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Preparation Tips for Long-Term International Travel

Preparation Tips for Long-Term International Travel

By on Jan 31, 2014 in Travel Articles | 0 comments

I have always had a passion for travel, and for the last several years, I have made my dream of long-term cavorting around the globe whenever I want come true, through the development of a freelance writing career. I can work anywhere there is an internet connection and I feel blessed every day. Traveling in this manner is very different than taking a 2-week trip. So, whether you are a student taking a gap year, in-between jobs and taking some time to see the world, or someone just like me, here are some helpful hints for preparing for your trip.

Money Matters

When it comes to your financial situation, there were a few things I learned that I would want to share with others considering an extended jaunt around the world. The most obvious tip is let your credit card companies know you will be away-many allow you to submit travel plans online without even having to make a phone call.

Travel MoneyFoter / CC BY-SA

But, there is one other tip related to credit cards that you might not think about—make sure you have pin numbers for your cards so you can access cash at an ATM. Sure, you can get cash advances at a bank, but that might not always be feasible, depending on the time of day or your location. It will come in handy if you lose your ATM card, need to have it cancelled for some reason, or if it gets locked and you can’t call your bank because it is the middle of the night back home. Pins are assigned when you first get cards, and if you don’t know it, you need to get a new one mailed to you—you can get one over the phone while you are away. Think about whether you should get a power of attorney to conduct financial transactions on your behalf, in act in any other capacity while you are away.

Research Entry Requirements

If you will be visiting multiple countries, it is important to research entry requirements, and make sure you are looking at the most up-to-date information. In some instances, it may be beneficial to work with companies that help you get the proper authorizations in a timely fashion. This site,, for example, can help people arrange the necessary  authorizations to travel to the US. When applying for entry to certain countries in embassies outside your home country, you may find you must submit additional paperwork, or are subject to certain restrictions. For example, US citizens typically get a 6-month visa for India, but most embassies will only grant 3 months when applied for outside the United States. Did you know the validity period of an Indian visa starts from the day you get it, not the day you enter? These are just a couple of examples. Do your research and if you are unsure, inquire through the proper channels, do not make any assumptions.

Passport_Stamps now with NOTES
Travel VisaMondayne / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

Be Careful with Your Budget

Most people traveling in this manner tend to leave home with a set amount of money that needs to last the duration of the trip—if you have a way to supplement your travel nest egg, whether it is your parents or some sort of employment, good for you. Regardless, you should be careful about planning your budget. Leave yourself some wiggle room—you never know what will crop up, or when things will cost a bit more than you expected. Be realistic about your travel preferences. Don’t budget for eating from a street stall three meals a day for the next 12 months.

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