8 Important Things to Do Before Traveling Long-term

Traveling often means taking quick trips when you're able to. Anything longer than a week or two is usually more difficult to arrange, except for during more transitional times in your life. If you're not just finishing school or starting your retirement, it's not so easy to take off for months at a time. However, that doesn't mean that it's impossible. Plenty of people do go traveling for longer periods, leaving their life at home behind for a while. You just need to plan it well and think carefully about how it's all going to work out. With the right steps, you can make it happen.

1. Make Plans for Work

For most adults, their biggest concern is going to be their job and their income. Some careers are more flexible than others and might allow you to take off for longer. Other people have the fortune of being self-employed, which can give them more flexibility too. But many won't just be able to tell their boss that they're leaving and will be back in a few months. This can sometimes mean you have to consider quitting your job and whether you'll be able to find work when you get back home. This is obviously crucial to think about when you're making plans.

2. Consider Your Funds

Related to your job is the matter of how you're going to fund your travels. You might choose to create a budget and save up for your travels. Alternatively, you can consider the idea of working while you travel. Depending on where you go, this could come with a few issues relating to visas and whether you're allowed to work or not. If you're planning to rely on savings, you'll want to make sure you have enough to cover your whole trip and possibly a period when you get back home. A backup funding option for emergencies is useful too, such as a credit card.

3. Decide What to Do with Your Home

Apart from your job, the other big thing you'll have to think about is your home. Moving out for possibly several months, or even longer, can make things complicated. If you rent, your landlord may not be happy about you leaving your home empty. And if you're an owner, you might not feel comfortable about that either. There are a few options you could consider. If you're a renter, you might be able to sublet, with your landlord's permission. Or you might wait until the end of your lease before you go traveling. If you own your home, you could rent it out while you're gone. Alternatively, you could get a housesitter to help keep your home secure and in good condition.

4. Put Your Stuff in Storage

If you're moving out of your home, you need somewhere to put your stuff. Maybe you're moving out completely or perhaps you want to clear some space so you can rent out your property. Either way, you need a place to store anything that you can't leave at home. One option is to look for storage near you if you need somewhere to keep your stuff for a few months. You'll have control over your storage unit, and you can drop by if you come home and need to collect anything. Family and friends can also be helpful, but it's nice to give them a timeline of how long they can expect to hold your stuff.

5. Got Kids? Think About Their Education

Traveling long-term is already a challenge, but doing so as a family is even harder. Not only do you have to make arrangements for your work, but you also have to think about your kids' education. If they're younger than school age, this isn't a big concern. But if they're older, you'll need to think about how to ensure they keep learning. You might choose to teach them yourself, enroll them in online school, or even look for local schools when you're traveling. Another option is to ditch formal education for a while and allow them to learn through the experiences you have.

6. Get Travel Insurance

Anything could happen while you're traveling, so you always need to be prepared. Travel insurance is a must for any trip, but it's even more important if you will be traveling for longer. You need insurance to protect your belongings, but also that will cover you for things such as unexpected travel expenses or medical costs. If you're planning on visiting several different countries, you'll need to make sure you have a suitable policy or that you have separate policies for each country. You can often get one policy that will cover all of your trip, even if it's a longer one.

7. Check Visa Rules

If you're planning to go abroad, you will need to check the rules on visas. There are places you can visit without the need for a visa, but even these may only allow you to stay for a certain amount of time (often between 30 and 90 days). As well as tourist visas, you might also need to look at working visas if you're planning to work. Even when working remotely, you may need a visa when in another country because it still counts as work. You want to check this information as soon as you can so that you can arrange any visas you might need.

8. Learn About Your Destinations

There'll be a lot to learn while you're traveling, but it pays to start learning before you leave too. Some of the things you might want to check include common scams to be aware of, local customs you should know, and how to say some key phrases in the local language. It's a lot easier to visit somewhere new and unfamiliar if you have some knowledge of what to expect. You can learn a lot from both local people and fellow travelers sharing their experiences.

Before you go traveling long-term, get your ducks in a row so that everything is ready when it's time for you to leave.

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