3 Months before Long-term travel
Time is coming closer now and things are starting to go a little faster with time concerned. So what things should you start to be aware of now that there are only 3 months left? If you haven’t, please see my 4-month post.
This is the time to save money, not only in the normal way of putting money aside but start looking for deals that can be had with all the items you need. If you are like us, you have almost nothing that you need for backpacking and long-term travel apart from the basics like clothes and toiletries.
Look in local shops, local markets to start finding those deals. The place I have had the most bargains has been Facebook Marketplace so far. I do prefer finding local people to get second-hand goods.
We found an awesome 3 man tent for £45 that had an RRP of £300. This came from spending time looking at things being sold all over the UK. I didn’t limit myself to just my area. When I found something, I would contact the owner to see if they would be happy for me to do a courier and money transfer. Most of the time they are. Obviously, there are risks involved so I just use my gut instinct. I like to set up the courier and the get them to wrap the parcel and take a photo of the parcel wrapped and ready before I transfer the money. Always be fully aware of the risks, and trust your gut.
Doing it this way also does take time with talking to sellers and relying on free time to do things. Worth it if you have the time.
Internet and mobile contracts. This is the time to start checking when contracts run out and or if you have contracts. We have been with our internet for over 3 years which means we have a rolling monthly contract. This is ideal as we can choose with as little as 2 weeks notice when we want to stop our internet. My mobile contracts end in April and we leave in June, so I will be changing to a PAYG sim card to cut costs.
Lose the Rent. If you rent a house, you need to start being aware of the date you want to give notice, usually, it is a month in advance so start preparing for this so it can coincide with your departure date. If you selling a house, well then you work out a day with the buyers.
Bulk buying food. To save money throughout the year, we bulk buy many items so that you are not constantly buying overpriced goods. With three months left, you need to start assessing what you need to start using up and also, what you go to buy when the stock is low. For instance, we buy molasses in bulk, but this lasts more than 3 months so either I buy a few or we decide to stop eating it and work through our other stocks.
Sell, sell and sell some more. Sell your things that you are not keeping. Think very hard about whether you really need to keep some items. It is so ingrained in our society that we need assorts of fancy things to survive. This is the time to look again at the things you want to keep and edit them to the most special items. Remember, these things you sell are helping you pay for new beautiful memories of travel. So if you unsure about something, take a photo of it and see if that will help keep the memories you are so scared to lose. This way you can have double memories on this item.
Toys. It is so easy to accumulate many toys, even if you try really hard to keep toys to a minimum. The next few months you will be assessing what toys are played with often and start putting away toys that are hardly played with. You want to end up in the last few weeks with only a handful of toys before you decide which ones to take. My little one is about 3 yrs old, so if I remove the toys that she forgets about every so often then it won’t be such a big shock we go.
Start doing a similar thing to your clothes, you are heading for an extremely minimal wardrobe. Hopefully, all your clothes will fit into something just bigger than an average shoe box. From the research I have done, you don’t want to lug around a bunch of clothes. Keep it minimal. Edit once and then edit again!
Book in dates to see your friends. Either you want to see them separately or all at once. I am choosing separately as I feel if I do a party I won’t get that one on one conversations that I just love. Start putting those dates in the diary, things will start to fill up but then you won’t see them for a while so it is worth it. See my previous post about the hardest thing about long-term travel.
These are a few things to start working on. Time will start moving very quickly so take a breath and take one step at a time. Have you been through this before? What things would you add to my list?