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7 Tips to Prepare for Long-Term Travel

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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

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.

Prepare for Long-Term Travel: planning out the trip

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.

prepare for long-term travel: reading travel books

Travel Library. Photo by Jessica Spengler via Flickr CC

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.

Prepare for Long-Term Travel: paying by credit card

Pay by Credit Card. Photo by Miki Yoshihito via Flickr CC

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.

prepare for long-term travel: taking care of your pets

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.

prepare for long-term travel: protect your valuables

Photo by kulinetto via Pixabay

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.

Prepare for Long-Term Travel: passport and luggage

Photo by Skitterphoto via Pixabay

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.

Prepare for Long-Term Travel: airplane wing

Photo by StockSnap via Pixabay

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.

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  • Reply
    Tiffany Locke
    May 16, 2018 at 11:24 pm

    Your advice to check the website of the Foreign Affairs Department in order to figure out the type of health insurance and immunisation is required would be important. This could help you avoid legal problems so that you can focus on traveling. If you have any questions, you could call the department or look online to check the websites of companies that offer long-term travel health insurance so that you know what is required.

  • Reply
    Mel Butler
    February 6, 2018 at 3:24 pm

    You have some good tips there for long term travel and some of them already use now, even when I am only away for a couple of weeks. I agree totally about keeping in constant contact with your friends and family, especially when you are travelling solo.

  • Reply
    February 2, 2018 at 3:13 am

    All sound advice and most of them can be applied to short term travel as well. The one thing that would stop me doing really long term travel is that I can’t take my dog with us. I just can’t bear to leave here for long periods and we just can’t subject her to all the quarantine regs. I use the library to prep too but download all their ebooks.

  • Reply
    Rye Santiago
    February 2, 2018 at 2:26 am

    I’m on a long-term travel now, too. Though many of the highlights in my trip were unplanned, I still find time to plan my future travels so I can exercise at least some personal control. I also automated my bills payment as you have suggested.

  • Reply
    February 1, 2018 at 7:14 pm

    These are really good tips. I haven’t travelled for longer than a month but I still use a lot of these when I do. I also like the bit about staying in contact with friends and family. I think it is super important!

  • Reply
    Juliette S
    February 1, 2018 at 1:18 am

    You are quite right on all of these tips. We had to check them all off when we moved to Fiji for 8 months – although we didn’t know what our plans beyond that would be. The hardest part was having to say goodbye to our wee cat and find a temporary new home for her, unsure whether we would get her back. Fortunately, after we moved back to NZ, we were able to bring her back with us and she’s happily snuggled up as I write this!

  • Reply
    January 31, 2018 at 11:43 am

    That’s a great idea about putting some things in storage, or in safe deposit. It can add to your peace of mind, particularly if, like us, you work out of your home and so your livelihood is there as well as your home life.

  • Reply
    Lara Dunning
    January 30, 2018 at 7:50 pm

    These sound like all great tips! I would have a super hard time traveling for long periods of time because of our pet. First, I’d miss her too much, and second I’d have a hard time paying the cost for pet-sitting.

  • Reply
    January 29, 2018 at 4:34 pm

    Another good tip is to check with your local library. I use my library to download hundreds of digital books while I travel.

  • Reply
    January 28, 2018 at 12:33 am

    So many great tips! I didn’t know that some countries required immunisation records. When I went to Cuba they required proof of health insurance.

  • Reply
    January 27, 2018 at 7:23 pm

    These are some good tips for long term travel. The longest we have left home for so far was two weeks, but even then there is so much to do to prepare! Having someone to watch our house and pets is always our most important need!

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