Going travelling for a few months can be a heady and exciting experience. If you’re doing it for the first time then the endless possibilities of where you’re going, what you’re going to see and who you will meet will undoubtedly make you giddy with excitement. Similarly if you’re an old hat at travelling, you’ll probably be excited to get the travel bug again, but will also be thinking about the practical things you will need before setting off.
Having a copy of all of your documents including flight plans, insurance documents and even a copy of your passport is a good idea in case things go wrong. Storing a digital copy on your phone or laptop can also save the hassle of having to call around and scramble for numbers if an emergency situation happens.
Keeping a couple of passport photos in your luggage is also handy as it can be really useful if you lose your passport and have to get a new one issued. If you’re travelling around Europe too, it’s worth getting a European Health Card which entitles you to the same state medical care as a national of the country you’re visiting. It’s not an alternative to insurance but can save a lot of time in an emergency situation.
Make sure everything at home is covered
Get a friend to check on your home occasionally, if you live alone or your house will be empty while you’re away. If you have pets think about what you’re going to do with them while you’re travelling. Leaving them in the care of a friend can be a big commitment so hiring a pet sitter or paying to put them in kennels can be a more convenient solution. It’s also worth making sure they are microchipped and have pet insurance so if the worst happens, you won’t have to delay your trip with the inconvenience of a huge vet’s bill.
Cancelling bills and other unnecessary subscriptions is also a good idea. When you’re travelling for months it’s unlikely that you’ll need that gym membership, and do remember to tell your bank you’re going away for a while.
The world of travel is changing – gone are the days of postcards and terrible landline calls from pay phones to keep in touch with our loved ones. Embrace the world of ‘flash packing’ and stock up on your tech gadgets before you leave. It doesn’t have to be expensive and online money savers like Brookstone offer tech gadget coupons!
Take a good supply of money with you, but of course don’t take your life savings. If you’re travelling to a few countries it’s worth taking a small amount of money in each currency so you don’t have to find a cash machine as soon as you get to your point of call. Having a mixture of US dollars, euros and British pounds can also be helpful if you are visiting poorer countries, as many take these solid currencies as an alternative to their own. Travel Independent has a comprehensive and detailed guide to money and more which has some handy hints on exchange rates and other money-saving techniques.