What No One Tells You about Long-Term Travel

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Long-term travel gives you time to explore the world at a leisurely pace, but there are downsides to lengthy trips that should be considered carefully before you plan your vacation.

A wide variety of things have the potential to go wrong when you're on an extended journey. Here are five to consider:

1. You'll be away from friends and loved ones

During your trip, there may be important family events that you'll miss. Traveling9to5.com notes that weddings, birthdays, and graduations may take place while you're away, making you feel left out.

negatives of long term travel

2. There'll be disappointments

Jeanie Sauers, office manager for Travel Experts, a travel agency based in Vista, Calif., says not everything goes smoothly on long vacations. A museum you're eager to see may be closed for renovation, or an unexpected storm may trap you in your hotel room.

negatives of long term travel

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3. Negative people may stress you out

Traveling with others can try your patience, especially if they're disagreeable, Sauers warns. If you choose to be part of a tour group, you won't be able to choose all your travel companions.

negatives of long term travel

4. You'll have to contend with crowds

Travel agent Rosalyn Strand of Mary North Travel Inc. in Seattle notes that dealing with unwieldy crowds often is unavoidable when visiting popular destinations. "It's part of what I prepare people for," she says.

negatives of long term travel

5. Your hotel might not meet your standards

Strand says traveling abroad often means getting accustomed to smaller, less luxurious hotel rooms than you're accustomed to. If you judge accommodations by U.S. standards, you may be dissatisfied.

negatives of long term travel

Anticipate and avoid problems

Preparation can make your long-term trip more enjoyable. Here are some tips for anticipating and avoiding problems:

  • Set up a bill-paying account before you leave. SoundMoneyMatters.com recommends meeting your financial obligations while you're away with automatic bill paying through a credit card or bank account.

  • Travel light. If you try to carry too many things with you, you'll exhaust yourself, Strand says. Instead, pack light and ship your souvenirs home.

  • Give your employer plenty of notice. Your long absence is less likely to anger your employer if you give him or her time to prepare for your absence.

Traveling to a third world country? Los Angeles-based "travel doc" Carla Blieden shares her preparation tips here!

Overcome problems as they occur

If you maintain a positive attitude, you'll be able to deal with unexpected problems as they occur. Here are some coping tips:

  • Don't overdo it. Trips can be exhausting. Focus on the things you want to do most so you won't need to rush, says Sauers. "You go on vacation to rest and have fun."

  • Don't sweat the small stuff. Strand says the best way to have fun is to accept small setbacks as part of the long-term travel experience and "roll with the punches."

  • Befriend people you meet. Traveling9to5.com suggests that you try to make friends at your destinations. You'll avoid growing homesick and you'll learn more about the local culture.

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Consider buying travel medical insurance

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website says travelers should consider buying travel medical insurance, especially for extended trips. Such policies may cover illness, injuries, ambulance fees, hospitalization costs, emergency medical evacuations, terrorism, and crisis response.

Medical evacuation insurance can help you get home safely if you become seriously ill. Without this coverage the cost of a medical evacuation can exceed $100,000, according to the CDC.

There are other ways travel medical insurance protects you while traveling abroad- check them out here.

Choose your level of protection

Atlas Travel medical insurance provides affordable and customizable coverage for those looking to cover specific needs abroad.

Atlas Premium insurance, which has higher coverage limits, is an elite package for individuals interested in more extensive coverage as they travel abroad.

travel medical insurance

Be sure to study your insurance policy's terms to determine if any medical services are excluded due to pre-existing conditions or certain high-risk activities.

Consider terrorism and crisis coverage

No destination is completely safe from acts of terror. Atlas Travel and Atlas Premium provide coverage for eligible injuries and illnesses stemming from terrorism up to policy limits, when certain conditions are met. The current maximum lifetime limit is $50,000.

Crisis response coverage can assist victims of kidnappings by providing a monetary benefit for ransom and personal belongings surrendered and an experienced crisis response team to deal in negotiations. A crisis response benefit is included in both Atlas Travel and Atlas Premium plans.

Not sure what else your policy should include? Check out these 5 travel insurance benefits and why you need each.

Know your policy's duration

For non-U.S. citizens or residents whose travel doesn't include the U.S. or its territories, the maximum coverage duration for Atlas Travel and Atlas Premium is 365 days. The policies may be renewed up to two additional coverage periods. Renewal requires satisfaction of a new deductible and coinsurance.

For other travelers, the maximum policy duration is 364 days and isn't renewable.

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Tokio Marine HCC - Medical Insurance Services Group (MIS Group) is a service company and a member of the Tokio Marine HCC group of companies. We are regulated by the State of Indiana in our capacity as Third Party Administrator. Tokio Marine HCC - MIS Group has authority to enter into contracts of insurance on behalf of the Lloyd's underwriting members of Lloyd's Syndicate 4141, which is managed by Tokio Marine HCC – International Group.