Travelling around the world can be one of the world’s most rewarding things you can do in your lifetime, but it in fact is not as easy as it sounds. There is a complex process of preparation behind it. You might as well prepare months ahead to keep track of everything you might be up to. Travelling long-term and gaining the most unforgettable memories sounds tempting, but what if unexpected things come up and you realize you were not prepared for it. I want to encourage long-term travelling but also consider all the options that you as a traveller have to be prepared for. While setting off on a big journey might not really be the simplest thing at first, the rewards will be totally worth it. If you have always dreamt of not just going on a regular holiday, but of travelling for the long term then this article is just for you.
What to foresee before going on a long term holiday
Travelling around the world
Do not postpone use up your opportunities
Going on a holiday can be a very complicated process, but first, before we start discussing the whole travelling process we should understand and realize that it will not happen if we keep putting it off. Never postpone your travelling because you will never eventually find time for it. The most important part is to plan ahead and be aware of your schedule if something happens to come up on top of your planned holidays. It is fully understandable that the biggest obstacle for most people appears to be finding time for travelling you and this happens when you have only limited holiday allowance from work. If you are lucky, even your work might present you with a unique opportunity to travel, but in case this opportunity does not come up for you on a platter you have to create your own.
This is a big topic to discuss but of course, in the end, it all comes down to one’s enthusiasm and willingness to come out of the shell and let go of your comfortable day-to-day life for some time. However, if you have little commitments at home, then this will be much easier especially if you are taking a gap year. In many cases, the only way to travel long term is to quit a job. Nonetheless, before quitting the job all the options have to be considered and all jobs, in my opinion, should offer this opportunity, as it might be beneficial for both sides, the company will reduce overhead for a while and you could have your job back once your trip comes to an end.
Fortunately, the nomad (person who wanders a lot from place to place) phenomenon is expanding, with many people creating opportunities for themselves while also making an income online on online sites like MightyTips and others.
Be financially ready
Many blogs and people encourage us that you do not need money for travelling. Some people do really believe it and go wandering without having a penny which finishes off with unfortunate memories of hunger, but we are not here to talk about negative things we are here to prepare ourselves for the upcoming experiences. Undoubtedly, there might be some specific situations where taking the money would not be in fact necessary, but for those people who want to travel in some kind of comfort actual travel funds are essential. The key to managing all the financial costs definitely starts with acquiring the discipline and setting aside money which should go into your travel funds,this is exactly why you should start planning months ahead.
It gets easier if you are from a high-income country as currency might make a big difference and you could get a lot of purchasing power elsewhere. Many people are not even aware of this opportunity which is a big shame, because of the missed opportunities. You do not always have to travel to expensive destinations as there are many affordable options which are just not as popular as Fiji or Bahamas. If you are planning to work from the road you still have to save up months ahead or even years on some occasions depending on your holiday length.
Many people wonder what would approximately cost a year-long journey, but the main point here is that it all depends on you. It can be as cheap or as expensive as you make it. It is almost impossible to give an approximate number and precise cost break-down for one year of travel as there are whole different situations and it eventually comes down to your, a traveller’s decisions. If you choose to travel to average developing countries and nowhere else than it would be the cheapest option with annual cost of approximately $6000 and monthly $500 and this is legit in developing countries everything is affordable and you get to see some amazing rural places with amazing history and culture which not many people might know. On this occasion, the traveller should definitely sleep in a tent and daily meals should consist of only cheap meals and leftovers.
But, this kind of holiday is more for people who are free birds, enjoy nature, playing the guitar, sketching or reading books instead of doing expensive sightseeing tours. This would not be suitable for everyone you should really embrace this lifestyle if you choose to live it. This could be the most affordable option, but there is also another option which is travelling fairly comfortably in cheap countries. The annual cost for it would be close to $120000 and monthly $1000. This one would be ideal if you want a comfortable but also cheap holiday in developing countries. You will have very few restrictions. With this budget, you will be able to afford hostels, travel and see sights as well as having multiple meals a day.
The standard of living might not be as comfortable as you are used to, but it will definitely be a good experience which will totally meet your expectations. You can check out this helpful article if you want to know more about travelling as cheap as possible.
Decide the trip Consent
You might be a spontaneous person when travelling, but it is very important to plan your trip, especially if you want to save money. Planning might affect your packing as well as budgeting your whole trip. Planning a trip does not necessarily mean you should strictly follow it, it just creates a good image of what might come up and what u should be prepared for.
