Going on vacation for a week is no longer what many people are looking for when it comes to travel. Instead, more people are opting to go on extended trips abroad.
There are a lot of reasons for this shift.
Many people work digitally, and as long as they have their laptop and an internet connection, they can work. That makes traveling options much more flexible for a lot of people.
People also tend to be more interested in different kinds of travel adventures, such as ecotourism, or long-term volunteering with organizations abroad. Some people even work on these trips and earn money along the way.
Regardless of why you’re planning an extended trip abroad, there are plenty of technicalities to consider.
The following are some things to keep in mind as you’re making plans.
The Financial Aspects
There are a ton of financial considerations if you’re planning a long-term trip. Let’s say that you’ve saved money for your travels, or you’re going to be working abroad. If so, you’re still going to think about how you’ll manage your money.
For example, how will you save on various fees, such as fees for using your credit cards out of the country? What will you do if you’re in the middle of a deserted beach in El Salvador and you run out of money? How can people send you money when you’re abroad? Do you already have an account with a service like Remitly, or do you need to create one?
There are different systems of banking depending on the areas where you’re going,and if you don’t plan accordingly you can end up spending a lot of your savings on avoidable financial fees.
Another thing to think about financially is trying to get out of debt before you leave for an extended trip. It can make things a lot easier, especially if you’re going to be relying only on your savings while you’re away and not earning any other income.
Create a General Plan of the Big Picture
When you’re traveling on a shorter vacation or trip, you likely plan most every detail. This includes things like how you’ll get to your destination, where you’ll stay when you get there, and how you’ll get around once you’re actually in your destination.
When you’re planning a longer-term trip, you’re simply not going to be able to plan for every detail.
A better course of action is to create a general plan for your trip. Think about the places you want to visit, create a budget, and let the smaller elements of the trip come together more naturally.
If you obsess over everything you’re going to do during your trip, you’re going to become frustrated. Plus, your plans will end up changing anyway.
If you’re going somewhere for a few days you usually just need your passport. Not the case if you’re going to be going somewhere for longer. You should start thinking about any legal documents you might need well in advance of your trip.
For example, you might need particular visas before you head out. Even when you do your research online, you might want to call embassies and make sure you have your bases covered.
Along with the necessary documentation, you’ll also need immunizations for many places. Being proactive with these elements of planning a trip is going to save you potential heartache and hassles later on.
Think About What Needs to Be Taken Care of At Home
Sometimes the biggest components of planning a long-term trip abroad aren’t related to the trip itself but are instead related to making sure things are taken care of at home.
For example, do you own a home? If so, are you going to rent it out? If you rent your home out, who will help the tenants if they need anything while you’re gone?
If you rent an apartment, can you sublet it? What are the terms of your lease?
How will you deal with your bills, your car, and anything else? What will you do if there is an emergency back home and you need to get back quickly? These are all things that need to be well thought out before you board your flight.
Finally, once you have a general idea of how things will go and the important logistics, you can start booking the first part of your trip. You want to have a place to stay lined up and transportation for at least your first weeks, and from there you can start figuring it out as you go.