Today’s post is about planning long-term travel, and we are dishing out the most exhaustive big 50-item long-term travel checklist to use now so that your trip goes smoothly from start to finish.
If you are tossing these questions around in your head:
- How to start planning?
- How To budget?
- How to choose activities?
- How To Pack for your extended journey?
- What to do about paperwork from mail to passports?
You’ll love our actionable tips to plan your long-term travel from A-Z and everything in between.
Table of Contents
Why You’ll Find This Long-Term Travel Checklist Useful
Are you hoping to embark on a long-term trip? Doing so can be a rewarding and life-altering experience that opens doors to exotic locations and cultures that regular tourists rarely get the opportunity to see. But planning such journeys requires much more consideration – accommodation, budgeting, packing – than regular tourists do.
So, how can you ensure every moment counts on such extended trips? Our comprehensive step-by-step guide is here to assist – from finding an appropriate destination and sticking within budget to organizing activities and packing efficiently – discover everything needed when traveling long-term!
Destination, Duration, And Flights
To ensure that you get your long-term travel planning right, you need to work on planning your destination, the duration at each place, and the flights to get there so that your long journey can begin.
Don’t worry. We are sharing the extended travel checklist tidbits to cover those!
1. Select Your Destination
Selecting a location for a long-term trip can be both exciting and daunting. Begin by considering your interests, budget, culture, and language of potential areas before researching to narrow your choices to find one that speaks to you the most.
2. Decide How Long You Are Going To Stay In That Area
Discuss your destination with friends or colleagues who have traveled there before, read reviews from people who have experienced it firsthand, or seek travel experts’ advice. Once you’ve selected your destination, research all available activities so that your itinerary includes everything!
People who have traveled to the same are the people who you will want to lean on to understand best how long each area will take to move through, giving you an idea of how much of the area you can cover over “x” (your amount) of time.
3. Book the flights & hotel
Book your initial flights to get to the destination of choice for your long-term travel, and then you’ll need a place to stay for at least the first few days until you get acclimated and are ready to move on.
Also, find a hotel for at least the first few days to a week; after that, as you know, extended travel is freeing, and you move around at your own pace and find lodging as you go. The rule that chances here is if you have somewhere you must see on your bucket list, you certainly want to book a room for that stay as well.
- book transportation to and from the airport(s) you will be using
- make sure you signup for email and text updates on all flights and any discount flights you are seeking
Get Your Budget (Finances) Into Shape
Your Long-term travel checklist will never be the same as someone else’s, as we all have different things we want to see and do and different budgets that either make or break the trip.
1. Create a Budget
Setting a budget is essential when planning any long-term trip. Estimate the costs associated with flights, accommodation, food, activities, and unexpected expenses related to transport or visas.
Remember these key points to help you with the long-term travel checklist and keep you on a budget:
- some countries are more expensive than others
- consider how you can save more in one country to spend more in another
- plan cheaper dining options when possible (not every meal needs to be a Queen’s serving)
- Research discounts available locally to save money
- Explore alternate funding like a credit card with rewards.
- Look for exchange programs that cover some or all of the costs related to your trip (if possible)
- Cut back on spending and grocery purchases at your home six months before you leave and clean out the pantry.
2. Financial Planning: Long-Term Travel Planning
Long-term travel planning includes dealing with your credit cards and financial institutions for any possible situation while traveling. Here are a few other items to add to your long-term travel checklist for finances.
- Purchase long-term travel insurance and knock that off your long-term travel checklist.
- Make sure any recurring rea-life bills are on auto-pay
- Sign up for text alerts to see payments were made
- Make sure any credit cards you are taking do not expire while you are traveling (order new ones if they do)
- Call the CC companies and notify them that you are working on your long-term travel planning.
- Check with your financial institution about how to get money while traveling abroad.
Travel Requirements & Paperwork: Extended Travel Checklist
Before you take off on a plane, rent a place to stay, or take off to a new country, you have a lot of leg work to do to ensure you can gain entry into another country and those traveling with you. We’ll break down the paperwork and behind-the-scenes tasks you will need to do as well as travel document long-term travel planning here!
1. Take A Trip To The Dentist
- have your teeth cleaned and checked
- correct any dental issues
- Get any scripts (from cold sores to toothpaste) written and then filled.
- Consider looking at your destinations to note where potential dentists are
While this may not fit a normal travel requirement, if you have ongoing medication from the dentist, you will need a supporting letter to bring, so do visit the dentist. That is the Paperwork portion of this long-term travel checklist for medically necessary items. This brings us to medically necessary visits to the PCP for your immunizations and vaccines.
