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.
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 😉
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?