Sometimes we might understandably wish that our holidays would never end. While this isn’t possible (for most of us) if you find yourself with a spare few weeks or even a month (or more) and the spare funds, you might want to consider going away for a little longer than two weeks. When travelling for extended periods, however, it pays to be even more prepared.
Before setting off on your adventure, thorough research is essential. Familiarize yourself with the local culture, traditions, and social etiquette so you can adapt more easily without feeling like a tourist and take note of the climate of your destination, so you know what to pack. Learning basic phrases is also a great way to immerse yourself in the local culture and the locals will generally appreciate you making the effort. You should also research any local laws, rules, and regulations and make a definitive list of the places and things you really want to see on your trip.
Finding suitable accommodation abroad is crucial if you want to have a comfortable time while you’re away. This is especially important with an extended stay too! Research various rental options, such as apartments or houses, and set a realistic budget, keeping in mind the cost of living in your destination. Use respected and reliable booking platforms (there are dozens of phoney ones out there which we highly recommend avoiding, no matter how good their deals sound!) and don’t be afraid to ask locals for recommendations.
Research local public transportation systems and familiarize yourself with their routes and schedules. Assess whether renting a car is necessary for your extended stay and, if it is, research reputable car rental companies. You might also be visiting a destination where cycling is more common, in which case you should really ensure you brush up on your biking skills!
First and foremost, check the validity of your passport and ensure it will remain valid throughout your extended stay. Visa requirements should also be considered well in advance of your departure. If you plan to drive abroad, meanwhile, check whether you need an international driving permit and obtain one if required. You might also need to check on your current vehicle insurance policy or take out temporary car insurance if you don’t drive regularly.
Health and safety
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, local vaccination protocols are the first things you should be looking up. Also, research and obtain appropriate medical insurance that covers healthcare expenses during your stay abroad and if you require prescription medications, ensure you have an adequate supply for your entire stay. You might not be able to get hold of them so easily in another country!
It’s not just clothing and documents you should be thinking about packing for your extended stay. Research the voltage and plug types used in your destination country and bring the necessary adapters for your electronic devices and don’t forget to pack personal toiletries that you might need. Before zipping up your bags and heading for the airport though, always check the airline’s baggage restrictions and weight limits to avoid any surprises or additional fees.
Securing your home
Finally, before leaving for an extended stay abroad, take extra measures to secure your home. Install a reliable home security system or ensure that existing systems are functioning properly or set up timers to switch the lights on at night, so it looks like somebody is home. Also, arrange for all mail to be forwarded to a family or friend you can trust and ensure your neighbours have your emergency contact details.
Heading off for an extended trip away is an exciting adventure to experience and explore new areas of the world, however, it’s important to remember that the longer (and often further) the trip, the more planning is required. Equip yourself with plenty of research, planning, and health and safety measures to ensure that your trip is as simple and as stress-free as possible. Happy travels!