You’ve hit your savings target, your budgeting is on point, and your one-way ticket is booked – but you’re at a loss regarding what to sort before you leave?
Let us help you!
Here’s a short and sweet list travelling abroad checklist of what you may want to consider before you step onto that flight to paradise.
1. Get a health MOT
You may be travelling to a country that has great healthcare, yet it is the access to your previous records that hold a lot of vital information.
Before you travel abroad it would be a great idea to not only see your General Practitioner to discuss any relevant medications and/or immunisations that are required or suggested for your destination, but also to have a check-over. Make sure you have a medical exam and a blood test, just to ensure that everything is A-OK before you set off.
Additionally, seeing your general dental practitioner would also be great, to ensure that you don’t have any cavities lurking.
Do extensive research on medications that you are taking, and their accessibility and price in your destination countries. For example, Dylan has Type 1 diabetes. In the UK, where he is from, the medications, sensors, and needles that he needs are all free on the NHS. We’ve had to ensure that we have a stock of a lot of the non-perishable things that he needs with us, but also that we have a regular top-up of the temperature sensitive insulin that he takes.
Additionally, part of the travelling abroad checklist is if you are traveling with ANY medications, it would be worth to print out (and laminate!) an explanation of what they are and what they are for in each language of the countries that you are travelling to. This will avoid confusion at the airport and also explain why you are carrying 30 boxes of needles, for example.
2. Have a valid passport
Now that you’re all checked over and good to go, ensure that your passport will let you. We’ve seen too many times that people expect to be able to travel on a passport that is just about to expire, but the big fear is also that the passport expires whilst you’re still on your travels.
Ensure that you have enough validity on your passport to cover your travels and get you back ‘home’. It is worth noting that many countries will not let you enter unless you have at least 6 months validity left on your passport.
Part two, if you will, of this tip is to make sure that you have scans of all your important documents with you.
You’re probably not going to be strolling around the streets of Indonesia with your passport in your pocket, but make sure that you have images of all your important documents on your phone, as well as potential print outs of passports, IDs, etc. In case anything was to happen!
3. Sell your belongings
This is obviously not applicable if you own a house or apartment that you can keep all your things in, and that you are planning to return to.
However, like many travellers and digital nomads, going for a long-term journey means selling many of your things, storing a few, and bringing just what you need.
We suggest getting to grips with what needs to be sold way in advance. This way you can somewhat budget around it, as well as getting things cleaned, organised, and picked up before you go so that you aren’t rushed off your feet the last week before departure!
We opted to divide our things into: things to sell (that will make good money), things to sell that will probably make very little money but we need to get rid of nonetheless, things to give to charity shops, things to throw away, things that we need to store somewhere, and finally, things to take with us.
4. Store your belongings
This piece of advice sort of comes hand in hand with number 3. Number 4 of the travelling abroad checklist is ideally storing the things you want to keep but not take with you on your travels. Ideally this would be done with friends or family. Unfortunately, some people don’t have this option.
There are many different storage facilities that you can go for that range greatly in prices. From temperature controlled ones (this would be great if you are storing leather or material goods such as clothes or soft furnishings).
On the cheaper side, is a straight up and down box storage. No extra bells or whistles, your things will be safe from theft, but run the risk of having temperature variances that are very high.
If you are going for a long-term trip, and you own your apartment or house, ensure that you have someone that has keys to check on it from time to time, ensure that nothing is leaking or anything else chaotic is happening.
On the other hand, if you are renting and planning to take a long-term trip, you will essentially be homeless. Ensure that you inform your landlord with the appropriate time-frame stated in your contract. Take into account that there may be additional fees for cleaning etc when you move.
6. Redirect mail
If you are moving out from your residences, then ensure that important mail is not still being sent there. We opted to change the address on all of our banks etc, to that of family members. However, to make it easier, you can just opt to have it redirected for a particular period of time, to a chosen address.
The royal mail (UK) offer redirection as a service, take a look at that, here.
7. Inform your bank
Banks are great in many ways; you can access your money anywhere in the world with the touch of a button. However, one thing that they get a big trigger happy with sometimes is blocking your cards if they are used in a way that they don’t expect. Say, in another country. Obviously this is great if someone’s actually cloned your cards… but not so ideal if you need to use it and unblocking it can be time consuming and difficult.
To avoid this whole situation, just ensure that you inform your bank that you are going travelling and where you are planning on going to!
Take a look at which banks you should definitely contact before you go, here.
8. Order some foreign currency
Although much more places than you may expect, take card payments nowadays, it may still be a good idea to have some foreign currency. This would help as soon as you get to the airport and need to grab a ride to the hostel/hotel, or just to get some food.
The exchange rate at the airport is often outrageous, so ensure that you order your foreign currency beforehand at a reputable place. Additionally, many Asian countries accept US dollars as currency, so this is always helpful to have on your person.
We hope this travelling abroad checklist and pieces of advice help you when you get ready to set off on a trip of a lifetime. The last thing you want to worry about when you’re chasing the dream is worrying about the things back home!
If you enjoyed this blog, then please take a look at some of our other blogs.