A long-term trip or a trip around the world needs to be thoroughly prepared. In order to get the most out of your long-term trip financially, there are a few things you should definitely keep in mind. It is also extremely important to make preparations so that your trip around the world goes smoothly and you do not experience any nasty surprises. We have summarized all the tips regarding around the world trip preparation step by step here…
Travel preparation Step 1: six months left until the trip
You should start planning and preparing about 6 months in advance for a long-term trip. You will not believe this? We will now tell you exactly why you should start planning and organizing your trip so early. In this way you can also save money and avoid stress and hectic in the later preparation phase shortly before the start of your journey.
Check and refresh vaccinations
6 months before your trip starts, you should find out which vaccinations are required for the respective country or countries on your trip around the world. Especially in the times after the corona pandemic, there are many different regulations with regard to the vaccination status of travelers. While some countries no longer require any proof at all, in regions of the world you are on the safe side with 2 vaccinations. Still other destinations require a third vaccination in the form of a booster for entry.
But not only the vaccination against Covid plays a role. In any case, you should also have the vaccination status of the standard vaccinations (e.g. tetanus) checked by your doctor. They can also advise you which other vaccinations may be advantageous or even mandatory for your trip.
Since some vaccinations are so-called multiple vaccinations, you may need about 3 months for complete immunization. It therefore makes sense to deal with the topic about 6 months before you travel.
Cancel the apartment
Roughly speaking, it is usually worth terminating the rental contract for a travel duration of 3 months or more and spending the monthly rent on your trip. Alternatively, you can also sublet your apartment via AirBnB or otherwise during your absence. This way you can earn some money while traveling or cover the running costs.
Giving up your apartment is not absolutely necessary, you have to decide this point for yourself. It is also advisable from a financial point of view to check whether the effort is worth it for you personally or not… If you want to move around the world for a year or even longer, it is definitely worth terminating the contract and saving money!
However, you should also bear in mind that depending on the housing market, it can be quite difficult to find an apartment when you return. In this case, it would be good if you could stay with friends or your parents for a while after your return.
Create a savings plan
If you haven’t put any money aside for your long-term trip yet, then now is the best time to start. Set aside a large part of your monthly income, going to the limit of what you can handle. In the end, you don’t have to spend all your savings on your trip, but you have a good cushion that lets you sleep better at night.
For 6-8 months of travel you should have at least 6,000-8,000 $ on the side. However, it is also important to remember that with this budget you always have to spend wisely, even in Southeast Asia or Latin America.
Travel preparation Step 2: four months left until the trip
Around four months before the trip is the best time to save a lot of money when booking, last minute was yesterday and has hardly existed at least since Corona. Here we explain what you should book in advance as part of your long-term and world trip preparation.
As already mentioned, last minute bargains are a thing of the past. The best time to book flights is about 4 months before departure. It is important that you compare the flight prices with a flight search engine, this is the only way you can book the best flight deal. Which airline you choose depends of course on your preferences and the flight route. If you already have a lot of time and saving is a priority, it may also be worth considering flights from other cities than your nearest airport or booking open jaw flights with a stopover.
If you then want to get from country to country in a region (e.g. Southeast Asia) or need domestic flights, then a short-term flight booking is perfectly sufficient. The ticket prices in Southeast Asia and Co. are usually still extremely cheap 1-2 weeks before departure. So you don’t need to book flights for the entire itinerary 4 months in advance.
Tips for cheap flights:
- Airguru –> Long-distance and domestic flights
- Kiwi –> Unusual flight routes with stopovers to save money
We have also had very good experiences with early booking when booking accommodation. If you’re lucky, you can still get a cheap price shortly beforehand, but you can usually get better deals if you book early. Find out whether there are holidays or other celebrations in the respective travel country in the month you want to travel, because prices usually rise extremely on these days. One of the biggest myths is that you get the cheapest price locally. That’s not true at all, on the contrary, at least in Southeast Asia. There, the walk-in price was significantly higher for every accommodation we stayed in than with an online booking via Agoda.
If you plan to stay in one place for a long time, then booking monthly through AirBnB or local Facebook groups and websites can be worthwhile.
If you want to travel permanently from place to place, then we only recommend booking the first accommodation after your arrival, you can then book all other hotels, hostels or rooms around 4-7 days before your onward journey.
We recommend the following platforms for booking accommodation:
- Agoda –> The best and largest booking site for Asia & Southeast Asia
- Booking –> The best booking site for Europe and Americas
- Hostelworld –> Ideal for hostels and cheap guest houses
- AirBnB –> Ideal for longer stays, homestays and apartments – unfortunately the platform is getting more and more a hotel booking website.
Apply or check passport
If you don’t have a passport yet, apply for one now. If you did one a few years ago, then check how long it is still valid. In many countries, the passport must be valid for at least 6 months BEYOND the intended length of stay in order to be able to apply for a visa. In the worst case, you will even be refused entry on site.
An example: If you want to stay in Thailand for 6 months, then your passport must be valid for 12 months at the time of entry. Six months validity for the period of stay and a further six months beyond the period of the planned stay.
