I was so excited when I was planning our long term travels that some days I almost forgot to breathe! After all, I had been dreaming of this for many many years and now, I was finally preparing for ‘launch’ day.
Working out your ‘pre travel to do list’ can be an overwhelming exercise and it’s very easy to forget the small things. So we have put together a list of some obvious, and not so obvious, items you should think about before you leave. Believe me, in your overwhelmed excited state it is quite possible to forget even the obvious! So here are the ten things to remember for your long term travels.
It’s a very wise idea to keep a few copies of your important documents scattered throughout your bags. If you lose your passport it is much quicker to obtain a new one when you have a photocopy of the original document. You should also leave a copy of everything at home just in case you should be separated from your belongings at a time of need.
Items you should copy: Passport, Drivers License, Travel Insurance, Marriage Certificate (sometimes needed in Muslim countries), Bank Contact Details (24 hour international number), Credit Card (although be sure to keep this securely hidden), Airline Tickets/Itinerary.
Depending on where you plan to go, you may need to get vaccines sorted out up to 6 months before departure. The best way to deal with this is to contact your local Travel Doctor. They can inform you of what is advised depending on which countries you plan to visit. If like us you are unsure of your full itinerary, talk to them about which vaccines they advise as a safeguard. Some countries you are not allowed to enter without the appropriate vaccination so please talk to your Travel Doctor about the requirements.
I know, I know, this sounds obvious but you must make sure you have at least 6 months validity on your passport beyond the end of your travels. Some countries will not let you enter if you have under 6 months left. On the same account, you need to ensure you have plenty of blank pages before you go. If not, ensure you give yourself time to order a new passport.
Please do not think about going without travel insurance to save yourself some money! I have heard so many horror stories from travelers without insurance, it’s just not worth it. Most of the travel insurers have discounts for long term travelers so shop around until you find one that suits your needs and budget.
Meds & Lenses
Make sure you stock up on any specific medications you are on before you leave. Also, if your glasses or lens script is not a common one, you may also want to stock up on those before you go. Otherwise, if you wear a common script lens you can find them cheap online as you go.
Tell the bank you’re traveling
And tell them Twice! We told our bank before we left but yet they still stopped our credit cards as they thought our overseas purchases were suspicious. Lucky for us we had enough cash on us to get use through but it is a nuisance that can be avoided. I now send them regular emails to let them know we are still traveling to avoid any more nasty surprises.
Stop automatic payments
If your cable bill comes straight out of your bank each month, remember to stop it before you leave. It would be a shame to have less money for your trip just because you forgot to cancel your subscriptions.
No, I don’t mean of the credit card kind. Some countries require you to apply for a visa prior to arrival to enter their country. Most of them are relatively cheap and easy to obtain but you must put a little thought before leaving as to which countries require a visa. You can find all the relevant information via the countries embassy. If you need to apply for visa’s along the way, you will need to carry passport quality photos to go with your applications.
There is nothing worse than arriving to your first country, iPad battery drained from your long flight, only to find you can’t charge it because your plug doesn’t fit into their socket! Make sure you take a universal adaptor which means you will be able to plug in your electronics in most countries.
Notebook – Electronic or old school
I always recommend taking a notebook with you, in the form of an actual notebook, or one of the electronic kind (iPad, laptop etc). You are about to create the most magical memories so record them! Whether you plan to blog about your journey or not, take notes so you can look back over them in 10 years, 20 years, to remind yourself of the amazing journey you took years before.
I hope these ten things to remember for your long term travels help you!
What other items do you think we should add to this list? What is your “must have” on your travels?