If you’re like most people, the idea of travelling long-term sounds like a dream. As someone who has been lucky enough to live in various countries and travel for 7 years and counting, I definitely agree that I’m fortunate to have had the experiences I’ve had.
If you’re considering travelling long term, here are some of the things I’ve learned while I’ve been on the road:
Always take travel insurance
Look, I get it- travel insurance can be expensive. Especially if you’re visiting the United States (arguably where you need it the most). But travel insurance has saved the day for me more times than I can count. From simple things like having an iPhone stolen, to needing emergency surgery, my insurance has paid for itself over and over. If there’s one tip I can give to anyone thinking of travelling long term, it’s that travel insurance is non-negotiable. If you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel. It’s as simple as that.
Make it easy
There are some small things you can do while you’re travelling that will make the whole experience much easier. For me, these things include buying wifi on long-haul flights so I can work, purchasing airport transfers so I don’t need to worry about getting to and from my hotel, and stopping over in an airport hotel when I’ve got multiple flights. These are the things that you’ll thank your past self for when you’re actually travelling- believe me, I know.
Choose your travel buddy wisely
I’ve done a fair amount of solo travel, but I’ve also travelled with many other people. If you find a great travel buddy, you can go together like wine and cheese. It’s like you read each other’s minds. You have similar ideas about what to do and see, you’re happy to split up and see more, and you communicate well- even when stressed. But I’ve also travelled with people who were an absolute nightmare and tended to bring out the worst in me as well.
You’ll be surprised just how much someone can change once they begin travelling. There’s something about being in an unfamiliar place, jetlagged, stressed, and tired, that makes everything much more difficult. And while some people can find the funny side of almost any situation, others will simply make this situation worse. One thing I’ve also noticed is that it’s a good idea to travel with someone who is at a similar level in terms of travel experience.