The most important tip I can offer is pack light, seriously we live with so much stuff and we don’t need it and once you begin to walk with a pack on your back you will know it’s there and it will get heavier during the day. The recommended is 10% of your body weight and no more than 10kg – there is no way I would want to attempt the 10kg.
Disposable clothes – if you have stuff you are thinking of ditching, take it and ditch along the way, it only makes for an ever reducing load.
Walking sticks are your friend – people laughed at us for taking sticks, but particularly as pain set in they helped, the walking is daily, there are no rest days in between, befriend those sticks.
Accommodation – there are lots of Albergues and pensions on the way, but if you aim for the main stops get there in good time, they soon fill up. We chose to stop at in between stages, there are some great spots with beds a plenty and private rooms so snore boxes can be avoided.
Take ear plugs, they also become your friend.
I took a sleeping bag, but to reduce the load be aware that there are blankets available.
Good socks and boots, will save your feet, but a supply of compeeds will not go amiss.
Collapsible water bottles are great for those spots where the regular water bottles will not fit under a tap.
Vegetarian – omelette, pizza, salad will be a staple. Meat and fish is plentiful but people will adapt for vegetarians.
Spanish phrase book – many of the people along the way have very little English so give your Spanish a go, it seems to be appreciated and eventually you get there!
Santiago accommodation – it’s expensive compared to Albergues etc and it books up quickly, we had a disaster via booking.com for Stellea Luscofrusco. They were unable to fulfill our booking requirements, then increased the charges, we left on principal and they still charged us €270 for the pleasure, currently we are disputing. We were left with no room at the inn, until a beautiful little Spanish woman Estrella Garcia Landeira spotted our weary selves on the street and offered us a bed for €15 each per night in a local house. She can be found at 19 – 2 Rua Entremuros, tel: 981 58 14 94. Great spot, very clean and she even did our washing, look her up. She can be found wandering around the cathedral drumming up business.
Sunscreen, a must in the heat of the day, sunburn on top of aching calves is not good!
Sense of humor is essential for this trip, if you don’t laugh you will cry!
Be open, speak with people and take time to reflect, it is a great opportunity for self reflection.