Sure, you pick locations and book flights, but there is SO MUCH more that has to happen first. (Think logistics).
Is your current bank conducive for frequent foreign purchases? Do you need vaccinations? Can you enter the country without a visa? For how long? Do you need travel insurance? Where can you find cheap flights? And the questions go on.
We use the Chase Sapphire Reserve because we get triple points on eating food/eating out; which we do a lot of. We compared this with the Capital One Venture, but Chase was a better fit for us. And yes, we always use our points for flights or hotels. It take a while to build them up, but it’s been well worth it. We also got the Priority Pass that allows us to access airport lounges around the world. Which is THE MOST winning. Lounges have forever changed my life.
You need to check the CDC to find out if you need any vaccinations for wherever you plan to go. Simply choose the travel tab and then type in your desired location. You’ll get a list of vaccinations – required and suggested. You can also see if you need specific vaccinations for being in more rural areas. It’s all on the CDC. Easy enough.
But that’s just getting your list of vaccinations. Then you have to GET the vaccinations. We called our doctor, who gave us three different Travel Clinics to contact for quotes. Most vaccinations are out of pocket. So it benefits you to call around and search for the best price.
Some countries require visas. This will be different depending on where your citizenship is from, and where you’re going. Visas can be a bit harder than vaccinations. But if you simply search, “do U.S. citizens need a visa for ______?” you’ll find a link from the embassy, or some visa department with the information you need.
If you need a visa, the process can be VERY different depending on the country. For Bolivia, it is expensive + extensive. For Thailand it was super simple. You get the visa upon arriving at the airport and can get it renewed in several cities every 30 days, forever and ever amen. We met a man in line who had been in Thailand on ONE visa for 17 years…He seemed legit.
My point is, that you’ll need to prepare yourself for some research. Many foreign visa websites do not function well, are not intuitive and require TINY file sizes. Every time we get visas online, we have to compress every file we scan or copy. Not impossible by any means. it’s just a process and I want you to have proper expectations.
Travel insurance is easy. We go with World Nomads. They have different options and price points. But they certainly have what we need. Unfortunately our policy expired two days before our drone was confiscated in Morocco. Oh well. You live and you learn. [there could not be a truer statement regarding world travel].
It’s really up to you, whether or not to get travel insurance. You pay for it and hope you don’t have to use it. But it gives you peace of mind to have it. We knew our insurance would cover our belongings (up to a certain dollar amount), travel plans, stolen goods, rental car damage and more. It also covered medical up to a given dollar amount. As well as provided us with English speaking establishments if needed.
Worth it? I think yes.
Ahhhhh finding cheap flights might be the most sought after travel hack of all time. It certainly was for us when first starting out. And it’s definitely one of the most common questions I get to date.
If you’re looking for impromptu trips with no plans for the future, google flights is great because you can find mistakes in airfare and get super cheap trips. But those are round trip and you don’t pick the dates. Not really fitting for us.
We prefer Skyscanner and Kiwi. With Kiwi you can see the prices for nearly every date. And you can do one-way, round trip, or multi-city; which is great for us. Sometimes doing a stopover is actually a better deal than flying straight to your destination. We did a stopover in Rome when going from Rio De Janeiro to Greece because that was a cheaper route. Plus we got to see Rome…WINNING.
Finding cheap flights also has to do with seasons. Search early, and look often. That’s what we love about Kiwi too. You can look a year in advance and see the price fluctuations – when they rise and when they fall. Then plan your purchase accordingly. For instance, some flights are cheapest six weeks out. While others are cheapest 365 days in advance. It’s worth knowing where you want to go and doing a fair amount of research well in advance.
Those are the big ones to look into before traveling the world. Before having your travel plans all set, look into vaccinations, visas, credit cards, insurance first, then book your cheap flights.
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I'm an adventurous introvert from Vancouver, Washington who lives on sleep + "me time." I'm a lover of lifting weights, dinosaurs, real talk and traveling with my husband. I am here to help you move better, lift more, bust the myths of the fitness industry, and inspire you to love the process.
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