Many people dream of spending their lives traveling the world and taking the time to explore new locations and cultures. But that dream doesn't often include tips on how to manage your life while you're away. Everything from managing your mail, keeping your home safe, and even accessing your money can be more challenging when you are on the other side of the globe.
To help long-term travelers get, and keep their affairs in order, here are 11 must-have resources to help you keep things on track.
PO Box Zone
PO Box Zone is an online mail forwarding service based in the US that receives your letters and packages while you are away. That way, you don't have to worry about missing anything like a long-term mail hold at a post office can mean. You also don't have to send items to friends or family, potentially causing an inconvenience. The service offers you an actual street address, not just a PO box.
When your mail comes in, it can be automatically scanned and uploaded to your Dropbox, Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive, or sent to you via email. You can access the contents from anywhere in the world, as long as you have an internet connection. PO Box Zone will even securely shred your unwanted mail, making sure you don't have to sort through a bunch of junk upon your return. They offer several different packages at various price levels depending on how much mail you receive and how often you want to use the scanning and forwarding services. We recently signed up for the service since we no longer have a US-based home address, so it makes it really convenient to still get our mail even when traveling or while at home in Spain. Sign up here to try out the service starting at just $49 per year.
The ability to perform many jobs remotely has given employees the opportunity to keep working no matter where their travels take them. But sometimes, you need a quiet office space in which to work. That's where Regus comes in.
Regus offers furnished, shared office spaces and support staff in 120 countries. It gives you a place to touchdown and handle your business whenever, and wherever, you need. You can also access a variety of business centers for short-term needs. Whether you need a place for a day, a week, or longer, Regus has you covered. Check out the BusinsessWorld Gold package for the most reasonable rates and access to business lounges around the world.
Day Pass App
Sometimes, you just need a good workout. With the Day Pass App, you can access a variety of gyms, health clubs and fitness centers around the world. You can select same day passes or schedule them out up to 15 days in advance, as long as there are still reservations available. Booking is instant, so you know right away that your reservation is there when you need it. You also receive official confirmation, allowing you to get to your workout more quickly (coming soon).
If you want to find cheap flights out of your area, Kayak Explore has you covered. You can get flights all over the world for excellent prices. For those with some flexibility, you could let the low fares help you decide where to visit next. You can also focus on your destination of choice and explore all of the options available. Either way, you can find a way to get to where you want to be at prices that can be much lower than those found elsewhere.
House Sitting Sites
When you want to save money on lodging, becoming a house sitter may be the ideal arrangement. You will take care of a person's home while they are away. In exchange for feeding their pets, watering their plants, and other small tasks, you get to stay free of charge. It can also be a great way to stay in the parts of town normally reserved for locals.
Often, house sitting sites require detailed profiles and may run background checks on potential house sitters. However, if you are interested in a more authentic stay, living like a local does have its appeal.
American Express Platinum Credit Card
When we of international travel and credit cards, American Express Platinum is often the first to come to mind. Not only can you access primary benefits, like no foreign transaction fees and rewards points accumulation, you also get a variety of travel benefits. You'll have access to international airport lounges through Priority Pass and will have a concierge service at your disposal. Airline fee credits, complimentary hotel benefits, free international Wi-Fi access via Boingo, TSA Pre-Check and car rental bonuses are also available.
American Express is known for their customer service and has paid particular attention to the needs of international travelers, making them an excellent choice for long-term travelers looking for a credit card designed with them in mind with amazing travel benefits.
Fidelity Online Checking Account
Fidelity offers online checking accounts with a unique feature; no foreign ATM fees. That means you can withdrawal your funds all over the world without having to worry about the cost of using the ATM. This can be handy for those who prefer to handle their expenses in cash instead of on credit. It also provides access to local currencies no matter your destination.
Some travelers hold bank accounts in more than one country to make local spending easier when you hit the road. However, changing currencies during a transfer can come with costs. Transferwire.com gives you a way to transfer funds between accounts, and currencies, for a low fee and transparent fee. The total cost is displayed up front, so you know exactly how much money you will be receiving after the transfer is complete.
Since the service is online, you can access the features from anywhere. That makes transferring money on the fly easier than ever. We recently started using this service to transfer money between foreign bank accounts and also to family and friends. Sign up here to try out the service and get one free transfer.
Another destination for low-cost lodging is Airbnb. Hosts offer up their homes, or rooms in their homes, to travelers coming through the area. You can also find unique options like castles and igloos, letting you pick accommodations that show the unique culture or history of an area. Stays can be booked online, and the financial part of the transaction is managed through the site.
Detailed profiles are required as part of the process. Visitors can review their stays, just like other travel sites, and all reservations are confirmed. This means you can book a stay even if you are in the middle of your trip. The site also offers 24/7 customer support. New users can sign up here to get $25 off your first stay.
Travel insurance provides protection throughout your trip. You can get coverage for medical expenses, loss of equipment, rental property damage, theft, legal fees and trip cancellations. That means, if the worst does happen, at least it doesn’t cost you a fortune. We've personally used World Nomads for the last 4 years and recommend their service.
Dobot App (Savings Planner)
Dobot makes saving money easy by automating savings, linking savings to financial goals (like travel!) and letting couples and groups save together for a common goal. For any long term traveler, you'll need to have a good financial plan and you'll likely need to save money before you head out on that long term trip. This app helps you plan out your savings and automatically deducts monthly contributions to help you build a large savings to put towards your trip. New users can sign up here and get $5 free added to your account. Update: this app now charges a $1.99 monthly fee.
Have you ever considered traveling long term? How long would you travel for and where would you go? Let us know in the comments below!