Planning a long term trip is a big job. You’ve got to map out your itinerary, find affordable flights, check out accommodation, and of course, dream up all of the adventures you are going to have.
But all the stuff you need to go before you go can be just as time consuming – and it is these things that are often forgot until the last minute. So avoid the day before your flight stress meltdown and follow these guidelines to help you prepare for your long term travel adventure.
3 -4 months before you go
You will need to start sorting out your affairs several months before you embark on your trip. Make sure you use this time before your trip to:
- Start researching what travel insurance (if any) you need for your trip
- Sort yourself out medically. Book yourself in for a dental check up and a general check up with your GP. If you live in a country with a high skin cancer rate, this is a good time to get your annual mole scan. Make sure you are in good health before you embark on your trip. It’s a good idea to do this several months before your departure date just in case you need an emergency filling or something.
- Speaking of getting in good health, this is also a good time to look into what travel immunizations you will need for your trip. Some immunizations need two courses of shots, and you need to leave a couple months in between each course, so make sure you plan this part early. Also, some immunizations may need to be ordered in for you, so it’s not something to leave to the last minute just in case.
2 months before you go
Your trip is getting closer! By now you will have mapped out your itinerary and really gotten stuck into all that other fun stuck. However, two months before your trip is also a good time to:
- Buy your flights. I like to buy my flights earlier than this, but many people say that 6 – 8 weeks before your departure date is the best time to score great flight deals.
- Apply for a good travel credit card. And by good travel credit card I mean one that doesn’t have international purchase fees. Make sure your credit card companies are aware of your travel plans as well so your card doesn’t get frozen for suspected fraud while you are on the road.
1 month before you go
Ooohhh, your trip is coming up fast! Make sure you don’t forget to:
- Formally quit your job. Give them at least 30 days notice to stay in everyone’s good books.
- Formally terminate your tenancy. (If you are renting on a month to month basis that is)
- If you own your home, this would be a good time to register with letting agencies so they can start trying to find tenants for you while you are gone.
- Start downsizing. If you are traveling for the long term then you probably don’t need 30 pairs of shoes or that second car. 1 month before your trip is a good time to start selling things off that you no longer need. And all the money you make from selling your stuff can go into the travel fund!
2 weeks before you go
By now you will be starting to think about what to pack, what to get rid of, and what you want to keep for when you eventually return.
- Find a willing relative or a good storage facility for your things and start moving things into storage. I hate being rushed when I am moving and I like to keep my things organized, and the only way to do this is to start ahead of time. Make sure your valuable items are packed away securely and somewhere water proof and pest proof. (Which is why we prefer storage facilities to relatives basements!) We are based in Queensland Australia where a good option is Fort Knox.
- Cancel your gym membership or any other monthly subscription you have. Make sure that you also cancel any direct debits that might be coming out of your account.
1 week before you go
The day is fast approaching!
- Redirect your post. Sign up for online statements instead of paper statements.
- Order travelers cheques if required
- Pack your bags!
- Have a rockin’ Bon Voyage party with all your family and friends!!