A girl in Panama in a pool to remind how great long term travel is

Is Long Term Travel Right for You?

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As someone who has travelled quite a lot and embarked on long term travel trips, I can attest to the transformative effects of this type of travel. It’s not just about escaping your daily routine or taking selfies at tourist hotspots, it’s about pushing your boundaries, creating unforgettable memories and gaining a deeper understanding of the world.

The length of a long-term trip varies depending on your personal definition, ranging from a few months to several years without a return. It’s not solely about the duration, but rather the intention behind it.

Of course, long term travel isn’t for everyone. It takes guts, planning, and a thirst for adventure. But whether you’re an experienced traveler or someone who has never left their hometown, this article will provide you with practical tips and inspiration to help you determine if long term travel is right for you.

When I first hit the road, I only planned to travel for a few months before returning to the “real world”. However, as with many things in life, it didn’t go as planned, and I never found a home again. For those of us who have experienced it, long term travel can become darn addictive. But, you might wonder why?

Pros and Cons of Long Term Travel

You Win in Flexibility

It’s really a no-brainer! When you don’t have a fixed schedule, you have the freedom to plan last minute or add destinations to your itinerary that you may not have thought about before. This allows you to be less stressed about ticking off boxes to say you have seen something and just go with the flow.

Girl on a long term travel trip, spending the day in an elephant sanctuary

Personally, I’m a big advocate of slow travel, which is all about taking your time and really experiencing each place you visit.

One of the best things about being flexible is that you can stay longer in a place you love, or leave sooner if you’re not feeling the vibe. It’s all about listening to your intuition and doing what feels right for you.

Plus, being flexible gives you the freedom to chase the best weather and seasons. For me, that means spending winters in hot countries (except for Christmas – I wouldn’t miss a European Christmas for anything!) and summers in Europe.

You Grow More than you Think

Traveling can be seen by some people as a way of avoiding responsibilities and shirking duties. However, since I quit my 9-5 job, I’ve grown and learned so much more about myself and what I want in life. I’ve had time to think about things that I never would have before.

Being on the road has helped me to be less materialistic and more minimalist, which has been also great for my mental health. I’ve also become more independent and stronger, and I see things differently now. I have a new perspective on life, and I’m not interested in getting caught up in small dramas when there’s a whole world to explore.

A girl on a boat taking a picture while on a long term travel tripSome people might call this a completely different reality, but compared to what? I believe that traveling gives you a new perspective on life and makes you realise that many of the things we worry about aren’t really that important in the grand scheme of things.

Although we may not have the same responsibilities as we did before, I don’t see this as a negative thing. It’s all about choices, and for me, the choice to live this life has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

Long Term Travel Helps you Save Money

Many people assume that long-term travelers are either wealthy or have someone else footing the bill. But did you know that long term travel can actually help you save money? And, in my opinion, it’s anyway priceless.

When you travel long-term, you typically have fewer bills because you don’t have a permanent home to pay for. Instead, you can focus on the experiences that really matter to you.

In addition, when you stay in one place for an extended period, you can save money on accommodation by renting a place for a few weeks or months instead of just a few days. Click here for more money-saving tips.

When it comes to worrying about the future, I’m one of those people who thinks that there’s no guarantee we’ll even live long enough to collect a pension, let alone know if one will exist. I don’t want to spend my best years constantly fretting over something that’s uncertain and unknown.

Instead, I prefer to take things as they come and trust that I’ll be able to figure things out when the time comes. For me, living in the present is far more important than worrying about what may or may not happen down the line.


But hey, not everything in life comes easy.

I absolutely love long term travel, but it also comes at a cost:


Long Term Travel Can Be Tiring

I won’t lie; there are times when I crave the stability of a fixed home and getting back into a routine. Some days, you will feel down, but that’s because you have so many highs. And then, I remember that life is never easy. You just have to find ways to adjust and make it work for you.

As you continue on your journey, your style of travel will also evolve. For instance, you may switch from backpacking to slow travelling and digital nomading as you grow older. It’s okay not to enjoy the same things you did five years ago. It’s actually quite normal!

You may Feel Lonely or Homesick

Feeling lonely or homesick is not uncommon when you’re into long term travel, whether you’re flying solo, with a partner or with your squad.

Being in a foreign land can be overwhelming, and sometimes you just crave the familiar smells, tastes, and people of home. But take it as a chance for personal growth! Stepping out of your comfort zone can lead to some awesome self-discovery.

