5 Helpful Hints for Long-Term International Travel

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As a freelance writer, I have the flexibility to work anywhere in the world, and having a deep passion for travel, I have taken full advantage of that element of my work. In the last several years, I have spent most of out that time outside the US in a variety of locales. Traveling in this manner is certainly different than the typical vacation, and like anything in life, has its upsides and downsides. Being away from home this long will certainly change you and your perspective on life. Things that you didn’t think would bother you do, and it can be uncomfortable. Having been on the merry-go-round for awhile, I would like to share some helpful hints that have served me well throughout my time.

Don’t Neglect Your Health

It is one thing to skimp on regular workouts and indulge in tasty treats when you are away for a week or two, but if you will be gone for months on end, the ‘’I’m on vacation excuse,’’ will really not fly. Find ways to exercise, even if it is just walking every day. Pay attention to your diet. Traveling will be much more enjoyable if you are taking care of yourself.

Get Pin Numbers for Credit Cards

Your ATM card gets locked and you have no cash on you. Most banks will do cash advances on your credit card, but if they are not open or you are not anywhere near one, you are out of luck. Before you leave, make sure you have your credit card pin numbers handy. If you don’t know yours, you have to get a new one through mail and it takes ten business days. You will not be able to get one over the phone once you are overseas.

Consider Getting a Proxy Service to Get a Home Country IP Address

Websites read your location, and this can cause issues when trying to do certain things outside your home country.  Getting your Paypal locked when you absolutely must get that money transferred to your bank account ASAP, and not being able to call because your internet connection is too weak to support Skype, and the internet cafés are closed stinks. If you work online, you might find it difficult to leave blog comments and perform other functions if you are located in certain areas. This may sound complicated, but it is quite simple; you can easily learn how to set up your device through your providers’ instructions, or they can walk you through it.

Don’t Become Obsessed with Getting Everything as Cheaply as Possible

Most travelers are on a budget, and it is understandable that you must set some parameters for what you can spend on a daily basis. Wanting to stretch that money as far as possible makes sense. But, in your quest to save money, getting everything as cheaply as possible can turn into some sort of obsession that will hamper your good time. Of course, you don’t want to blow your money unnecessarily, but spend money when it is warranted, when it will make things easier or more enjoyable, provided you have the funds. Don’t stay in that filthy hostel when a decent budget hotel room only costs five extra dollars. Don’t skip the 4 dollar meal you are totally craving because you know you can get something on the street for just a dollar.

Just Go Where You Want to Go and Do What You Want to Do

Our egos tell us to do and see as much as possible.  We think of all the Facebook albums we want to make, the stamps in the passport, the jealous reactions as we rattle off all the places we have visited. Don’t force yourself on a bus every few days solelybecause you feel like you should see as many places in a country as possible. If you really have no desire to visit a particular country in the region, don’t. Don’t make yourself do activities you really have no desire to do because you think you should.

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