Posts Tagged ‘planning’

The Big Career Break Question: Where to Go?
Friday, June 20th, 2014

One of the most important – and fun – aspects of planning a career break is deciding where to go. With so many choices out there, though, it can easily become daunting. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you debate South America versus Southeast Asia, Europe versus Africa or Australia versus the Middle East.

What Calls You

First things first – think about what calls to you. For many travelers, their favorite destinations have been places that have spoken to them in some way before they have even visited.

For example, Meet, Plan, Go! co-founder Michaela Potter became fascinated with Vietnam and Cambodia after studying the war and Pol Pot’s regime in the 1970s. So when she decided to take a three-month career break in 2001, she centered her travels on those destinations.

Ready to go? Need help planning? Sign up for our free 30-day planning e-course! 

Meet, Plan, Go! editor Katie Aune read a biography about Catherine the Great of Russia when she was in high school, which led to majoring in Russian & East European Studies and taking Russian language classes in college. When she started thinking about a career break, Russia was at the very top of her list.

So think about places or cultures that might call you. They don’t have to be steeped in history – perhaps there is a cuisine that you love, a language that you want to learn or an aspect of your family background that you want to explore. Think about some of your favorite movies or books – do they tend to take place in the same destinations or center on similar themes? Inspiration is all around you and you may not even realize it.


Once you come up with a short list of the destinations you want to visit, think about when the best time is to travel to those countries.

What will the weather be like? 

What kind of weather do you prefer and what types of activities are you likely to engage in?

And are there any major events taking place that you might want to witness or participate in?

For example, the months of September – November in the southern part of Thailand is monsoon season, so you won’t be able to enjoy the beaches. However, this time of year also sees some unique local festivals, so you will be able to experience part of the culture most travelers don’t.

December – January are the summer months in Australia and New Zealand, making for a nice escape from winter in the northern hemisphere. However, this is also the time of year when students are on break so most Aussies and Kiwis will vacation during this time, creating competition for lodging and activities.

Some people follow the warm weather so they can avoid experiencing cold, harsh winter climates during their career break, but that doesn’t mean you have to. If you’re an avid skier, spending February in the snow-covered mountains of Europe may be just your thing!

Participating in local holidays and festivals offers a unique cultural experience, but it can also offer some challenges. During countrywide holidays, such as the Thai New Year (Songkran Festival), most locals travel, making it difficult to book transportation or accommodation. This is also the case during the Hindu celebration of Diwali in India. Don’t let that deter you, but do your best to be prepared and stay patient.

It’s also important to understand the significance of the holiday or festival and try to act as respectful as possible. During Ramadan in Islamic countries, non-Muslims and visitors are not expected to observe the fast, but it is respectful to be discrete when consuming food or water during the day. Learning about the customs of the countries you plan to travel to is a great way to understand their holidays as well as their cultures. And if you happen to “stumble upon” a holiday, don’t be afraid to ask a local more about it and find out how you can participate.

Loy Krathong - Chiang Mai, Thailand

Comfort Level

Finally, think about your comfort level with respect to the places you plan to visit. Travel is about pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, but only you know how far you are willing to go.

Before hitting the road, you do want to have the peace of mind that where you are going is safe – not just for your own comfort but that of your friends and family staying behind. The U.S. State Department’s website offers tips for safely traveling internationally (including registering with the local US Embassies) and posts warnings and alerts for countries all around the world.

Before you leave, try to get a handle on local issues in the countries you may visit by following the websites of international papers, signing up for Google Alerts or check out message boards and forums. While a lot of news stories tend to focus on the negative, locals or fellow travelers may be able to give you a more balanced perspective. Try the Lonely Planet Thorn Tree forum, BootsnAll forums or Couchsurfing message boards for up to date information from people on the ground in your chosen destinations.

While Americans often assume that we are viewed negatively overseas and that it is not safe to travel abroad as an American, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Most people can differentiate between the individual and one’s government, especially when it comes to Americans. And most of the time, people don’t even care where you are from. As long as you respect their cultures, refrain from illegal activities, and keep an open mind, you will be fine.

Have you taken a career break? How did you choose your destinations?

