After years of putting it off in favour of furthering your career, you are finally ready to take a sabbatical from your life to explore the world. Before you jump on a plane in search of adventure, though, there are a few essential big trip preparations you’ll need to make first.
Let’s discuss them below.
Shop for travel essentials
While you will need to greatly simplify your life before hitting the road, there are supplies you’ll need to buy beforehand that you may not currently own. 70L backpacks, money belts, and quick-dry towels are but a few of the items you may need.
Start by hitting up travel and outdoor shops in your community – if they don’t have what you need or their prices are much too high, there are plenty of resources online that will help you find what you are looking for.
Most people default to Amazon, but there are other e-commerce platforms on the web worth examining. In particular, we recommend checking out Sello.
An e-commerce marketplace where excellent deals can be had, it groups together Shopify merchants together in one place so you can find the best indie products at unbeatable prices.
Get travel insurance
As big trip preparations go, this is one many travelers loathe, but you can’t afford to ignore it. Sure, you might get through your time abroad without incident, but what if you don’t?
What if you get cleaned out by a hostel thief after spending all day on a snorkelling trip? What if your bus gets into a horrible crash, and you’re left on the hook for tens of thousands in medical costs?
Spending hundreds of dollars on insurance may not produce immediate gratification like other travel expenses, but it will protect you from financial ruin due to circumstances beyond your control.
Buy your first plane ticket
Even if you plan on travelling spontaneously once overseas, you’ll still need to fly to your starting point. Once you have saved up enough (with a buffer for safety) to cover your projected travel expenses, jump online and look for a deal on a plane ticket to the most traveler-friendly city in the region you plan on exploring.
Skyscanner and Hipmunk are two flight aggregators which do a great job cobbling together the best flight deals from various sites (including the airlines themselves), so start there. If there are any layovers, make sure they are at least two hours long; any shorter, and security/immigration queues may prevent you from making your connection in time.
Sell or store your stuff
When making big trip preparations, you are confined to bringing what you can fit in a backpack or suitcase, so whatever you have at home will need to be sold, donated, stored, or thrown out. Craigslist is a great platform for offloading your stuff locally, and if you don’t mind shipping, eBay can get you more money for your things.
If you can’t sell certain items (or don’t want to because of their sentimental value), store them with friends, family, or in a climate-controlled storage locker.
Not possible to sell or store something? If it is at all reusable, donate it to Goodwill or a local charity so that it doesn’t end up in the landfill.