Sangeeta Kocharekar

“You’ll love it” and “I’m so jealous” were the two most frequent responses I’d hear when I told people I was travelling for three months. Then, being in Australia where our love for travel is as guaranteed as a nasty sunburn in summer, I would hear the clichés.

“You’ll learn so much about yourself”, “you’ll change as a person”, and “it’ll be the best experience of your life” were the most popular.

Well, I’ve just returned from the trip and can say it was all three of those things and more. What I wasn’t expecting however was the awkwardness.

woman travelling indonesia

The time (and again and again) that I had to wear an unwashed shirt because I didn’t have any clean ones left and was too lazy to find a Laundromat. Or the time I had to drag my suitcase stuffed with entirely unnecessary items, including three pairs of heels I didn’t wear once, across a beach to get to a hotel.

Suffice to say that while I now share with people thinking about long-term travel the same clichéd phrases I’d once been told, I also impart a lot more practical advice. But there’s a lot more out there, and I decided to ask the long-term travel pros to share it. Here are their best long-term travel tips.

Don’t plan it out too much

Bianca Myers has done one long-term travel after the next, and says she credits it with strengthening her resilience, opening her mind, and enabling her to come home with a new perspective on life. She says having the chance to stay in a destination longer also allowed her to get the fuller picture of it.

Her one tip? “When travelling for a longer time, having your trip mapped out will allow you to get the most out of your time. But it’s also a good idea to leave a little bit of room to move.”

She suggests booking some special tours and hotels in advance, and leaving periods of unplanned time in between. That way, she says, you get the best of both worlds.

cobra music player

Always be grateful for it

With a year-long travel stint to Africa, Europe, and South America, and as the author of blog The Travel Tart, Anthony Bianco knows a thing or two about travel. He says what surprised him most about long-term travel was how much he enjoyed the flexibility of staying longer at places.

His one tip? “The worst day travelling is way better than the best day in the office.”

“Also pack as lightly as possible. If you’re missing something, you can get it on the road. Sometimes I’ve given my clothes away in places like Africa, and then re-stocked later.”

He also recommends bringing a medicine kit tailored to the destination.

man on observation deck

Treat it as a temporary new way of life

After deciding she wanted to travel long-term, Alex Turner sold the house and car she shared with her partner, and they took off around Europe and Asia. She’s an ex-corporate and says that she can now see clearly that the annual holiday leave she once had just wasn’t enough.

Her one tip? “My best advice is to see long-term travel as a way of life, and to take it easy. When you have the luxury of time, you don’t need to cram everything in like you might do on holiday so relax and enjoy it.”

She also says treating long-term travel that way will ensure your energy and money go further too.

female looking out at view

Read up on places before you go

Travelling on a regular basis for long periods of time as a consultant, Jennifer Horowitz has been all around Canada, the US, Asia, and Europe. She says the part of long-term travelling she most enjoys is getting immersed in the culture and adapting to being and feeling like a real local. Doing so has given her some amazing experiences.

Her one tip? “There’s a lot of planning and preparation that comes into long-term travel. It’s important to do your homework, and research the area. Find where to eat, stay, and what liabilities might be in store.”

That being said, she says long-term travel is far better than short-term as you can truly absorb the experience when you stay for longer periods in a certain location.

Let go of every excuse for not doing a long-term trip

Todd and Chantelle Powell from Over Yonda Adventures have done long-term travel a little differently. They spent 18 months riding from Canada to Alaska before turning south to Central America and then South America. They say they’re most taken aback by the hospitality and kindness strangers showed them.

Their tip – while more relevant to those simply thinking about long-term travel – is: “If you have even one sliver of desire to experience long-term travel, make it your priority. Let go of the reasons why you shouldn’t or couldn’t, and allow yourself the opportunity to experience the world.”

“Stop making excuses because you’ll always find a reason to have more. Oh, and not having money is never a good excuse.”

motorbike riding in rocky mountains

 

Sangeeta Kocharekar is a freelance writer specialising in travel and life. When she’s not hunched over her laptop, she spends her days browsing plant stores and taking photos of beaches and brunches for Instagram. You can view them here.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by the author and those providing comments are theirs alone, and are meant as travel inspiration only. They do not reflect the opinions of Cover-More Insurance. You should always read the Policy Documents available from your travel insurance provider to understand the limits, exclusions and conditions of your policy and to ensure any activities you undertake are covered by your policy.

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