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Starting the 14th December, my partner and I are setting out on our first long-term travel adventure. We’re leaving our jobs, packing our bags, and travelling half-way around the world to experience life beyond our little bubble – other countries, places, and cultures. First Ecuador, then Hong Kong, Fiji, and Australia, where we will be endeavouring to cover the circumference of the country.
Now, whilst we have always had a love for travel, have been to numerous countries and love to explore, neither of us have been away for an extended period of time (more than three months – normal travel insurance still covers that!). So with all the things we have had to buy, research and plan for long-term travelling, I thought others taking flight soon might be interested in our starting point and the things we have had to think about.
So, obviously we are having to pack for all kinds of weather; this isn’t a two week holiday to laze on a beach or to a skiing resort. We have had to get practical about clothing; we could be in cold places, warm places, rainy places, rainy but warm, rainy but cold, boiling in the day and freezing in the night – you get the idea.
You need versatile clothing, especially with coats. Now, the clothing item I find taking up most of the room in my suitcase is coats. The best way to combat this issue, with limited bag space, is pack down jackets! Like the ones you can get from UNIQLO – so many stores are selling them now – they are super warm, lightweight, and pack down really small into their own little bag. Perfect. And for those places that are hot and rainy, same concept, pack down waterproofs, they are pretty easy to find too.
This is an important one. Ideally, you don’t want to wind up in a hospital and have to claim back on your travel insurance. So I made a list of all the countries we were definitely going to and researched the vaccines needed. Then I made appointments to get them done with plenty of time to spare. I also had a quick look at the countries we may go to and found that a lot of them are covered by the same vaccination requirements. Use Travelvax to check vaccination requirements for different countries.
Then there is allergy medication. Make sure you have prepared stacks of that too. And finally, the medication you will inevitably need when that bad stomach hits you.
For those of you who like cute little day/evening bags, you will soon understand my pain – bags take up a lot of room, so I had to think practically about which bags I should and shouldn’t take. So for a day bag, I went with larger bag like the Herschel Little America. It’s not only big enough to take all your camera gear, food and change of clothes, but if needed you can also use it for a couple of days away.
By bags I didn’t just mean day bags, I’m also talking suitcase vs backpack. I found an awesome style of bag that contains the two. It’s like a backpack, but it also has wheels and a handle – it’s a wheeled backpack – meaning you don’t always have to carry it! Win!
I’m still looking at Travel Insurance so if you have any good providers please let me know. But what I do know is we will need a good one for health insurance, and personal valuables especially as we will be working for ourselves online.
Accommodation is a big one when you are travelling long-term, there are so many options. If you are planning on staying in one location for a long period of time, you might fare better on the money saving front – you can look at flat shares with other travellers to take costs down etc.. But if you are moving around a lot, hostels and airbnbs are options that you should definitely look at for a slightly cheaper experience.
I am also looking at, and seriously considering, getting a campervan so that we can really have the freedom to go anywhere. It can then be sold on after travelling in that particular part of the world, so will end up being a money saver in the long run. Don’t forget there are also opportunities like house-sitting.
Budgeting for your travels is really important and if you are going for a long time, you may have to work for a while, or start your own online business so that you can continue to travel comfortably. In preparation, I have been taking a look at our budgets and working out, realistically, how much we can afford to spend in the long run.
Remember, the goal is to get the most out of our travels.
Feature image: StockSnap – Pixabay