Everyone dreams about leaving their boring desk job behind to travel, but very few people actually take the necessary steps to make it happen. Taking a grown-up gap year is something that can change your life: you’ll see the world, gain new experiences, learn about yourself and return to your old life totally refreshed and invigorated. Here’s how to quit your job and travel the world.
Save your money
Saving money is a no-brainer. Travelling is expensive, especially if you won’t be working for the whole time you plan on being abroad. You’ll need to set a budget for yourself and save until you’ve reached that amount.
How much you need to save will vary based on where you plan on traveling. Europe and North America tend to be more expensive, while South East Asia is generally cheaper. According to a full-time backpacker, you can get by on $1200 a month in South East Asia, and even as low as $500 a month in India.
In some places, you can work while traveling for extra income doing things like teaching English. This can help your budget, but it’s important to try to save as much as possible before your trip.
Figure out what to do with your apartment
Whether you’re a renter or a homeowner, you might be wondering what to do with your place while you’re gone! One thing you can do is rent your space out on Airbnb: this can bring in enough income to cover your rent, even while you’re gone, and you don’t have to worry about putting all of your belongings in storage, or having nowhere to live when you return.
You can use an Airbnb management agency to take care of all the details for you. These agencies facilitate the rentals, from booking the guests to meeting them and handing over the keys and even cleaning up once they’ve gone. It’s a great solution and the extra income never hurts!
Quit your job
Experts recommend you leave your job on a high note — be honest about why you’re quitting and if you’re interested in coming back to your old job when you return, let them know that. It’s also a good idea to give your boss plenty of notice, and not to leave in the middle of any big projects. If you want your old job back, or even a good reference in the future, you’ll want to stay on the company’s good side!
Do the paperwork
You’ve quit your job, packed your bags and headed to the airport…. only to be sent home because you didn’t have the right travel documents. It should go without saying that you need an up to date passport before your trip, but also make sure you have any necessary travel visas and that they are valid for the duration of your trip. If you plan on working during your trip, you’ll need to have a working holiday visa, as opposed to a tourist visa which forbids work.
Make sure to get travel insurance and health insurance before your trip as well! Hopefully, you won’t need it, but it’s better to be prepared.
Packing for a regular vacation is hard enough, but packing for a year-long trip seems like an impossible task!
What many travelers do is pack only the bare essentials, with the knowledge that they can buy things abroad. This is especially true if you plan on backpacking a lot and staying in hostels — it’s important to travel light so you’re not lugging multiple suitcases from place to place.
Bring enough clothes for you to comfortably wear in multiple situations: casual clothes, athletic clothes for hiking, bathing suit, long sleeve tops or sweaters for cold nights and comfortable walking shoes are all necessities. Again, what you need will vary on where you plan on traveling! You might want to bring more bathing suits and flip flops or more leggings and hiking boots, depending on where you’re planning to spend the most time.
Aside from clothes and toiletries, it’s smart to pack a first aid kit for yourself just in case. If you’re traveling to remote areas, or somewhere where you don’t speak the language as well, it might be hard to track down something as simple as aspirin.
And don’t forget to pack your phone charger! Bring an adapter, too! You’ll want to make sure you’re capturing all the memories from this life-life-changing trip.