I penned the first article on long-term travel planning 12 months out from our proposed departure. It seemed so far away. Nearly 11 months have flown by since then which now finds us a little under 5 weeks out till we leave. Things are starting to get real now, we are nervous, we are excited and there are so many things still left for us to do before our departure.
There are things that have popped up that we did not realise we needed to do and there are things we thought would be necessary that we since then we don’t need to do. Preparing for long-term travel can be a minefield Then there is the list of things we will many things not get the time to do! There is plenty of thought going into what to pack for long-term travel amongst so many other things. Here we have put together the things we are doing right now for our trip. They might be different to yours or they might be the same. Hopefully, these will help you with long-term travel essentials
Just for some context please have a look at our original article that was written 12 months out explaining our decision to pursue
Our Home and Contents
We needed to get the house organised as we are not
Things we had to organise around the house
Check Household Insurance policy regarding absences
Start a new email account for bills only while you are away
Get quotes and organise lawns to be maintained
Find out about mail re-direction
As our housesitter is coming in with no furniture we are lucky that it can all stay in the house. She will not need the kid’s rooms so we have put away all of their toys and placed our clothes in their cupboards to make more room in our room for her to use. We have lived in the same house for 17 years now so it has been a great way to have a clean out of all the unnecessary things we have kept.
Salem is our family pet. He is a lop rabbit and has pure black fur. This causes some problems in the summer as he is easily affected by the heat so we either needed a house sitter who understood what
To help out we have purchased for him:
- Food enough for the first few months.
- Hay for his bedding
- Prepaid for his immunisations at the Vet clinic
- New bowls and water containers
Sorting out what we want and what we need to pack for long-term travel is coming down to personal choice for Bec and I. It comes down to suggestive packing to guide the children in what they will need because in the end we really have no idea. With four small carry-on suitcases that can’t weigh more than 7 kgs, each there is not much room for all the luxuries of
Besides clothes, we will be bringing some essentials…well what see as essentials anyway! We believe these will make the trip easier, safer and more entertaining for the kids when required.
- Bluetooth Speaker – for music we all love music, this one may be more for the parents than the kids. Nothing better than unwinding at the end of the day with some tunes and a glass of wine or maybe having some background music when cooking
- First Aid Kit – Being in a foreign country or even a foreign city you may be without transport available or need something really fast. A first aid kit provides a valuable resource for family travel. Small cuts and scrapes can be fixed on the spot
- PowerBoard/Cube – You will find many places you stay in won’t have a lot of power outlets. This is where a power cube comes in handy especially one with 4sockets and USB connections for phones, camera and laptops. Remember to buy a universal power adapter to go with it.
- Luggage Scale – DON’T get caught with overweight suitcases. When travelling with kidsand on a budget, every cent counts on long-term travel and the airlines reallyknow how to charge for an overweight suitcase. You can know exactly how muchall of your luggage weighs before you leave home or your accommodation.
- Amazon Fire Stick – Maybe the best all-around accessory for the whole family. If you are travelling long-term or even short-term an Amazon Fire Stick gives you access to the Amazon Prime movie library (Amazon prime membership is required).Unlike Netflix, Amazon Prime is not geo-locked so it can be used anywhere around the world. Especially good if you are in a country where your home language is not spoken or on bad weather days
Ok back to the luggage and the weight. You need to find the lightest suitcase possible. Budget airlines will only allow you to take 7kgs onboard for free.7kg is not much but it is even less when you take into consideration the weight of the suitcase as well. You need a lightweight suitcase its a must. Try and get something under 2kgs. Buy your self a foldup backpack” for when arriving. It will fit nicely into your suitcase.
Travel Planning Destinations
We have so far booked our initial departure tickets and the first few stops of our trip. We did this mainly to have some sort of plan with the kids as to where we are going to start and an idea for the place we will stay in. We have so far booked through the first 2 months and will play a wait and see
Some money saving tips
- Book some accommodation before you go at a good price so you have that locked in
- Pay for some of your activities before you go if you are able to.
- See if you can have a room with breakfast included. It is one meal you don’t have to pay for.
- If there is a public transport card you must use pop some money on it if you are able to so you can hit the ground running.
It was also a money-saving activity with Asia’s biggest budget airline AirAsia having their yearly mega sale. With this sale, we were able to buy some amazing flights from $9 each seat and upwards. We were able to pay for these flights while still working, which means they are not coming out of our daily long-term travel budget. We were able to book around 5 flights within Asia for 4 people including seat selection and a 20kg extra luggage allowance for around $500 AUD
Booking these flights allowed us to start looking at accommodation. Our accommodation budget is set at $55 Australian a night. Any more will have to come out of the rest of our daily spending money. At this stage, we are looking at this being $100 Australian which will cover transport, food and activities. My 2 favourite hotel booking sites are Agoda and Booking.com. The advantage of these 2 amazing search engines is that you can pay on arrival
This gives you the option to book more than one place in any destination, then decide later which one suits you best. The thing with travelling with kids is that you need some sort of accommodation organised, well I do anyway. I am not quite spontaneous enough just to roll up. I don’t think that makes sense moneywise for long travel. So far we have booked through the 2 months to try and see how well we can stick to that budget or if we will need to seriously rethink our spending.
