Planning an extended trip or a temporary move to a foreign country is an extensive, exhilarating, and sometimes overwhelming process. You may have your eyes focused on your upcoming adventure, but there are some things at home that will need your attention before you take the leap!
First, you have the big things to consider—where, when, and how. Then, you’ll move on to the smaller, but equally as important, logistical details of pulling off your plans. As you prepare for your long-term travel experience, make sure you’re checking the following items off your to-do list so you can explore the world without worrying about anything at home!
Plan your trip.
This one seems like a no-brainer, but when it actually comes down to it, there’s a lot of careful planning and research that goes into long-term travel. Start by researching destinations, narrowing down what you want to see and what you want to do. Decide what you just can’t miss, where you’d like to make it if you can, and what simply isn’t feasible.
Once you know where you’re going, you need to figure out how to get there, where to stay, and how much time you want to spend in each location. Find flights, reliable accommodations, and see if any of your destinations have special requirements.
Will you need a visa for how long you’re staying? Do you need to receive specific immunizations to be able to enter the country? These are all details you need to know well in advance.
Make a budget.
After you have a rough itinerary, start estimating costs based on where you’re going and the type of experiences you want to have. Be sure to account for airfare, transportation, lodging, activities and tours, food, and extra expenses for flexibility.
Depending on where you’re traveling and how long you’ll be there, you may want to think about if you’ll want to get a job. Whether it’s something part-time, full-time, or even remote, you’ll want to consider how that factors into your budget, preparations, and lifestyle abroad.
Get important affairs in order.
Traveling long-term is not like taking a two-week vacation. Certain plans need to be made to ensure all of your essential needs are being met both at home and abroad. You’ll need to figure out, for example, banking, health insurance, medical care, necessary paperwork and important documents, and more.
Notify the proper channels of your departure so you don’t end up in a sticky situation when you return. Make sure your employer, bank, doctor, family, friends, landlord, etc. are aware of the details of your impending travel.
You’ll also want to notify any services you need to cancel—you don’t want to end up paying for a membership at a gym you can’t go to for the next year!
Pack & organize your belongings.
After your itinerary is solid and important matters of business are taken care of, it’s time to decide what you’re doing with all your stuff! Start by making a list of what you’ll need while traveling. Then, take inventory of what you already have to bring, what you’ll need to buy, what you want to sell, and what you’re leaving behind.
Your packing list will depend on where you’re going, the length of your trip, and what your living situation will be abroad. If you’ll be renting an apartment as a home base for your travels, you’ll be able to take more with you than if you’ll be hopping from hostel to hostel.
Figure out a safe long-term storage solution for those items you won’t be bringing, but still want to be able to easily access when you need them again.
Prepare yourself mentally.
After your practical needs and plans are all set, it’s time to say your goodbyes and get ready to step into the unknown! Try doing a little research online to see what fellow vagabonds have to say about what you can expect. This will help you emotionally prepare for your journey.
Lastly, schedule your farewells or plan a goodbye party with your family and friends. It will be comforting for you all to see each other one last time before your extended absence.
When you’re traveling long-term or living abroad, the last thing you want to worry about is your belongings back home. At Dowell’s Moving & Storage, we’ll keep anything you can’t take with you secure in our climate-controlled storage facility in Victoria.
Contact the Dowell’s team today to assure everything big and small you’re saying goodbye to (just for now) is being left in good hands!