Logistics for 148 days of travel

Before we start blogging about our trip we figured it was important to talk logistics.

This blog post is thorough and intended for someone who needs a practical guide for long term travel ( i.e. Feel free to skim  if you are not that person!)

This post will cover:

  1. What helped us choose our dates and location
  2. Preparation
  3. Packing
  4. How we budgeted (which will result into actual expenses document at the end of our travels)

#1 How we chose our dates and locations

Our trip was planned around one person, Nate’s brother Charlie.


Charlie is getting married this year and Nate is the best man. There were two things he could not miss. The bachelor party and the wedding. Those two dates were booked ends for our trip.

The strict timeline of this trip determined our location as well. We wanted to be somewhere warm and get to locations that are difficult to visit without so much time. Based on these perimeters we decided on the following:

  1. Vail, Co
  2. California
  3. New Zealand
  4. Australia
  5. Philippines
  6. Sri Lanka
  7. Indonesia
  8. Singapore
  9. Malaysia
  10. Thailand

#2 Preparation 

  • After deciding on the countries we were interested we started downloading  podcasts to start learning and get a rough sense on how to divide our time between locations.
  • We double checked that our passports don’t expire more than one year after our trip.
  • We sold our car (we did so on Craigslist)
  • We found a sublease for our apartment and moved our stuff to storage.
  • We got travel insurance through World Nomads. This also acts as our health insurance.
  • In order to avoid money exchange fees, we applied for a checking account through Charles Schwabb High Yield Investor Account with no ATM fees or Foreign Transaction Fees. Note: We already have a ChaseSapphire Preferred Credit Card that does not have any Foreign transaction fees as well.
  • We had prescriptions that were needed filled in advance
  • We purchased our plane ticket to our first international location and our plane ticket back at the end of our trip. We like using Google flights.
  • We switched over to T-Mobile. It is by far the best American carrier for international travel. Unlimited texting and data and inexpensive phone calls.

# 3 Packing

Our situation, faced us with needing to pack for four different scenarios:

  1. A backpack for 5 months abroad in 75-80 degree weather (this included California).
  2. A suitcase for Vail (that could be brought back to Chicago by family).
  3. A box of Summer wedding weekend clothes that were mailed to Chicago before we left New York.
  4.  Everything else… Anything that did not fall into the categories above was packed for long term storage. We also took this time to edit and purge, donating a lot to Housing Works

Below is a breakdown of what was packed for the actual backpacking part of the trip. We both use E Bags Mother Loader. They are between 70-100 bucks and open like a suit case which keeps us organized. We also use the Packing Cubes they sell. The prices fluctuate so keep checking back if it is at a higher rate!
A breakdown of Liz’s back back:


I have two categories Active and Non-Active

Active

  • Nike Sneakers
  • 1 long sleeve shirt
  • 1 long sleeve jacket
  • 3 bathing suits
  • 5 sports bras
  • 2 yoga pants
  • 1 hiking pant
  • 1 active shorts
  • 6 tank tops

Non-Active

  •  Sam Edelman Gigi Sandals in Gold
  • HM Cardigan  that I take everywhere because it’s so versatile and light weight
  • 5 tank tops
  • 1 maxi Dress
  • 1 maxi skirt
  • 1 scarf to act as a shawl, blanket, sarong
  • 2 bras (1 strapless)
  • 2 Jean shorts
  • 2 nicer shorts
  • 1 pair of jeans
  • 1 pair of linen pants
  • 4 socks
  • 10 underwear

Electronics

  • iPad mini
  • iPhone
  • JBL speaker
  • Chargers
  • Headphones

Miscellaneous

  • Adaptor
  • Day backpack
  • Rain jacket
  • Quick Dry Yoga Towel
  • American Cash $80
  • ID and Passport

Toiletries

  • All of my favorite products from home, I transferred into travel size containers.
  • I  prefer to pack face wipes instead of face wash because it’s one less liquid and very useful when you want to freshen up on a plane, in a car, or just need to wipe your hands off and can’t get to a sink.

A breakdown of Nates backpack:


 Clothes 

  • 6 t shirts (2 dri fit)
  • 1 dri fit long sleeve shirt
  • 1 singlet
  • 1 button up shirt
  • 1 thin hoodie
  • 1 pair of jeans
  • 2 khaki shorts
  • 1 mesh shorts
  • 2 board shorts
  • 10 pairs of underwear
  • 4 pairs of socks
  • 1 pair gloves
  • 1 beenie
  • 1 baseball hat
  • 1 pair athletic shoes
  • 1 pair closed toe beach shoes

Gadgets

  • 1 day pack string bag
  • iPad
  • phone
  • 1 usb battery
  • 1 international power converter
  • 2 multi purpose power cords
  • 1 car power converter
  • headphones
  • go pro plus accessories
  • portable speaker
  • waterproof bag
  • workout band
  • Travel Pillow
  • lock
  • deck of plastic playing cards
  • pen
  • credit cards
  • debit cards
  • health insurance card
  • wallet
  • drivers license
  • 1 passport
  • Business cards
  • American cash
  • Toiletries


# 4 Planning a Budget

The first thing you need to do is come up with an overall budget. We totaled up all of our assets and anything we owed to get a sense on how much we could afford to spend while leaving us with a comfortable buffer for us to return to without jobs. For us, that number was $25,000 for the two of us for 5 months. In other words $2,500 per person per month.

We did a rough look at potential flights using google flights and estimated $5,000 in total flight costs. We then set aside $6,200 for our splurge budget. That money will pay for a nicer meal, a hotel, or any activity that is beyond our daily budgeting.

We had a pretty good sense that Vail would cost around $700 and California would cost around $300 so we just set those budgets.

With $12,800 remaining we used a somewhat complicated formula to assign the remaining funds to each location. My Funky Travel  has daily budgets for every country. We used that information combined with the approximate number of days in each country to spread out the funds.

For example:

Australia is the most expensive country and we planned on $181 dollars per day. Thailand is the cheapest country and we planned on $54 dollars per day. These figures do not include anything that we want to take out of the splurge budget, like sky diving or a nice hotel if we get tired of roughing it.

If you are interested in seeing an example of our very intense tracking spreadsheet 🙂 please send us an email to passportandchill@gmail.com

6 thoughts on “Logistics for 148 days of travel

  1. Hi Liz, it was so nice to meet you on Mirissa Beach in Sri Lanka!! I love your story and adventurous spirit. I will try and keep up with your blog. Enjoy your travels. All the best, Diane from Cincinnati.

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    1. Dianna, thanks so much for checking out the blog! You are the first American we met in Sri Lanka. Enjoy your time here, we are loving the hill country so far and the a/c car rental was worth every penny 🙂

      Like

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