So I actually wrote this before I left home but ran out of time to post it… A week ago I said goodbye to England for almost 4 MONTHS and am now on the East Coast of America for a summer working at camp! This trip will be almost twice the length of my previous longest so I’ve had to put in a little more planning and preparation to make sure I’m completely ready to go (and then start uni 8 days after I get home…) (we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it). Here is my probably incomplete list of everything to do before you leave for summer camp or for other long term travel!
- Cancel any subscriptions
Travel costs money so the last thing you want is to be paying for things you won’t actually be using when you’re away. This means things like Netflix, your gym memberships, any magazine or newspaper subscriptions… Make sure you do this in plenty of time as some have quite a short cancellation period before you have to pay for the next month.
- Visit the doctors/ dentists/ opticians
Make sure you are in good shape before you travel to avoid having to pay for/ navigate healthcare whilst you are away. If you wear glasses/ contacts make sure your prescription is up to date and you have enough to take with you. If you take prescription medication check you have enough to last you for the length of the trip and get a copy of the prescription to bring with you just in case!
- Sort out your personal transport
If you own a car or motorbike it probably isn’t cost effective to keep it insured etc whilst you are away and not using it (particularly if you are young and your insurance is crazy expensive like me). If you are going away for a long time (>6 months) then selling your vehicle is probably the best option and putting the money towards more travel! Otherwise you can SORN your vehicle meaning it cannot be driven but can remain in your ownership until you return. This is a good option if you have somewhere to store the vehicle whilst you are away, however you should bare in mind that if your vehicle is older it may not enjoy not being driven for months!
- Let your job know
You may be quitting your job to travel, taking unpaid leave or just travelling around work commitments. Whatever it is you’re doing, you should let your employer know your plans with plenty of notice. This means you are less likely to face any problems returning to work and won’t be badgered by phone calls asking you to cover shifts when you are away.
- Other boring stuff
If you are more of an adult than me you may also have to do more responsible things like covering rent payments or other bills etc. Make sure you have arranged this before you leave or factor it into your budget! This also includes making sure your passport is in date!! Double check this against where you are travelling to as some countries require a certain amount of time left on your passport for entry.
- Make a budget
Travelling long term can get expensive fast, particularly if you aren’t planning on working abroad. Before you leave work out roughly how much money you will need and where it will come from; do you need to pick up over time at work or access your savings account? I use Transferwise to keep my travel money separate from my ‘normal’ money and love it as you can change currencies super fast (which is so good when travelling between multiple countries as you can just switch any remaining money into the next currency).
- Say goodbye to everyone!
If you are leaving behind a job or uni to travel then chances are you are leaving some friends behind as well. Make sure you schedule time to see everyone before you head off and arrange ways to stay in touch whilst you are travelling. This also includes spending time cuddling your dog and reassuring her that you will be home soon (see below).
- Get excited!
Ok it seems like you are pretty much ready to go! Do your packing and start getting excited about your next adventure…
Have you ever done any long term travel? What would you recommend doing before you leave?