BIG TRIP TRAVEL TIPS

'The world is a book, and those who don't travel only read one page.' — St. Augustine

While preparing for the unknown, it is impossible to know exactly what one may need.

The road less traveled is unpredictable and I have often found myself at the crossroads of should and must asking, “do I really need this?”.  

At the tail end of every big trip, I discover my needs are very little. That said, it's good to be prepared. 

I've been on the road 50% of the time for the last three years and full-time for the past 6 months. This is a list of my travel essentials for big trips (1 month or more). 
 
HEALTH ESSENTIALS
½ of what I pack is clothing and the other ½ of what I pack is my own holistic pharmacy.
 
    1.    Vitamins & Supplements – Every Body is different so these will depend on you. I have a holistic health specialist who helps assess my needs (let me know if you need a recommendation). I am a high energy person with an adventurous palate and I often wear out my immune system. I use:

    2.    Vaccines – Look up the recommended vaccines for the area you're traveling to. I used One Medical to complete my vaccines. The One Medical staff were very helpful, straightforward and designed for the modern professional who loathes long wait times and is tech savvy.
    3.    Health Insurance – Check your Coverage and Eligibility & Benefits. I was required to cancel my plan if I was out of state for more than 90 days. I did not qualify for an Exemption and will have to pay a Penalty. Check to see what is available to you.
    4.    Travel Insurance – I went with World Nomads “Explorer” option – it was about $400 for 5 months of coverage that included every kind of activity I could possibly get myself into.
 
FINANCIAL ESSENTIALS
    1.    Budget – Start a spreadsheet or another more sophisticated tool (if you have a recommendation, please let me know!) and do the math.

  • What’s the cost of living on a low end and a high end?
  • Approximately how much are practical things like visas, transportation, and accommodations? And then what about experiences, will you be taking any workshops or courses, attending any festivals or events?
  • How does this compare with your current cost of living?
  • Does it make sense from a financial perspective?
  • Living in Southeast Asia was cost effective for me in comparison to San Francisco at about ⅓ or ¼ the cost. This allows me to work less and travel more.

    2.    Financial Advisor - Meet with an Advisor to help you review your goals and determine what you can afford to do. I have been fortunate to work with Daisy and Jeff at Titanium Advisors who help me build my financial strategy around my unique lifestyle.
    3.    Taxes - Take into consideration how you’re doing business and what this means for filing your taxes later. I also work with Daisy at Titanium Advisors for my taxes, she charges $250 and is so worth it! 
    
TECH ESSENTIALS

  1. Cell Phone Coverage – Talk to your provider about your options for suspending, upgrading, or canceling your plan. Different providers have different policies and options for international travelers. It’s also easy to get SIM cards for each country while traveling. They usually sell these at the airports and you can load up via phone or at convenient stores. 
  2. Back up your computer – Get an external hard drive and back back back it up! Leave the hard drive at home so in case anything happens to your computer, you have a back up.
  3.  Favorite App’s
  • Communication – Whatsapp, Facebook messenger, and Skype.
  • Maps – Maps.Me (offline mapping tool, like Google Maps but available offline)
  • Transportation – Grab Taxi, Uber, Lyft
  • Accommodations – Airbnb, Trip Advisor, Hostelworld.com
  • Flights – G Flights, Google Flights, Bunnyhop (tracks flight prices for you)
  • Translation tool – Google Translate
  • Currency converter – Units Plus
 Wat Pho Temple, Bangkok, Thailand

Wat Pho Temple, Bangkok, Thailand

While embarking on the road less traveled it's easy to get caught up in doubts, fears, worries, and insecurities along the way. Remember, the mind lies. Subconsciously and consciously, often and much. Sometimes innocently, sometimes in ways that really hold you back. 

Listen to the callings of your soul. Be courageous in your intuition. And above all, trust yourself, know yourself, and love yourself so wildly and deeply that you are willing to fly around the world chasing some unknown adventure to show it.

There is magic in a life in motion. Believe in yourself and know you are guided and protected, wherever you go, wherever you grow.

Godspeed and safe travels,

Kelsey Lotus Wong

p.s. For more insight + support, read NO MUD NO LOTUS: Getting Through the Mental, Emotional, and Spiritual Mud When Taking a Leap of Faith.