Planning for long-term travel is both thrilling and challenging. When I started my own trips, I felt excited, scared, and ready to make lasting memories. It takes you to new places, pushing you beyond what you know.

At first, planning seemed overwhelming. What to pack, how to manage things at home, insurance, and vaccines were just the start. But as I learned, I saw that the key is good preparation. With the right tips, your journey can be amazing.

Key Takeaways:

  • Ensure you have a packing list that includes essential items suitable for various climates and cultural norms.
  • Obtain the necessary vaccinations and seek medical advice before your journey.
  • Be cautious about road safety and enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) for emergency assistance.
  • Pay attention to your mental health and practice self-care during your long-term travel adventure.
  • Consider supplemental health insurance for comprehensive coverage and peace of mind while exploring remote areas.

Moving Out of Your Apartment or House

Before you start your long journey, sorting out your move is crucial. This applies whether you’re renting or own your home. You need to think about a few things.

If you rent, check your lease first. Know how much notice you need to give before moving out. In the U.S., leases are usually short, which means you can sublet if needed. Subletting lets someone else take over your lease until it ends. It stops you from having to pay for leaving early.

If subletting isn’t an option or you’re the owner, selling what you don’t need or storing it can be wise. It makes your place less cluttered and the move easier. Plus, selling things like furniture can help pay for your travels.

Homeowners planning to travel long-term face big decisions about their home. Leaving it empty can lead to issues like water damage. Simple steps, including turning off the water and having someone check on your home, can prevent these problems.

Alternatively, renting out your place can offset costs and possibly earn you money. But, vetting subtenants is crucial. Run checks and get solid references to ensure they’ll take care of your home and pay on time. Good tenants reduce the risk of financial loss and damage.

When selling your home, talking to an accountant and attorney is smart. They’ll advise you on tax implications, especially if you’re not buying another property right away in the U.S. Selling can be advantageous, yielding income if your sale price surpasses what you owe. Consider hiring a property manager too, to watch over your home and its tenants while you’re away.

Summing up, moving out before traveling long-term takes some thought and planning. Whether you go for subletting, selling things, renting, or selling your house, being prepared and making the right choices matter. Pick the best option for your situation to have a smooth move and secure finances for your travel.

Long-Term Travel Insurance

Getting travel insurance is a key part of readying for long-term journeys. It covers many possible issues, offering peace and financial safety. There are important things to think about when picking a plan:

  • Duration of Coverage: Plans for long-term travel usually cover trips longer than a few weeks. You can find options that go up to 180 days or a whole year.
  • Medical Coverage: Make sure the plan includes good medical coverage. This should cover emergency medical costs, hospital stays, and getting you home in an emergency. For instance, with the Explorer Plan, you get up to $100,000 for accidents and illnesses, and up to $500,000 for evacuation.
  • Travel Delays and Trip Interruptions: Pick a policy that pays out if your trip is delayed or interrupted. It can help with costs from flight problems, missed connections, or changes to your travel plans.
  • Lost Luggage and Personal Belongings: Check if the plan covers lost or damaged luggage and personal items. The Explorer Plan, for example, gives you $3,000 for lost or damaged stuff. The Standard Plan offers $1,000 for this.
  • 24/7 Emergency Assistance: Be sure the insurer has 24/7 help available. World Nomads, for example, offers always-on emergency help from professionals.
  • Activities Coverage: Think about what you’ll do on your trip and make sure it’s covered. This can include activities in the snow, on the water, in the air, on land, sports, or unique experiences.
  • Provider Reputation and Support: Look into the insurers and check their reviews. Look for a company that’s known for being helpful and reliable.

Price for long-term insurance depends on many things. This can include the specific plan, the cost of your trip, your age, and how long you’ll be gone. On average, it might cost between $540 and $1,576. Some plans might need you to have another health insurance, especially if you are older.

Long-term insurance is more comprehensive than regular single-trip plans. It provides wider protection over a longer period. By choosing the best plan, you can feel sure you’re covered for any surprises during your travels.

Packing Tips for Long-Term Travel

Packing well is key for any long journey. Pick items that are both light and useful. This way, you’ll have all you need without a heavy bag. Keep these smart packing tips in mind:


Think about what clothes to pack carefully. Aim for this breakdown:

  • 60% tops, including 4 t-shirts, 1-2 long-sleeved shirts, 1-2 tank tops, and 1 UPF shirt.
  • 30% bottoms, like 2 travel pants/jeans, 1-2 skirts, 1 dress, and 1-2 shorts/capri.
  • 10% cold weather layers, such as leggings, thermal wear, and a hoodie.

Adjust the number of t-shirts and tank tops based on the weather. Include dresses and skirts for hot places. Also, a UV shirt and travel dress are good options. They mix comfort with durability.

Look into travel pants from brands like Columbia and prAna. They’re stylish and practical. Choose slim, black pants for easy matching. Remember, leggings are great to layer with on cold days.

Be aware of what you wear in places with strict traditions. To be culturally respectful, skip the shorts. Go for items that are fitting for different cultures.


For shoes, try for an even mix:

  • 25% hiking boots or tough sneakers for the outdoors.
  • 25% Chacos or sports sandals for walking and water fun.
  • 25% chic sandals for everyday wear.
  • 25% ballet flats (if you’d like) for a fancy occasion.

