If it seems overwhelming to pack up your life so you can pack your suitcases, then you must read this!
Maybe you’re young and have just finished high school or university and want to get out into the world and explore. Perhaps you have been raising kids, and working a job you’ve come to hate and have a yearning for some freedom to visit all the places you’ve put in your bucket list. Maybe you’re somewhere in between.
You may have enough money saved up to not worry about cash for awhile, but if you plan on having an extended stay overseas then you’ll probably need to think about what you can do to earn some money while you’re traveling. This may mean having an investment or even renting out your home on Airbnb, which may generate enough cash to sustain a nomadic lifestyle. However, not everyone can do this and you may need to resort to getting one of the 10 best travel jobs, or even starting your own online business.
Are you brave? Or are you stupid? Definitely BRAVE!
Deciding to set off into the great unknown is either brave or stupid, depending who you ask. Some will be excited for you, and extremely jealous (in the good way), others will try and bring you down.
If someone has serious concerns, you should consider whether they are legitimate, and if they are, how you can rectify the issue. It will make it easier for you in the long run if you find out now for instance that there are travel warnings for a destination on your itinerary.
But other than that, don’t let anyone stand in your way!
Planning for extended travel can be exciting, overwhelming, scary and then even more exciting! What you need to plan in the months, weeks and days leading up to your departure date can vary on where you are in your life. If you live at home, you won’t have to sell a houseful of furniture. If you live in a share house you need to consider when your lease is up.
6 Months Out
We made the decision that we are going to travel extensively overseas for hopefully a really long time.
Making the decision was actually the easy part.
The hard part is all the planning and getting rid of all our stuff. So 6 months out we held our first garage sale. We thought we had it well planned but we learnt a lot.
This garage sale was about getting rid of stuff we wouldn’t miss, not so much about making money. But we did make money, enough for us to have a romantic weekend in Cairns. But alas not as much sold as we had hoped.
But we learned some strong lessons.
3 to 6 Months Out
You should be using this time as the calm before the storm. You should have saved a considerable amount of money, and you’ve probably bought your airfares. But you probably don’t want to spend all your savings, and would prefer to work if you can.
Consider these Top 10 Jobs for Travel and whether you have suitable skills or perhaps you can use the time left before you go to get some experience or do some short training courses.
Make sure you have researched the correct visa for your destinations, and they allow you to work if that’s what your plans include.
This is also the perfect time to start planning on what you are going to do with all of your belongings. Write a list of what needs to be stored, what should be sold, what will be given away and what you are taking with you. If you have a lot of stuff that you can live without, start preparing for another garage or yard sale.
2 to 3 Months Out
Make sure you have your passport and visas sorted out. You don’t want to be worried a week from your departure date that your visa won’t be approved or that your passport renewal won’t arrive in time.
Have another garage or yard sale adding more of your belongings as you continue to decide what stays, and what goes.
We were 2 months out from leaving and no longer had a dining table!
We didn’t want to be rushing just before we left to sell all our furniture, and I didn’t know how long it would take to sell. Well it took 2 days. Oops! But we didn’t really need it, and it opened up space for storage of packed items for future garage sales.
We had pets, 2 cats, that we had to find new homes for, this was the hardest part for me personally. We decided to start looking for homes early for a couple of reasons. One, we didn’t want to be in a rush before we left and perhaps have to leave them at a shelter. And two, we wanted to find the perfect home for them, and have time to find another home if the first didn’t work out for whatever reason.
We used two options as a start, we asked for help from the cattery we have used several times, and we used our local city board on Reddit. One cat found a new home within hours of both of them being posted on our catteries Facebook page. Not only did we have a reference from the cattery owners, but we went and hung out with our cat at the new owners home for a while to check it out.
I was despairing about our boy not getting a home, but I wrote a lovely story about him and added some photos, then posted on Reddit. And the response was amazing, with well over 400 ‘upvotes’ and 100 plus comments. We found him a lovely home, better than I had ever imagined honestly.
So I definitely recommend giving yourself plenty of time to re-home your pets, that way you get to choose their new home, and allow them time to settle.
1 to 2 months Out
Things are getting close!
You may have handed in your notice at work. All your friends and family probably know of your plans now, and will be eager for one last catch up before you go.
Depending on your situation and your personality, you may be keen for catch up with just a few people at a time, or maybe you will be having a big going away party. Just remember, the closer it gets to your departure, the more you have to organise. You may not have time or have the energy to spend your last 2 weeks meeting various friends and family for dinner and drinks. So consider starting your goodbyes at around this time.
You should be starting to start selling your furniture now, and also having another garage sale. We are had another garage sale and started to sell more large bits of furniture 6 weeks out from our departure. We had some old Ikea lamp tables that were damaged and well used that wouldn’t sell, so we are sold our tv cabinet. We didn’t mind being on a mattress on the floor for a few weeks, so we are sold our bed frame. Whatever we could live without, even if it’s not pretty, we sold. It gave us plenty of time to re-advertise if it didn’t sell immediately.
And don’t forget to tell your landlord that you are moving out at the end of your lease!
Write a list of everything that needs to be cancelled, or changed to online notifications/billing. Our list includes:
- Cable TV
- Toll Accounts
- Membership Subscriptions
- Bank Statements
2 Weeks Out
Start getting excited because it’s almost time for you to leave on your big adventure!
If you have started early you should almost be rid of all your stuff, whether it’s been sold or put into storage. Maybe you just have a couple of big things including your car, but everything else is accounted for which means less stress for you.
Around this time we were already living out of our suitcases as our drawers and cupboards were sold. It’s a great opportunity to make sure everything fits in your suitcase or backpack (check out the great debate between suitcase or backpack here), and how you might want to pack it for easy access.
1 Week Out
Everything should be coming together easily now. You have planned, and planned. Sold everything over a long period of time, so there is no rush or panic. You probably have also significantly added to your travel fund with all your sales. It’s time to enjoy your last week with close family and friends.
Excitement should be at fever pitch!
You’ve done it! Time to head out on your adventure!