2007 at 16:47

Tuesday, May 15, 2007 at 16:47
Others may agree or disagree, but I feel that the carrying of guns for personal protection can often get you into more trouble than they will actually save you from...whether it be from convincing the authorities that you in fact do not have any sisnister intentions, besides when it comes down to it how many people are willing to point a gun at someone and pull the trigger despite the circumstances? If you can't get around that, than it is pointless taking one...

A rifle for protection from wildlife may be a different story...but crossing borders will be the issue. Indonesia locked up that Australian for having one on his boat...

FollowupID: 501124

Follow Up By: Member - lyndon K (SA) - Tuesday, May 15, 2007 at 17:20

Tuesday, May 15, 2007 at 17:20
Yep, if you point a gun at someone make sure you are happy to pull the trigger first!!
Now is the only time you own
Decide now what you will,
Place faith not in tomorrow
For the clock may then be still

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FollowupID: 501130

Follow Up By: Rumbler - Wednesday, May 16, 2007 at 10:09

Wednesday, May 16, 2007 at 10:09
Thanks Mike, the Landy & Lyndon

I appreciate the thought, but I'm one of those "weird" anti-gun guys.
Thanks for considering my safety though, I appreciate the thought, it's just not for me.

FollowupID: 501268

Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Wednesday, May 16, 2007 at 20:57

Wednesday, May 16, 2007 at 20:57
Hopefully you and your lady will be fine Rumbler - although there are one or two people out there who don't see things quite the way we do.... Don't imagine you are, somehow, immune from bad people...?

Mike Harding
FollowupID: 501380

Reply By: Skiddy - Tuesday, May 15, 2007 at 14:10

Tuesday, May 15, 2007 at 14:10
Hi Rumbler,

A few years ago I did a job for a guy who was doing a similar thing. He had a ute and we made a steel cover for it. It was huck bolted to the tray with an opening at the front that was locked with two padlocks. His reason for wanting this was on a previous trip when he drove through certain towns the people would take/rip off anything that wasn't securely bolted. For this reason he couldnt even have a roof rack. not sure on the route he took but hope this helps a little
AnswerID: 240135

Follow Up By: Rumbler - Wednesday, May 16, 2007 at 10:21

Wednesday, May 16, 2007 at 10:21
Thanks Skiddy

It's one of my "nightmares". I'll be travelling with my ladyfriend & I have visions of being robbed by bad guys with the possible extension to what might happen to her. We've both discussed this & have accepted that if the situation ever arises, we "fold", (what else can we do?) & they can have what they like, just so we walk away. That's why we've access to $30k as an emergency run-for-home stack.
As I said, I intend to stay in or as close to Police stations overnight if not in Hostels as some form of protection. It's also why I've put bars on all windows, (will disconnect the door handles from the "pull-up" catches on each door & use only the key for access) so we can leave the truck unattended for periods. I agree, I still have a problem about the roof rack, so there I decided that what goes on top will be able to be sacrificed, otherwise why do the trip at all?

Thanks Skiddy.
FollowupID: 501269

Follow Up By: jskogsta - Wednesday, May 16, 2007 at 19:27

Wednesday, May 16, 2007 at 19:27
Quick question; which route are you taking? Serious incidents outside of the "petty" thefts etc are rare. At least that is what I've been told by others doing similar trips. Again depends on the route. Off topic though, but the Brittish guys that did the "First Overlander" (if you have not read it, it's a great book. Covers a drive from London to Sinagpore through Burma, middle east etc... was car #3 driving into Tibet if memory serves me right. Driving on a Indian military road... :) in 1956 came to the conclusion that they would not carry any guns or anything. If you ever get into a situation you're more likely to escalate it and end worse than folding and walking away. Good rule of thumb to follow if you ask me. /Jorgen
FollowupID: 501353

Follow Up By: Rumbler - Thursday, May 17, 2007 at 10:40

Thursday, May 17, 2007 at 10:40

Initially we intended to put Troopy into a container & ship to Singapore. From there into Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, China then the Stans (a lot of them with difficult spellings) into Iran then Turkey & finally through Europe.
But the price the Chinese are asking for a long circular trip (around A$15,000 plus fuel/food etc) is a bit steep. We're looking at 3 possibilities around this cost; 1) going from Thailand (again in a container) across to India & through Pakistan (believe with compulsory military escort) into Iran, or 2) across to India again then "up" through Nepal (difficult high-level pass & bloody cold!) into China for a quick L/H turn & short trip into the Stans again (paying the Chinese a lot less) or 3) after Laos, a quick L/H across China into Nepal & then India, Pakistan, Iran & Europe.
If it sounds we've indecisive, we're not. It just takes so much research & planning for a lot of reasons I won't go into. On the safety side, we've had discussions. We can stay wrapped in cotton wool at home afraid to live our lives or take responsibility for ourselves & take an informed amount of risk. There is no way we're "gung-oh" risk takers, but what are the options? We all take risk every day to some degree. When all is said & done, what are the odds? We consider life is for living, not hiding, & this is risk worth taking.