How to Track and Save for Career Break
Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

Deciding to go on a career break is difficult enough, but the tough decisions don’t end once you finally take that plunge and decide to do it. After making the decision to go, the first question most people ask is, “How much is this whole venture going to cost?”

The good news is that you’re going to have plenty of time to practice budgeting. The budget and money-saving doesn’t begin the day you leave. It starts right now. The minute you decide to go on an adventure like this is the minute you need to start focusing on money.

Be Realistic and Ask Yourself the Right Questions


Before you open your first spreadsheet, start an account on Mint, or think about anything money related, you need to be 100% honest with yourself about you, your spending habits, and what type of traveler you are. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you OK with hostel dorms (cheap, shared accommodations)?
  • Do you think you’ll want a private room most of the time (hostels have these, too)?
  • Are hotels more your style?
  • Are you OK with cooking a lot of your meals in hostel kitchens?
  • Are you OK with eating street or market food?
  • What type of big activities do you want to participate in?
  • Is overland travel the way you want to get around?
  • How many continents do you plan on visiting (the more you go to, the more expensive it will be)?


Where to Begin

Sometimes the most overwhelming part of the budget is figuring out where to begin. If you don’t already track your spending, then start now!

  • Open an account on and start figuring out where your money is going.
  • Break down your income vs. your expenses. (see Monthly vs. Travel expenses)
  • If your expenses exceed your income, then you need to make changes.
    • Cut back on things like eating out and drinking at bars.
    • Stop buying new stuff. Chances are high that you are going to want to get rid of a lot of   you clutter before leaving, so why buy new items now?
    • Consider getting a second (or third) job.
    • Think about selling off a lot of your stuff. You will most likely come home from your career break and realize that you have way too much clutter. Get rid of it now – sell it on ebay, Craig’s List, or have a garage or yard sale.


Start Saving

Once you get to the point where you are bringing in more than you are spending, then it’s time to go into saving mode. Open up a savings account somewhere. Research banks that offer high starting interest rates or specials for the first year. Any extra little bit helps. Then start paying that savings account, otherwise known as your career break travel fund, as you would your normal bills. Figure out how much you can start putting away each month, and pay it as soon you receive a paycheck.

Any little extra bit you earn or save, put it in the travel fund. Start getting into travel mode. Saving for a trip of this magnitude is difficult. You will have to turn down a lot of fun events before leaving on your career break. Going out to bars, dinners with friends, movies, shopping trips with the girls-all are things you are just going to have to say no to much of the time. It’s frustrating, and there will be times you question if what you’re doing is worth it. It is. It’s just all a manner of how you spin it in your mind.

Bypass a night out on the town with your buddies? Congratulations, you just bought yourself four extra days in Thailand. Turn down that shopping trip with your sister? Good job, now you can spend another week in Argentina. It’s all about priorities, and when you make the decision to take a career break and travel the world, it has to be the top priority in your life.


Warren and Betsy Talbot of Married with Luggage provide some video advice on how to think of your ‘number’ and stay focused on the goal:

Are you ready to start focusing on your number?


Packing Tips from Career Breakers
Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

There are endless packing lists and tips on the Internet – and they are a great place to start – but we find that no matter how much advice you are given or receive, it will really come down to personal choice.

So you won’t find any lists here, but but you will hear tips on what worked for us and some of our career break vets.

Minimalist Packing Advice

For career breakers, one of the hardest things to do is imagine what life is like living out of a single suitcase for an extended period of time. This means leaving behind many things. So we asked Francine Jay, aka Miss Minimalist, to provide some ‘minimalist’ packing advice.

  • Bring a travel clothesline, and travel packets of laundry detergent. These two simple items will save you tons of space in your suitcase. The more often you wash, the less clothing you’ll need to lug around!
  • Use packing cubes. Life on the road is much easier (and more organized) when you don’t have loose stuff rolling around in your suitcase. I think of my packing cubes as “drawers,” and use them to keep like items together. If space is at a premium, you may want to consider compression bags.
  • Don’t pack stuff you can buy on the road. For example, bring only small quantities of toiletries, and simply buy more when you run out. I have fond memories of shopping for toothpaste in Tokyo!
  • When it comes to clothing, versatility is key. Pack items that go from daytime to dinner, or can be dressed up with accessories (like a scarf or necklace). Favor items that can be layered, so they’ll work in a variety of climates. And choose your shoes wisely, so that you can get by with one pair (or two at the most!).
  • For winter travel or colder climates, pack silk long johns. They’re extremely lightweight, take up next to no space, and eliminate the need for bulkier clothing. You can even wear them as pajamas in a pinch!