We are trending a little over budget for accommodation at this stage but not by a massive amount. Cities such as Singapore are impossible to stay within our long travel budget and we knew this would be the case, so we tried to offset that with some cheaper places before and after our stay there. We have started looking for accommodation that includes breakfast as a saving measure as that is then one meal we do not have to pay for.
- Check Trip Advisor for cheap accommodation
- Check Booking,com for cheap accommodation
- Check airbnb for cheap accommodation
International Drivers License
If you intend to hire a car and drive while overseas this is something to look into. An IDP International Drivers License is not required in all countries. On our last
Long Term Travel Tips – Passports
Surely you must have passports by now. But for some of us who have had our passports for a long amount of time we better check their expiry date. Most countries can and do at times refuse entry if you dont have 6 months validility on you passport
Home Schooling / World Schooling
Any idea’s on how to plan a long trip must include the
Both schools have been positive and helpful on the subject of keeping the girls up to date while we are away. After all the kids will return to these schools after our long travel adventure comes to end in 12-18 months. Our eldest daughters school is going to provide us with a copy ofthe curriculum for us to use while we are away. Our youngest daughters
We will concentrate mainly on Maths and English while we are away. Other things we will do are
- Make the kids keep a journal for every day (helps with handwriting and descriptive writing
- Explore Historical sites
- Learn about the local culture, customs, religion and food
- Read any sort of books
- Talk to people. Others are a wealth of knowledge
- Get the girls to shop and work out, what they are spending
We visited our GP at 2 months out from departure to chat about the required injections for travelling to Asia. Our Doctor searched the CDC (Centre forDisease Control in The United States of America) for the latest information andcame back recommending Thyroid and Hepatitis A injections. Rebecca and I had previously had Hepatitis injections for a previous trip so we did not need them but the girls would receive 2 needles as they were not immunised against hepatitis A. Our girls are fully immunised according to the immunisation schedule in Australia
Thecost of 4 typhoid needles and 2 hepatitis injections was $238 Australian plus GP costs
We also took the opportunity to request a chat about medicine that we could use overseas and receive prescriptions that we could have filled here in Australia before we left. There is a huge black market for counterfeit medications in Asia so we thought it may be the safest bet for us so we know exactly what we have. We ended up with scripts for medication to help with food poisoning, diarrhoea, antibiotics for infected cuts and scrapes etc. I think this is an important step before travelling get your medication organised. Don’t forget you must get a letter off your doctor stating what medication you have been prescribed to take with you when travelling internationally just in case you are asked about them or they are a banned substance in another country.
This brings me to travel insurance. Considering we plan to travel long term this was going to be a huge drain on our finances. We opted to go with medical-only and wear any cancellation fees from accommodation or missed flights. We did take the option of being able to make claims of up to $2000 for theft as we thought this may come in handy at some stage
Having dealt with insurance companies before we know the process with claiming for theft is usually long and tiresome with a slight chance of a really good outcome on your behalf. Anything you claim you must have proof of purchase and they will de-appreciate the value of it anyway. Always read the fine print in your policy a lot of times there are exclusions when you are doing certain activities that your policy will not cover.
-We were able to get 12 months of comprehensive medical coverage and $2000 of theft for $970 Australian for our family.
In Asia for Australians, most countries require you to obtain a visa on entry or prior to entering the country. You will find most Visas are valid for entry only within 90 days of being approved. This means getting visa’s in your home country will not work when travelling long term. You will have to visit a countries embassy in a foreign capital to obtain your visa before entering.
A good practice is to bring copies of passports, birth certificates, travel insurance policy, drivers license and extra passport size photos for your visas. I usually make double copies of these and Bec carries one lot in her case and I carry one lot in my suitcase. A backup copy on a flash drive would not hurt either.
Travelling with Anxiety
Marley deals with anxiety every day of her life in different ways. Some days it manifests itself through hives and rashes other days it reveals itself through her social interactions with her peers. This trip is something that will take Marley right out of her comfort zone. Don’t get me wrong its something she is excited about but also wrestling with at times. Lots of chatting and reassuring for her. Pre-planning is important to make Marley feel comfortable.
We hope all of this has given you some food for thought as they say when planning long-term travel with kids. We will only tell as the trip goes on if we have covered everything that we needed prior to leaving Australia.
Please find 2 more articles from Wyld Family Travel for your reading enjoyment. Just click below to be taken to the article
More about the Author
Mark Wyld is a father, Husband and traveller. Having been to over 30 countries worldwide I think I know a thing or 2 about travelling with kids. I have been writing about travel on our website for the last 4 years and have featured on numerous other websites. When I am not talking, dreaming and planning travel I can be found working in disability support.