Planning and Tips for Long-Term Travel
14 Sep 2022
Are you fed up with an overbearing boss, burned out, or trapped in a meaningless grind from a demanding job? Do you keep wishing you could change your life and travel the world for a year or more? With careful planning and determination, your travel dreams might just come true.
Reflect and Know Yourself
Unlike a short vacation for fun and rest, long-term travel can be exhausting and unsustainable. Before quitting your job, figure out if you need a quick escape, a career break, or if a traveling lifestyle is your purpose and ultimate bliss.
Journaling increases insights and self-awareness to clarify your needs, goals, values, and commitments. Where are you heading, and what do you truly want from life? You can also write down the pros and cons to see the possible outcomes in evaluating your choices before transitioning to a new life of regular travel.
Map out Your Plan
Research and target your destinations. Creating a vision board is an inspiring way to organize and map out your travel plans. Many people use online Pinterest boards to pin places and ideas for travel.
If you prefer a physical approach, a personalized travel map offers an enjoyable experience of pinning and tracking your favorite destinations for a life of adventure. A visual reminder on your wall can be a powerful motivator to chase your dreams and get the most out of your travel experiences.
Do a Personal Swot Analysis
You might want to do a personal SWOT Analysis, a strategic planning tool many businesses use to identify and evaluate their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Adapting this framework helps map out a plan with strategies and steps to navigate and achieve your dreams.
Recognize Your Strengths
Break down your talents and unique skills. What you naturally excel at is a competitive advantage. List your passions, aspirations, and activities you enjoy. Leverage your interests and strengths, parlaying them into a job opportunity to support your adventures.
For instance, you can apply your interest in teaching and tutoring English online while you travel. Or monetize your travel blogs, photography, and graphic design skills by freelancing with various businesses. Here are more work opportunities you should research to fund your travel:
• Work exchange programs for room and board, such as au pair services
• Pet sitting or home sitting abroad
• Seasonal work at hotels and resorts
• Work on cruise ships and work with airlines
• Partner with travel agencies and travel boards to promote brands
Evaluate Your Weaknesses
Assess the struggles and challenges that hold you back. Understand your fears and correct bad habits that harm your objectives. Determine ways you can improve, solve problems, and stop each obstacle.
Brainstorm and pinpoint possibilities, positioning yourself to take advantage of favorable circumstances. Uncover new ideas and seize opportunities, leveraging your network, skills, experience, and resources.
Anticipate what can go wrong during your trip. The pandemic and adverse economic conditions are obvious constraints. Other risks and pitfalls might include running out of savings, medical emergencies, theft, lacking a work permit, or having an expired visa. Identifying the threats that can damage or derail your plans enables you to prepare, take precautions, and avoid preventable crises.
Create a Travel Checklist
Before your long-term adventure (especially if it involves traveling overseas), it’s important to prepare a checklist of tasks you need to complete before you go. Don’t miss the essentials.
Update and Back Up Your Travel Documents
Research the entry and exit requirements by country and update your passport and visa accordingly. Note the deadlines and any arrival or departure taxes. Work them into your budget and schedule.
Once you have the required documents, make copies for transport. Also, scan and save the images on your mobile phone. Send these copies to your email for quick access in case anything gets lost during travel. Should you lose your phone, access to email lets you retrieve copies of the legal documents.
Update your travel plans with trusted friends and loved ones. They will appreciate you keeping in touch and sharing your life of travel. They will watch out for you in case of emergencies.
Sign Up for Travel Advisory and Alerts
Americans might want to register with the U.S. State Department STEP program to stay informed about safety conditions and access emergency contacts at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the countries that they travel to.
Secure Medical Travel Insurance
Sudden illness and accidents can occur during extended travel. Some premium credit cards already cover a range of risks, including medical benefits up to a certain amount for medical treatments, emergency evacuation, and accidental death or dismemberment. Pay attention to the policy’s fine print. In general, insurance excludes pre-existing conditions and risky activities.
For comprehensive coverage, your credit card’s benefits for medical treatments may be insufficient. Shop around and invest in a good policy to protect your health and avoid hefty hospital bills abroad.
Set Up Travel Notice
Unless you set up a travel notice, your bank and credit card companies will flag your accounts for suspicious fraud when foreign transactions surface. If the financial institutions fail to reach you, they will temporarily freeze your accounts until you confirm that you’re authorizing transactions abroad. Avoid getting locked out of your financial accounts by providing advance notice of your travel plans.
Check-In with Your Mobile Phone Carrier
If you prefer o use your phone abroad, notify your carrier to enable international roaming and access international plans for phoning and texting.
Create a Budget and Adjust Your Plan
Create a monthly budget, breaking down the necessities to estimate their expenses. Find ways to cut costs and stay within your budget.
For instance, purchasing a local SIM card is cheaper than paying for an international phone plan. Research credit cards with no foreign transaction fees and use ATMs in your bank’s global network to avoid surcharges.
Long-term travel has many rewards and risks. Planning ahead reduces the hazards and obstacles along your path. It further expands possibilities that can enrich your worldview as you travel and learn from your experiences.