Many people decide to undertake traveling abroad long-term because they want to change something in their lives. A big adventure to new countries is certainly exciting, but it requires thorough preparation and often abandoning everything in your home country.
There is no right way to plan a long-term journey, but there are things that you could do to optimize your trip. So, we have picked 10 things that you should consider before starting your long-term travel.
Decide where you are going
Before you are able to outline your budget, you need to decide where and for how long you will be going. You’ll also need to decide where you will be staying. Plan beforehand whether you want to stay in hotels or do a work exchange for free accommodations, for example, and factor all similar details into your plan.
Investigate visa requirements
After you have the list of the countries you are going to visit, investigate their visa requirements.
First of all, check what kind of visa requirements your government has for its citizens abroad. Then, pay a visit to the consulates of the countries you will be traveling to or check online to see if you will need to get visas for them.
This is a thing that you should do well in advance of your trip since getting a visa is a cumbersome process with some countries.
Make up your budget
Now that you know where and for how long you will be going and where you will be staying, it is the time for you to plan your budget. Take into account transportation, food, removal companies for longer term, booking rooms, and leave some buffer room just in case if possible.
A number of travel bloggers provide average daily cost breakdowns by country, so you could base your budget on their numbers. Basically, you would need to multiply the average daily cost by the number of days you will be staying in that country, and then you would need to add together the staying costs of all the countries you are going to visit.
There are also a couple of things that you may need to include in your budget which we will examine below.
Long-term traveling requires a lot of money, and those who undertake such trips often have to save funds beforehand to make their journey possible.
In fact, you will also need to make sure that you aren’t burdened by unnecessary expenses over the course of your journey.
If possible, get out of your debts and loans. If you can’t really do that, at least return as much of the debts as you can to ease out your journey’s costs.
You could also get rid of all your home services like phone or internet plans so their fees don’t make your expenses bulkier. And if you have a car, you should seek to take the costs of gas, insurance, and taxes out of your expense books by selling it or renting it out.
Have two bank cards
It is a very good idea to have at least two bank cards from different banks. Bank cards sometimes do not work abroad, so having a backup card may be able to help you if this happens. Also, make sure that your card has a 4-digit pin number since foreign ATMs mostly work with them only.
Switch to online billing
Your taxes, electricity bills, and other similar costs won’t magically disappear while you are abroad. You will have to still take care of them.
The easiest way of dealing with your bills from another country is paying them online, so switch all your paper bills to auto-pay or electronic not to worry about this.
Decide what to do with your home
Some people leave their home vacant, some rent it out, while the rest just sell it. In fact, renting the home out or selling it are good ways of getting additional money for your trip. The same goes for all the equipment and furniture in your home.
If you are going to rent your home out, hire a landlord – preferably someone you know and trust – to manage the tenants. You would also need to arrange cash transfer options for the landlord to manage the expenses and for you to get the rent.
If you will be selling your home, arrange early discussions with your bank on your mortgage. You should hire a lawyer or a realtor to do this.
And lastly, if you will be keeping your home vacant, you may want to store all your possessions away. If you have relatives or friends living nearby, you should give your items to them. If not, you would need to rent a storage lock up or a container to keep your items safe.
Update your IDs
Check all the expiry dates on your health cards, your driver’s license, passport, credit cards, etc. Renew all your documents so that they stay valid throughout your trip. You could also find auto-renewal options for some of your documents.
If you will be renting a car while abroad, you should get yourself an international driver’s license. It won’t be necessary in most of the countries, but it will serve as an extra precaution.
Do a medical checkup
Make sure that you are up to date on all your vaccines. Besides, check to see whether or not you need to take additional vaccines for any of the countries you’ll visit. And in general, make sure that you are completely healthy for the trip: you don’t want to get caught out in the open by something serious.
You should also probably do a few things to help you maintain your health while traveling. Such a big change in your lifestyle will be stressful, so you better be prepared for it. Cut back on alcohol and coffee, do some yoga or work out to make sure that you stay healthy.
Take advantage of travel reward points
Open new credit cards to get reward points for hotel stays, airline points, and from utilizing many other strategies. You could find many tools online to get the right cards with to earn the most points, so make sure to take advantage of this. But keep in mind that you will need to pay for such cards monthly.