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An afternoon lost on the sun baked winding alleyways of Rome or an evening spent staring at the stars on a freezing flat tibetan plane can make us want to stay lost in those moments and places forever. While a long vacation is a great way to escape and see the world, extended vacations let you soak in the culture around you. It can be hard to afford, plan, and prepare for a long vacation, but working around these problems can be fairly easy.
1. Get a Job Overseas
One of the biggest concerns for travel is affording it. While some jobs have amazing options, like working from home or offer a telecommute option which might allow you to continue working while in a lush local. If you don’t have that amazing option (or enough vacation days) taking up a job while abroad will let you travel for longer. You could au pair, teach English, work at a resort that provides housing, or just do some freelance work.
2. Mind Things Back Home
While slipping into another world means more than immersing yourself into a new culture, a new city, an almost alien world that feels like home is a wonderful travel goal, but unless things are taken care of back home, you might have a bit of a problem. From bills that arrive while you’re gone, to basic home security, or storing your items while you are out of town, there is a lot to get done if you’re planning on leaving for awhile.
Setting up auto-pay for your bills is really important (or turning off the water if you leave midwinter). No one likes to come home to their electricity turned off, or a mountain of back-pay on their student loans. Paying all your bills when abroad is vital, you don’t die when you enter the wider world, and you will want to return easily.
You should also protect your home while you’re gone, either by putting all your valuables in storage and covering your furniture to avoid dust or having someone stay in your home. There are a ton of ways you can keep your home safe while on vacation, but having the lights on timer, having a neighbor check in, and remove the mail are some big ways you can prevent thieves.
3. Find a Home-Base
Finding a home base and creating a regular space for you to inhabit can make your lengthy escape into the world. Vacation rentals are a perfect way to save some money, stay somewhere beautiful, and get a more immersive experience in the country. Like any rental, you should check the area, make sure it’s nice, relatively low crime, and a low noise area. A home base also means knowing where there is a store that you can get the things you need regularly, a great cab/uber/rent a car, and a place to go when you need to plan (coffee shop or bar).
4. Stay Domestic
Staying domestic can also be quite helpful as a cost saving technique for long vacation. The warm water white sand beaches that line the bottom of Florida serve cocktails to hammock bound travelers just like the Bahamas or Thailand. If your goal is to drink, do some hiking, or wandering, a domestic vacation could open your eyes to your neighbors world, and save you some cash. A foraging feast hike into Glacier National Park would be both beautiful and rewarding, as there are many local specialities in the NorthWest that can’t be farmed (like morel mushrooms). Domestic travel never sounds as glamourous as an overseas adventure, but a month of driving along the misty cliff shores of Oregon, waking to the sun breaking over the fog and the waves crashing on the beach could be just the getaway that you need.
5. Be Prepared
Being prepared is the cornerstone of any successful travel, and a long vacation is no different. While with short term travel you might be able to get away with leaving your hat at home, or not bringing enough socks, but depending on where you go, you might not be able to get what you need. For example, if you are a taller or larger woman, you may not be able to find a sun hat, bras, or adorable shoes in southeast asia (or just might have a hard time). And trust, you’ll need a sun hat (or a mountain of sunscreen).
Long term travel isn’t just an instagram hashtag to oogle after, but an achievable goal if you prepare yourself, find a place that works with what you need to relax, and can lay down your bearings.
Mary Grace | August 29, 2016
Mary Grace lives in the beautiful Boise, Idaho. She loves hiking skiing, and everything in between. You can always tweet her @marmygrace, or email her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions, concerns, or just want to talk about travel!