Planning an extended trip abroad is something you might do as an adult. Maybe you’re retired and have the freedom to travel as you please. Even if you’re still working and have a family, you might be planning to spend a summer abroad.
It’s a big and exciting decision, but a lot of planning has to go into it, so it goes smoothly.
The following are some specific things to consider.
Tips for an Extended Trip Abroad
Consider the Safety of Your Destination
Before you plan an extended trip abroad, you want to weigh your destination options and choose one that’s going to be safe. If you’re living somewhere for a period of weeks or months, you may find yourself well outside of the typical tourist zones, which is why safety can be even more important.
Along with relying on technology and research, make sure that you’re always aware of your surroundings.
Learn as much as you can about your destination and its safety profile before you leave home, and know what the biggest threats might be.
Again, living somewhere even briefly can present a completely different situation than visiting that destination.
What Are You Going To Do With Your Stuff At Home?
An extended trip implies you’re probably going to be gone for more than a few weeks in most cases. Likely, you’ll be gone a few months at least.
So, what are you going to do with your big items that are going to stay home like your house itself and your car?
One option is to rent or sublet your home while you’re away, which can help you cover the costs of maintaining it or your travels. However, you should plan to put your personal items in storage for the most part if you’re going to rent your home.
If you’re going to leave your car at home, you might need to speak with your local DMV if someone else could be driving it. If no one else is driving it, you may also need to store it.
Where Will You Live When You’re Abroad?
You have two main options if you’re exploring a long-term trip abroad. You can stay in one place primarily, set up a home there, and then travel around on the weekends or when you want. Another option is to move around consistently.
If you’re going to change locations consistently, you’ll just need to rent hotels or Airbnbs as you would on any other trip.
If you’re going to stay in one location, you’ll need to look for a longer-term rental.
You can also use Airbnb to do this. You can search for long-term rentals on the site that will be furnished and have what you need and will be discounted for long-term stays.
You can also go through an agency that specializes in helping people traveling abroad find temporary housing. You may find that an agency is actually cheaper than going through Airbnb. Plus, with an agency, you can speak to someone who will work as your representative.
That person will listen to your needs and the needs of your family and help you with things that may be less obvious on a site like Airbnb, such as how convenient an apartment location is if you aren’t going to have a car.
Before you pay for anything or sign any agreement or lease, you need to make sure you’ve read it carefully and understand it. This is another place where working with a third-party representative could help you.
Remember, even if you’re going through a site like Airbnb, price is often negotiable.
What About Your Pets?
If you have pets and you’re planning an extended vacation, what can you do with them?
Your best option is to find a family member or someone you trust to care for them. Boarding a pet for an extended period is expensive and could be stressful for your animal.
Another option is to take them with you. If you’re thinking about this, you’re going to have to transport your pets overseas. You have to make sure that’s even allowed in the country where you’re going. It can take weeks or months to set up the process, so get started on it sooner rather than later.
You should also keep in mind that the apartment or home you’re renting will need to accept pets.
If you’re going to take pets with you, you need to start crate training them months in advance of your flight as well.
Health and Insurance Considerations
Before you go to many foreign countries, you may need particular immunizations. If you take prescriptions regularly, you should talk to your doctor and get a supply before you leave. You should also think about how you’ll get those prescriptions once you’re overseas.
You may also need to purchase travel insurance that will cover things like a medical evacuation if you need it for any reason.
If you’re traveling to Europe, most countries have a universal health care system. You may be able to receive medical care at no cost, even as a foreigner.
Are You Going to Work?
Finally, with many of us working remotely due to coronavirus, you might be planning a trip in the future when coronavirus levels have gone down, and you might be able to work remotely during your travels.
If so, you first need to make sure you’re going to have access to Wi-Fi. Even if you find a rental, for example, with Wi-Fi, it may not be as fast or reliable as what you’re used to at home. Speak to the person you’re renting from and let them know your concerns. They should be able to tell you whether or not the Wi-Fi is strong enough for you to work while you’re abroad.
If not, you have a few options. One of the best, if you are going to work, is to purchase a mobile hotspot. You can buy data and take it with you wherever you are.