The dream of becoming independent and able to travel the world is one that most people have. However, some wait their entire lives until retirement to hit the road; others find a work/life balance that supports their nomadic interests.
If you have the itch to travel, whatever is your particular plan, becoming financially independent, either to have the lifestyle you want or to travel, should be the goal.
So, if you’re choosing to become a digital nomad or living a life of leisure before you set out into the great blue yonder, you need to plan your trip and your possible return.
To successfully travel and have a safe, memorable experience on the road, there are five things you need to consider first.
You need to create a travel itinerary, know the area you’re going–what are the customs and laws?–prepare a budget, plan your healthcare, and sell your unneeded items.
Create An Itinerary
Whether you plan on becoming a digital nomad and working while living on the road or simply planning to travel the world, creating an itinerary for your travels is the most important thing you can do.
An itinerary is a detailed list of where you’ll travel, the dates you plan to be there, and how you plan to travel.
Why is it essential to have an itinerary?
You want to have a plan you can share with loved ones in case there is a reason or emergency you need to communicate back home; perhaps a loved one becomes ill, or you have some difficulties while traveling,
On top of being safe, an itinerary allows you to explore an area and leave more for future adventures.
Additionally, an itinerary will help you budget and plan for your trip so that you’re not digging a financial hole that will take some time to get out of after you are done traveling.
Some basic things to include in your itinerary when you share the details include;
- How long will you stay at your destination
- How will you travel to the region
- What is your plan while there–sightseeing, digital nomad lifestyle, immigration
- How to be reached while away
- Location of nearest embassy and contact information
Know The Landscape
The next thing to consider when you plan to travel is to know the landscape for where you plan to travel.
In this case, the landscape isn’t the physical region, which is essential to understand regarding packing. Instead, it is about understanding the area’s laws, regulations, and customs. Becoming informed about the region and countries you plan to visit is a must.
What you don’t want to do is travel somewhere and stick out like a sore thumb.
Some parts of the world have very different customs, so knowing what is acceptable will make your time in the region safer and more enjoyable.
For example, some countries drive on the left side of the road, others on the right. Knowing this small detail is essential the first time you’re in a different country.
Also, understanding some of the region’s geopolitics and staying in touch with your embassy is necessary in case there is some issue with the local governments or any other geopolitical issue.
Prepare A Before And After Budget
Once you determine your itinerary and understand the local area, preparing your budget is the next step.
Most people plan their budgets before they leave, but they typically focus only on what they anticipate spending. It’s not a complete plan.
There are three phases to budgeting for your trip; the before, during, and after phases.
Before you go: Before you go is the easiest part of the budgeting phases. First, you have a good idea of your income and expenses and how much you can set aside to prepare.
Mid-trip: Mid-trip budgeting needs to happen before you find yourself needing more funds. Once you arrive on your trip, determining how to adjust your daily and weekly spending is crucial to make your trip stay within what you planned to spend.
Post-trip: The one area most people need to remember to budget is for after the trip.
There will be a return trip unless you’re uprooting and immigrating or adopting a nomadic lifestyle. And that’s where most people forget to budget.
The bills you had before you left will still be paid when you return, so part of your pre-trip budgeting needs to accommodate your return.
Plan Your Healthcare Before You Go
Traveling can lead to a lifetime of memories, but it can also cause some issues if you don’t take care of your health before and after your trip.
The medical situation in most countries is different from what you’re accustomed to, so understanding the landscape before traveling is essential. Still, you can do a lot of proactive healthcare before you go.
You will want to get a list of immunizations and a wellness check before you head out, especially if you plan to travel overseas.
Even if you’re planning on living a nomadic lifestyle, finding the proper health care before, during, and after your trip is crucial.
You can do a Google search for local medical professionals to visit. For example, maybe you’ll need a dentist in Buena Park or a pharmacist in Simi Valley.
You may want a health check before you go. For example, you may want to search for urgent care in San Diego, or if you’re already traveling, a localized Google search like “health care center near me” will provide you with a comprehensive list.
Whatever you need, you must get checked out before departing.
Sell What You Don’t Need
Finally: Whether traveling for a long time or planning a nomadic lifestyle, consider selling unused and unneeded items. It’ll allow you to raise a little extra money and possibly let you downsize before you return, helping to cut costs.
Getting ready to travel is exciting.
But, once the trip begins, don’t be scrambling to figure things out. Instead, make a travel plan, create a budget, know where you’re going, get your healthcare taken care of, and sell anything you don’t need.