How did we actually prepare for this trip?
Very old-fashioned we took a notebook and created a to-do list. At the first moment you can’t imagine what to organize and think about. Little by little, all the points came up. We are glad we started planning early enough.
Here we have recorded everything from our notebook:
- Define travel time and length
- Write down periods of notice
- Reducing fixed costs
- Cancel or sublet an apartment
- Plan the route and create a cost plan for the trip
- Choice of luggage
- Designate a trusted third party to do the work at home
- RAV (Jobcenter) Switzerland
1. Define travel time and length
The first thing you should do is define when and how long you want to travel. This depends on different factors. Since a long-term trip requires a lot of organization, it is difficult (but not impossible) to leave from one day to the next, even if you prefer to do so. There are a number of dates and deadlines, which we will be discussing in a moment.
What are the factors that are needed in deciding, when and for how long to start a journey?
- Money. How much have I already saved, how much do I still need and how much do I need when I come back?
- Weather. It is advantageous to check the weather situation of the travel destinations so that one does not travel to a country in the rainy or in the hottest season.
- Notice periods. In order to be able to cancel everything in due time, you must inform yourself a few months in advance, including your job. Usually you have at least 3 months to notice periods.
2. Write down periods of notice
List all current contracts and subscriptions and find out in good time about all notice periods, as some can also be 6 months.
3. Reduce fixed costs
The fixed costs should be reduced to a minimum. All contracts and subscriptions that you do not need during the trip must be cancelled or frozen.
Which contracts are worth keeping and which are unnecessary when travelling?
In any case, you must keep your health insurance and, if you do not yet have one, it`s important to add an insurance and make sure you’re covered abroad. Analyse your basic and supplementary insurance and remove what you won’t be needing during the trip (e.g. alternative medicine). The best is to even compare your insurance with other providers, perhaps you can save money.
You can either sell the car or at least freeze the insurance for the time being away.
You certainly don’t need the TV/Internet subscription while you’re away. Unless your new tenant or lodger wants to take it over.
You can’t do anything with your mobile phone subscription when you’re travelling. Therefore it is recommended to switch to a prepaid card. In the countries you travel, you can get a local SIM card.
If you have other current subscriptions (music, magazines, fitness, etc.), re-think what you won’t be needing ,so that you have as few expenses as possible during the trip.
4. Cancel or sublet the apartment
The big decision: Keep your apartment and sublet it or give it up completely?
This is a very individual decision. If you decide to sublet them, try to place advertisements early enough. If you give up the apartment completely, there are of course even more things to do, such as dismantling the furniture and searching for a storage box. Not to mention, when you get back, you’re gonna have to find a new place to stay.
We decided to sublet and we had a very good experience with UMS.ch. The customer service is competent and easy accompanied handling of the entire rental process. Advertising is free, unlike, other well-known online platforms.
5. Plan the route and draw up a cost plan
Here finally comes the exciting part: planning the trip! Write down where you want to go and then decide how long you want to stay in a place. Book long haul flights in advance. Internal flights can be booked at the spot and are cheaply depending on the country. Book the first accommodation, the others you can book spontaneously. However, find out in advance information about daily expenses for accommodation, transport and food. Soon we will write a contribution about our costs here. So you can calculate for each country how much it will cost you daily and know how much you have to calculate for the whole trip.
Ask your family doctor or a tropical doctor about the necessary vaccinations. Depending on the country to be visited, he will recommend the right vaccinations. Make sure to plan the important vaccinations in advance, a few vaccinations require several injections at different intervals.
Find out about the entry and visa regulations of the respective country online or by telephone at the respective embassy, as well as about the current security situation.
Look closely at your bank’s fees for withdrawal, credit card and EC payments. These can be really expensive if you are on the road for a long time. Ask your bank for solutions, otherwise it is advisable to open an account with a bank where the fees are more advantageous.
10. Choice of luggage
Suitcase? Backpack? Suitcase and backpack? Carry-on only? We decided for the large backpack each. It doesn’t fit in as much as a suitcase, but more than just a carry-on. The most practical thing would be a carry-on and not thinking about waiting at the luggage conveyor belt. Well, we don’t have the guts to do that yet. Let’s see how it goes. (Links to our backpacks will follow.)
11. Designate a trusted third party to do the work at home
Define a trusted third party at home who could take care of your things if something should happen. Make sure that the trusted person receives your mail while youre away.
12. RAV (Jobcenter) Switzerland
Contact your local RAV office for more information. We’ve been told that the blocking period of 60 days will be over during the trip, which means if you register with the RAV on day 1 of your return, you will have to present your 3 month application efforts. In most cases you will immediately receive unemployment benefit.
It is recommended to scan all important documents, such as passport, credit cards, driver’s license, vaccination card etc. and save them securely in a cloud or send them by e-mail.
In some countries you need an international driving licence, which you can apply for at your local road traffic office.