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7 Questions: Are You Cut Out for Long Term Travel?

cut out for long term travel?

Most people who hear about someone going on a year-long round-the-world trip or any sort of extended travel think, “I wish I could do that.” And most of the time, they reasonably could if they wanted to. It’s all about making travel a priority in your life.

I don’t think there’s a certain age or gender more likely to enjoy a round-the-world trip. But not everyone is cut out for long-term travel. This doesn’t mean you aren’t tough or smart or capable, but that you might be more comfortable either going slow or staying closer to home. There’s nothing wrong with either of these answers, but here are a few ways to find out if you have what it takes to travel long term.

1. Do you give up easily?

One thing I can say with certainty is that long-term travel is tough. While most of the time it’s fun, there are some moments when you want to pack up and jump on the first flight home. There were times when I was traveling in Australia that I was homesick and just wanted to be around what I knew. But I knew I would regret giving up, so I stayed for a year.

2. Are you high maintenance?

If not being able to plug in your hair straightener in the Amazon is your biggest worry, you might be better off at home. Being a long term traveler is all about rolling with the punches and adapting to unforeseen circumstances. Buses run late, hostels become overbooked and items are lost, but it’s all about how you react to these curveballs.

3. Do you have constant FOMO?

FOMO, or “fear of missing out,” is an affliction that strikes us all sooner or later, but if you’re more concerned about what you’re missing back home, like nights out, weddings, graduations and engagements, you won’t get the most out of your travel experience. Be present and in the moment.

4. Are you able to keep a budget?

Splurging on a nice meal every now and then make sense, but you have to be able to see the big picture. Staying at a cheap guesthouse in Paris today means that you can go sailing in Croatia tomorrow. Set a daily budget for yourself to try and keep your money for as long as possible (perhaps try the TripRider App).

5. Are you an overpacker?

You can’t pack for indefinite travels like you would for a week at the beach. Think about all the activities you might be doing and pack items that are versatile. Also be prepared to ditch some items along the way. Take advantage of our packing lists and the wisdom from your fellow travelers.

6. Do you constantly need to be around other people?

There is definitely some alone time when it comes to long term travel. You need to be okay eating alone at restaurants or sitting on trains. Use this time to think about what you want from your great adventure and to plan where you’re headed next.

7. Are you open to delayed gratification?

Long term travel isn’t something that just happens. It requires time and planning. Are you willing to save up for a year, working a job you might not like, to pay for your trip? You should be able to use your trip to keep you motivated at work and in saving.

So if long term travel isn’t for you, if constant movement stresses you out, that’s okay. There are alternatives, like working holidays or studying abroad. You can also take it slow, spending three months in one place before moving on.

Are you cut out for long term travel?

Written by Caroline

Caroline Eubanks is a native of Atlanta, Georgia, but has also called Charleston, South Carolina and Sydney, Australia home. After college graduation and a series of useless part-time jobs, she went to Australia for a working holiday. In that time, she worked as a bartender, bungee jumped, scuba dived, pet kangaroos, held koalas and drank hundreds of cups of tea. You can find Caroline at Caroline in the City.

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Gear We Use

Organization

Packing Cubes – Organize your luggage with the lightweight, durable and compressible Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Compression Cubes.


Backpacks + Daypacks

Pacsafe – Since they come with extra theft-resisting features, Pacsafe bags make you a more confident traveler. We especially love this bag.

Sea to Summit – Of all the Sea to Summit products, our most recommended is the fits-in-your-palm, super packable Ultra-Sil Daypack.


Personal Care

Nalgene Toiletry Bottles – These leak-free toiletry bottles and tubs come in all sizes – even super tiny, helping minimalists pack it all without bulk.

Turkish Towels – They’re thinner than most travel towels, and they actually cover your body! We can’t get enough of Turkish towels for travel.


Clothing

Speakeasy Supply Co. – They make the awesome hidden pocket infinity scarves that are perfect for stashing secret cash, lip balms, and passports.

Anatomie – Anatomie travel pants come with luxury prices, but they offer many benefits for travelers. See our review of the famous Skyler pants.

Travel Resources

Booking Airfare

Dollar Flight Club – Get flight deal alerts for your preferred departure airport. There is both a free and premium version (recommended for more sweet deals). Members save on average $500 USD per flight!

Skyscanner – Skyscanner is our preferred site for searching flights. They offer unbiased search results and are free from hidden fees. You can also book your hotels and rental cars.


Accommodation

Airbnb – Airbnb is the best place to book out apartments around the world. Sign up using this link to get $37 USD off your first stay booking + $14 USD towards an experience booking!

Booking.com – Search for hotels, hostels, and apartments using this one resource. Use it for flights, car rentals, and airport taxis as well.

Hostelworld – For hostels, Hostelworld remains our number one source for booking stays. Choose from straight up hostels, budget hotels and bed and breakfasts.

Trusted Housesitters – Save money on travel accommodation by becoming a housesitter. Housesitters often have extra duties, like caring for pets and gardens.

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Roni Faida says

    I really wish more people, especially women, would travel for long periods of time by themselves. It helps you so much to develop qualities that are beneficial in everyday life. Your points are dead on, I would add being able to rely on yourself to think on your feet. Sometimes when I was living overseas things would happen and I had no one to call, I had to figure them out. It was great training!

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