Most people never get to fulfill their dream travel out of numerous fears, or keep postponing it for someday. Whether you’re going on a backpacking trip, round-the-world, or checking major places off your bucket list – preparing for such long-term travel is a hassle which might hold you back or even make you give up on it. However hugely exciting these sort of travels might be, they are also overwhelming unless you learn how to prepare properly and get everything in order beforehand. Here is an ultimate checklist which will encourage you to stop dreaming about it, and start living it.
Get your documents in order
First things first – make sure you’re fully legal to go where you’re headed. In order to do this, you’ll have to decide on a couple of basic things concerning your travel – where do you want to go and how long do you plan to stay in each country. Once you’ve got this clear, do some research on each country’s possible visa requirements or temporary residence permits. Make sure to collect your documents and take care of any applications well in advance of your departure. And the most important thing when leaving your country – make sure your passport is valid for long enough to last the entirety of your trip and there is enough room in it for all the new stamps you’ll be collecting. It’s also recommended to scan and leave copies of essential documents, including your passport, driver’s license, and birth certificate, with a family member or friend just in case of any irregularity. And just to ensure your peace of mind, bring one copy of each of these with you as well and keep them separate from the originals.
Invest in insurance
Wherever you decide to go, in whichever period of your life, your safety and health must be a priority. Hence, life insurance needs to be on the top of your checklist. Needless to say, you should see your doctor and have a thorough health check-up before hitting the road. Maybe consider a term life insurance policy, since it enables you to customize your plan as you like and make it last as short as one year. Buying a reliable insurance policy is a necessary investment that will pay off in case of any lost currency or unexpected medical expenses anywhere in the world.
Come up with a budget
Of course, you don’t have to plan every detail and predict all the possible future costs. But you need to do at least some research about the places that you plan to visit and stay at in order to have at least a rough idea of how much money you’ll need. Brainstorm ways you could earn some cash while being abroad or even consider applying for a job beforehand. Another important task for you will be to research bank options in the places you plan to spend your time and always keep in mind possible fluctuations in foreign currencies.
Pack light and pack smart. Be realistic: you will never be able to pack everything you need for every second of your journey even if you had 10 suitcases, so why bother trying? A more minimalistic way of packing will not only make things significantly easier for you during the preparation process but will also have a positive impact on your mental health throughout the journey, revealing to you the perks of being freed from way too much unpacking and packing. There are some tips that can help you keep your baggage organized, accessible, and clean. First of all, do not fold your clothes – roll them. Not only will you save lots of space, but this also helps prevent your clothes from wrinkling. Always pack one or two plastic bags to keep your dirty clothes and laundry separate from the rest of your clothes.
Get rid of the ‘’unfinished business’’ at home
You don’t want ‘’home things’’ hanging over your head long after you’re gone. Finish up any projects you’ve already started or anything that might come up during your leave. Think practically and economically, and take care of all the bills that can be eliminated. Turn off your monthly subscriptions to Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Pandora, etc. Take care of any possible debts you might have and consider canceling long-term contracts, such as your mobile phone or gym membership. To cut down on your housing expenses, have a friend or a family member list your apartment/house on Airbnb for a small commission, which will provide enough to cover all monthly expenses. For those bills that you can’t or don’t want to eliminate – switch them to electronic or auto-pay for headache-less managing.
Stop playing the “I wish I could” card and delaying the life-changing journey of your dreams. With a carefully and wisely drafted checklist including the points above, you definitely can take the leap and travel long-term.