Before setting off on long-term travel, the amount of preparation can be daunting. But don’t worry – with these five key steps, you’ll be well on your way to being ready for the trip of a lifetime.
1. Save and make a budget
First things first, you need to be able to afford to travel long-term. For most people, this involves saving for a while and sticking to a strict budget.
In order to save, The Ordinary Traveler suggests selling items you no longer need, restricting the amount of new stuff you buy, and looking for free entertainment. Invite friends over rather than going out, for example. For more of their top tips, see here.
We also suggest that you consider working along the way to top up your spending pot. And, to cut the costs of travelling, why not hire an RV? Carol Ann gave some great advice on setting an RV up in an earlier post.
2. Do your research
To make the most of your travel, you should expect to spend a decent amount of time researching. This includes thinking about the best seasons to visit different places, considering the varying visa requirements and purchasing some guidebooks to take with you in case there’s limited Internet.
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3. Prepare yourself before you go
You’re likely to need some vaccinations from the doctors, but it’s also worth clearing up any other problems before you go. Also pay a visit to the dentist. You’d rather go to these places in your home country where you’re familiar with the level of service.
Another good idea to prepare for long-term travel is making sure you can cook for yourself. You’ll appreciate a home-cooked meal, whilst saving money.
It should go without saying, but also pack sensibly. You don’t need an excess of clothes – you won’t be able to carry them all and a lot of places will have washing machines anyway.
4. Choose your travel companions wisely
If you’re travelling with other people, make sure you can happily spend a lot of time with them. You’ll be in each other’s pockets. Gadling said: “Not all friends make for good travel companions. You have to choose wisely before inviting someone on a trip with you.”
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5. Consider a holiday from your holiday
Now this might sound like a bit of a luxury, but it is recommended to take a holiday from your holiday. Why? “All those bus rides, all that haggling, all the weird food” – it’s worth planning to take a break. Because constant life on the road can take its toll, it’s good to know you’ve got a nice hotel to stay put for a few nights.
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Sneaking this one in here too, but make sure you don’t over-plan. It’s okay if things don’t turn out exactly how you thought. You’ve got to make sure you’re open to options – they could make your trip even better.
In the middle of planning a long-term trip? Let us know how you’re preparing below.