Planning for an extended trip abroad isn’t necessarily as easy as travelling for a quick vacation in another city. It can be daunting especially if planning isn’t your thing (You are not alone). Creating a checklist, deciding what goes in the checklist and in what order can be a problem.
So to help you get started, we have created this master checklist to help you get started with planning a long trip abroad:
- Reason For Travelling
First of all, you have to establish your reason for travelling. Are you travelling for business or pleasure? Studies? Visiting family, backpacking through Europe or just taking a vacation from life? Once this is figured out, it will determine the next steps to take and how to go about getting your foot out the door.
- Length of Stay
When we say long trip, we mean a trip that will probably last about 6 months and above. A trip that long will require making some really tough decisions and making sure your responsibilities are handled appropriately. Decide how much time you will be spending away before you proceed to the next step.
- Decide On Your Destination
This step is very important. It will decide how much money you need for your trip, what to pack and just how to go about getting ready for travel. Some countries require certain procedures that may be tasking while some just require getting a ticket and off you go. Decide what country you want to go to and find out if there are certain requirements to you have to fulfill in order to gain entrance into the country. Your budget will also determine what country you want to visit. For example, If you are off to Greece, a daily budget of say $70 usd will be great. So make up your mind where you will be travelling and research how much you will be needing to make the trip possible.
- Research Cost and Budget for Travelling
Depending on what country you are going to, you will need to research what your daily budget will be, cost of airfare and other possible expenditures. Once this is all decided, then you can start saving up.
- Settle on a Date
Settling on a date makes it all a reality. You are now ready to begin to do what is necessary to ensure you meet up with the date. By also settling on a date, it will help you decide to book your flight early enough so you can save some money off your flight fare.
- Look for Affordable Flights
Searching for affordable flights can be hectic. One way to go about this is by signing up with travel agencies and keeping a keen eye for cheap flights. Most airlines carry out promos at certain times within a year. Be sure to subscribe for alerts and discounts that will save you tons on airfare. Vayama.com is a great way to go
- Get that Visa (If required)
You do not want to pay for a flight only to learn that you require a visa to get into the country. It may become troublesome if you are denied a visa after you have gone ahead to pay for the trip. So make sure there are no hindrances. Check if the country requires a visa for entry before booking a flight.
- Book your Flight
Once you have completed all the above steps, it’s only appropriate you get your ticket. You do not want to miss out on deals that will help you get cheap flights to your destination. so be thorough and get the best deal available so you can save tons off air flight. You can even get up to 60% off your flight fare if you take advantage of promos available.
- Secure Accommodation
Now if you are visiting family, this is already sorted but if not, you need to ensure you secure appropriate lodging. Depending on your budget, you can decide what works for you. Various options include hostels, guest houses, hotels, someone with a room to rent e.t.c. To secure accommodation, you can use Airbnb to find inexpensive lodgings or find an appropriate hostel that will help you save money.
- Create a Travel Itinerary
What activities do you have lined up? You can use the TripIt app to synchronize all your confirmations and reservations in one place. Keeping in mind your daily budget and reason for travel, create an itinerary to guide you through your trip.
- Take Care of Responsibilities at Home
There are a number of responsibilities you need to ensure are taken care of before embarking on your trip. See below a list of responsibilities you might need to get sorted:
Rent – Either you pay for months ahead or you lease out your apartment for the months you will be gone. If your trip will be longer than 6 months, it’s wise to sell some of your stuff or give some of your belongings to your relatives to keep them safe. You can give your landlord notice and give up the apartment all together.
Bank accounts and cards – You can cancel your cards, turn off bank alerts and notify your bank that you will be travelling. This way, if there is any suspicious activity on your account, your bankers are aware that it might not be you and help block your account.
Household pets and plants – you can either give your pets to loved ones to take care off or give them up for adoption. You can also throw out plants if you do not find someone capable of caring for them
Off you go – Once you have completed all the steps highlighted above, all that is left is to pack gradually until the day of your departure. Create a checklist to ensure you leave nothing of importance behind. On the eve of your departure, be sure to be well rested so you arrive at the airport alert and ready to take on the world.
We hope you have as much fun planning your trip as we did compiling this checklist. Be sure to share your travel experience with us once you get on the road.