I know I have been mum on the blog lately about our upcoming plans, but I wanted to make sure everything was set before making any announcements. Now that the flights have been booked though, I am super happy to announce that after visiting the lower 48 United States these last few years, the boys and I will be heading out to conquer the world beginning June 19th! Now, I am attempting another round as a surrogate before we leave, so if it is successful, our first trip will only be a few months long, but if not, we will be traveling full-time for an indefinite amount of time. With all of the excitement though, comes the scramble to get affairs in order before we leave.
Filing for Passports
One of the first things I had to take care of were our passports. After booking the flights, I realized that while I had enough time to get passports approved, I wanted to file as quickly as possible in case I filled something out incorrectly or they were denied for something like a photo fail. We filed for passports this past week, and goodness, it is quickly apparent that traveling with a large family is going to be costly. Just the cost of passports was $605 because we were filing for five people.
Getting Travel Vaccines
Deciding which medications and vaccines the boys and I would get before we start international travel was a little trickier than the passport bit. With the exception of yellow fever when visiting or coming from visiting some countries, specific vaccinations are not a requirement but rather a suggestion. Since we are not traveling to or from places where yellow fever is, we skipped that vaccine for now. However, I did make sure all the boys were up to date on their regular vaccines, we all got the Hepatitis A vaccine as well as our tetanus boosters, and we will be getting either the Typhoid vaccine or tablets before leaving as well.
Checking in With the Bank
When I went to pick up the money order for the passports, I took the opportunity to speak with the bank about my options for international travel. I have been assured that my debit card should work overseas in most locations and the first 4 debits each month are free from foreign ATM’s, but I will be carrying another debit card from a separate bank as well as a credit card with me as well as other options. I can think of nothing worse than being stuck in a foreign country with four boys and no money. I am debating getting a prepaid travel debit card that can be reloaded online that is a VISA card, since my bank cards are all Mastercards and I want a range of options just in case. Plus, that card would be guaranteed to work in foreign ATM’s.
Learning a Foreign Language
I know it might sound silly and it definitely is not a requirement, but I have started to learn French. If I have enough time, I would also like to touch up on my Spanish before we leave. The reality is that I will not become fluent in a foreign language before we leave, but knowing the basics to communicate when we are in need could come in quite handy.
Settling Our Affairs at Home
Unlike most other full-time travel bloggers, I am not selling everything I own to head out on the road. I will still maintain my home and all of my normal monthly bills while we are gone, but there are still a lot of things to get in order. One of my biggest pitfalls in organization is paperwork. I keep it all and stash it away in various areas around the home. Luckily, this year, I have had the Fellowes 79Ci Shredder to help me power through the clutter. It is 100% jam-proof and powers through tough jobs, like the hoards of school papers from lessons that took place years ago for the boys and no longer need to be saved. The heavy duty blades can power through 16 sheets of paper at once, and even tackle staples!
Coming home to a nice clean and organized house when we are done traveling will really put my mind at ease and keep me from having a fit when I walk in the door after being gone for so long. I got the Fellowes 79Ci Shredder last year, and I never thought I would use a shredder so much. This one is perfect for all my needs though, and its sleek design fits right in to my home office. It has a 20 minute run time, and is pretty quiet with SilentShred technology. It also has a patented SafeSense technology that shuts it down if fingers are detected, making it perfect in a house full of kids! You can check out the awesome Fellowes 79Ci shredder that retails for $239.99 on Amazon.
Deciding What to Pack
Right now, we are at this phase in our preparation for our trip. In addition to locating a curriculum for home school that would work on the road without a ton of books to lug around, we are having to decide what the necessities are to bring with us. Each of us will just have one small carry on size roller bag to carry our belongings in, and we will have three backpacks holding our electronics and other items that we don’t ever want checked at airports. Figuring out what will fit and what should be left at home is something we are still working on.
In the end, I am super excited to be getting organized and heading out around the world with the boys, but we still have a long way to go in preparing for our trip in just a few short months. Do you have any tips for preparing for long term travel?