First stages of going away on an abroad trip

In 15 days I’ll be leaving to a 5 month trip. I’ll be visiting Peru over the first month and then it is quite open, but I’ll probably go directly to Chile all the way down, which is the country from where I’ll come back.

With last year experience from India and with this year planning I’m seeing some things that I wanted to write down.

In order of appearance (and maybe importance) these are the steps/things-to-do that come by after you decide that you want to travel for some time:

  1. Buy plane tickets.

    Buying them with advance will give you better prices and make definitive that you are leaving, since you have already paid the biggest amount.

  2. Passport validity of +6 months of the date of departure and arrival.

    Basically for most countries the passport becomes useless its last 6 months of life because in those countries they wont let you in if your passport may expire while you are there.

  3. Check destiny country’s general information to learn about in/out restrictions and visa requirements.

    For this I first use the spanish government’s page that has information for travellers.

  4. Additionally, order a visa if needed.

    This can take time, for India it took like 40 days (and 65 euro/person) and they kept our valid passport in there.

  5. Order country guide / Obtain country information

    Gather information about the places you want to visit, it can be a travel guide like a lonely planet or just read information online, from forums and posts. I’ve found some really interesting travel briefings on blog posts that give you a nice overview of what to see, where to go, from a perspective of someone who has already done it.

  6. Check to have a credit and debit card ready for the trip.

    It is also necessary to tell your bank that you are going to be some time abroad and also tell them where and the dates, so that they don’t block suspicious activity from abroad and leave you fucked out there.

  7. Make a shitton lists with all the things you need/have/will buy.

    Among them you can do a list for the things you are going to put in the backpack, a list with all the medicines you have to take, a list with the things you need to buy, a list with the things you need to do (like this points from here), etc.

  8. Book in advance planes/trains you know you are going to take and at least the first hotel/hostel for the first nights (if you can use a pickup service from the airport even better).

  9. Buy remaining stuff, start packing.

  10. Family and friends good byes.

  11. Set up blog and computer stuff before-hand. You don’t want to waste your trip doing shit computer stuff.

That is most of it, it is a long process that usually starts with an idea and step by step it materializes. Each day I’m closer to the departure date, and it becomes more and more real!