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This is a guest post written by Leila Dorari from Sydney, Australia. If you would like to write a guest post for Expat and the City, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
As exciting as travelling can be, there are some things you need to take care of before you take your trip. And when it comes to long-term trips, those things multiply and require more concentration to make sure everything’s in order at home. There are some matters to take into account such as your prepping for your destination, whether you’ll be spending a longer period of time in a different place, and experiencing a different culture and rules.
Below are some tips that will help you prepare for long-term travel and for possible situations which may arise here and there.
Make a plan & organise your preparations
If you have a plan for how to get your things in order and what to expect when you reach your destination, you’ll be able get organised so you can have a peaceful and fun trip. Start with the things you need to do at home.
Also, make a list of all the questions you have about the destination you’re heading to, such as the culture, laws and traditions. Make sure you have done your research before buying the tickets and booking your accommodation so you’re certain that you are ready for this kind of adventure.
Leave your home in good hands
Travelling for a long time means your home will have to be taken care of, too. You can choose to rent it out for that period of time to help cover the bills, or you can ask a friend or a relative to stay there. If neither is feasible, consider hiring a house-sitter – a service provided by some agencies which is getting popular by the day. Even if you opt out of all these solutions, and just decide to leave your home empty, ask someone you trust to check it from time to time, to water your plants, collect the bills and make sure everything is in order.
Visas & payment methods
Check with your home country’s Foreign Affairs Department website about visas for the country you’re travelling to. Some visas may be needed in advance and some you can obtain upon arrival. Also, it’s important to know what to expect when it comes to payment methods.
Make sure your credit card will work there and get all the information you can from your bank about the conversion rates and policies of the ATMs and POS payments. Also, if you think there might be some problems with paying with your credit card, check the best way to exchange money for the local currency and see if it would be more prudent and possible to do it at home.
Take care of your pet
If you have a pet, you should make sure you leave them in good hands or if you plan on taking them, that all the health issues are in order, like immunisation and the required documents from the appropriate authority.
If you can’t leave your pet with your family or friends, there are some boarding solutions like kennels and pet clinics which can provide accommodation for a fee. However, if you decide to leave it at home, make sure that someone regularly comes by to give them food, water, take them for walks (if applicable) and keep them company.
Protect your valuables
Taking care of your stuff while away can cause headaches, so consider selling some or donating. If those are not options you’re comfortable with, there are some other solutions, for example,storing your belongings. Even though the storage prices may vary depending on your needs, this way you can have your things secured and safe for the duration of your trip, and take them back when you return.
You can always ask someone to keep them in their attic or basement if there’s enough space, but when it comes to valuable items like jewellery, you can use safety deposit boxes in banks or make sure they are in trusted hands.
Paying bills remotely
Nowadays you can pay your bills via e-banking no matter where you are in the world. So visit your bank and see what you need to do to have this option at your disposal. Also, just in case you can’t access the e-banking app while on the road, make sure you have a contingency plan for how to pay your bills to avoid penalties, like wiring the money to family or friends, for example. It would be a good idea to check if your bank is available in the country you’re travelling to so you can access your funds directly from the local branch.
Health insurance & immunisation
Some foreign countries require that you take certain health measures before arriving and that you carry proof of your vaccinations and a doctor’s report. You can easily get all the information about the health insurance and necessary immunisation on your Foreign Affairs Department website.
There are also countries with some endemic diseases such as Zika virus, malaria, and dengue fever, and you should obtain all information needed to avoid contagion if you travel to those zones. Before travelling, make sure you have a regular health check and all stock up on medicines you may need. Don’t forget to purchase travel insurance, too!
One last thing…
Stay in constant communication with your friends and family, not only for safety reasons but also so you don’t feel homesick and thus ruin all the fun you can have on your trip. The last thing you need while going on a longer trip is unfinished business and issues you didn’t take care of at home.
So, grab a pen and paper and start organising to begin your long-term trip! And if something unpredictable happens, don’t panic – consider how many things you would have to worry about if you didn’t take care of them before leaving.
About the Author
Leila Dorari is an entrepreneur, freelance writer and Earth explorer from Sydney, Australia. Currently, she is spreading the word on the amazing places in South-East Asia that are well worth paying a visit. In her spare time you can find her hiking with her four-legged furry friend.