13 Questions You Should Ask Before Traveling Long Term

If you’re reading this article, you’re probably about to hit the road for your gap-year trip and need a last-minute check, just to be sure you’ve covered everything. Or maybe you’re in the early stages of planning and gathering information about your upcoming trip. Either way, you’ll find answers to common questions travelers ask before starting a long trip.

However, when it comes to traveling, nothing is set in stone, and there isn’t really a right answer to all questions. This is simply a list of things you should keep in mind, based on the experience of people who explored the world before you.

1.  How Long Should My Trip Last?

Some people, especially those leaving high school or university, tend to go on a gap year and stay for (you probably guessed!) a year abroad. However, it’s not unheard of for some to just take six months or even stay away for two to three years.

Be aware that your plans are likely to change during the trip. Money plays a big part, as in, if you don’t have it, you’ll have to go back home early! Also, you never know if you’ll fall in love with someone or some place and decide to extend your journey for a couple more months.

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If you’re a traveler, chances are you’ve spent the last few holidays receiving kitschy, travel-themed gifts from friends and loved ones while wishing they had given you something more useful, like airport lounge passes or an Airbnb gift card. While there are some gifts like cash, and airline tickets that will always be useful, there are a few items that we’ve sourced that have amazing reputations and are appreciated by even the most minimalist travelers.

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Going to the grocery store with children in tow can be hard enough, let alone going on a vacation; but that doesn’t mean that your globetrotting has to end when you become a parent. In fact, studies have shown that children who go on holiday with their families are happier and tend to score higher in math and reading. They also obtain more general knowledge than their fellow classmates who do not travel.

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Hopping aboard a transcontinental flight on route to a new, ready-to-explore destination is a rush. Traveling teaches us about the world, sure. But, more than that, it teaches us about ourselves. You also probably already know that, unlike your comfort zone, traveling presents a lot of inherent risks. It’s a sad reality, but it’s a reality that rings true. You, as a tourist, are a two-bit criminal’s dream target. After all, you have absolutely no idea where you are, no idea where to go for help, and no clue what the scammers have in store.

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If you’re worried about embarking on a travel adventure and wondering whether it’ll negatively affect your life, the simple answer is “no, it won’t.” In fact, when you stop to take a closer look at it, the benefits considerably outweigh the risks. While in the past it may have looked like a frivolous undertaking, nowadays it’s considered a character-defining experience. If you have the chance to travel now, take it without thinking as your future-self will be forever grateful for the lessons, friends, and memories you will make.

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For those among us who love a challenge, these long-distance marathons and outdoor challenges are activities that can only be attempted after years of training, with the right gear, and only by those who are mentally ready to undergo such a feat. Here are some of the most intense and challenging marathons in the world.

Cultured Palate: Dishes from South Africa

South Africa’s incredible biodiversity and rich cultural heritage has given it a unique cuisine unlike any other place on Earth. There are visible influences from the Dutch, German, French, and Cape Malay colonizers, as well as indigenous dishes that have been passed down for generations. If you’re spending your next holiday in South Africa, here are some amazing dishes you must try.