Overland Travel FAQ
  • Who will I be travelling with?
  • Truck Life
  • Accommodation & Food
  • Pre-trip considerations
  • Money
  • Health & Fitness

What is the age range on a trip?

ANSWER

The age range on each trip varies, in our experience, groups with a wide range of ages tend to be the best! Some trips attract a younger or older age group, so if you have any concerns about finding a trip with people who are a similar age to yourself, get in touch and we can help you choose the right tour and group

Is there an age limit on joining an overland tour?

ANSWER

Generally you must be 18 years old to join a trip (although there are some specific trips that cater for families with children under 18). The upper age limit for trips varies between Operators and destinations, but generally age is much less important than having a sense of adventure, a flexible approach and a willingness to get involved.

I am a single traveller is this an issue?

ANSWER

In general most trips will have a fair number of single travellers and this style of travel really suits single travellers as gives you the security of the group as well as other people to share your adventure.

What sort of people go overlanding?

ANSWER

Overland journeys always draw together interesting groups from all walks of life and from around the world. We feel the more diverse the group is the better the group and find that on most tours many great friendships are formed.

I would love to take 6 months off work but I can't get the time off. Is it possible to join a tour for part of it only?

ANSWER

Although we specialise in extended overland tours and tours travelling to off-the-beaten track destinations, there are lots of options available if you have less time to travel or only want to cover a specific country or countries.  Please contact us to discuss your requirements and what we can offer you!

Will we spend all day, every day, travelling?

ANSWER

Overland tours do require you to spend some time on the truck as all these journeys will cover a fair distance to be able to show you as much of the destination as possible. That said, any well structured tour will have the big travel days spread out over the itinerary and it is very seldom that you will travel every day. Rather expect to spend 2 -3 nights in one place and then head off again. Different tours offer different options, talk to us about this and we can advise you what will suit you best. Also don’t forget that travelling on the truck is part of the fun!  The view out the window is often spectacular and you get to see local life as you go by, it’s also a great time to read a book, chat to other travellers or possibly play cards and board games.

Will we have time to explore destinations or will it be a whistle-stop tour?

ANSWER

There are definitely whistle-stop tours out there, but we understand the tours and so we can use our knowledge to guide you to what will suit you best.

Do I have to follow the tour leader everywhere?

ANSWER

Overlanding is no group tour with the guide walking around with a flag and you having to tag along. Yes there may be local guides along the way well worth following around to understand and see it all but this style of travel means that your group leader will give you all the information you need and then encourage you to head off and explore and it is up to you as to how you experience each destination.

How comfortable will the trip be?

ANSWER

This depends so much on the style of trip you choose and the part of the world you wish to visit. For example, many trips in Central Asia now have very little camping involved and so the degree of comfort is right up there, while trips in Africa usually have a high percentage of camping. One also has to consider truck comfort and at times the going can get rough as you rattle down third world roads to explore and go and see amazing sites. Overall truck travel is comfortable and should really be no worry to most people. If you have a back problem though it would be best to discuss this with us before deciding if overlanding is for you.

How flexible is the itinerary and can the route change as we travel along?

ANSWER

Any extended overland itinerary will have a degree of flexibility built in to it and will be affected by events as you travel along. You crew will be adjusting the route as required as you travel along with your enjoyment and safety in mind.

Will I be able to stay in touch while I am on the road?

ANSWER

In most cases this will be easily done although how good the local WIFI and mobile phone networks are will depend on where you are travelling. Generally, you will be able to get a local SIM card and be able to phone home and in most cases receive and send data at no great costs. We now find that WIFI is pretty freely available in many places, although it may not be too fast or reliable. One thing to consider though: No-one ever finished an overland tour and wished they had spent more time on their device… Being able to stay in touch with those back home is very handy, but don’t let it get in the way of actually getting out and exploring and experiencing the places you are visiting.

How do I keep all my devices charged?

ANSWER

In our power hungry world charging has become so important whether it is your phone, camera or laptop and in most places you should have no problem. Most campsites, homestay and hotels will allow charging and trucks generally have 12 volt charge point on board and some have additional inverter mains points which you can use while the truck is running. Overall don’t worry, power is available, but if you can bring a spare battery for your camera and possibly a power bank for your phone it is well worth it.

What about toilets?

ANSWER

Let’s be honest, in some parts of the world they just don’t seem to get toilets and there are some horrors out there (you will be surprised how many story-worthy toilets are out there!) Has this been an issue for past travellers? The honest answer is no not really, it is something that everyone adapts to quickly. As to when there are no toilets and you are on some remote mountain plain, in the middle of a desert or a lush jungle you soon make a plan. So don’t worry about it you will be fine, and definitely don’t let this put you off joining an overland tour.

Is it safe?

ANSWER

The world we live in becomes more disturbed every day it seems and when looking at the many destinations we recommend, the question of security inevitably arises. Overland tours offer a unique security as you have the truck as your safety capsule where you can keep your valuables and get away from the elements or bothersome locals. We also find that as you are travelling as a group there is more security and even when heading off to explore there will normally be other group members keen to come along. In addition all the operators have local agencies who they work with and keep them updated if there is any possible threat, as well as keeping an eye on the FCO travel advice. Overall overlanding is a safe way to travel.

