Wednesday, March 29th, 2017

More Things To Do Before Traveling Abroad (Digital Nomad, Expat)

by Kristen Suzanne in Digital Nomad, Expat, family, travel
 
A few things I’m organizing before we move abroad that are still on my “to-do” list.
 
Build housesitting profiles
I never knew housesitting was such a “thing” but it’s a growing “thing” it turns out. There are websites that match house-sitters with houses in need of sitting. All over the world.
 
I’m intrigued by this idea, because it usually means a house in a neighborhood so you get a more authentic immersion, plus animals to care for (Kamea will love that), and it’s generally free because you’re trading your services of watching the house for free rent. 
 
We plan to try some housesitting locally to get a few gigs under our belts which will boost our housesitting profile. And, Kamea is starting an animal-sitting service, locally, to show she’s a responsible animal sitter. I think most people who need house-sitters are looking for a single person or married couple without kids, but when they see our kiddo is mature and responsible, it’ll help our profile.
 
Travel Insurance:
We will definitely get travel insurance while we are abroad and I need to research the following companies. The first one, World Nomads, is very popular. Reading other digital nomads and expats I see that many get travel insurance but rarely use it as many places around the world have such inexpensive (and excellent) health care that they just pay for it out of pocket. 
Credit Cards
It’s smart to have a proper credit card for traveling outside of the US. I’ll be looking for one that has no international fees on purchases for starters. Also, though, if we find ourselves traveling to more places in a more frequent fashion (not our original plan because we envision Slow Travel), it could mean more air travel so a card that has nice travel benefits will be a good fit. I hear a lot about the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card for racking up miles and such. I think they also offer free Global Entry credit. 
 
Organize flight options
After deciding where to land first… is it Playa or Tulum in Mexico? Or maybe central Mexico in the mountains? Guanajuato perhaps? I will look at flights and keep my eye on them to find the best prices. 
 
There’s a lot written on ways to smartly buy airplane tickets that can save a lot of money. I have a whole research file on just that. 
 
Furniture and Donations
Sell and donate remaining furniture over the next 14 months. Once our lease ends, store anything else at our moms’ houses.
Sell Mercedes now. Sell Prius May 2018.
 
Cell Phones and Technology
We need to figure out the best cell plan for the area. As of right now, we left expensive AT&T for Ting which has been awesome so far. Now that I pay for only what I use, I’m waaaaaaaaay more mindful of my cell phone use when not on wifi. It’s a benefit for many reasons: less screen time, safer driving, and more mindfulness overall. Once we move, I’m not sure if Ting will be the plan as I hear a lot about T-Mobile being a good choice (Ting might even use T-mobile towers?). We’ll see because anything can happen over the next year.
 
Passports / Visas / Global Entry
  1. Get Global Entry? I hear this can be useful. I need more research on it.
  2. Update Kamea’s passport later this year.
  3. Renew my passport? Greg’s? 
  4. Make “Copies” and have “Originals” of marriage certificate, passports, air tickets, insurance, list of emergency contacts, driver’s licenses, bank cards and credit cards.
  5. Research visa options for where we want to go to plan how long we can stay. Mexico allows six months at a time. 
 
Health
  1. Take a self-defense class, for peace of mind I suppose. Just seems like a smart thing to do. 
  2. Learn advanced first aid. 
  3. Check in with our naturopath before we leave to discuss our travel and get any possible medications or advice. 
  4. Research area of travel for preventative health. For example, avoiding areas with tropical diseases or other potential issues as of now. 
 
Language
Start learning some basic words in the language of our future destination. For us, that’s Spanish because we’re thinking Mexico is our first stop. I’m using Duolingo on my iPhone for now and I like it a lot. 
 
Once we land there we will hire a tutor and go to a Spanish immersion school, but it’ll be helpful to know a few things before going.
 
Packing
I have an enormous list for packing which includes things for various destinations. I will whittle it down once I know for sure where we’re going. But for now, every time I think of something I just add it to my list. 
 
My goal is to continue Minimalism as a guiding principle, but dammit I want to bring my Instant Pot. And chef’s knife (and sharpener and hone). And vitamins. And technology. And And And.
 

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