Preparations before you go to Mongolia
The last few days before any trip are always a bit nuts. You put things off and end up staying up all night before the flight try to figure out what the hell you want to bring. Then after you’ve squashed everything in your backpack, gone through security and boarded the flight you realize you forgot something. Fortunately, Mongolia pretty much has everything you might need so if it’s really important you can replace whatever you forgot once you’re there. All right, here are a few things to remember in the days leading up to departure.
•Before leaving home, make copies of all your records (credit cards, passport, drivers license etc.). Take one copy with you and leave another in a safe place at home. If anything goes missing or gets stolen you’ll have a copy, which makes getting stuff replaced easier.
•Call your credit card company and tell them where you are going. The minute they see charges in places like China or Mongolia they’ll freeze your account, which can be a real pain in the ass if you are already overseas.
•More on the credit/debit card thing. Bring a debit card issued by your bank, make sure its associated with Visa or MasterCard, and get a PIN number for it. Organize all that with your bank before you go.
•Go to a travel health clinic, get a consultation and any needed jabs. They’ll probably stick you with a hepatitis shot if you haven’t had one in a while. If you don’t already have one, request an immunization chart, a handy little yellow card that lists your history of immunizations.
•Pretend like you are leaving a day earlier. Get all your stuff packed up and walk out the door as if you were going to the airport. Maybe even walk down the block with your gear to see how your pack feels. If a strap break off your pack in the first minute you’ve probably brought too much crap. Or maybe you just need a stronger backpack. Either way, doing this little exercise will help you be better prepared when you do finally leave.
Any trip to Mongolia involves some amount of camping. It’s possible to hire tents and sleeping bags from guesthouses in Ulaanbaatar, but you’ll probably appreciate the reliability of your own gear. If you plan on only jeep touring you’ll do OK to bring a heavier tent, but if you are going to do some trekking, take something light. There are gear shops in UB to buy warm weather clothing.
Posted by: pktan
Having spent a few months in the amazing Mongolia for the past few years, PkTan is fascinated with this beautiful, complicated country. He love advising travellers to Mongolia and have developed this site to share all his knowledge of Mongolia with everyone.