I haven’t done a lot of camping, is that a problem?

ANSWER

Camping, if done right, is a pleasure and with the supplied camping equipment on the trucks you should be fine. Just bring a good roll mat and sleeping bag and you are good to go. Never camped before? Well we suggest discussing it with us and we can help you make a informed decision, also remember in many cases you will be able to upgrade to accommodation.

Do I have a share a room or tent?

ANSWER

Overland journeys are usually based on a per person sharing basis with no single supplement payable which is one of the reasons this is such a great way for single travellers to hit the road! In all cases if you are sharing it will be with someone of the same gender and we find that people with similar interests tend to end up sharing and life long friendships are often made. If you are nervous about sharing with someone, some operators will give you the option at the time of booking to choose to upgrade to a single room, but mostly this is something that you can discuss with your crew and they can assist you arrange as you travel along, subject to availability.

Can I upgrade my accommodation?

ANSWER

This is possible in many places but will need to be discussed with your crew while you are on the trip as they will have the best idea of what is on offer and how it will work into the bigger picture.

I have special dietary requirements is this a problem?

ANSWER

It really should not be a problem, but please discuss it with us before signing up.

How do I get all the visas?

ANSWER

Before departure on any of these trips the operator will give you a visa plan so that you know which visas to get before departure and how to get them in most cases the operator will also assist with any required visa support. If you need to get multiple visas before your trip then it is well worth considering using the services of a visa agency to assist with your applications – while it does increase the cost, it tends to decrease the stress!

What about malaria and other health issues like vaccinations?

ANSWER

The operator will cover this in detail before you depart and will advise you to visit your local GP or travel health clinic for any vaccinations and other medication like malaria prophylactics. A great source of information before visiting your travel clinic is the NHS site – Fit for Travel – which gives you vaccination and other health related advice by country.

What about flights?

ANSWER

Flights are up to you and can either be booked yourself, though Odyssey Overland’s preferred operator GYT or in many cases the operator may be able to assist. Please remember when looking at flights that you will more than likely want to arrive a day or two before the tour starts and plan to give yourself a day or so at the end of the tour as well.

What should I pack?

ANSWER

Each operator will supply a packing list and if you would like we are very happy to send you our recommended packing list which has work so well over the years

Do I need travel insurance?

ANSWER

Absolutely!  All the operators require you to have appropriate and adequate travel insurance in place although the exact requirements of each operator do vary.

If you are a UK resident, we recommend you talk to Campbell Irvine who are the industry leaders in overland travel insurance.

What is the local payment or kitty?

ANSWER

The local payment or kitty is a payment that you will be required to pay to your crew at the start of the expedition normally in US$ cash (or a combination of US$ and Euros in West Africa). This allows the crew to have a supply of cash which is often difficult to get once they are abroad. Each company operates these cash amounts differently but the system will be explained before you book

How should I bring my spending money?

ANSWER

Depending on where in the world you are travelling, access to ATMs / cashpoints varies substantially.  On all of the trips you will need to bring at least some of your spending money (and all of your visa money if required) in cash.  Don’t worry about getting local currencies before you travel, it is very easy to change US$ (or Euros in some countries in West Africa) when you are travelling and you will often get much better exchange rates than you would get back home.  All the overland trucks have safes on board where you can store your spending money.

How much spending money do I need to bring?

ANSWER

This is always a tricky question as everyone’s spending habits vary, but the operators have given a general indication of the amount of money that past overland tour group members have spent.  Don’t forget you also need to look at the optional activities available and budget separately for any of the big items.

Is my booking protected against financial failure?

ANSWER

We will facilitate your booking directly with the operators, and so you will be covered by their financial protection arrangements.  We have been in the overland industry for a long time and we only recommend companies who we know personally and who have a proven track record.

I have an existing medical condition can I still join an expedition?

ANSWER

Here we suggest you consult your GP and also have a chat to us about the particular trip you are interested in. In many cases as long as your crew are aware of the issue and it is a manageable condition it should not be a problem. Please chat to us if you have any condition that could be affected by altitude if you are on an expedition in Asia or South America.

How fit do I have to be?

ANSWER

The fitter you are the more you will enjoy the trip, though many people find they get fitter as they travel along. All overland journeys can be as active or passive as you want. If you are able to carry your own bag, climb a flight of stairs and help out around the camp you should be good to go.

Do I need travel insurance and when should I buy it?

ANSWER

All operators will require you to book travel insurance for your trip and will require proof before you are able to join the expedition. We suggest that you book your travel insurance when you make the booking to cover you for any unforeseen events. Most operators have some minimum requirements. Worth remembering is that you require good travel insurance which suits the style of travel you are embarking on. Our recommendation (also recommended by many of the overland companies we work with) is Campbell Irvine who specialise in cover suitable for overland travel (mainly for UK & EU residents, but contact them for more information if you live outside the UK / EU).

"We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open." 
Jawaharal Nehru

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