There are only a few days left before our departure and we would like to share with you our long-term travel checklist where you will find our collection of 15 things to do before leaving for a long-term trip.
Fantasizing about your getaway is something absolutely unique but a lot of work needs to be done. As we said before, this is one of the hardest decisions you can take, but being prepared to all possibilities will save you from many headaches.
We will go through many different steps from the day we took this decision until the one we’ll finally jump into our flight.
LONG-TERM TRAVEL CHECKLIST • 15 THINGS TO DO BEFORE LEAVING
1 • GIVE SHAPE TO YOUR IDEA
The decision is made, well done! The first thing you have to do now is to define in broad terms where you want to go and what kind of experience you want to have. Do you want to visit Southeast Asia and sustainability is your top priority? Would you rather go on a road trip in Europe? Do you want to go to Africa as a volunteer? Well, this is what we meant for broad terms plan. At this stage you don’t have to decide everything in detail, leave it for later. Just be prepared to answer the main questions people will ask: “Where are you going? What you’ll be doing? When are you leaving? How long will you stay?…”
2 • CHOSE THE RIGHT PLATFORM
If you decide – like us – to travel the world and work as a volunteer, join the platform you think suits your needs. After a few days of research, we registered as a couple on Workaway. Compared to many other platforms, Workaway gives you the possibility to search for hosts profiles from all over the world. On top of that, the interface is pretty simple and the rating section is clear. The fee for a couple of account is 42 euros, and it lasts for 1 year.
3 • SET A BUDGET
Even if you will keep receiving an income or you will dip into your savings, give yourself a monthly budget. It has to be enough for accommodation, food an transport; we also suggest you have a little bonus for some special extra. (Don’t forget your return tickets!)
4 • TELL YOUR IDEA TO LITERALLY EVERYBODY
It seems weird but the more you talk about your plan, the more you get conscious of it. Of course, you’ll go through many different reactions: you’ll meet the one who really appreciate your choice and asks you to join (we could fit a whole plane with all the people who asked us that) or the ones who will consider you a fool. What we really appreciated the most was those who were skeptical about our decision. They might be a member of your family, friends or the random stranger next to you at a bar. Answering to their doubts with solid reasons gives you the strength to understand that this is really what you want to do. Even from the most skeptical, you will receive useful tips and precious contacts!
5 • CHOOSE THE RIGHT TRAVEL INSURANCE
If you already have your personal health insurance, just check if its coverage criteria suit your needs. Otherwise, you’ll have to find the right one. In order to do so, you should consider your age, traveling destinations, activities you want to do and a few other factors. There are so many different providers with tons of plans out there, carefully select the best option based on your requirements. Don’t underestimate the importance of good travel insurance, both for a medical emergency and your peace of mind during your journey.
6 • GET VACCINATED
As soon as you have a clear idea of your itinerary you can start your immunization process. First of all, confirm if your primary courses and boosters are up to date than check what is advised or required for the specific areas you are planning to go. Here you can find valuable information on a global scale. Doctors will give you also general advice and many examples of good practice you better follow during your trip.
7 • SAVINGS
Be sure you’ll have always access to your money, that’s the only thing you cannot buy if lost or stolen. Check your bank terms and conditions to know if they apply a surcharge to the international withdrawal. If so, consider to change it.
You will need at least a debit and a credit card, but the best thing you can do is to cover as many bank circuits as you can. It will guarantee you to get access to your money almost everywhere. Ask your bank if they can give you the same card in different circuits, otherwise, we suggest you open another bank account. Before leaving, inform your bank about your travel, they might consider your transactions suspicious and consequently block your cards.
8 • MAKE YOUR FIRST STEPS MORE SOLID
It is almost impossible to schedule your entire journey, and we think you should not even try to do so. You’ll build it on the go! We suggest to plan just the first couple of months and, trust us, you’ll find how easy and amazing is to live in the moment. Flight tickets are the only things you should buy in advance, for obvious economic reasons, while the rest of your journey can be planned monthly.
9 • GET YOUR VISAS
Usually obtaining a Touristic Visa is quite easy, it takes about one/two weeks. It depends on where are you applying from and what county you want to visit. Here you can find Visa and embassy information for all countries. Consider that things change dramatically if you are applying for a Working Visa.
10 • SELL YOUR STUFF
If you got to this point then you’ll soon leave your apartment, good job! Remember: you’ll only have one backpack. Unless you’re Mary Poppins, it’s better to transform most of your belongings into money. All you have to do is select the items you want to squeeze in your backpack and, well, get rid of the rest! Here areour tips for the perfect garage sale!
11 • SHOP APPROPRIATE GEARS & CLOTHES
Appropriate gears are fundamental for the perfect travel experience. This one is pretty straightforward: get yourself prepared for hiking/surfing/biking or whatever is your favorite activity. A preliminary check to the weather forecast could be useful too 🙂
12 • DO SOMETHING SILLY
Take some time for yourself and don’t let the travel be a burden. We know that there’s that last thing you really wanted to do before leaving but you never had the time/courage. Agnese is no stranger to tattoos, but she really wanted to get those two: an old school swallow and the name “Papaya”, our Chilean stray dog.
13 • SPEND SOME QUALITY TIME WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY
Don’t underestimate this point because it takes longer than you think! We started our “farewell” sessions about two months before leaving, and we still need to say goodbye to a lot of people!
14 • PHOTOCOPY YOUR DOCUMENTS
Leave a copy of your Passport, ID card, Drive License… to your family, send a copy via email to yourself and be aware of the expire dates.
15 • EAT YOUR FAVORITE FOODS
It will probably take a long time until you eat your mum’s lasagna again.