3 Practical Considerations for Long-Term Travel

2 mins read
An image of binoculars and map on grass
Source: Unlimphotos

Whether you have the kind of job that offers a sabbatical, you’ve finally retired and are fulfilling a long-term dream of traveling for a few months, or you’re taking some time off between college and entering the real world, preparing for long-term travel can be both daunting and exciting.

There are many reasons travel is important, but while you’re awash in maps and foreign language apps and reading up on your transportation options, be sure to pay attention to the practical tips below as well.

Your Stuff

If you own your home, you need to figure out whether you’re going to sell it or keep it. If you’re keeping it, will you rent it out? If you rent it out, will you do it as a furnished vacation rental or a regular rental? Do you need to put all of your stuff into storage? Who will manage rentals for you while you’re away?

If you’re not renting it out, is there someone who can look in on it from time to time? If you’re not a homeowner, this may seem fairly straightforward. You can downsize and put your remaining things into storage. However, make sure that the storage company has an easy way to contact you if there are any issues with your account.

Your Healthcare

Health care may be a lot cheaper in other countries, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get insurance before you go. Be sure to see what other travelers say about various companies they have used, and look into insurance that will cover your evacuation if you’re seriously ill or injured. Although it may not be the most fun part of your planning, you should also review an end-of-life planning checklist. 

It’s a good idea to make a will in order in case anything happens to you while you are away as well as designate a parent, sibling, spouse, child or other trusted family members to take care of any financial matters if you are unable to due to illness or injury. You may also want to consider who you want to be contacted in case of a medical emergency, who should be the main decision-maker, and what kind of end-of-life care you prefer.

Your Money

First of all, make sure you have enough of it plus an emergency fund you can draw on. In particular, if there is one thing a worldwide pandemic taught travelers, it’s that you should make sure you can purchase a last-minute flight if you need to. This is also important if there is a family emergency you need to return for. As for your overall budget, consider for the number of days you’ll be away, transportation and other expenses. 

Be realistic based on the cost of living; some places will cost you much less than being at home, but others will be a lot more expensive. Find out what your tax obligations will be as well. This will vary based on whether you earn money on the road, how much you earn, how long you are way and where you are considered to be legally resident. It’s not a bad idea to consult a tax expert with a background in international matters.

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