Whether you’ve always dreamed of participating in a great American road trip adventure or want to spend several weeks exploring different states and cities, there are many reasons as to why you might want to plan for long-term travel in the states. However, in order to turn these dreams into reality, you have to start planning sooner rather than later.
With that in mind, here are some tips for planning the perfect American getaway!
Be aware of post-pandemic changes.
As we continue to battle and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s clear that things will never be quite the same again. Therefore, you should expect your trip to be a little different from any holidays you may have enjoyed previously. For example, in certain areas, you may be expected to continue to wear masks on flights or to take tests on arrival. Preparing for these eventualities means that you can continue to get the most out of your holiday.
Furthermore, it may also be worthwhile to purchase holiday insurance when you book your holiday, in case rules and regulations regarding travel change unexpectedly.
Stick it in your calendar.
Whether you are planning on traveling for several weeks or a few months, it’s important that you go into the planning process with a clear indication of how much time you have to spend abroad. This can make it easier to put together an agenda and book things such as flights, hotels, experiences, and even car rentals. While you may be desperate to take to the open skies as soon as humanly possible, planning far in advance gives you the chance to book holidays from work and could even save you a great deal of money.
Save, budget, and save again.
Traveling, even for long periods of time, does not need to break the bank. You just need to be smart about how you can spend money. For example, you should always check out multiple sites and companies for flights and accommodation before booking to ensure you are getting the best possible deal. Furthermore, as soon as you start planning for a trip, you should start saving. Skip your morning coffee and instead add the money to a separate ‘holiday funds’ account, or set aside a small amount each week and watch the money add up over time.
You should also set yourself a budget for the holiday, dividing the money into sections such as:
Understanding your budget is the easiest way to turn your plans into action and stop you from overspending and landing yourself in a difficult financial situation. Once you’ve saved up enough money to match your budget – don’t feel as though you have to stop. Any more money that you can save before your travels will provide you with a little more leeway and could mean you can participate in even more fun activities.
Ensure you have the right documentation.
If you will be staying in a country for several weeks, you may need to obtain a visa (or the equivalent) ahead of time to ensure that you comply with all government guidelines and regulations. While the US Visa process can be both lengthy and daunting, there are some alternatives in place. For example, those who live within qualifying countries can apply for an ESTA Visa Waiver, which allows you to stay in the USA for up to 90 days for business or tourism purposes. You can even start your application online.
Put together an itinerary.
It’s important to remember that the US is a pretty big place – meaning that if you are planning on visiting numerous states, you’re going to need to put together an itinerary in order to make it happen. Think carefully about the places you want to visit, and decide on a logical ‘route’ you will take to maximise your time in each state or town. Furthermore, you should also write down a list of the things you would like to see/do in each location so that you don’t waste any time.
Get your home life in order.
When traveling, the last thing you’ll want to be thinking about is work or your home or your bills. However, to give yourself peace of mind and reduce any stress, it’s essential that you take some time to get your home life in order before traveling. Thankfully, there are various ways in which you can do this, such as:
- Sign up for a digital mailbox so you can look over any important correspondence from your phone.
- Arrange for someone to take care of your pets and plants while you are away.
- Install a home security system, and give a trusted friend/neighbour a set of keys for emergencies.
- Set your work email to out of office, providing the recipient with alternative colleagues to contact.
Traveling for long periods of time doesn’t mean that you need to bring hundreds of different clothes and shoes along with you. In fact, it’s probably even more important that you pack light in these instances as you’ll only have to carry everything around with you wherever you go (especially if you are planning on backpacking). Therefore, it’s important that you pack only the essentials and do not take anything with you that you will not need or use.
Live in the moment and have fun.
Once you have completed the above steps, it’s time for you to set out and enjoy your travels. While you should try to stick to your itinerary throughout, it’s also important to live in the moment and enjoy the thrill of the unknown. Try to set yourself the challenge of trying something new each day or of doing one thing that scares you. Make the most of any opportunities that are offered to you, and always have your camera on hand to snap pictures of magical moments. In short, the easiest way to gain the most out of your trip is to simply have fun!