Even though January technically marks the start of the year, many of us will always see September as the beginning of the year. Maybe you’re moving to take an international job, moving for a semester or two abroad, or taking on a backpacking adventure. Whatever the case, these tips will help you out for your next long term travel or non-permanent move.
1) Pack light – as light as possible.
This one goes without saying, but if you’re travelling to a place you won’t stay permanently, it’s better to not be dragged down by all your worldly possessions. If you’re moving for school or a job contract (like those you might find with SWAP), it’s definitely not worth the hassle to bring larger items, or things you may have a large collection of. Yes, you will still be able to find nailpolish/books/sheets & towels wherever you’re moving to. That being said, there are things you will want to bring for sure (especially on a backpacking-style trip): a bar of soap, toothpaste, a toothbrush, any prescriptions (make sure you have enough or can easily refill them while abroad), a universal (worldwide) plug for charging any electronics, and any other NECESSITIES you are 100% sure you won’t be able to get while outside of your home country. The key word being necessity.
We can also hook you up with a great service called LuggageFree, which will actually ship your luggage wherever you’re going. Then, all you have to worry about is getting yourself (and your carry-on) from point A to point B.
2) Don’t be afraid to reinvent yourself.
This tip goes along well with the previous one. Don’t worry about not having all your clothes with you, and see it as an opportunity to reinvent yourself! Depending on where you are travelling, the fashion may be completely different from what you are used to. Take this as a challenge to immerse yourself in local culture. If you’re already halfway around the world, what’s just one step further outside your comfort zone?
3) Be versatile.
This applies to every choice you make while on your extended adventure! The clothes you DO bring should be as versatile as possible (a scarf works well for this purpose), so that you don’t have to feel like you’re wearing the same thing day in, day out. In this day and age, it is nearly impossible to travel without electronics. But instead of bringing an ereader, a phone, and a laptop, why not bring something that suits all these purposes well? Many tablets nowadays offer SIM card slots and calling capability (or you could just use Skype). A pay-as-you-go SIM card is not a bad idea for ANY traveller who wants to stay connected.
4) Be prepared.
No one ever thinks they will be the person to lose their passport, ID, or visa documents…until it happens to them. Be proactive and leave photocopies of your passport and ID home with family. Even better, take a photo of these documents and email them to yourself. Having copies will expedite the replacement process in case of a mishap.
Get your travel insurance BEFORE you leave! Being away from home for a longer period of time leaves more opportunity for incidents (and don’t try to tell us “It’ll never happen to me” – please refer to the first sentence of this tip!) Luckily, our travel insurance will cover you, even if you’re away from home for a year. It’s so worth it for peace of mind, because nobody wants their epic world-travelling story to end with, “and then I had to come home because I got sick”.
If you’ve got a credit card with you (and we wouldn’t recommend travelling with more than one, for the record), also keep copies of the front and back. Treat all these copies as securely and safely as you would the originals! Also, make sure you have local currency in usable amounts BEFORE you get there. At home, you wouldn’t use a $100 bill to buy a $5 sandwich…don’t do it while you’re travelling.
5) Enjoy yourself!
The most important thing to remember is that you are taking on a journey not all get to do. You get to spend an extended period of your life exploring the world in a way your friends and family may never have the opportunity to! Learn as much of the local languages as you can, learn and live the local customs and culture, share stories of home with the new friends you’ll meet abroad, and most importantly, be sure to take a moment every now and again to just appreciate the life you’re living. You’ve earned it.
Ready to take on the world? Click here and we can help you get started.
Written by Deanna Gregorio, Brand Specialist at travelcuts.