Essential Items

Don’t forget these must-haves along with your clothes and shoes:

  • A water purifier for safe drinking water.
  • A microfiber towel that dries fast and saves space.
  • A money belt to protect your valuables.
  • Compression packing cubes to keep your stuff in order.
  • A travel spork for eating green wherever you are.

Focus on things that are light, useful for a long time, and fit different situations. These tips will keep you ready for your long adventure.

You’ve got your essentials packed. Next up, we’ll talk about the vaccinations and medicines you might need for your big trip.

Vaccinations and Medications

Before you start traveling far, it’s key to focus on your health. Check the travel vaccinations you need for where you’re going. Talking to a medical expert will help you get the right shots. These vaccinations can keep you safe from illnesses around the globe.

A study found that 45% of travelers could face drug-drug interactions with their medicines. Especially if you take regular medicine, it’s crucial to talk to a doctor. They can make sure your travel meds won’t mix badly with your usual ones.

Don’t forget your prescription medications for long-term travel. Make sure you have enough for the whole trip. Also, pack a small medical kit. Include things like painkillers and products for cuts and stomach upsets.

“A study noted that 45% of travelers might see their regular meds interact with travel drugs. And 3.5% of these interactions could be serious.”

Use online tools like Micromedex to check your medication interactions. They focus on stopping bad mix-ups with drugs, like antimalarial medications like atovaquone-proguanil. These tools are great for making sure your medicines work well together at all times.

When you’re taking antimalarial meds, stay alert for other interacting drugs. For instance, metoclopramide can make atovaquone less effective. Remember, some drugs don’t mix well with antimalarials. This may lower their protective abilities.

If you take fluvoxamine, a different antimalarial plan may be offered. Fluvoxamine can change how proguanil works in antimalarials. So, you might need a different approach.

Mefloquine, another antimalarial, should be used carefully with certain drugs. For one, it’s not a good match with anticonvulsants. These pairings might affect the malaria drug’s safety or how well it works.

“CYP3A4 inducers reduce the power of mefloquine against malaria. Yet, its levels can spike with CYP3A4 inhibitors, affecting heart rhythms. These include certain HIV drugs, antibiotics, antifungals, and SSRIs.”

Always chat about possible interactions with your doctor. It’s a must to keep your medications working safely. Especially for a long trip, this step is crucial.

travel vaccinations and medications

By focusing on travel shots and ensuring your medications are ready, you guard your health. Always get personalized advice from a doctor. They’ll look at where you’re going and your health to give you the best plan. Stay safe and enjoy your travels, but always put your health first.

Passport and Visa Requirements

When you’re getting ready to travel long-term, don’t forget about passport and visa needs. Your passport should be valid for at least six months beyond your travel dates. Make sure to check your passport’s expiration date early and renew it if needed. This is to prevent any trouble during your trip to the United States.

It’s also key to look into what visas you’ll need for your trip. Every country has its own rules about who needs a visa. Some might need you to get one before you go, and in others you can get a visa when you arrive or you don’t need one at all.

For the US, visas come in different types for different reasons for visiting. The B-1 visa is for business, the B-2 for sightseeing, and the B-1/B-2 for a bit of both. If you’re between 14 and 79, you will need to have a visa interview, unless you’re exempt because of age. Just remember, visa interview waiting times can change based on where you are and the time of year.

Think about getting an international driver’s license if you plan to drive abroad. This will let you drive legally in many countries. It brings extra ease and freedom to your travels.

Knowing about your passport, visas, and international driver’s licenses is crucial. It helps you deal with the needed paperwork smoothly. By getting these requirements right, you can make your travel time smooth and full of great memories.

Dealing with Flight Cancellations and Delays

Flight cancellations and delays happen often, especially on long trips. Being ready and knowing what to do helps a lot. Here’s advice to deal with these issues:

1. Have Travel Insurance Coverage

Always check your travel insurance for flight issues. It should cover delays and cancellations. Pick a plan that protects you for trip stops, lost luggage, and medical issues. Make sure you know what the policy includes and excludes.

2. Utilize Services like Flightright

Flightright can help with getting you money back for flight troubles. They manage the legal side and make claims easy. Be sure to see if Flightright or similar help is available where you’re flying from or to. This ensures you get the money you deserve.

3. Be Flexible and Have a Backup Plan

If your flight is canceled or delayed, stay flexible. Look for other ways or routes to get to your end spot. Keep checking flight updates and look into rebooking through airline apps. Getting help from the airline staff also eases the process.

Having a backup plan can cut stress in these times.

4. Know Your Passenger Rights

It’s vital to know your rights when flights are disrupted. Learn about what the airline owes you, like food and a place to stay. If you think you’re not getting what you should, contact the airline. You might need legal advice to protect your rights.

Flight issues can be annoying, but these steps can help. Stay informed, be proactive, and use available help. This way, you can manage the situation and keep enjoying your trip.


Planning and prep are vital for a successful long-term travel journey. Using these tips will help you get the most out of your adventure and make lasting memories.

Start by sorting out your move and selling what you don’t need. Getting good travel insurance is a smart move to cover any surprises.

When packing, go for items that are light and useful in various places. Look up the visa and passport info for the places you’re going. Get an international driver’s permit if you need it.

While you’re out there, be ready for new things and new people. Stay flexible, making sure to balance exploring with the time you’ve got. Watch out for extra costs and plan ahead to save money. Long-term travel opens up new worlds and gives you stories for a lifetime.

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