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11 October 2011
Planning on taking a year off to travel? Read this first.

Today's guest post is by #DCTravelTweetup compatriot Adam Riemer (bio below). Get more great travel tips at next week's Meet, Plan, Go! event in DC.


Many people get stressed out with work and just want to travel. You can take a gap year, you can teach your native language in another country or you can go and travel without an actual purpose. It's easy to  overdo it with pre-trip tasks and lists, but you'll be better able to enjoy your trip if you square away a few key items before you go:

Rent and other bills – Make sure you have someone taking care of your apartment or house before you leave for your trip. Either cancel or put a hold on your phone, and get  one that you can travel with. Make sure you have also either closed out any bills or utilities that are in your name or transferred them over to the people who will be living in your apartment or house.

Family – Make sure that everyone in your family from pets to people are taken care of. If someone is pregnant when you leave for your trip, they may have the baby before you get back, so make sure to find a way to keep in contact so that you can be there for the birth or be able to see the pictures. Skype is great for this, but you may have to walk any technophobic relatives through the installation process before you leave. You also need to make sure that your pets are being taken care of as well. You may want to leave your pillow or something with your scent at the persons house that is taking care of them.

Savings and Credit Cards – One thing you will want to have is an emergency backup plan in case your wallet gets stolen. Hide a credit card and keep it at a zero balance, and consider squirrelling away some extra cash in a hidden pocket of your backpack or suitcase. Don't forget to set aside some savings to support you when you get back.

Medicine – You’ll want to go to your doctor and get every shot or vaccination that is recommended for each place you plan on visiting. If you have specialized medication, bring it and the prescription with you, but keep in mind that most medicine is widely available and cheaper outside the US.

Insurance – Do not forget to buy travel insurance. You never know if you will need it and you will be thankful you have it in case something comes up. You’ll want to ensure your policy covers lost or stolen clothing, medical expenses, etc…

There are a lot of other things you will need to do to prepare for a long trip, but the things mentioned above should help you get started. You’ll also want to consider things like a second passport just to make sure you can apply for visas as well as have a second one in case the first one gets lost or stolen.

Overwhelmed? Not sure where to start? Come to Meet, Plan, Go! on October 18
and we'll give you the tools you need to get your long-term travel planning on track.

Meet, Plan, Go! October 18

Adam RiemerAdam Riemer is an Affiliate Marketer and Online Marketing Strategist. He consults for VisaHQ and blogs at http://adamriemer.me, and you can catch him on Twitter at @rollerblader.


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