In our previous article we mentioned the first 10 steps in planning your next trip. Here, we shall continue that list.
Step 11: Plan Your Activities
Outline the major activities you want to enjoy and how much they cost. Make any last-minute adjustments to your savings so you can ensure you have enough money. This will also help you figure out if you need any reservations for your chosen tours or activities.
Step 12: Sell Your Stuff
If you are going on a long-term trip (six months or more), sell your stuff in order to earn extra money for your trip. Start doing this about 60 days before you leave. Some sites to use are:
- Gumtree – An online classified site with a focus in the UK and Australia.
- Amazon – The biggest online store in the world.
- Craigslist – Online global classifieds that have both local and global reach.
If you aren’t going to be gone that long, skip this step. If you are going away long-term but want to keep your stuff, move it to a friend’s house or keep it in storage. A good storage company in the US is Public Storage, which starts at $50 per month.
Step 13: Automate Your Bills
Get rid of your mail, go paperless, and set up online bill payment for your recurring bills to ensure you won’t miss any while overseas. If you are still going to get paper mail, use a service like Earth Class Mail, which will collect and scan your mail for you. (If you are going on a two-week trip, you don’t really need to worry about this, so you can skip this step, too.)
Step 14: Tell Your Card Companies You’re Traveling
No matter how long you’ll be gone, it’s a good idea to let your credit card companies know you will be overseas; that way any transactions that you make aren’t flagged as fraudulent and your card is less likely to be blocked. There’s nothing worse than having to sit on the phone with your credit card company instead of enjoying your vacation.
Step 15: Pack!
Time to pack for your trip! While what you pack will depend on where you are going, remember that you don’t need to pack everything you own. I usually travel with a 40L bag and then a day bag, and that’s probably a great size for pretty much any trip. You don’t need a massive 70L bag stuffed to the top for a trip around Europe or Asia. So collect your items and then remove at least 20%. You’re going to be lugging this bag around for months, so less is definitely more!
Step 16: Buy Travel Insurance
While a lot of people think, “I’m healthy, I don’t need travel insurance. I won’t get sick,” travel insurance is much more than just medical protection. It covers you when your camera breaks, your flight is canceled, a family member dies and you have to come home, or if something gets stolen.
Step 17: Enjoy Your Trip
Go on your trip and have fun! Head to the airport, board your plane (don’t forget your passport!), and enjoy the fruits of your labor. You’ve worked hard to get here. If you’re feeling nervous, don’t worry — that’s perfectly normal! You’re about to embark on an amazing adventure. Trust your planning, follow your instincts, and you’ll have the trip of a lifetime. I guarantee it.