If you are planning a world tour and want to know what you need to organise prior to stepping on that first flight – this post is for you.
If you are following me on instagram (@beckkyhamilton), you would know I am currently in the process of planning a World Tour in 2023! (as of date of publishing). I plan on spending at least 2 years travelling the world, with no plans to return home until the trip is finished. The longer I’ve been researching the more I’ve realised just how much there is to organise prior to stepping on a plane. The list keeps growing and growing! So, I am writing this blog post in the hopes of helping others organise for a world tour or long term travel.
This blog post will discuss areas such as medication, insurance, what to do with your car, taxes and much more.
Table of Contents
Things to sort out prior to travelling – Home related
Car and Car Registration
This information will change dependant on what country you reside in, therefore the following information is based towards Australians.
When it comes to car registration there are three options:
- Sell your car: This is the smartest move if you are happy not having a car when you return. As well as if you want a little bit more spending money for your travels. However, if you wish to come home to a car, keep reading for the next two options
- Cancel your registration and insurance: If you don’t want to sell your car, but don’t want to pay the registration/insurance; you can cancel both. Now if you choose to do this you will need to hand in your plates to the transport department. This will make your car completely unroadworthy. From the research I have done, there doesn’t seem to be a problem with having a unregistered car in a driveway or storage unit, it just cannot be driven. I recommend you do your own research into this further. When you arrive back from your travels, you will need to apply for another set of licenses plates. The car will need to be checked over by an official to make sure it is still roadworthy.
- Keep paying your registration: This option isn’t for anyone who is travelling on a budget or doesn’t want to keep paying bills while travelling. This is the options I am opting for, as I plan on doing the big lap when I return, and I’ve spent a lot of time and money on my car (its is my love). I will continue paying registration while I am away, I will not be paying insurance (as it won’t be getting driven). This saves me the hassle of having to apply for new registration when I get home. I have also included this in my budget.
TIP: If you do plan on leaving your car, see if a friend or family member can start it up every now and then. This will keep the battery and enjoy ‘happy’.
Cancel all your subscriptions
The last thing you want to do while travelling is see money getting taken out of your account for things you aren’t using! Prior to departure make sure you cancel your internet/phone plans, streaming, or other subscriptions which you will not be using. This includes any memberships!
Suspend or cancel your health insurance
If you have health insurance in Australia, there are two options you can look into; suspension or cancellation. A lot of the big health insurance companies will allow you to suspend your membership for a short period. However if you are planning on travelling outside this time frame, you will need to cancel. If you cancel, remember when you return and sign up again you will need to start the ‘waiting period’ again.
Get all your health checks done
Of course do this before you cancel your health insurance. Prior to travelling make sure you get your eyes, skin, teeth, general health and anything else checked.
There is so much to cover here and depends on your current situation, so take this next section with a grain of salt. Full disclaimer: I am not a tax or finance professional, I am simply passing on information from my research. Always do your own and make decisions based on your knowledge and research.
Whether or not you still have to pay taxes while travelling is dependant on your home country. If you are a Australian citizen, if you make any money while travelling a board, this needs to be declared on your tax return for that financial year. The ATO has tools to determine whether or not you need to file a tax return for that year as there are circumstances where you may be exempt. My advice is to call the tax department or use there tools to find out further information.
Organise your Will
No matter what age you are, it is always important to have a will organised prior to travelling.
Things to organise prior to travelling – Travel related
I always, ALWAYS recommend you travel with travel insurance, especially if you are going for a long period of time. Whether you choose to buy your travel insurance individually for each area or country or an all inclusive one for 1 year, is up to you. Make sure you do your research into travel insurance and find one that suits your needs.
International Drivers Permit
If you are planning on driving anywhere during your world tour, make sure you get an international drivers license. If you are from Australia and with RAC you can purchase one for as little as $42 AUD + postage for 12 months. Most countries will not allow you to drive without a international drivers permit. A lot of travel insurance will also not cover you if you are injured in another country while driving, if you don’t have a permit.
Make sure you research how to get an international driver’s permit in your country, as it will be different for each.
If you have medication that you need to travel with, there are a few things you will need to do.
- Visit your doctor and ask for a years worth of medication. Most doctors will write a script which will allow you to collect up to a years worth of medication.
- Get a written letter from your doctor stating why you need this medication. This will help with clear things up with customs. You will need to do research into the countries you are visiting to see if you are allowed to bring in your medication. Most of the time if you have a written letter and copy of your script, it shouldn’t be a problem. Please do your own research.
- Make a copy of your script. Similar to above, this is more evidence to help clear things up with customs as to why you are travelling with large amounts of medication.
When travelling with large amounts of medication, please remember you will need to keep it all in your carry on luggage. If you are not able to get enough medication for the period you are travelling, you will need to visit a doctors abroad to get a new script. This is another reason why it’s important to have a letter from your doctor and a copy of your script.
Medication – Contraception (Oral)
This is information which I could not find a lot of online! But don’t worry I’ve done the research for you. If you are taking contraception medication and want to continue taking it while travelling there are a few options.
- Like other medication, you can get a years worth of prescriptions from your doctors and take this with you. You will need to get a letter and copy of your script for customs as well as carrying it in your carry on luggage.
- Once you run out of medication, you will need to visit a doctor aboard and get another prescription. There are some countries that sell certain types of contraception over the counter, so do your research as this will save you a trip to the doctors. Keep in mind that it may not be the same brand as what you’re used to.
- Quit contraception all together. This is not ideal for a lot of people as it is taken for medical reasons. However, if you don’t want to carry a years worth of contraceptive pill with you, look into tracking your cycle or other methods of contraception (not oral).
Make sure you have all your up to date vaccinations prior to travelling! You can usually find out what ones you require by visiting your government travel websites or asking your doctor. Make sure you are also carrying a copy of your vaccination certificate with you.
Of course you want to be able to access your money while travelling abroad, so I recommend looking into travel cards or credit cards. This will depend on what method you are most comfortable with, so it’s recommended to do your own research. I also recommend you take several cards with you, incase one doesn’t work at the ATM. Another option it to sign up to a online bank.
Travel cards which have been recommended to me via other travellers
I will write a more indepth blog post about travel cards once I have decided on mine and used it. So keep an eye out!
Check your visa requirements for the first few countries you plan on visiting. I recommend you do this in case there is a waiting period and it saves you time at the airport. Continue checking visa requirements for each country you visit, preferably a few days prior to your travel date. You can usually find out what requirements you need by visiting your government travel website for example; Australians can find their travel requirements on smartraveller.gov.au.
This is one for all my photographers out there, make sure you check whether you need a drone permit and whether drones are illegal in the countries you plan on visiting. This is very important because there are countries where if you try or accidently bring in a drone, you can fined or jailed. Make sure you research this one! Here is a great blog post that goes in depth to which countries have banned drones.
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