2. A Trip To ThePCP: Vaccines + Immunizations
Check with the destination(s) of choice as part of your long-term travel planning to learn what vaccines and immunizations might be required. We were once hampered by the fact we couldn’t get the vaccines we needed quickly enough and spread far apart enough to do Safari in Africa, and that will never happen again!
- Have a list of vaccines and immunizations to discuss with the doctor.
- Find out where to get the right immunizations and vaccines
- get a script from your doctor to get the necessary shots
- Have your doctor prepare any other prescriptions that you will need
- Some drugs are not legal in other countries, so do have a letter to support it is medically necessary
- Find out what prescriptions are not allowed in the places you are visiting and abide by their terms (research ahead )
- Make sure to schedule a return home visit as well, just in case you are not feeling well, and you won’t have to wait
- If you can, do look and see if you can locate (ahead of the trip) doctors that can treat visitors
Extended Travel Checklist Includes Taking A Trip To The Pharmacy
You certainly don’t want to weigh your backpack down with meds, but you want to have needed items.
- Fill medically necessary prescriptions.
- Attach any paperwork from the doctor to each (place in a zip plastic bag.
- Make sure to purchase at least Acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
- Don’t forget a stool softener and nausea/diarrhea medicine.
Travel Documents + Long-Term Travel Planning
We had a friend that traveled to Italy and never bothered to see when his passport expired. It turns out that it was less than 6 months before he would return home, and he needed to go to the embassy to get help because his passport had less than 6 months of life left in it, don’t let this happen to you!
- Inspect your passport dates.
- Make sure your passport has plenty of blank pages.
- And renew your passports if they are anywhere near 6 months expiring when you are to return home,
- Obtain a travel Visa for any country that requires so you can gain entrance,
- Apply and obtain for Global ID, and that very least, TSA PreCheck
- It may also be required to apply for a K1 Visa if you want to bring your partner along for the trip.
- Make a copy of all essential travel documents
- Keep the documents with you at all points in time.
- Leave a copy at home with someone you also trust, just in case you need them.
Long-Term Travel Checklist Practical Packing
Pack and repack, repeat. You need to pack light for long journeys and there are places you can wash your clothes! You are not the first people taking extended trips and places that you will stay at have the necessary machines to wash your clothing!
- Long-term trip packing means bringing only necessary items.
- Select versatile clothing: hats, and scarves, which can be used in many ways.
- Attempt to pack a neutral pallet of clothing options to keep outfits varied
- Pack your toiletries and meds in your carry-on only!
- Double-check airline weight limits as checked luggage has become increasingly expensive.
- Do pack an empty water bottle
- Don’t forget to charge tech for your stuff
- Unlock your phone
Plan Your Activities
Once you’ve selected a destination and set a budget, the next step on your long-term travle checklist should be arranging activities.
- Don’t plan all your activities, as your extended travel is meant to be freeing without commitment.
- Do book and plan activities that are popular and in areas, you are visiting for limited days.
- Try to take a language class before your trip or use an app to learn a new language that will be helpful.
- Pin popular attractions to your Google Maps and read Google reviews to learn more about the events.
- Seek out a mix of cultural and adventurous activities so you experience as much as possible.
- Leave plenty of space in your itinerary for spontaneous activities.
- Try to plan to take different types of transportation: cars, shuttles, ferries, trains, planes, limos, etc.
Don’t Forget Your Home Checklist
- make sure all lights are working
- add some lights on timers (or use smart appliances to turn them on and off with your phone app)
- temporarily stop garbage and mail service
- make sure you have no contractors scheduled
- Temporarily cease your home WiFi contract.
Now that you have gone through this step-by-step guide for planning long-term trips start packing! Bon voyage!
Long-term travel can be an incredible way to explore the world, so long as proper preparations are in place. Researching various destinations, creating a budget, and planning activities during your stay are all significant steps toward an unforgettable trip! Pack light while keeping essential documents secure and ensuring a fantastic adventure awaits – now all that remains is to pack lightly with multipurpose items for easy traveling! Use these tips, and you are ready to experience an incredible journey!
Now It’s Your Turn!
What tips did you like or need?
What did I forget?
Let me know in the comments below! ~ Dana XO
Dana Vento is an accomplished travel writer who has written award-winning articles for Niagara Falls, USA, and Cabarrus, NC, and won IG photography for Southern Delaware beaches. Her best stories are on the pages of her passport. Dana offers tips for travel to help you have the best adventures!