If you’ve been a reader of my blog for a while, you will know that around five years ago I packed my bags and moved to the other side of the world for just over four months.
I was 19 at the time and I had absolutely no idea what was in store me, let alone the things I needed to consider before leaving. It was a whirlwind of information and as I wasn’t a blogger back then, I wasn’t as inclined to search for the relevant information on blogs and websites.
Now that I’ve spent that time living abroad ‘or travelling long term’, I’d like to consider myself a little bit wiser (but only a little bit).
There’s so much I wish I had known before I left, as it probably would have helped me so much in the long run – especially when it comes to saving me from unneeded stress and spending unnecessary money.
Whether it be for four months or two years, here’s what I learnt about what you need to consider before leaving for long term travel:
How much do you really need to pack? – no matter how much you think you need them, every single pair of shoes you own does not need to come with you. I am TERRIBLE for over packing so need to take my own advice, but seriously only pack the essentials. Worst case, you can buy anything you forget when you get there.
Do you have a budget? – I had no idea how much I would need to spend, or what I would need to buy when I travelled to the States and if I had planned this beforehand it would have made things so much easier. I forgot to budget in things like toiletries, bedding for my apartment, a new phone etc. ALL very important things that I wouldn’t have been able to do without.
Are there any loose ends you need to tie up at home? – Making calls to the UK is difficult when you’re thousands of miles away because even if you managed to connect to the overseas contact number, it costs an absolute bomb. Make sure you call your bank and let them know you’re travelling, pop your phone bill on hold if you can (some operators let you do this for as long as six months to save money) and make any important calls you need to before you leave.
Is your house clean? – Before you leave, especially if you live alone, making sure your house is clean and tidy should be a priority. Not only will it be much nicer when you return to a home that is tidy, it will help prevent any spreading of bacteria and reduce the risk of mold and infection (particularly in the colder months). If you’re travelling for a long period of time I would 100% recommend having your house cleaned professionally.
Do you have contingency money? – Despite being a MASSIVE planner, I didn’t budget which meant that I didn’t have contingency money. Anything could happen (you could lose your phone, your passport or you could wind up needed medical attention) so I would definitely recommend having a bit of money saved up for emergencies. And no, cocktails aren’t an emergency.
Have you ever considered long term travel?