Now that you have decided what route you want to take and when you want to go, you can start with more detailed practical, physical and spiritual preparations.
- Book your transport. If you do not have a strict deadline for return, and are walking a longer route, not being restricted to a return date can avoid you feeling pressurised to walk further and faster than you are comfortable with to ensure you don’t miss your flight home. The downside is of course the sometimes considerable extra expense of booking a flight at short notice in Santiago. Refer to our How to get there and back page and Getting there and back links page for details of airlines, rail companies etc.
- Consider booking accommodation for your first night. Many people like to do this to be sure of getting a bed easily after a long journey. Please remember advance booking is possible only in private albergues or hotels, see our Accommodation section for a general overview of the types of accommodation available.
- Buy boots/walking shoes, a rucksack and any other kit if you are not already a seasoned walker/backpacker. Please see our Packing List page for further details.
- Consider buying a guide book. Please see our online shop for details of our range.
- Consider getting a pilgrim passport/credencial in advance. The CSJ supplies its own pilgrim passport to members free of charge, and to non-members for £5. Click here for details of how to get a pilgrim passport/credencial. See also How to Join the CSJ.
- Visit the CSJ Office on Thursdays 11 am – 3.30 pm to ask questions or browse the bookshop or library. We also run at least one Practical Pilgrim Day per year and have Office Open Day on several Saturdays per year (see Programme of Events)
You may want to embark on a training programme if you are not a regular and experienced walker, and make sure you have broken in new boots or walking shoes before you start your camino. Please see our FAQ Fitness training for your camino.
You may wish to spend some time reading and reflecting on pilgrimage before you go. Please take a look at The Spiritual Dimension, Thoughts and Essays and our links to other sites on spiritual aspects for articles, readings and prayers suitable for contemplation before or during your pilgrimage.