Travel preparation Step 3: three months left
Slowly but surely your big journey is getting closer and closer. Now, as you prepare for your trip, it’s time to tackle the more tedious visa, financial, and insurance issues. We’ll now tell you everything you need to save yourself a lot of trouble during your stay abroad.
Apply for credit cards
One of the questions we get asked a lot is money. Many make the mistake of traveling with cash or just a conventional EC card on vacation. But that doesn’t work on long-term trips. EC cards from Europe are completely worthless abroad, they don’t work. Also, it’s definitely not a good idea to travel around with all your travel savings in your pocket. You should always have some cash with you, but no more than 200$ and an additional 50-100€.
The better and more practical solution are credit cards. Please also note that you will definitely need more than one credit card. We usually even recommend 3 different credit cards. The simple reason for this is that you can easily lose your card, it can be stolen or confiscated from a defective machine. With only one card you would now be completely helpless and broke. With your other backup cards you don’t have this problem and you can continue your journey without delay.
Since there are so many credit cards on the market, you can simply choose the one with the best conditions.
Revolut is banking 2.0 and the app convinces with great functions. So you can manage your money in an extremely large number of currencies and also pay locally with them. So you save yourself the conversion fees. It is also possible to invest money in crypto, which could well suit the lifestyle of many travelers. The card and account are also 100% free, the bank is based in England and your deposits are protected against loss up to €100,000 via the EU. So, purely from the facts, everything speaks in favor of the card from Revolut!
Info & conditions
- Fee: free of charge
- Card: Visa
- Virtual Card: Yes
- Multi Currency: Yes
- Payment fees abroad: free of charge
- Withdraw fee abroad: 200€ / month free – after 2% of revenue
Apply for visa
Find out well in advance whether a visa is required for your chosen travel country or countries on your itinerary. As citizen of a developed country, you can enter many countries without a visa. In this case you will receive a temporary permit to stay. The duration varies by country, but in most cases it is between 30 and 90 days.
Only if you want to travel to countries that require a more complicated visa application is it advisable to start 3 months in advance. Even if you need several visas, you should work through the list in good time, as many embassies keep your passport for several weeks to issue a visa.
For travel destinations where you can go to the embassy in person and receive your visa immediately, it is usually sufficient to take care of it 1-2 weeks in advance.
If you want to have less stress with the visa, you can also put the issue in the hands of a visa agency like iVisa. They take care of everything for a small fee and the chances of a smooth process are much better. Some countries (e.g. Indonesia) require a local guarantor or inviter, a visa service also takes care of such things. We have had very good experiences with iVisa.
Travel health insurance is mandatory! Under no circumstances should you travel abroad without it, because that would be simply irresponsible! In times of Covid-19, some countries even made international health insurance a condition of entry, so you will definitely not be able to avoid it. When preparing for a trip around the world, you should definitely look out for a suitable one.
A foreign health insurance does not cost a fortune and is available from just a few bucks per month.
Tip: SafetyWing is a worldwide travel insurance for travelers and digital nomads…
Now it’s getting serious: the last few weeks before departure
Are you looking forward to your trip? The most important things have already been done and from now on the time flies by. In the last few weeks before departure, however, you should definitely take care of a few small things to get off to a good start.
The best thing to do is take a good look around your apartment and sell everything you no longer need. So you can kill two birds with one stone. On the one hand you muck out at home and at the same time you earn a nice pocket money that you can certainly use for your trip.
Even if you are giving up your apartment completely or storing your belongings, it is an advantage to have parted with some things in advance.
Download travel apps / set up offline maps
In order to be digitally up to date, you should ideally prepare your smartphone for the trip. Download the most important apps and put your phone in “travel mode”.
Google Maps: The most important app by far is Google Maps for finding your way around the world. Here you can also download offline maps and navigate anywhere using data. This has the advantage that you do not necessarily have to have an internet connection in the travel country.
XE Currency: The currency converter helps you deal with new currencies. The app can be used offline and you can convert the prices into your usual currency.
Google Translator: With the Google Translator you can nowadays translate or even communicate in several languages very reliably. Be sure to download the languages you might need on your trip offline. A corresponding function is available in the app.
Dropbox: Here you can store photos and videos in a cloud and retrieve them on any other device. If you ever lose your smartphone or it is stolen, at least you have saved the photos as a backup. We also advise you to keep copies of the most important documents there.
Bookmark OnYourPath: Last but not least, you should of course also bookmark our site. You can do this in your mobile browser, some even allow adding it to the home screen. You can use the reading bar (e.g. Safari browser or Opera) to save entire articles offline and read them without being online.
Safe copies of important travel documents
As already mentioned, we advise you to scan your most important documents and save them in a cloud (e.g. Dropbox). This way you can always access it if you lose it and, for example, it’s easier to apply for replacement documents. You should definitely save the following documents online:
- Driver’s license
- International health insurance
- File with emergency numbers (e.g. hotlines to block credit cards etc.)
We hope to have helped you at least a little with these tips for long-term and around the world trip preparation. We wish you an unforgettable experience on your journey!
Do you have any other tips for preparing for a long-term trip around the world? We look forward to your additions in the comments section below!