Career Breaker Must-Haves

No matter how many times we say “no really, you don’t need to pack everything!” people don’t seem to listen. So we asked some of our career break vets to tell us what things they can’t travel without. You might find some surprising items!


Michaela shares why carabiners, a head lamp, and her journal are the three things she never leaves home without.


Ever think a frisbee was an essential item to pack? It is for Kirk, and you may become a believer too! Hear why he loves packing a frisbee, plus ear plugs and his Swiss Army knife.


If you are packing something that only has one use – leave it behind. Hear why from Lillie.


Sherry shares some of her packing tips along with the items she doesn’t leave home without.


Lisa shares her profound love for her laptop and the other items she doesn’t leave home without, including a raincoat, watch, and packing cubes.

What items do you think you can’t leave home without?


Create a Travel Communication Plan
Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

When you are traveling for an extended time on a career break, communication is important. It can help ease any home sickness, provide peace of mind to your worrying mother, make you the envy of your co-workers and friends, and it can help you do travel planning while on the road.

It wasn’t that long ago the process of communication while on the road was difficult and expensive; wow how things have changed! We have highlighted a few of the ‘new modern’ ways to stay in touch while on the road – but keep in mind with new phone apps and programs constantly coming out – this stuff can be out of date quickly. Some of you may prefer to not be ‘plugged in’ – but I think you’ll find that at some time or another, you will need to find a way to communicate; so here are some ideas on how to make that happen.

Setting up your communication plan is an important thing to do BEFORE you leave. Make sure you have accounts/apps, make sure your friends/family have accounts/apps, make sure everyone knows how to use it all (give them test runs), make sure you have talked to your family about how often you will be checking in and what to do if they don’t hear from you for a while. Handling these things before you leave will allow you to get the most out of your time and ensure that people aren’t back home worrying about you!


This is pretty obvious, and nearly everyone has email already! It’s still the best way to stay in touch. You can find internet cafes and wifi connections all over the world to check your email and send messages.


Think business card, but more fun! I would consider making a cheap set of ‘travel cards’ before you leave. Just a card with your name and your email is great. You can create these really cheaply these days and even put some cool travel photos on it! You might want to include your Skype id, Twitter handle, and Google Voice number too if you use those applications to communicate. When you are traveling you’ll meet so many new people, and the easiest thing to do is to hand someone a card with information on how they can get in touch with you for the future. It’s less likely to be lost or misplaced!

  • Vista Print – A budget option
  • Moo Cards – A creative option
  • Canva – A simple, drag-and-drop, design software that’s free to use


This includes Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn – or whatever else you may use. These are fabulous ways to stay in touch with family, friends, and co-workers. You can post pictures of your travels, link to blog posts or websites; it can really bring your travel experience alive for the people back home. Many people chose not to blog, and instead put all of their photography and short updates on Facebook. In addition, you will be adding so many new friends as you travel; this is also how you can stay in touch with them.

Or, if you’d like to remain more private, you can also create a private Facebook group and simply invite close family and friends to it and provide updates there regarding your whereabouts.


Skype is the holy grail of communication! If you don’t have Skype, I suggest you research it before you leave and set up a login. It is a free downloadable application you can log into on a computer and make phone calls (with video), chat, conference calls, or text message over the internet. However, if you don’t intend to take a laptop, please know that 99% of internet cafés have Skype loaded on their machines as well as headsets. In addition, Skype offers a smart phone application and you are able to take calls via your smart phone if you have a wireless internet connection available.

