Going on a working holiday? Take care of these 4 things first!

IMG_5749When going on any trip, you have to take care of a few things: stop your mail, ask the neighbor to feed your cat, unplug your electronics, and set timers for your outside lights. Just your average run-of-the-mill vacation checklist stuff. But, when leaving on a long journey, like a working holiday which can last for up to a year, this list gets longer and even more important.

You’ve applied for your visa, bought your tickets, arranged for accommodation, and are raring to start your working adventure. All the big stuff is taken care of at your destination, but what about the at home? Before you leave the country, there are some annoying adult stuff you cannot overlook.

1. Nice wheels, make sure to take care of them!

You need to make sure someone is starting your car and driving it at least twice a week. If that’s not possible, look into getting a battery tender. There is a whole slew of problems that will arise if it is just left there, sad and lonely. Your battery drains, your oil can dry up, your gas starts collecting moisture, the list goes on. I’m no mechanic, but that doesn’t sound like things that are good for your car.  Enlist a friend or relative to help you maintain it and give them instructions on what to do. Also, if your registration or inspection will expire while you are gone, make sure to take care of that before you embark.

2. Have a chat with your bank

Yeah, you’ll probably be on hold for 30+ minutes and you may be transferred around a few times, but it is crucial you contact your bank and credit card companies (the ones you plan to use abroad) before you go. Let them know where you are going and for how long. If you do not do this, the first purchase you make in your new country could put a freeze on your account. Being in a foreign land with no access to money is not a great start to your journey, so make those calls! Update: many banks have a travel notice feature you can set from your online banking so no need to put your phone on speaker and listen to hold music during your lunch break.

3. Make yourself Chris Traeger healthy

chris lettuceBook doctor appointments that you would have had throughout the upcoming year. This includes eye checkups, skin checks, dental cleaning, lady doctor exams… everything. You don’t want to end up in another country needing surgery, or something. Make them before you leave so you are healthy as a horse. You won’t have to worry about appointments for awhile (hopefully) and you will save some money through your health insurance that will cover you in your home country, but not necessarily where you’re going.

4. Continuing on the health track, get your prescriptions!

That means enough to last for the year. When I asked my doctor for a year supply of medication, they gladly gave me the script. I had to call my insurance company that covers some of the cost of my rXs to see if they could cover a year’s supply at once.  All I needed to do was submit my flight itinerary to show I am, indeed, leaving the country and it was approved. Also, check with your health insurance to see if you are covered abroad or if your country has a reciprocal health care program, like England has with Australia.

And most importantly, say goodbye to friends and family! Schedule some time to meet up so you can see your support system one more time before you’re off. They will appreciate it as much as you do. Safe travels, friend!

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