Making the decision to take a long travel break can be a huge life upheaval, so proper planning is naturally important. It’s much more complicated than simply planning for a two-week vacation, and there will be extra preparations needed that you wouldn’t require on a basic trip.
1. Pack Light
When traveling long term, you may be wondering how you’re supposed to pack everything you need — especially when it comes to clothes. Instead of overburdening yourself, pack the bare minimum and pick things up along the way instead. You can stop at laundry facilities to wash what you already have, or buy new or disposable items wherever you are in the world.
2. Check Your Visas
Depending on which country you’re traveling to, and for what purpose, you may need specific visa requirements. Certain countries will allow you to travel without a visa for a certain period of time (six months, for example) but if you’re traveling for longer, you may need an official visa or a working visa for any employment.
3. Think About Finances
In preparing for long-term travel, you need to know how you’re going to financially support yourself. If you’ve been planning for a while, you may already have a significant sum saved to cover what you need whilst not working. Or, you may want to look for working opportunities along the way while you travel. Another option is also picking up freelance work you can easily do from your computer, anywhere in the world.
4. Take Out Storage
If you’re planning for long-term travel to coincide with the end of a rental lease, or you’re looking to move home and want to do some traveling first, then taking out storage is a great idea for your belongings. This means you can safely store all home items — such as your couch, TV and fridge — without having to continue paying for a property. Then, all your items will be ready for you when you get back from traveling. Be sure to know how to shop for storage units so you can find the best deal.
5. Keep Someone Back Home Informed
For the interest of safety and having support, you should always have a designated loved one, whether friend or family member, who knows where you’re headed at all times — especially if you’re moving from country to country. Use messages, emails and phone calls to keep them updated.
6. Have Backups
For important items, always plan a backup. Don’t keep all your money and credit cards in one wallet in case you lose it. Spread out your cash and important items into different bags or storage so that you always have a backup.
7. Don’t Plan Too Much
This may sound contradictory, but when you’re traveling, there is so much to learn along the way that you simply can’t plan for. There is so much guidance you will receive from locals and people you meet that you can’t find in any guide book.
Therefore, keep space open in your planning and schedule to take a detour or do something you didn’t expect to do. Don’t be too strict on yourself in regard to sticking to a specific schedule you have mapped out, especially for long-term travel.