How does it work? If the person you are calling also has Skype, then the calls are free. If they don’t have Skype, then the cost of calls is minimal and you’ll need to add credit to your Skype account to make those calls. So – the lesson here is to get your family and friends to also get on Skype. Since my parents are older and some of my siblings aren’t really tech savvy, I always suggest to people to set this stuff up BEFORE you go. Help them download it on their computers or phones; then set up an account for them and make sure they know how to use it. You don’t want to be on the road trying to teach your parents how to use Skype; I’ve done that, and it’s not fun.

Download and learn more about Skype.

Other alternative to skype is Google Hangouts or if the people you want to communicate with are on a Apple product, you can also use Facetime.


There are many options for cell phones but once again, research this before you go. If you are positive you want to keep your phone and current provider, then make sure you look into international roaming and texting plans. This is definitely the expensive option as American carriers used internationally are costly.

Barbara from Hole in the Donut created this useful post: “Using your iphone while traveling internationally without breaking the bank”

However, a cheaper option is to purchase a cheap, unlocked (not associated with any US carrier) phone and simply purchase an international SIM card that can be used everywhere. Or you can purchase a SIM card from a local provider in the country you are traveling in (good if you are going to be in that country for a while). Personally – I’ve done both and much prefer just getting a SIM when I enter a country and using the pay as you go plans. This means your phone number changes all of the time, but there are ways around that (see Google Voice below). However; if you have a Skype id to communicate with people back home, then the only reason you may need a cell phone is to call local places (hotels, hostels, tour companies, etc); so it’s not a big deal if your number changes in each country.

With a smart phone then this means that you can also pretty easily communicate with less tech savvy family/friends back home too via texting.  You don’t even need a SIM card to text these days with smart phone apps like What’s App and Viber.  These apps are a super solution for free international texting and sending photos while on the road.   They both offer free texting via a wifi connection.  Note that the person you are texting must also have the app on their phone, so make sure you tell your friends/family to get it set up on their devices before you go and test it out.

Download and learn more about What’s App

Downoad and learn more about Viber


A free service from Google where you to pick a new Google ‘phone’ number and when anyone calls this number, it will ring all of your phones, or specified phones.

  • Use one number to manage all your phones; your Google Voice number is tied to you, not to a particular device or location.
  • Voicemail is like email: Save voicemail messages for as long as you’d like, star important ones, and search through them.
  • Voicemail transcription: Voicemail messages will be automatically transcribed to text and sent to you via email and/or SMS.
  • Works with mobile phones, desk phones, and work phones. There’s nothing to download, upload, or install, and you don’t have to make or take calls using a computer.
  • You can also text from Google Voice
  • International calling: Make low priced international calls from the web or from your phone.

Definitely look into this option – it’s growing rapidly in popularity and a super option for travel. Additional info and videos on the functionality: Google Voice

The interesting thing is that you can make all of these communications work together for you at the same time to save money and stay in touch. It’s a bit complicated – but if you want to learn more – then check out this great article by A Chick With Baggage – it’s the best article I’ve found for how to integrate your smart phone, Skype, and Google Voice: 5 steps for using your iPhone while traveling for less than $7 a month


If you need to stay in touch with elderly parents/grandparents who just aren’t tech savvy at all – then send a postcard!  Check out the smart phone postcard apps such as Postagram where you can create and send postcards right from your smartphone photo gallery!  A physical post card with your message get’s mailed automatically!

More information on Postagram App
What other suggestions do you have for staying touch on the road?

Global Health and Travel Insurance for Career Breakers
Monday, September 16th, 2013

TIPS AND INSIGHT thanks to  Insure My Trip and Erin Fish of EMF Insurance Agency, Inc 

Having the right policy and understanding the benefits and limitations of your coverage is an essential step in setting your mind at ease so that you can truly enjoy your trip.

So how does one navigate the labyrinth of red tape and fine print that surrounds travel insurance? Just thinking about it is enough to raise the blood pressure of many would-be career breakers, but fear not! We’ve got your back…and we’ve called in an expert.

When it comes to getting the right Global Health and Travel insurance to meet your unique needs, Insure My Trip is our career break insurance experts. They have years of experience assessing the unique needs of each of their globetrotting clients and can help you find the policy that is perfect for you, your trip, and your needs.

