How to Plan Properly for a Long-Term Trip

How to Plan Properly for a Long-Term Trip

When you're travelling from country to country for a few months, what do you really need? Get some tips to prepare for your long-term trip!

Your mind is set, the tickets are booked, and you are excited to begin your adventure. Departing for a long trip is one of the best feelings ever, but planning and packing for it can be such a nightmare.

What do you really need when travelling from country to country for several months?

Having completed a round-the-world trip, plus a few more that lasted several months, I have encountered multiple problems along the way that I could have solved before.

Here are a few tips on how to plan properly for a long trip.

1. What clothes to take?

There isn’t one answer to this question, as it really depends on where you are going.

If you are planning a backpacking trip around Southeast Asia, you are better off with thin clothes suited for the humid weather, those that you don’t mind ultimately throwing away. You will most likely end up buying plenty of cheap clothes in Thailand anyway! 

If you’re travelling to winter destinations, it gets trickier. You’ll want to pack light but winter clothes can be bulky. Invest in good layers – long johns, fleece and a down jacket – so you’ll need only one piece of each.

My advice is to not carry too much with you at any point of your trip. Also, remember that you can always buy and donate clothes along your journey. 

2. Should I plan my route?

It definitely makes sense to single out the experiences and places you really want to see. So it’s good to plan your route, but don’t overdo it.

Plans can (and will) change along the way, and this is the joy of going for a long trip. You might get recommendations on new places to visit, you might want to stay longer at a particular destination, or you might double up with a new friend and start travelling with them. 

So don’t stuff your itinerary full; leave some room for unexpected adventures.

3. No space in your luggage?

You can travel with a suitcase or just a backpack, depending on the kind of trip you are about to embark on. No matter which, be smart about your space. These travel packing tips will help you pack efficiently.

Remember that less is more and try to switch to mini-sized towel and toiletries. Don’t take five books, but exchange every time you finish it – or get a kindle. It’s also not just about squeezing everything into your luggage; you need to compartmentalise your belongings and develop a packing system that will help you pack and unpack easily throughout your trip! 

4. Cut the costs

A long trip can drain your budget very quickly. If you are a budget traveller, you probably want to research free things to do. Every city offers plenty of free attractions and activities for travellers. 

For example, when visiting Taipei 101, don’t pay for the expensive ticket, but go to the free Starbucks that is almost as high as the observation deck. Try to stay with friends instead of booking a hotel or hostel every night. Also, eating local street food will definitely make your budget stretch further. 

5. Create a budget and stick to it

In my experience, it is easy for travellers to overspend – simply because there is always more to do, see, and eat. Temptations abound in every corner.

Unless you have a bottomless wallet, you should create a daily budget – which depends on the country you’re in – and stick to it. It also helps to keep track of your expenses, through an app or a quick daily summary. Otherwise, you might end up without money halfway through your year-long trip.

6. Stray off the beaten path

It might seem like a very obvious tip, but it is good to keep reminding yourself to go off the beaten path. Don’t try to recreate all the experiences that you read on the internet – create your own.

If you have read about all these ‘cool hidden places’, I bet that there are hundreds of others who have read that same post. Do your research on the ground and ask the locals for recommendations, because surely they know best. 

7. Sort out the bureaucracy

Get your travel insurance and figure out all the visa requirements before you travel. Doing it on the road tends to be difficult, and you might have to make unexpected and inconvenient detours. Be sure not to leave any open bills at home and perhaps sublet your apartment for the time you are away. Sort all these issues before your departure so you don’t have to worry about them on your trip! 

Also Read: Read This If You’re Thinking of NOT Buying Travel Insurance for Your Next Trip

8. Emergency equipment

You never know what might happen when you’re travelling, so be prepared as much as you can. 

In case you lose your passport or other valuable documents, make sure to have a photocopy or a digital version with you in your email. Bring more than one credit card, and keep them in separate places, in case you lose them or get pickpocketed. Read your travel insurance plan in detail and know what to do if an emergency occurs. Also keep a small emergency kit, containing painkillers, plasters, and bandage with you. There is no need to have an entire first aid box, but a few small things might save the day.

Hope these few tips will make your journey smoother. All the best!

About Author

Peter Schimke
Peter Schimke

Peter is a freelance writer and author of the novel ‘Beyond Blue’. He has travelled extensively over the past decade and for some reason ends up where there are no tourists to be found. Cocktail bars, bookstores and skate parks are the places you might run into him. He currently calls Singapore his home, as he his banned from Shinjuku, Tokyo (after publishing his book).


Related Posts