What are your plans for the New Year? If you’ve always wanted to see the world, or found you need something different, you might spend it travelling. Now that making bookings and planning itineraries are so much easier thanks to the internet, it’s becoming increasingly common for people to take a few months or even years off to travel, working when and where they can. Of course, if you’re planning to uproot your life and live out of a backpack, you’ve got quite a to-do list before you jet off.
One of the big issues you’ll have to deal with on your travels is visas, so it pays to sort them out early. Generally speaking, you’ll be able to move freely through the EU, but some places in Europe such as Russia and Turkey have extra visa requirements. The US and Australia have very specific visa requirements, so make sure your passport is well within its use-by date and you have all the documentation you need. If you’re going to be working or studying on your travels, you’ll need the appropriate visa from the embassy.
If you’re jetting off halfway across the world, you really need to sit down and budget seriously. Airfare, passport, and visa costs are your first expenditures, but there are always going to be hidden costs. You should always take out insurance for long term travel, as this will protect you for any medical emergencies if you need medication. Unless you are able to stay with friends and family for free, you’ll also need to take into account the costs of accommodation in hostels. Figure out the cost of living per day in each city as well, and add up your total – this may well be the clincher between different routes.
As much as you hate to think of it, there’s an awful lot of admin involved in long term travelling. One of the hardest parts will be sorting out your possessions and moving house. Ask friends and family if they’re willing to look after important possessions like paperwork, or sentimental items like books and photos, and sell what you can to raise money for your travelling. If you’re a homeowner, make sure you get a good price for your property and save the money in a secure account. This way you can have the money in case of emergencies, or if you wish to buy another property once you’ve completed your trip.