Although short trips abroad can be fun, you may also feel like you’re leaving as soon as you start getting comfortable. That’s why some people like to take long-term trips abroad instead. If you’ve decided to go with a long-term trip abroad, such as a study abroad program, a work exchange or a vacation that will last for months instead of weeks, then preparing properly will be key in a successful trip. Here are the four important pieces of preparation you should do before any long-term trip abroad.
Figure out the Financial Side
Money problems can cause quite a bit of stress, and it’s even worse when you’re in a whole new place. Avoid this by running the numbers on your trip first and figuring out how you’ll make it work for you.
You can do this far ahead of your trip by researching the cost of living in the area where you plan to go and seeing how much you’ll need to spend for housing, food and all life’s other necessities. This will give you an idea of how much you’ll need to save, although you won’t need to save as much if you plan on working while on your trip. You should also decide what you’ll do with your home, whether you sublet it, have someone housesit or move out completely.
Have Health Checkups Done
It’s not like you’ll be unable to get medical care on your trip if you need it, but you’re much better off taking preventative measures so that you can spend your time abroad free of health issues. Schedule a checkup with your doctor before you go to be safe, and make sure you also see if you need to get any vaccines for the area where you’ll be traveling.
Don’t forget to have a dental checkup done, as well. The last thing you want is tooth or gum problems. Get any root canals or gum disease taken care of before you go. If you haven’t been to the dentist lately, you can check out your options by simply searching in terms like “children’s dentistry Livermore” for your area.
Decide What to Do with Your Belongings
You obviously can’t pack everything, which means there are quite a few possessions you’ll need to leave behind. If you’re going to keep your home and either have someone housesit or sublet it, then you can just leave your belongings there, although it is good to store any valuables.
If you’re moving out, then you’ll need a storage unit for anything you don’t take with you. When you find one, pay in advance for as long as you plan to be gone to avoid any payment issues. You should also sell what you can before you go—long trips abroad are the perfect time to part with those items you no longer need.
Know How You Will Communicate with Friends and Family
One of the things that’s easy to overlook when you’re setting out on a new adventure is the people you’ll leave behind. It can be an emotional experience when you’re abroad with everyone you know a continent away, and that’s why it’s important to find a way you can stay in touch with them.
Fortunately, there are many methods to communicate with people internationally without racking up a huge phone bill, such as messaging apps and video calling services. Get comfortable with your communication method of choice before you go so that using it is second nature by the time you set out on your trip.
A long-term trip abroad can be the experience of a lifetime. You’ll enjoy yourself much more if you prepare correctly, and following the tips above will help with that.