Besides the official concerns there are also a few personal matters to be taken care of. Those will take some time again, but after this you are almost done with organizing.
Contact person at home
At best your trip around the world will be all fun and without any greater problems. Most likely you will get into trouble at some point though. That can be anything from a broken or stolen debit card to problems with your tenants. It will be unnecessarily hard to deal with such matters while you are abroad. Therefore a reliable contact person at home is almost a must.
The easier part should be to find someone who is willing to take care of the unpleasant work that comes along with beeing that contact person. The harder part is to find someone you can trust sincerly aswell. Your best chances are family or very close friends.
At least you are supposed to gather all relevant information for your contact person. The person that agreed on taking care of your matters, while you are gone, shouldn’t be in need to search for your documents. Prepare a folder where everything is neatly sorted. Upon coming back home you should have some extra goodies for that person with you. Below is a list of the most important things your folder should contain.
- Your contact information. Especially if you chose one of your parents as your contact person. Make sure to have established ways of communication. Test everything atleast once before you leave.
- Bank account information. A list of all your bank accounts.
- Insurance information. A list of all your insurances. A copy of the contract, aswell as contact information and all other relevant information, such as policy numbers.
- Emergency numbers. A list of all emergency numbers (for blocking your credit card in case you lost it / it got stolen, and so on).
- Information about subletting. In case you chose to sublet your appartment: a list of all relevant information about your tenancy.
- Information about storage. All relevant information about your storage arrangement, if you chose to let a company store your belongings while you are on your trip.
Depending on how seriously you took sorting your documents so far this can be a tremendous amount of work. Better start as soon as possible.
Furthermore, your contact person will need a power of attorney. Since you don’t know what exactly might become your problem, it makes sense to issue a general power of attorney. The power of attorney is needed for selling stuff like your car, in case you couldn’t find a buyer before you left, or if you need a new debit card. So again, it makes sense to choose someone you do sincerly trust. You don’t want to give a power of attorney to an unreliable person. Banks can be quite picky so you might need to issue them a seperate power of attorney. Authorities can be picky aswell so you might need to issue a notarized power of attorney.
You probably want your contact person back home to take care of your mail aswell. If that’s the case you might need to make a forwarding request.
Beeing sick is always annoying. Beeing sick during your travels is even more annoying. If your last health examination was quite a while ago it makes sense to do one before you leave.
I recommend to visit atleast your dentist. In case he finds something it can take a few weeks until you get an appointment, so take care of it early enough. Of course you can get medical treatment anywhere around the world, but depending on your choice of countries you might not enjoy the medical standards there. However, get it done before you leave, you don’t want to waste your precious travel time for visiting doctors.
In case you are looking forward to participate in a diving course you will need a specific examination. Diving schools are actually supposed to check your proof of diving fitness, before they let you participate in ANY course. Sadly a lot of diving schools don’t really care about whether you have a proof or not. They just let you fill out a form with a few yes or no questions, to save their asses in case something happens. You most likely won’t need it, you are risking YOUR health without one though. If you get in a hurry and don’t have time to get examined in your homecountry you can do it abroad aswell. Then again, the doctor might just “examine” you for 1 minute and pocket his fee in exchange for your proof.
I won’t go into too much detail here because I’m not a doctor and this is no expert health counselling. Visit a doctor who is specialized on vaccinations. I will just list the most important ones.
- Rabies: Especially if you are an animal lover and like to pet wild animals you should get this one. You don’t need to be bitten, a scratch can be enough to cause infection. Unfortunately this vaccination is pretty expensive, so people tend to skip it. You can get it after beeing bitten aswell, though if you are in a rural area you will have trouble finding the vaccine.
- Yellow fever: This vaccination is required to enter some countries after you have been in infection areas (Africa + South America!).
- Malaria: There is no real vaccination to protect you from malaria. You can choose between prophylaxis or a kind of self-medication. Besides that, you can visit a doctor if you notice that you start to feel sick of course. The downsides of both options are side effects. Unfortunately malaria pathogens became resistant to some medicine in different areas. Furthermore, if you notice symptoms too late and mistake them for something else, because you already left the malaria area, you can get yourself into big trouble with self-medication and prophylaxis. So as already mentioned get expert advice from a real doctor.
Besides those there are probably some others which can be refreshed when you are already at it.
- Tetanus, polio, diphtheria
- Hepatitis A + B
Be aware that some vaccinations require several injections, with time in between them. Also some of them can’t be done together. It can take a few weeks to get everything done so you want to start early enough.
Also, make sure that you get your international vaccination card and your vaccinations are recorded probably. Sometimes the doctors are sloppy about that.
Don’t start to read about what can happen to you in case you get any of those diseases, otherwise you are likely to become paranoid. As long as you are confident and have peace of mind you won’t need every mentioned vaccination. The best prevention, in most cases, is mosquito repellent anyway. Once more I want to note that this is by no means complete or an expert advice.
Besides declaring your residence you will have to think about what to do with all your stuff while you are on your trip.
Subletting is probably the easiest option since you might be able to leave your stuff in your appartment. In case you get lousy tenats it’s more trouble than worth though. Also, you lose some of your flexibility since your tenats won’t be happy if you want to kick them out earlier / are probably moving out while you are still travelling.
If you are sure about giving up your appartment you can ask friends or family for room to store your belongings. Like this you’ll save yourself some money and probably get some free help with moving to your new appartment once you are back. If your friends have no space you need to look for a company to store your stuff. The tidier and more organized you pack the less frustration and work when unpacking everything again.
In case you agreed on any restoring work in your rental contract it will take some time to get that done aswell. So, another concern that wants to be timed rightly.
As always you are very welcome to leave additions/suggestions/opinions in the comments!
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