Travel checklist for long term travel
These are the things you should consider before leaving for a trip longer than a month. All the information given are based on my experiences being of German origin. Some of this might vary from one country to the other.
International travel vaccinations
As I am German, we tend to do things very properly and for most of us that includes a visit at our doctor to check our last vaccinations. Do this about six months in advance as some vaccines need to be given within a certain time frame, in several separate shots.
You should also carry your vaccination records on longer oversea journeys with you, as in some countries you are obliged to have certain vaccines and in case of emergency it might be important too.
Best travel insurance
In Germany we are obliged to pay for public health coverage. When you are leaving Germany for longer than six months, you can deregister from city hall and do not need to pay, nor repay public health coverage for those months.
However, you will have to pay for global health coverage if you go overseas. I find the international health insurance Dr. Walter Pro Trip very good, as it is also a cheap travel insurance. They are very responsive, offer long term coverage and manage reimbursements quickly.
If you get your insurance coverage through this link or the one above, I will receive a small commission.
The easiest way to hop from one country to the next is with a credit card. I still see people exchanging huge quantities of cash when arriving at the airport. That is a no go.
Firstly, I do not recommend to carry lots of cash with you as it makes you an object of attention and prone to being robbed. Secondly, you will spent way more money on conversion rates changing money at airports and at exchange booths compared to the smaller rates charged by your bank.
If you are German I highly recommend to get a free credit card with DKB. They have great rates and even refund fees you were charged withdrawing cash from an ATM. Plus, they are easy to reach via phone, have a 24hs emergency line and are very responsive to any other matter.
Using your phone overseas
You will most likely have a phone contract in your home country. If you’re planning to leave for a longer period, you might need to think of cancelling the contract early enough.
Overseas I’m always getting a new sim card and use a prepaid option. Ask locals what companies they are using and you’ll quickly find the best option.
Don't forget to make sure that your iphone is unlocked before leaving home. #unlockediphone
Call mobile and landline numbers from overseas
When traveling long term it might happen that you need to make some official calls back to your home country or want your granny to hear your voice again. I'm using Skype to do that. You can get Skype credit and call landlines as well as mobile phones. It's simpel and the rates are definitely lower than compared to any mobile phone company.
International drivers license
Even though during all those years I have travelled, I have only been asked once at a car rental in Melbourne to show my international driver’s license, you should bring it but remember that it will not substitute your original license. You must carry both of them to be valid.
This might be an obvious thing to do but I know people who forgot in the heat of excitement for a trip: Don’t forget to check if your passport is valid for at least six months or more if you are staying abroad longer.
Getting a new one abroad is possible in your embassy but it’s a hassle and more costly.
Let me know in the comments if this was helpful for you or if you have any more questions!
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