Also, it is important to mention what kind of life will you choose backpacking trip, round the world or Digital nomading. Either way, you should carefully think of all the situations and pack properly for any of them.
Figure out your life back home
Before leaving home for a long time it is essential to remember and sort things out so they will not bother and distract you when being on a trip. Maybe even sell your stuff that you do not need anymore, cancel unneeded subscriptions.
One more problem that often comes up is family. Friends or family members who have not done the trip themselves might question your decisions and it might be unacceptable but you need to stick to yourself and do not let them change up your decisions. Once you leave you will start meeting all these amazing people and suddenly you will understand that there are more people like you than you could ever imagine. It will make you feel so much better knowing that you have made the right decision.
Take care of yourself
There are people who will understand the reasons for your long-term adventures. It is true that it will be very different from just a typical holiday trip. Since you will not even know the returning date and after realizing this you get more and more involved in the preparation as you might face issues that you as a regular tourist would never have faced.
Be sure that it will not be a glamorous trip with beauty procedures and hair stylings. It will be very wild, severe, exhausting and challenging. You will not even worry about your looks after some time. It will pay off hugely if you prepare yourself in advance. Learn about packing light, deal with visa procedures, think of your health safety and currency exchange. Try and learn some basic words to deal with the language barrier. Providing this information will definitely avoid you from making silly mistakes.
It is definitely not as it looks on the movie screens. You can not just jump on the plane and runway for 1 year without any preparation. In reality, it is worth taking in mind that anticipating some of the challenges you might face is for your own sake and you are the one who will benefit from it.
Get over your fears
Picturing yourself backpacking and going from one country to another. In your mind, it always looks positive high-fiving yourself for the exciting journey you might be having soon, but after some time the initial excitement will turn into a big fear. To avoid turning your excitement to trepidation and the fear of knowing the upcoming unknown can make you feel very negative and anxious. It is very normal to feel like it there is even a Swedish word ‘Resfeber’ which means the same condition ‘the tangled feeling of fear and excitement before a journey begins’. Just try not to get it to you and make yourself realise that once you are on the road everything changes and so do your emotions and fears. Your fears will experience dramatic changes from the very first second of being in another country, they will transfer into excitement, joy and surprise. It is not easy living in a totally unknown environment so you will feel like the bravest person alive and it is fair. Not many people can make such a big step in life. If you still feel lost and unsure there are plenty of articles and books that are totally focused and oriented on this exact situation starting from inspirational quotes to the actual packing and leaving circumstance.
What not to take
Some people pack without realising that they do not need most of the time and afterwards spend a bunch of money on sending it back home. Do not make the same mistake and act responsibly as you might be needing that money for your journey and in this situation, every penny counts. While many people take old phones for safety reasons, it can definitely serve the purposes of being unlocked and outfitted with any cards and it can be fine with every country it can have downsides as well. For example, the old battery. Some phones have dreadful batteries. You might be charging them for hours and in the end, use it only for 10 minutes which will for sure die after this 10 minutes. Cameras might not be as good as the ones of expensive, so it would feel very frustrating not being able to capture the beautiful moments of the trip and it is more annoying when the beauty is not shown on the picture and you keep explaining it to people how good it really looked in person. Sounds familiar, doesn't it? So to avoid this keep in mind that these problems might come up if you choose to take your old unused phone which was covered in dust in the cupboards after years of not using it.
Tip: Do not take the fancy phone as it might probably get stolen or broken. If you still want to take it it is okay but, just be cautious and attentive when walking in the busy streets and up the mountains as it will get lost.
Tip: Research about travel adapters as you might be needing new ones. You might be well prepared for it and take universal adapters but in the end, it might be the same as the one you would generally use back home. Just make sure you are prepared ahead as you will buy the exact adapter at a very cheap price in your destination country.
Tip: Never look away from your bags and do not lose them out of sight. Once you look away your bags and all the belongings will probably vanish and it is unlikely that you will even see them again in very crowded places.
Tip: if you are a type of person who likes makeup and can not spend a day without wearing them just take in mind everything that you bring in can, will most probably break. Leave your luxurious makeup back home and take affordable cream-based ones.