It’s hard to know where to start when it comes to insurance, but we have provided the following:

But first – a disclaimer! Insurance solutions are very dependent on a person’s situation, tolerance, and budget; we certainly couldn’t represent all of them here! Our aim is to give you a good start and then you can follow up with Erin or through our other online resources we’ve provided. In addition, this information is more specific to American travelers, as it tends to be the most complicated.


  • Domestic (America) Health Insurance: Domestic health insurance plans are designed to benefit the member when services are needed inside the USA. This leaves many gaps in benefits for people who are traveling abroad. For Americans traveling abroad, health care services occurring outside of the USA can be covered under the insured’s domestic health insurance policy once the insured has met their out-of-network deductible. This could mean an exposure of thousands of dollars.Examples – your corporate coverage such as Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna, etc.

  • Long-Term International (HIPAA-Compliant) plans resemble domestic health insurance plans, but apply to a worldwide and a nationwide network of doctors, hospitals, clinics, etc. They carry annual deductibles, annual out-of-pocket limits, maternity coverage (usually after 12 months of enrollment), and all of the perks of the travel insurance plans. Such plans are most appropriate for travelers who plan to spend 6 months or more abroad and for Ex-Pats planning to live in other countries for extended periods of time.This is the most comprehensive coverage for travel and can be used anywhere in the world, including when you return back to America. Examples – HTH Worldwide, 7 Corners
  • Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is designed to bridge the gap in benefits that the domestic plans present…and more. Credible and reliable travel insurance carriers have a worldwide and a nationwide network of doctors, hospitals, clinics, etc. There are two main types – travel medical insurance and trip cancellation insurance. Examples – IMG, Travelex and many, many more!
    • 1. Travel Medical Insurance: Offers medical benefits when a traveler is overseas. These plans typically pay for hospitalization, surgery, doctor office visits, prescription drugs, ground ambulance and emergency medical evacuation. These plans tend to be relatively inexpensive; however, they do not provide any other travel benefits beyond medical coverage. This type of insurance can be purchased on a per-trip basis (up to 180 days and renewable once) or annually (covering any and all trips less than 70 days each). *Coverage can be purchased for travelers who do not have a domestic health insurance plan. However, such plans do not cover pre-existing conditions.
  • Trip Cancellation Insurance: Usually includes all the benefits of travel medical insurance, as well as other travel benefits such as trip cancellation, trip interruption, baggage loss, travel delay and more. These plans are designed to insure the investment of your trip. These plans offer the broadest coverage and are more expensive than travel medical policies because the rates are partly dependent on the cost of the insured’s trip. (This type of insurance can also be purchased without the medical benefits included.)


  • What will these plans cover? Travel Medical insurance plans will cover:- Medical Services (Doctor office visits, surgery, anesthesia, labs & radiology, inpatient & outpatient hospital expenses, and more.- Dental Care required to an injury or for relief of pain- Prescription Drugs (outside of the USA)- Medical Evacuation to the nearest adequate facility (then home, if necessary) *This is often the most crucial aspect of Travel Medical plans– Bedside Visit (for one person to your place of hospital confinement)

    – Accidental Death & Dismemberment (like Life Insurance)

    – Repatriation of Remains

  • For ‘career breakers’ (middle aged as opposed to student travelers,) what should we be getting?

Age isn’t necessarily the most important factor in deciding which type of travel insurance to buy. Buying the most appropriate type of travel insurance plan depends on the length of the trip, cost of the trip, risk tolerance, and travel budget. Trip Cancellation insurance is a good choice for expensive trips because of the financial protection features of these plans. Travel Medical insurance is a good choice for lower priced trips or longer trips (especially those trips exceeding 30 days

