Destinations General

Planning tips for your (long-term) travels Pt. I: Precautions

December 10, 2016
long term travel planning tips

Some of you maybe remember my throwback of my round-the-world trip I wrote two months ago. I got a few nice responses and I felt the interest on that subject is rather big. Therefore I’d like to share some useful advice on how to prepare for your journey, whether you’re only going for a week or several months or years. This time I’ll focus on what precautions you must take before you go, whereas you’ll find my detailed travel budget here.

Please note: This is NOT a sponsored post and I’m not receiving anything from the links on this article. This information is only based on my experience and personal opinion.

Your job:

It might sound like a dream to take a timeout from your job and too badly it remains a dream for many… However if the thought of an escape that extends your paid leave doesn’t get out of your head, it’s worth to consider the following things:

  • When I decided to go on a long-term travel I had an almost full-time office job. I’ve worked there for one-and-a-half years which certainly wasn’t enough to ask my employer for such a big favour like keeping my position vacant until I return. I didn’t feel very confident in my job anyway, so the decision to quit wasn’t too hard to me. So that brings me to the first option: You can quit your job. Of course, there’s an uncertainty in your career, but the big upside is that you have no commitments to your company. You never know, you might like it so much that you want to extend your stay (or even keep the return open)?
  • If you’ve been working for your company for many years, you’ll have a whole different basis for negotiation: If your superior appreciates your work, he or she might be willing to give you an extended (unpaid) leave instead of letting you go forever. Of course this depends on the industry you’re working in and the working atmosphere. A good relationship with your boss and colleagues and some willingness for compromises certainly help. However Sabbaticals are becoming more popular and some progressive companies already offer such plans to their employees.
  • Best case scenario: You’re working independently and you can do so from anywhere in the world. Congratulations – you hit the jackpot 🙂

Me, 3 years ago: Unemployed but totally convinced of what I was doing. Traveling was my only profession for 7 months 😉

Your apartment/room:

That part was rather easy for me as I still share my apartment with my dad. I could just pack my bags and go and I knew my room would be the same when I return. But I know I’m in an exceptional situation and most people at my age don’t live with their parents. Similar to the job situation, you could either:

  • Cancel your lease agreement and leave your stuff at a temporary storage space
  • Keep everything as it is and add your fixed expenses to your travel budget
  • Depending on the length of your travel, the best solution could be subletting your apartment or room. Especially the latter should be fairly easy to sublet as students in your city might be grateful for a room. If you’re living by yourself make sure you’ve got the permission of your lessor to sublet your apartment to someone else. Finding the right tenant takes some preparation time and can be found on local Facebook groups, through the classic notice board in universities or dozens of online sources like good old craigslist.


I totally underestimated the preparation (and costs) of that important issue. I’ve been traveling frequently before and had some important vaccines already, but as I was visiting some countries for the first time – insecure about the healthcare standards – I needed to get a few more. I planned to visit India and spend a fair amount of time in Southeast Asia, travelling through rural areas – so I didn’t want to risk to get a disease I could easily prevent. Especially if you travel to tropical and/or remote areas you should take precautions early enough – at least 3 months before your departure. The official site of the US Center of Disease Control gives general advice for your chosen destination(s) and updated information on current issues like the Zika virus.

Another precaution you should take is for an unlikely event of medical treatment on your travels. Travel insurance is a must, simply because the costs for doctors, medication, transportation and hospitals easily can get out of control (especially in developed countries). If you own a credit card or you’re a member of an Automobile Club some benefits might be covered already (but read the small print really carefully). Back then I got insurance through Care Concept and luckily – except for a little tooth issue (which could be fixed for 20 EUR) – I had no claims. Another very popular travel health insurance (at least in the German speaking area) is the one by HanseMerkur. A lot of international insurance companies like Allianz offer travel protection too but maybe your local insurer has a good deal for you?

Some medicine from Vietnam, anyone?

Soon I’ll be talking about my travel budget, the most useful travel planning tools and packing tips! So stay tuned 😉 I’d also love to hear your advice! How do you prepare for your travels?

Here I'll summarize the most important precautions before you're going on an epic trip! Job, apartment and healthcare issues.

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  • Reply Christina December 10, 2016 at 10:08 pm

    Thanks for sharing your insights 🙂 Nowadays, from a career viewpoint it is so so good to have international experience – even if it is ‘only’ via travelling for a longer periods (of course depending on the industry). I won’t even start with what travelling/international experiences can help on a personal level as I am pretty sure every travel lover is aware of it already 😉

    I’m looking forward to your next posts of the series 😉

    • Reply sileas December 18, 2016 at 11:36 am

      I totally agree with you and I’ve never experienced any negative reactions after my long timeout. Thank you Christina!

  • Reply Paleica December 12, 2016 at 8:23 am

    bei mir ist zwar leider nichts dergleichen in aussicht, trotzdem eine coole idee, so ein handbuch zu schreiben 🙂 ich war anfang des jahres auch recht froh über meine krankenversicherung, so hab ich immerhin die gesamten zusatzkosten erstattet bekommen, die mich übernachtung, taxis und das zugfahren wegen dem ohr gekostet haben.