Besides, when you’re globetrotting for an extended period, you’ll inevitably form strong bonds with the people you meet along the way. You’re all in the same boat, after all – exploring new places, experiencing new cultures, and seeking adventure. You’re likely to find that you share a similar mindset with many of the people you meet, and these connections can lead to lifelong friendships.

Picture of Cartagena, taken during a long term travel trip

You Might be Disappointed by Some Places

Traveling can be full of surprises, and not all of them are positive. It’s true that some places you visit may not live up to your expectations, especially if you’ve been hyping them up in your mind or have seen countless photos of them on Instagram. It’s easy to feel disappointed when the reality doesn’t match up to the idealized version you had in your head.

However, the unexpected detours and disappointments can lead to the most memorable experiences. For example, you might stumble upon a hidden gem that wasn’t on your original itinerary or meet some incredible people who end up becoming lifelong friends.

It’s all part of the adventure, and keeping an open mind can lead to some amazing discoveries. So, if you find yourself feeling let down by a particular place or experience, don’t despair – just keep exploring and you’re bound to stumble upon something even better. In the end, it’s the twists and turns of the journey that make it all worth it.

How to Plan for Long Term Travel?

Downsize Your Life

If you’re planning for long term travel, it’s important to get your affairs in order. One of the biggest steps you can take is getting rid of your accommodation or renting it out while you’re away. This will not only provide you with extra income to fund your travels, but it will also give you peace of mind knowing that your place is taken care of.

Another thing is to downsize as much as possible. This may involve selling things you don’t need, canceling unneeded subscriptions, and forwarding your mail to a relative or a PO box.

Consider putting your remaining belongings in storage, but be mindful of the cost. Just keep what you really can’t sell and get rid of. Do you really need that extra set of dishes, that wardrobe or that outfit you haven’t worn in years?

I know, letting go of your possessions can be difficult, but it’s important for maximum freedom while you’re traveling. It’s nice to let go of as much as you can, if only temporarily. Remember, the less you have, the less you have to worry about.

Financial Planning

Money, money, money – it’s no secret that financial planning is a crucial aspect of long term travel.

While saving up a significant amount of money may be necessary for some, the good news is that there are now many travel jobs and remote work opportunities available, making it easier than ever to earn money while exploring the world. Check out my blog article for some inspiration on travel jobs that can help fund your adventures!

Whether you’re working or using your savings, having a budget is key. This means being disciplined with your spending and making smart choices about where and how to allocate your funds. For example, instead of fancy restaurants and taxis, consider budget accommodations and public transportation. Every little bit saved can add up to more money for your long term travels.

Choosing cheaper destinations can also make your travel funds go further. Southeast Asia is a popular choice for budget-conscious travelers, while Western Europe and North America can be more expensive. But don’t let cost deter you – even in pricey destinations, there are always ways to save money.

In the end, financial planning is crucial for making long term travel a reality. By setting a budget, prioritizing your spending, and choosing the right destinations, you can make your long term travel dreams come true without breaking the bank.

Bye Bye Naysayers!

Don’t let anyone rain on your travel parade! You might encounter people who criticize your long term travel plans, but don’t let their doubts discourage you. With proper planning and preparation, long term travel can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life.

Sure, some people may be jealous or simply can’t imagine doing it themselves, and sometimes it’s not what they say but their attitudes that are the best. But remember, there will always be critics and doubters in life, so don’t let them stop you from pursuing your dreams!

Go ahead, ignore the naysayers, and get ready for an adventure of a lifetime! Just don’t forget to get travel insurance and sort out your bank before leaving. Bank cards like Revolut are really good for travellers and I can recommend SafetyWing as a travel insurance.

Picture of a beach to remind how much long term travel is great

Ultimately, the secret to long term travel is simple: desire and determination. It’s not for everyone, but if you’re willing to make it a priority, you can make it happen. Think about the things you really want in life. It might be a car, a bag or a new dress. You find a way to make them happen, right? It’s the same with travel. If you want to see the world, you’ll make it work.

Of course, it’s important to consider whether long term travel is something that you truly desire. Some people know that it’s not for them, while others are unsure. But why not give it a try and see what happens? You might be surprised at how much you love it.

In my experience, long term travel can be a life-changing adventure that challenges you to step outside your comfort zone, learn new things, and adapt to different cultures. It’s a journey that makes you a stronger and more capable person, better equipped to face whatever life throws your way.

So, if you’re considering long term travel, I say go for it! You won’t regret it. It might just be the adventure of a lifetime that changes your life for the better. Remember, the choices are yours to make.

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