This is a continuation of a prior post on the merits of setting up Travel Business Plans.
More considerations when making your travel business plan
Itineraries- As mentioned before, putting together a skeleton itinerary does not necessarily lock you in to certain destinations or experiences. You can develop an idea of where you want to travel and then make changes as desired. Some considerations for an itinerary are: Traveling to one continent or several, finding typical or atypical routes to go depending on your preferences, will you travel in expensive, moderate, or affordable locations, which seasons will you travel in (spring, summer, fall, winter), will you travel during high season, low season, or shoulder season (transition time between high and low season).
Figuring out a basic itinerary of your dream stops will help you determine: The money you will need for your plan, the clothes you might need, the length of time you can travel before you need to stop and make more money, who you will visit, and possible places to cut out of your planned itinerary.
Banking- While we are on the road my father is helping with our finances. We added him as a third party on all of our accounts, signing official paperwork to make him our executor. We are traveling with a Charles Schwab debit card, and my father replenishes our money when it gets below a certain level. So when we dip down on our Charles Schwab account, he moves money from our Chase account to Schwab. We do this for security purposes. This way nobody sees our actual balance and only what we have left in this “travel” account.
This saved us a few weeks back. Our account information was stolen by a piece of garbage who had a card reader on an ATM machine we attempted to use. The thief drained our account in three days. But since we only had limited funds in this travel account, he only got away with US $2,400. My dad notified us within days because he knew something was not right. I called Charles Schwab through our Skype international plan and within days the money was put back in our account under fraud protection. A Charles Schwab debit account with a minimum balance also ensures that we NEVER pay withdrawal fees. In addition we are reimbursed any fees charged by other banks at the end of each month. We also have a Capital One credit card and pay no fees overseas. The combination of these two cards has easily saved us hundreds of dollars in just one year of travel.
Contacts- One of the most rewarding aspects of long-term travel is that you get to make new friends, travel buddies and business contacts. Not only that, but you can visit old friends you’ve made on other journeys or online. Yesterday Melissa and I had plans with a German friend we met in Lima, Peru and later travelled with in Huacachina. The last time we had seen her was eight months ago in South America. Yesterday she took us to see remnants of the Berlin Wall and then the movie Moonrise Kingdom under the stars in her adopted hometown. Now that we are in Europe, we have plans to see 7 other friends that we met while backpacking South America.
Besides making new friends for life you may also meet people who help you in professional endeavors. Some of our guest bloggers are travelers we met on the road. Others helped us find ways to work and volunteer. You can even meet up with friends of friends if your contact is busy traveling when you visit. Of course anytime you meet a stranger or someone who you’ve only corresponded with online you should be cautious, but we’ve only had positive experiences and a few crazy ones too.
Research your destinations- Once you’ve created your changeable itinerary, you should begin to research some of the destinations that you will be exploring. Travel blogs like World Winder, guidebook series such as Lonely Planet, and maps are our preferred means for learning about the places we’ll go. If you are the kind of person who refuses to plan because you prefer to be impromptu, that’s fine. But be prepared to miss out on savings that can extend your journey. You’ll also have to ask a million questions on the road. This will make you seem like the kind of anal-retentive tourist you probably loathe.
Memorialize your journey- We meet so many long-term travelers that only have one regret. They wish that they had found ways to capture their trip from the start. Lamenting the fact that they have no blogposts or journals, they applaud us on our efforts of documenting our travels. Anecdotes and photographs are great for sharing your experiences when you get home, but when we developed out travel business plan, memorializing our journey was first and foremost on our minds.
Will you set up your own blog or try to guest blog for a website like World Winder? Setting up your own blog can be overwhelming, especially as you prepare for a long trip. Guest blogging gives you the opportunity to just write and submit pictures and videos. Then you leave the formatting of your post to those of us who have figured out all the kinks. Other ways to document your trip include journaling notes so you can write some stories later, sending travel emails, making lists of your expenditures, creating video and photo projects, and jotting down quotes.
We want your input
Traveling is easier today than ever before. Developing a travel business plan before a long-term trip will allow you to enjoy yourself when you are actually out there. You can save money and time, concentrate on making new friends, discover ways to capture the essence of your trip, and ensure your safety as you wind the world.
Do you have any other considerations to add to this list? How do you plan your own journeys? Leave a comment of contact us to share your travel tips with new or experienced travelers.