Top tips for the Camino De Santiago

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It’s one of the world’s great pilgrimage routes, but these basic tips can make the difference between a trip of a lifetime, and not such a great experience.

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1. Make a packing list

This is the smartest step you’ll take on the Camino.
Start your list several weeks before you travel. Talk to pilgrims. Consult blogs and tour companies. Unless you’re organising luggage transfers, you’ll have to carry everything you pack.

Essentials include: a sun hat, sunscreen, water bottle, medicines, camera, blister plasters, anti-inflammatories, wipes, light fabrics that dry easily, and a travel towel. Weather can be unpredictable in Galicia, so bring a poncho and fleece for cool evenings.

2. Break in your boots

There is a time to buy new hiking boots, but that time it is not the day before your Camino commences!
Blisters are a problem for even the hardiest of hikers, so be sure to get your boots ahead of time and break them in over several long walks before you travel.

3. Bring ear-plugs

Lots of pilgrims stay at cheap-and-cheerful hostels along the route. That means sharing dorms… and snoring. Not all hostels provide bedclothes, so plan your sleeping arrangements in advance or pack a sleeping bag.

4. Start early

Hitting the trail between 7 and 8am means you avoid the worst of the day’s heat and the crowds.

5. Book ahead

The Camino has exploded in popularity over the past decade, with almost half of pilgrimages taking place in summer months. Make sure to book your accommodation in advance – especially on busy stretches like Sarria to Santiago.

6. It’s good to talk

The people you meet, and the stories you share, are all part of the atmosphere – and something pilgrims tend to remember far more vividly than the landscapes. Perhaps due to the nature of the route, or the time on their hands, conversations are amazingly open, and can continue for days.

7. Pace yourself

Anyone with a reasonable level of fitness should be able for a stint along the Camino – but you can be sure that your body will throw a curve ball at you at regular intervals along the route.

It’s a good idea to do long walks before you go, getting to know your comfort levels and warning signs. Take the first week slowly.

8. Stay hydrated

It can be hot on the Camino, and you’re asking a lot of your body, so be sure to replenish all fluids you’re losing, a good water bottle is essential.

9. Try and do 100km

This is the minimum distance required to get a certificate of completion.

Typically, the start point is Sarria (111km from Santiago on the French Way), which takes about six days to walk. By taking your passport to the Pilgrim’s Office (Oficina del Peregrino) in Santiago, you can have the distance verified and claim a certificate. Always good to have something to remind you of your achievement.

10. Make sure you have Travel Insurance.

You never know what can happen on any trip abroad so it is vitally important to have your travel insurance policy in place. Multitrip.com offer competitive travel insurance and have just launched a 2 travel insurance policy. It is important to know that you are covered should the worst happen.

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