Careful preparation goes a long way toward guaranteeing your journey is a success, whether you’re traveling to the neighboring village or the other side of the world. The best preparation will help you avoid possible disasters, such as running out of clean clothes to wear or having your credit card declined. The following are some suggestions on how to prepare for your long-term trip:
Do the Research
Flip through guidebooks on your destination to get an idea about the cost of the three biggest travel expenses: accommodation transport and food. Collecting a little information will guide you through setting the appropriate trip budget and savings goal. Check if the country you intend to go requires a visa and its cost – many visas are obtainable on arrival while others are needed in advance.
Be aware that charges can triple during high seasons and holidays. Charges drop in low season, but sporadic transport, monsoon rain, and business closures can cause trouble. Shoulder seasons are usually best to avoid high prices and crowds.
Visit a travel doctor about vaccination requirements and buy medication for traveler’s diarrhea. Be sure to carry probiotics that don’t require refrigeration. It is mandatory to read up on the history of your destination. Follow any recent or potential political and military conflicts closely. Avoid traveling during elections as most businesses close and riots are possible. Once you’ve set the departure date and spread the news, it also boosts your courage levels. Plus, it’s a great way to get your friends involved and make plans to meet up for a portion of your trip.
The simplest way to save money while traveling is to avoid international transaction and ATM fees. Select a bank that has no ATM fees or foreign transaction fees. Consider a good travel medical insurance plan that covers emergency evacuations, short visits to your home country, adventure sports, and end-of-trip home coverage.
You should also consider a policy or additional insurance that also includes trip delays, lost luggage, and electronics. When traveling, you should have NO bills. That’s right – none whatsoever. Cut off your Netflix, Pandora, Amazon Prime, and many more. Depending on how long your travel will last, sell, rent, or have a friend list your house or apartment on Airbnb for a small commission.
Put a few cash, first aid supplies, over the counter drugs, your house keys, and return ticket or anything else related to your return in a separate bag. Folding takes up more space, instead opt to roll your garments which will keep them secure and reduces wrinkles.
Select clothes in the same color family, so you don’t have to pack many shoes and accessories. Thinner garments are great; they take up less space and can be layered in your suitcase helping in preparation for most types of weather. Pack easy-care fabrics that don’t wrinkle easily or require dry cleaning.
Remember always to stay safe while traveling. Pickpockets often target tourists, who may be disoriented by their surroundings. Especially for international travel, use a money belt to secure your credit card, money and identification documents.