I remember when I decided to quit my job in The Netherlands and moved to Berlin. I had no idea what I was doing. I started to search online and stumbled upon this blog called ‘Berlijn blog’. It made the move more real, but it didn’t prepare me for the actual move. I also thought I figure it out as I go, hoping I didn’t miss anything.
I am planning a long trip to Asia and while planning I realized that this is a daunting task. Like, where do you begin? Where should you lie your priorities? It’s so easy to get overwhelmed in the beginning, especially when you haven’t done anything like this before. Over the years, I’ve developed an efficient little checklist that ensures I don’t miss anything that is important. It would be a nightmare to be at my destination and then have to realize I forgot something. I already go by the nickname Miss. Last minute by my friends. I wouldn’t want them to add Miss. Forget :).
There is a lot of information to be found on the internet. But this list answers the big question; where to start?. It breaks the process down so it’s less overwhelming and easier.
1. Where do you want to go to?
It is without saying that picking a destination is important. Deciding where you want to go sets a goal to work towards. It makes planning that much easier as well.
2. How long will you go?
The next step will be about deciding the length of your trip. If I know how long I will go for I can start saving and create my expenses list. My expenses list answers the question how much will my trip cost? And you won’t be able to find that out with knowing the length of your trip.
3. How much will your cost be?
Once you’ve figured out where you’re going and for how long you want to be there. The next thing to do is to start researching your expenses in your destination. For example: How much are hotels, hotels, restaurants and any sightseeing attractions. Would you like to backpack or rather stay in a Boutique hotel? Or perhaps a resort? Knowing this will help to put your goal into action.
4. It’s time to start saving!
Writing down all your expenses so you can decide where you can cut back.
5. Get yourself a travel rewards card
With a travel rewards card, you can earn bonuses to redeem miles and points for free flights and hotels! There are cards that have bonuses for up to 50,000 miles (you do have to meet with their minimum spending requirements). That’s a lot of miles! It’s enough to get you a free flight ticket to anywhere in the world. You can also get a travel credit card or both ;).
6. Keep yourself inspired
To keep myself inspired; I like to create a Pinterest Board of the destination I have in mind. I pin all sort of things that you can do at the chosen destination. I also love to pin local food, landscape, architecture and the things I want to see and go to.
7. It’s time to start booking your flight
So, you’re prepared, inspired and on your way to saving money for your trip. But before booking any flight or hotel, check for deals! There might be a discount on your flight or hotel.
8. Book your accommodation
When your schedule is set, feel free to book accommodation for the duration of your trip. In case you are going to travel for long-term, my suggestion would be to book for just the first few days of your trip.
9. Planning your activities
Start drafting the major activities you want to do and their pricing. The list will also help to figure out if you need to make reservations for your chosen activities or tours.
10. Get your visa and vaccinations
This does not always apply. But do check if the destination you’re going requires a visa and vaccinations.
11. Selling your stuff
When I moved to Berlin I start selling my stuff in order to earn extra money for my trip. So if you’re thinking about a long-term trip start selling your stuff about 60 days before you leave. If you want to keep your stuff, keep it in storage or move it to a relative’s / friend’s house. You can skip this step if you aren’t going for that long.
12. Let your bank know you’re travelling
There are several reasons to let your bank know that you will be overseas. But one major reason is to not get any transactions to go flagged as fraudulent. And your card is less likely to be blocked. I’ve been there and there is nothing worse than having to sit on the telephone with the bank instead of enjoying my trip.
13. It’s time to start packing!
I love this part and at the same time, I dislike it. I always seem to forget something but then again it’s so nice to put all your outfits together 😉
14. Get yourself a travel insurance
Travel insurance covers more than just medical protection. It covers when something is stolen, your camera breaks, a family member dies and you have to come home or your flight gets cancelled. You need a travel insurance for on the road. You never know what might happen.
15. Enjoy your trip