Thinking About Long-Term Travel Abroad? 6 Questions to Keep in Mind

If you’re interested in traveling internationally, you probably don’t want to limit yourself to a short-term trip, right?

After all, exploring the likes of the United States or Europe would take weeks if you wanted to give all the essential sights and attractions your proper attention.

As such, planning a temporary living situation in a new country requires some keen planning. No matter where you might wind up traveling, make sure you have answers to each of these questions squared away before setting off.

How Am I Going to Afford It?

Money is always a factor when it comes to international travel, especially lodging. You should obviously have a good idea of where you’re going to be staying, ideally splitting the cost with others or simply relying if possible.

In case you don’t have an idea, we can suggest one. You can either become a volunteer in exchange for some money in your dream location or you can be an au pair (sites similar to could be helpful in this regard), which can fetch you free lodging. Both can be great options and can help you explore the town in your free time.

However, also remember that just because you’re away from home doesn’t mean your financial commitments suddenly disappear. From providing money to your family abroad to handling your rent or other monthly payments, you need to ensure you aren’t hit with any surprise costs to eat away at your budget when you leave home.

Do I Need to Apply for a Visa?

Depending on how long you decide to visit a country, a visa may not be required and simply having a passport is enough. If you’re thinking of an extended trip that’s going to last months at a time, though, that’s a totally different story.

Here’s the deal: the fine details of visas aren’t the same from one country to the next. Don’t get your heart set on a particular country until you’ve done your homework. For example, take a peek at this list of visa requirements by country to see what’s expected of you before your arrival.

When Do I Plan on Leaving?

No matter how hungry you might be for adventure now, you’re likely going to have to play some sort of waiting game. Whether setting up your living arrangement, applying for a visa or renewing your passport, make sure you have the essentials in a row prior to taking off.

Do I Need to Brush Up on a New Language?

Another important factor to consider as you await your journey is whether or not you’ll be able to get by on your native tongue alone. If not, consider some quick tips for learning a new language such as focusing on common words and actively drilling yourself on a day-to-day basis.

Do I Need Any Shots or Vaccinations?

Going hand in hand with your visa requirements, make sure you take a trip to the doctor prior to going out of the country. Up-to-date vaccinations are a must-have and, if nothing else, getting your checkup at home can give you peace of mind abroad.

How Well Do I Know My “Dream” Country?

There’s nothing worse than feeling trapped in a foreign land that you thought you’d fall in love with. If you’re going to be living somewhere for months on end, it might make sense to make a short-term trip just to test the waters. From an unexpected climate to cultural differences, there’s plenty that could potentially sour your experience.

While clearly a lot of thought goes into the decision to travel abroad for an extended period of time not all details of your journey are always so obvious. Simply keeping these pointers in mind now can save you some major headaches when you decide to make your big trip.

Krissy Georgiadis

Written by Krissy Georgiadis

Law graduate and wanderlust sufferer. I like rum and beaches.