A life spent traveling sounds pretty ideal, but quitting your day job to do so isn’t for everyone. Here are some questions to ask yourself before leaving work to travel full-time.
1. Do You Have a Sufficient Emergency Fund?
Before quitting your job, you might want to make sure you have an adequate emergency fund or “secret stash” to take along for the ride. You never know when life will bring unexpected expenses, especially on the road. You may encounter a medical emergency, and need money to pay for it. You may even need to catch a flight home for family reasons. Whatever it is, you’ll want to have a savings account (that is only to be touched for emergencies) to ensure you’re financially prepared.
2. Do You Have a Side Hustle?
It is important to decide if you’ll work while you travel. This may be a side-hustle or a freelance job that you can do in between trips to boost your cash flow. You may even want to consider working for a non-profit or waiting tables if you are in an area for a long period of time. If you are not looking to work while traveling, then you may want to save up some income while you are employed.
3. Do You Have a Back-Up Plan?
Like an emergency fund, it is also important to have a back-up plan. Is there a hospital nearby if you or someone you’re traveling with gets hurt? Do you have enough food and money for the whole trip? Consider these questions before picking your next destination.
4. How Will You Cover Fixed Expenses?
Even though you are taking a break from your career, your monthly expenses won’t go on hold. The last thing you want is to return from a wonderful vacation with terrible credit and unpaid bills. (Not sure where your credit currently stands? You can view two of your credit scores, updated each month, for free on Credit.com.) You may want to consider signing up for an automatic payment plan to ensure all your bills are paid on time and check them as you travel. You can speak with a financial advisor or your bank before making the move to help you stay on track.
5. What Are Your Plans for The Future?
Just like a back-up plan, you may want to have a plan for the future. What will happen when you come home? Will you have a job waiting for you? Future employers may frown on the idea of being unemployed for quite some time. Consider making connections before you travel and during your trip.
6. Is It Worth It?
The last tip to consider before leaving to travel the world is to ask yourself if it is worth it. Do you hate your job enough to leave it forever? Will they take you back when you return? Quitting your career to travel is a big decision that can also be risky. Getting stuck in Bali may be fun, but not if your checking account is at $0.
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