Thanks for you interest. I hope this helps.
FollowupID: 501442

Follow Up By: jskogsta - Thursday, May 17, 2007 at 13:35

Thursday, May 17, 2007 at 13:35
Hey. Wow. Interesting route, and somewhat similar to my idea of how to approach this as well. I'll have a chat to my better half, but it may be a bit too soon. I've been talking about doing the Cape to Norway (we're from there) trip, but she's a bit reluctant to do that... she would rather do the US. Ship it to San Francisco or something.. over the continent.. ship it to Iceland / Greenland .. then to Norway .. which would be really cool. However, I am attracted to traveling Asia, Middle East, Russia and Eastern Europe. We'll see what we do... but I'll have a chat with her to gauge the interest, but it may be a bit too soon. If it is, I would love to stay connected and take learnings from your experiences. We've got a '03 Patrol 3.0l diesel which we're gearing up to do some serious trips. Primarily to travel Australia, but visit Tasmania as well .. but when we're "done here" then do the kind of trip you're ready to embark on!! As we're having two little ones we will have to do something like this before they're getting too big and get too connected on school.

Did you check out the African website? It has information across not only Africa, but world trips, Asia etc. A lot of great stories there...

Cheers ..

FollowupID: 501463

Follow Up By: Rumbler - Thursday, May 17, 2007 at 14:47

Thursday, May 17, 2007 at 14:47
Confused which name to use now, I assume I should have been using Jorgen rather than Jskogsta?

Well when you have that conversation, remember, we've done a lot of the investigations that you'd have been doing by now anyway.
Tell you what, my email address is if you wanna discuss more.

Good luck with whatever Jorgen.
FollowupID: 501476

Reply By: LCRUZA (VIC) - Tuesday, May 15, 2007 at 15:20

Tuesday, May 15, 2007 at 15:20
Ron Moon is doing Cape Town to Cario now and has some info on his site :

AnswerID: 240145

Follow Up By: Rumbler - Wednesday, May 16, 2007 at 10:27

Wednesday, May 16, 2007 at 10:27

I'll pass on to my partner who is handling all website knowledge research.

FollowupID: 501271

Reply By: Scoof - Tuesday, May 15, 2007 at 15:59

Tuesday, May 15, 2007 at 15:59
Hi the only hastles I have heard about, was when a friend used a ATM in the UK and the card got skimmed.
Apart from that he had no problems and the Bank rang him about the card so he was lucky not to loose a heap of cash.

Cheers Scoof
AnswerID: 240156

Follow Up By: Rumbler - Wednesday, May 16, 2007 at 10:29

Wednesday, May 16, 2007 at 10:29
Thanks Scoof

Good one Scoof. We'll be on our guard at any ATM, in any country for what you warn against & more.

FollowupID: 501273

Reply By: jskogsta - Tuesday, May 15, 2007 at 20:35

Tuesday, May 15, 2007 at 20:35
Hey. Just what we want to do eventually as well... but have you had a look at There's a number of trips detailed there. Should provide alot of tips .. /Jorgen
AnswerID: 240204

Follow Up By: Rumbler - Wednesday, May 16, 2007 at 10:35

Wednesday, May 16, 2007 at 10:35
Thanks jskogsta

Well we're looking for people who want to do the same thing to travel with at various points. If you wanna discuss, please leave Follow-Up to this.
That said, if there's anyone out there thinking of doing the same, contact me with a Follow-Up. We've done a lot of research to date & it's never too late with seven months to go. Know anyone?

jskogsta - I'll pass the web onto my partner.

FollowupID: 501274

Reply By: _gmd_pps - Thursday, May 17, 2007 at 18:03

Thursday, May 17, 2007 at 18:03
I think your a bit paranoid ...
Your not driving through the heart of OZ where you have to fear for your safety that much .. not to say that you have to fear for your safety there ... well some do ...
I will be in Europe next year .. I take my motorbike and will go up to the North Cape and down to Napels ... Napels is about the only place where you really need extra care (lots of thieves) .. the rest of Europe (Western Europe) is pretty ok .. I even would say less of a problem than any OZ city .. Gypsies is the only real thread for your belongings. But you didn't even talk about Europe .. just UK ...
With bars in the car windows you even attract some curiosity ...

I always carry an expandable batton in my motorcycle boots - just in case someone wants something I don't wanna loose ....

good luck

AnswerID: 240582

Follow Up By: Rumbler - Friday, May 18, 2007 at 12:17

Friday, May 18, 2007 at 12:17
Thanks GMD
Truth is if you read some of my other posts (asking about various things) I've had to keep reminding people that I'm not driving through the Red Centre & need for winches, snatch straps are not a priority.
I value your advice since you've been there & willingly will go again. I've driven through a lot of Europe & had my soft top ripped open & several things taken, in Italy too!
The bars are an attempt to disuade likely opportunity/casual theives not to bother. I'm sure if someone wants in, no matter what, they'll get in. I also have the darkest tint on all windows to hide what's inside.
Any advice about anything welcome.
FollowupID: 501665

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