    • Reply sileas December 18, 2016 at 11:42 am

      Da kann man nur von Glück im Unglück sprechen, aber im Falle eines Falles ist eine Versicherung Gold wert…

      • Reply Paleica December 18, 2016 at 7:14 pm

        ja, du sagst es!! ohne würde ich nicht fliegen.

  • Reply Miyang December 12, 2016 at 10:24 am

    Great tips! I love your blog and pics as always! 😍

    • Reply sileas December 18, 2016 at 11:43 am

      Awww thanks so much ❤️

  • Reply Bia S. December 12, 2016 at 1:46 pm

    Thanks for sharing some precautions for travelling. I’m looking forward on your tips about travel budget. Hehe.

    • Reply sileas December 18, 2016 at 11:45 am

      Thanks! It’s also a great opportunity for myself to review my travel budget 😉

  • Reply PinaySkattebasse December 12, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    If I am to travel for 7 months, my worst case scenario is quitting my job. Because
    1. It took me 3 years before landing on the job that I’ve worked hard to get.
    2. With a Philippine passport I still need 5 years to get my permanent permit in Denmark, and who knows maybe next year I’ll have to wait for 7 years. I could not risk leaving without assurance
    If I should travel maybe I should do it now, because I am jobless! 🙂 Nice tips Julia. Maybe you can write about how you survived the 7 months, economy wise? Or maybe I just didn’t come across that post, if you already did. 🙂

    • Reply sileas December 18, 2016 at 11:54 am

      That certainly isn’t an ideal situation to do long-term traveling. I keep my fingers crossed that you’ll get your permanent permit as soon as possible. I guess every country has its very own (complicated) rules :/ One of next posts I’ll talk about my available budget 😉

  • Reply SueT唐 梦 琇 December 13, 2016 at 2:22 am

    What great pre travel tips. I am now lucky being a little older and having worked with the same organisation for over thirty years that I travelled with my work and lived in China for three years which allowed me to rent my home in Australia and live in a beautiful apartment in Beijing paid for by my company. Look forward to your next post as well.

    • Reply sileas December 18, 2016 at 11:56 am

      That’s like hitting the jackpot for me 🙂 I’d love to travel through work and I believe you gain a whole different perspective on a foreign country when you actually work there…

  • Reply Mitzie Mee December 17, 2016 at 5:46 pm

    I think it’s so amazing that you went on a trip like that. While I’ve been traveling a lot, I’ve never been away for more than a month or two in a row (except for the times I’ve been living abroad). Important point about the health insurance too. It might be expensive, but it’s even more expensive, if something happens and you aren’t covered.

    • Reply sileas December 18, 2016 at 11:59 am

      Thank you! I’ve always been admiring your frequent travels 😉 Right now it’s a bit quieter travel-wise for me, but health insurance is a must wherever I go…

  • Reply lulir87 December 18, 2016 at 5:46 pm

    Intersting article! I have never travelled more than a month and a half so completely admire you travelling for 7 months in a row! 🙂

    • Reply sileas December 19, 2016 at 8:05 pm

      I really appreciate that I got the chance to fulfill my dream… Thanks Lucila 🙂

  • Reply Sofia December 19, 2016 at 11:39 pm

    Hey great comprehensive advice here on long term travels. Your travels are very admirable! I’m quitting my job now, I’ll write about it in our FB when the time comes…

    • Reply sileas December 25, 2016 at 9:53 am

      Thank you! Hope you quit your job for good! Seems like exciting times are coming up 🙂

  • Reply Millie December 21, 2016 at 4:42 pm

    Great tips – it’s so easy to just say “quit your job and travel the world” but there is so much work needed to plan a trip like that. I love that this post is ‘Part 1’

    • Reply sileas December 25, 2016 at 9:55 am

      Yes indeed, it involves months of preparation but those are pretty exciting already!

  • Reply Passmethedimsumiya December 22, 2016 at 1:42 pm

    Oh wow, that’s a great check-list, thanks for sharing- especially the information about which insurance providers are good 🙂

    • Reply sileas December 25, 2016 at 9:57 am

      Thanks! Yeah I think that part is very important and I was grateful for any advice too 😉

  • Reply wazwu December 25, 2016 at 9:52 pm

    Thanks for sharing this list! Plenty of people dream about quitting their jobs to travel, but not that many actually do it, and the ones who do should share their experiences like you’re doing. Very helpful and inspirational. Look forward to the rest of the series! 😀

    • Reply sileas January 15, 2017 at 6:40 pm

      I totally understand that this isn’t an easy decision, I certainly had the right preconditions to do so (luckily)! Thanks for your feedback!

  • Reply marestella December 26, 2016 at 12:36 am

    ah so ein schöner Bericht… endlich bin ich zum Lesen gekommen… und jetzt packt mich gleich die Wanderlust… aaah 😉

    • Reply sileas January 15, 2017 at 6:41 pm

      Gemein, gel? 😉 Sorry 😛

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