Let’s get one thing straight: taking a week-long vacation feels way different than committing to traveling long-term.
In the former, everything is euphoric: you get to discover new places, do exciting things for the first time, and experience the best out of a country in a short period, keeping that wanderlust alive. Every second spent in that destination is precious, so you do everything to make the most out of your stay before you fly back home.
Long-term travels, on the other hand, allow you to take your time and embrace slow travel. While they’re fulfilling too, they come with a set of side effects. Days can get boring and the uncertainty can scare the hell out of you. You’ll long for your loved ones and miss a lot of moments. Cash flow is also unsteady, so you need to work or save big time to make it through.
Whether you’re someone who works for travel or someone who travels for work, here’s a set of rules for surviving and making the most of your long-term trip.
1. Book accommodation designed for long-term travelers
If you’re traveling for the long term, hotels are probably not the best accommodation option. The hotel room rates, as well as the food costs, will drain your savings fast.
Look for accommodation options that cater to long-term travelers such as hostels, and self-catering and serviced apartments. You can opt for shared rooms or private rooms, serviced or self-catering, depending on your budget and needs. Accommodation properties for long-term travelers are often cheaper, bigger, and are equipped with homey facilities, such as a fully-equipped kitchen for preparing your own meals.
2. Make new friends along the way
It’s easy to feel alone when traveling in a foreign country. Beat the loneliness by socializing with people, locals, and tourists alike. It can be your hostel roommate, the front desk staff in your serviced apartment in Liverpool, the barista in your go-to cafe, or the fellow pub-goers you meet along the way.
3. Travel slow
One of the advantages of long-term travel is you’ll get to embrace the beauty of slow traveling. No need to worry about jumping from one attraction to another to save time — you are your own boss. You can even avoid touristy activities and go off-the-beaten-path to get the most authentic experiences.
Relax and take your time in each village. Soak up the atmosphere. Feast your eyes on the natural and man-made wonders in front of you. Mingle with the locals and embrace their culture. Travel slow and truly enjoy the essence of globetrotting.
4. Find a hobby or pastime
Travel can be exhausting and expensive. Whether it’s for budget reasons or you just don’t feel like it, there’ll be days when you won’t do anything travel-related. You’d rather stay in your room than discover something new outdoors… and that’s okay. Don’t guilt-trip yourself as though you’re wasting time.
Instead, find other ways to relax and unwind. You may also find hobbies that won’t cost a lot.
Worried about your savings? You can even invest in a hobby that pays, like travel blogging or making money out of arts and music.
5. Pack light
Just when you thought jumping from place to place for a long time is exhausting enough, traveling with a massive suitcase makes it more unbearable.
Pack light. If we’re talking about months or even years of long-term traveling, pack a few outfits for various situations and seasons. Look for versatile pairs of footwear. Keep toiletries travel-size too, or ask your accommodation if they have some. Keeping your suitcase light means packing, unpacking, and traveling will be a breeze.
6. Plan ahead but not too much
Do you like to plan way ahead of time? Or do you like to keep things as spontaneous as possible? Neither overplanning nor under planning is okay, so find that happy medium.
For instance, booking your accommodation beforehand gives you some sense of direction once you get into a new city. It’s better than browsing accommodation one by one, only when you get there. Booking a hotel too far ahead, on the other hand, takes away the spontaneity of meeting new people, staying longer, and changing plans.
7. Stay thrifty
There’s a fine line between “treating yourself to memorable experiences” and being financially irresponsible. Get realistic with your income and savings, and constantly look for ways to cut costs.
For example, you can get thrifty on days when you’re not meeting up with people or you don’t have anything planned. Just because you’re too lazy to cook doesn’t mean you’ll settle for an expensive takeaway again, even if there’s no occasion. The cash you save on quiet days can be used to finance a special day.
8. Communicate with your loved ones
Once the wanderlust fades, you’ll start missing home. You’ll miss the physical presence of your loved ones and you’ll wish they’re traveling with you. Keeping connections alive, even in long-distance, is crucial.
To combat homesickness, set a time for video conferences. You can simply leave the laptop on while you cook and chat with your loved ones on the other end. You can also eat together in real-time, even if you don’t have the same time zone.
Long-term traveling can bring out the best and worst in you. One day you’re excited to visit a new place, and the next day you’re anxious about staying in unfamiliar territory that’s a thousand miles away from home. Knowing how to beat these long-term travel blues and worries will give you better travel experiences in the future.
Do you have any other tips to survive long-term travels? Share them in the comments below!
Author Bio: Carmina Natividad is a content writer during the weekends, and a travel and food blogger 24/7. She may be an awkward introvert but she’s got a lot to say about travel, food, and cultural appreciation. To know more about hotels and travel blogs, you may visit PREMIER SUITES Liverpool.