  • If we get Travel Insurance, what coverage do we have when we return back to the US (either after our trip OR if we have to return because of an emergency)?
  • Trip Cancellation insurance and Travel Medical insurance policies are designed to cover travelers while on a covered trip. These plans are considered limited duration plans and are not HIPAA compliant. Once the customer returns home, their benefits are exhausted. In some cases coverage can continue if the illness or injury sustained while on the covered trip persists.
  • Will insurance companies look at travel insurance as ‘continuous coverage’ or by traveling for a year under travel insurance – will it appear that we have a ‘break in coverage’? More importantly, is a break in coverage bad? Short term travel insurance would not be considered credible ‘continuous coverage’ since it is a short term accident/sickness policy. This means there would be a ‘break in coverage’ if this was a persons only form of insurance. If they are planning to travel 6 months or longer; travelers should consider a Long-Term International health insurance plan, such as HTH Global Citizen. Global Citizen is considered creditable coverage and is administered using HIPAA guidelines.
  • What happens when you return home to the US and need insurance coverage after traveling? Should this be considered when you are choosing travel insurance? You definitely need to consider what your return to the US looks like. When you are done traveling, the travel insurance runs out. It will normally not cover you once you get back to the US. Therefore you will need a plan for how you will be covered with you return home. Getting approved for a domestic health insurance plan is not easy in the USA. All health insurance applications are medically underwritten, and an applicant can be approved, declined, or approved with surcharges. If you are planning on traveling for a few months, and you already have a domestic health plan, it is suggested that you keep your domestic plan and purchase a travel insurance plan to supplement your coverage. This will often give you better benefits in the travel insurance plan and it will prevent any lapses in coverage.When planning to travel for an extended amount of time it may be worth it to buy a long term international plan, enabling a continuation in coverage indefinitely when you return home to the United States. However, Long-Term International plans are also medically underwritten.
  • What do I do when I come return to the US? Getting approved for a domestic underwritten plan in the USA is not a guarantee. It can often include a lot of obstacles and may result in heavy surcharges or a declination, depending on the applicant’s medical history. If an illness or injury occurred during travel, the chances of approval become even more difficult. If you hold onto your domestic plan while traveling, or if you purchase a long-term HIPAA-compliant plan for your travels, you can avoid these complications upon your return. Your options when you return home and your Travel Insurance coverage has ended: Group-sponsored health plans (if you can secure a job that provides benefits)- Pre-existing Condition Insurance plan (government-subsidized plan)
  • Purchase an individual domestic policy (this process can vary greatly depending on where you live, your past insurance coverage, age, and medical conditions).
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages to keeping my domestic plan? The main advantages you have by keeping your domestic plan:- You will not have a lapse in credible coverage- You will already be insured in the USA when you return- You can purchase a Travel Medical insurance policy that covers pre-existing condition. What disadvantages do I have in keeping my domestic plan? Keeping your domestic plan can be a lofty expense to maintain while you are traveling.
  • Other advice to take into consideration: When researching and purchasing travel insurance plans, it is important to purchase the plans from an admitted USA carrier (for example – HTH or 7 Corners). Such carriers are backed by the Department of Insurance and must abide by rules and regulations when upholding benefits and processing claims. Many travel insurance carriers are considered “off-shore” carriers, even though their offices are based in the USA (usually in Indiana). Such carriers can leave the insured exposed with little or no representation should benefits not be upheld or should claims not be processed or paid correctly.


  • I’m a career breaker and I am going to be traveling for 1-6 months. What should I be looking for with regards to travel insurance? You have a couple different option. If you have a domestic health insurance policy, it may be wisest to hold onto this policy and purchase a supplemental Travel Medical insurance policy to cover you at 100% and provide you with medical services and Emergency Medical Evacuation services while you are abroad. This way you will avoid having a lapse in credible coverage in your domestic health insurance plan. If your domestic plan is very expensive and you would like to keep your costs down, you can look into downgrading your domestic plan to secure a lower monthly premium. However, when you return from your trip it may be difficult to upgrade again.
  • I’m a career breaker and I am going to be traveling for 6-12 months. What should I be looking for with regards to travel insurance?  
    • Option 1: If you have a domestic health insurance policy it may be wisest to hold onto this policy and purchase a supplemental Travel Medical insurance policy to cover you at 100% and provide you with medical services and Emergency Medical Evacuation services while you are abroad. This way you will avoid having a lapse in credible coverage in your domestic health insurance plan. *Such a plan will cover pre-existing conditions since you also carry a domestic plan.
    • Option 2: Apply for a Long-Term HIPAA-compliant International Health Insurance plan to go into effect before you depart. (Whether you have a domestic insurance plan, or not.) Such a plan will act as a “global PPO health plan” and will serve as credible coverage. You can purchase such a plan to cover you worldwide or to cover you in all countries except for the USA. This is a commonly owned insurance policy for Ex-Patriots.
    • Option 3: If you do not have a domestic insurance plan, or if you would like to cancel such a plan, you can purchase a supplemental Travel Medical insurance policy to cover you at 100% and provide you with medical services and Emergency Medical Evacuation services while you are abroad. *Such a plan will not cover pre-existing conditions since you do not also carry a domestic plan. Note: If you are out of the USA for 6 or more continuous months it CAN leave your domestic policy VOID. If you are planning to keep your domestic health insurance plan, make sure to contact your insurance carrier to inform them of your travels and request that they keep your policy in-effect. Get their answer in writing.
  • I’m a career breaker and I am going to be traveling for 1 year or longer. What should I be looking for with regards to travel insurance? It is recommended that you apply for a Long-Term HIPAA-compliant International Health Insurance plan to go into effect before you depart. (Whether you have a domestic insurance plan or not.) Such a plan will act as a “global PPO health plan” and will serve as credible coverage. You can purchase such a plan to cover you worldwide or to cover you in all countries except for the USA. This is a commonly owned insurance policy for Ex-Patriots.


