There’s a difference between going on a short vacation, or a family holiday, and taking a BIG trip. Many of us spend most of our vacation time on city breaks and package trips. We don’t all spend time in our youth traveling the world, and many of us have never been away from home for more and a week or two at a time.
These kinds are short breaks are lovely. If you have a job and family commitments, they are often the only chance that you get to travel at all. You might not be able to take extended periods off work or school, and there’s nothing wrong with using the little time you do get to go on an easy package holiday, where there is little to worry about, and everything is included.
But, a big trip is something else. An extended trip, either to the same place, or taking time to travel around the world gives you more. It’s a chance to see more of the world and to really settle into your environment. It gives you a chance to really get to know the culture and the way that the locals really live, instead of just seeing the tourist hotspots of the world. You’ll have time to make friends, to learn the language, to see more of the sites and to learn how to cook great local cuisine. You’ll learn more about yourself, and you’ll come home with fresh focus and a new perspective on your own life.
A big trip can be stressful. You’ve probably at some point felt the stress of preparing everything for a short city break. Airports are always stressful, and being away isn’t always the relaxing dream that you expect it to be. A big break is, well, bigger which means that the stress levels can also be bigger. Let’s take a look at some top tips to help you to prepare for your first big trip.
Check Your Passports
Usually, when we travel, we have to have six months left on our passports. But, if you will be away for longer, you’ll need longer. Check your passport, make sure it’s up to date and valid for six months longer than you need it, and give yourself plenty of time to renew or make updates if you need to as these can take time to process.
Do Your Research
Think about where you want to go and what kind of trip you want. Some people want to see the world and spend their time traveling from place to place. Others, prefer to stay in one place for a long time. Some people like to head out with very little plan, whereas others prefer an in-depth itinerary and struggle to relax and enjoy themselves without being organized. It’s your big trip, and you need to do it your way. Research places that you’d like to visit, write lists, look online for ideas, and try to gauge how long you’d want to spend in each location.
Set a Budget
Having at least a bit of a plan, and researching where you are going, and places that you might like to visit can help with your budget. If you are traveling for a long time, you might want to break your total budget down into weeks or even days, but remember to be realistic with what you can afford. This might mean that you need to rethink where you want to go and stay and make some money-saving swaps. But, it’s best to know this before you leave home.
Consider Working While You are Away
You might be lucky enough to be able to take time away from your job, knowing that it’ll be waiting for you when you get back. But, most of us aren’t. Choosing to travel often means resigning without the promise of paid work when you return.
Fortunately, today’s travelers have another option. Have you considered working remotely while you are away? If you can’t work for your current employer, could you make money as a freelancer? You could even get the odd bar job if you wanted to supplement your budget or keep hold of some of your savings.
Sort Out Visas as Soon as You Can
If you’ve only ever been on shorter trips, you might never have applied for a visa before. You might not need one now, but make sure you check as soon as you decide to travel and don’t leave it too late, because the process can be long and it’s not something that you can afford to get wrong. A Flight Reservation for Visa service can help to simplify things while protecting your money.
Visa’s aren’t one size fits all. What you will need will depend on who you are, how long you are traveling, where you are going and what you are doing while you are away. Your visa will put restrictions on how much you can work and stay, and where you can travel next. It’s essential that you do your research and read the documents carefully before starting your trip.
Look into Vaccines
Again, if you’ve never been far, you might never have needed travel vaccinations, but it’s worth looking into now. Without the right vaccinations, you won’t be allowed to enter certain countries, and you might be putting yourself at risk if you do.
Some vaccinations you might be able to get from your regular doctor, but for others, you may need to visit a specialist clinic. Book appointments for anything you need as soon as you can.
Learn Some Language
When we travel for a few days, we can typically get by with minimal language skills. But, if you are traveling for a more extended period, and you want to immerse yourself in local life and culture fully, you’ll need more. Look for a great language app to help you.
Consider Money Changing Options
There are more options than ever before when it comes to changing money. You might not want to carry large amounts of cash around with you, and cash is difficult if you are traveling to more than one country. A travel money card or a credit card with travelers perks can be a much better option than using your usual debit card, which will incur charges and poor exchange rates.
However, it’s always a good idea to have a little pocket change in case you need it for things like transport and public toilets.
A big trip does not have to mean a big bag. In fact, it’s a good idea to keep things as light as you can, to make your travels easy. Look for a lightweight suitcase that’s easy to get around, and try only to pack the essentials that you need. Remember, you’ll be able to wash things and shop while you are away.
Change Your Mindset
Going on a big trip isn’t the same as a package break. You won’t always be surrounded by tourists. You won’t be spending your time sat around pools sipping on cocktails. You’ll be seeing the world differently. Change your mindset, open yourself up to explore, to get off the beaten track and to get to know the people that live in the places that you are visiting.
Plan to Keep in Touch
The world is different today. It’s much smaller than it used to be. You can be on the other side of it, and still effectively communicate with your friends and family back home as long as they’re prepared for it. Your friends might be set up with social media and FaceTime. But, other family members might not be. Get them set up with what they need before you go, and show them how they can follow you and your travels and stay in touch with you as you move around the world.
Get Fit and Healthy
A big trip can be hard on your body. You’ll be carrying a heavy bag, walking off proper paths, sleeping in uncomfortable beds. You’ll be spending long periods sat on uncomfortable planes. You’ll be eating and drinking different things, and you won’t have all of your home comforts to look after you and make you feel better. It can put a strain on your body, and many travelers find themselves ill or injured.
Start taking care of yourself now. Spend time looking at your diet, making sure it’s healthy but also introducing new flavors slowly, so it’s not a shock to your digestion while you are away. Get plenty of exercises and build up your strength and head to your doctors for a full health MOT. Simple vitamin supplements can help to boost your immunity while you are away.
A big trip is an excellent opportunity. It’s something that many of us are only lucky enough to get to take on once in our lifetimes. So, don’t let planning stress you out. Get organized, write to-do lists and prepare calmly. Remember, while you may want to be spontaneous and fun, a little planning and research can help to keep you safe and well prepared. Ensuring that you can get the most out of your trip while staying safe and happy.