Those who have recently finished high school or college, or even those in need of a break from their current career have probably looked into the possibility of taking a year or two off to start travelling. Taking the time out of life to travel for a year or two can be a great way to grow as a person both spiritually and emotionally, and can help a person get back on track to stay focused once he or she gets back. Or, such an experience can help a person find a new path either speaking new languages, engaging in volunteer or humanitarian work, or even working overseas or abroad. There are a few things any person looking to begin such an adventure will need. It’s a good idea to begin with this checklist while in the planning phases of your big escape!
High Speed Internet. It’s a good idea to have internet access at all times when planning such a trip. If in the planning stages at home, it’s a good idea to switch to cable, DSL or satellite internet if you are currently using something slower like dialup. When you are overseas, it’s a good idea to either book into hotels or hostels with high speed internet or take your own laptop. Trying to figure out what to do in any given place after recently arriving can be tough, so make it easier on yourself with the help of services like satellite internet and the World Wide Web.
A Plan. While it may sound fun to take off and travel without any idea of what you’re doing, it’s good to have at least some sense of a plan, this way it will be easier to manage your funds. Perhaps the plan can be as vague as deciding on a continent and limiting yourself to going to locations only within those confines, or it can be a planned itinerary down to the day. Whichever way you go, be sure to check all entry requirements for places of interest before leaving, especially those that require special visas or vaccinations, and stay flexible. Nobody can stay exactly on schedule when travelling for more than a few days or so, so don’t expect perfection!
Funding. Whether burning off the last of your student loans, spending an inheritance, or finally cashing in that rainy day fund, it’s important to have a good idea of how much cash you have before getting started. It may be a good idea to but things like major plane tickets even before leaving to give your trip some structure and direction, and also to keep you out of trouble when you get into a predicament overseas and otherwise couldn’t get home! Start an online banking account and use that satellite internet broadband connection to keep track of your pennies. Consider the possibility of working overseas if funding is low, but try not to count on it too much. Think of any money made while out of the country as ‘bonus money,’ instead of something you need to survive, since work opportunities may be limited or hard to find depending on factors like the local economy, work permits and language barriers.