Backpacker looking at lake

Have you got a long-haul trip in mind? Maybe you like the idea of backpacking around Asia? Or city-hopping across Europe? Maybe you love the idea of sea experiences and boat tours? The world is your oyster and you’re ready to see it. There’s a lot to think about then, but there are things that everyone forgets when they are planning such a trip. Take a look at our guide to stay on the right track.


Seriously. Start a spreadsheet. If you’re considering a long vacation where you have to keep moving, you’ve got a lot to keep track of. You’re going to have lots of travel details to keep track of. Flight times, train times, accommodation locations, directions and addresses, and for the fun of it a highlights list of everywhere you’re going. Add a little checklist that goes like “Rome: Vatican City, La Pieta, Colosseum”, etc.

But there is also work to think about. You will have to plan ahead on odd jobs: cleaning, farming, hospitality, etc. If you’ve not got your trip bankrolled by a mysterious generous billionaire, chances are you have work details to keep a hold of too.

The brilliance of having everything at your fingertips in a smartphone is that you can look at and update your spreadsheet on the go, or even download an app that will keep track of your travel details for you. There is always your calendar too, but that can be a little overwhelming once you input one or two details. You might need something more hardworking, like a spreadsheet. 

Adopt a plan as you go approach

However, we would say, there are things you should plan ahead and things to leave until closer to the time. If you are doing a year-long trip and you intend to keep moving, we would suggest you plan three months ahead. If you have a business brain you might even like splitting your holiday into quarters. Q1: Europe, Q2: Africa, Q3: Asia, etc. And we mean your travel and accommodation three months ahead can wait. If this is a “hostels and friends’ sofas” kind of trip anyway, you might need to be as rushed about planning what you might want to or you could instead take advantage of last-minute deals in places like

Other things like travel insurance must be planned or taken out in advance. As not policies will kick in with immediate effect and you might not have the cover if you lose your items, or if your flight is cancelled. All of that can be covered with travel insurance and can make a stressful situation a lot easier. As an example, have a look at one of the Staysure policies to find one that suits your needs. 

Help from friends

You might have notice we mentioned friends’ sofas as an accommodation option. It’s a good way to keep the costs down. There are opportunities to work for room and board, but the best options are through friends, friends of friends, family friends , etc. You’ll have a trusted contact and your costs and drastically reduced while you are travelling.  

Book activities early 

The last thing you want to do when travelling is arrive to certain countries and find that you can’t actually do anything. There are many popular activities, such as boat tours and sea experiences, that are always in demand. Some people even go on boating holidays so they can travel across different areas over time. To ensure you can book boat tours at various countries you’re visiting, you should book slots ahead of time. This is the case for any other activities that you want to engage on. You don’t have to have a rigorous plan in place and live by a strict timeframe, but book the exciting activities, such as boat tours, ahead of time.

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