Tip: Do not take small towels just because they will take up a small space. Take a full-size towel which has to be quick-drying ones, otherwise, you will leave in a nightmare full of wet, smelly towels and you do not need that kind of problems when you are committed to travelling and exploring.
Tip: Try to buy a bar shampoo. It is such a unique thing to use while on a long journey. You will not have a moment to think about shampoo in the bag that might bust open and spill everything in your bag. Also, they will last a lifetime and you can pair it with a conditioner. By the way, all these products can be found and explored more in-depth on Etsy with any scent you like.
Tip: While taking sporty clothes, realise that some event might come up which you will be very unprepared for and in this situation you will need reasonable clothes so try and put 2 or 3 nice outfits that could be worn in good occasions. The longer your trip will be the more outfits you should be prepared for.
Tip: Look at the weather and find out some more essential information about seasons in your destination country. You might be thinking that winter is awaiting for you, but it might be Summer like it happens in Australia. Remember, quality over quantity take some but the ones you will mostly use and appreciate.
Tip: Think of the times when you will be sitting bored and without any activity. You will need some additional activities to boost yourself and your partner or partners. Take cards, books, quizzes and beforehand prepare some questions for ‘honest’ evenings as you will need lots of time for it.
When it comes to packing, believe me, it should not sound as exciting as it would be for 2 weeks holiday. Long term journey is very different from short ones, as you will probably not have any space for clothes because of the whole travelling that you might be expected. Do not even try to leave it until the last minute.
Start with picking the right backpack. For any long-term journeys, you do not need suitcase you need just a backpack. The one that will probably fit most of the stuff. It is not everybody’s cup of tea, but having something strapped to your back can be so much more comfortable when walking kilometres along a dirty and muddy road. Try to one that will be easy to operate. Also, it had to keep inside dry. Remember, a backpack is always needy and it is the investment you will need at any moment in your life, so do not look at pretty colours and nice prints try and find the real one that will be your supporter for the rest of your journey.
Set up a structure for the backpack. The most essential thing in you will be your underwear and socks. Then it comes to your clothes T-shirts, shorts, leggings and tops. Be aware, you have to carry your backpack everywhere with you, so do not put any heavy clothes as you will regret it. Put several bulkier items like a jacket and hoodie, shoes and jumper. Try to organise them accordingly how you will use them as you might not have enough time to unpack and pack every time you need something. Put away things that you do not need that much but might need it later. Like medicine, cables and a charger.
Tip: the reality is that you should not at any moment take your favorite clothes, the likelihood is that they will not be coming back. Believe me, it is more exciting rediscovering your preferred items after coming back from a long-term journey. It will feel like a whole new outfit.
Tip: Do not take white tops and jackets it is inevitable to avoid staining. Dirt from your or nature will get to your clothes and without professional deep cleaning, they will never look clean again. Of course, you should pick 1 or 2 light items even white ones, but try to take the majority of your wardrobe cheap ones that you will not regret staining.
If you do not want to use bar shampoo, then you will have to control your toiletries. It is clear that at some point you will need to top all your bottles up and it means you will have to carry full bulky bottles of lotions and shampoos. We do not need explosions because of badly packed bags although it might be a positive thing for your bag to smell like chocolates or tropical fruits, you really do not need unnecessary problems.
So, always store your toiletries in a bag. You sometimes even have to store a bag into another bag which sounds more secure than having it in one bag. Make sure they meet hand-luggage requirements and leak-proof bottles.
Store your valuables elsewhere or deep down in your backpack. Crucially, you really need to work out a way to store all the important documents. I advise you to take a small bag for important things that will be rightly worn. But most importantly take this advise and keep a photocopy of your passport and emergency contact sheet with some money and keep all of this in your backpacks, just in case if something unplanned comes up.
Cables and chargers
Last but not least, you will be carrying smartphones, tablet and even camera with its. They will all weight you and they will need charging very often, so it will be very wise decision to invest in an expensive but smashing power bank which will keep charge for days and will allow you to charge multiple devices and will stop you from worrying about not being able to capture the moments or talking to your family members.
Summon into mind, if you feel overpowered and overwhelmed at any point of your journey just talk to yourself. Remember that you will soon be accomplishing probably, one of the biggest things in your life and you will soon remembering those good days you spend discovering new parts of the planet. Just take a deep breath as you do not yet realise how rewarded and succeeded you will feel after concluding it all.
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