One of our travel writers splitting her time between writing and laundry at a B&B in Ireland.
Traveling abroad is the ONE thing that most people regret missing out on in their youth. There are so many reasons why traveling is good for your mind, soul, resume, and life at large. However, thanks to social media, everyone may over romanticize the long term travel experience
. People who stay at home think young traveler’s are jumping rainbows and riding elephants every day. But obviously long term travelers don’t post photos of the day-to-day life with the inevitable bad weather, loneliness, and eating apples and bread for every meal until your money processes through the bank. Here are some of the downsides to long term travel.
The Downside to Long Term Travel
1.) Long term travelers can be desperate for any source of income.
Whether you’re living off your savings or the best in the game at being a ‘budget traveler
’, finances will always be burning a hole in the back of your mind (and your wallet). Luckily there are surprisingly a lot of options for making cash abroad such as being an au pair
, exchanging work for a free accommodation with HelpX
, or being a digital nomad and blogging. However after long enough of chasing around someone else’s poorly behaved 5-year-old or vacuuming under the host families feet as they sit on the couch drinking coffee will find yourself in compromising positions working for people who simply don’t appreciate your work. Sadly, at the end of the day they have something that they know you need: money or a free accommodation, and you have to just suck it up. Luckily this teaches you to truly see the best in all situations!
2.) The inevitable visa issues for the long term traveler.
You can play world-wide leap frog. What does that mean? Well, if you’re a US citizen you have 90 days to live in the Schengen Area before you legally must leave the area and flee to somewhere like the UK, Ireland, Asia, Australia, or anywhere outside the Schengen Area
where you get another odd 90 days to be there legally. This game can and does get tiring after a few go a rounds.
OR let’s say you’re abroad on a student visa or long term visa- they eventually end. Long term visas are reasonably easy to obtain in countries such as Italy or Germany
as long as you have a college degree and proof of sufficient funds. After this, welcome to the modern traveler’s game world-wide leap frog.
3.) Missing holidays and all your favorite home made dishes.
Americans often miss the taste of something as simple as peanut butter to remind themselves of home. Germans often miss their many fresh bread options they have at home. It’s the tiny things that will weigh heavy on your heart after endless months of being abroad. Then holidays come around, and you can consider it game over! Americans may not consider the Fourth of July their favorite holiday when compared to big ones such as Christmas or Thanksgiving, but spend one abroad! It will make you never take another day filled with grilling, drinking, family, and everything red, white, and blue for granted.
4.) You get addicted to long term travel.
From your experiences you will meet people who will open your eyes to new parts of the world that you feel you HAVE to explore. Your sense of optimism with your personal finances and personal/emotional capability will get to an all new high in order to make all these trips happen. You’ll make connections in all different countries, learn tips to travel affordably, and get addicted to traveling to places you have only dreamt of. Good luck, let it be known: You have been warned 🙂
Long Term Travel Passport and Visa Tips
Remember that your passport must always remain valid. That means you should have at least 6 months of passport validity AFTER you return home. You cannot fly or travel with a passport that expires within 6 months. As for visas, you will want to stay ahead of the game. Visa requirements vary from country to country. Fortunately there is an easy-to-use Passport & Visa App
that will help you navigate the tricky passport and visa requirements as a long term traveler. And if you have any questions about travel, passports, visas, or long term travel, please drop us a line and we would love to try and help you out.