  • For expert advice and no obligation to purchase, contact out Career Break Insurance Hotline via Insure My Trip – 855-773-9375.  Their reps can lead you through a few questions to help you determine what may be right for your situation.
  • Get a quote by filling out this form on Meet Plan Go!


Travel Is Not As Expensive As You Think
Thursday, August 29th, 2013

Think Good Thoughts

Think Good Thoughts – Travel isn’t as expensive as you think!

“Travel is too expensive, I can’t do it.” Sound familiar?

Tripping yourself up with the “travel is expensive” myth is a sure-fire way to defeat the dream before you even give it a chance to breathe.

Before you defeat your dream consider this: A vacation is different from traveling. Maybe up to this point you’ve only taken a vacation, a one to two week trip you saved up for and enjoyed thoroughly. On average – a vacation that includes a flight, hotel stays, and eating out for every meal can cost anywhere form $1,000 to $2,000 per person per week. Plus when you go on vacation, all of your other monthly expenses don’t go away. You still have to pay for your mortgage or rent, car, electricity, water, magazine subscriptions – this all continues while you are on vacation.

Time is on Your Side

When you travel for an extended time this scenario of costs change because time is on your side.


First you buy a plane ticket – but you stay longer, much longer in a region. The cost of your $1000 plane ticket overseas is now spread out across 4 weeks instead of 1 week potentially. Plus – once in that country, you have a myriad of transportation options to get from place to place in the region. You may get around the country or region by local transportation now since time is now on your side. No need to maximize every second of your vacation; slow down and relax – by doing so you spend less money.


You will also most likely not stay in high priced hotels or resorts for a long term lodging solution. You will start to be introduced to the world of guest houses, couchsurfing, and hostels; or simply more budget style hotels. You’ll find accommodation with access to a kitchen and can cook some of your own meals. You won’t be dining out for every meal; going out to eat all the time can get tiresome not to mention costly.

Monthly Expenses

Here’s where the real money savings happens…your monthly expenses go away. Maybe not all of them – but a good majority of them no longer are expenses while you travel. Consider this list (below) of typical monthly expenses for people. The ones in red will, or can, disappear while you travel.

To begin with, you can sublet or sell your home. We know that may be a big step for some, but by doing this you remove many monthly expenses! You potentially don’t have to pay to put your items in storage. No more electricity/gas/water bills. In addition, when you travel, you no longer have to supply your home with stuff like toilet paper or cleaning supplies, these normal day-to-day expenses go away while you’re on the road.

You can also get rid of your car or simply store it while you are gone and reap the benefits of no insurance payment, maintenance, or fuel charges. You no longer have to commute to work, or dry clean work clothes!

Sure – other new expenses are added when you travel – but not at the same rate as it takes to live day to day and maintain a dwelling and job.

Before you know it your monthly expenses disappear and the amount you will need to simply travel becomes ‘reasonable’ . So don’t think about your budget in terms of a vacation budget; extended travel is much different!

Download the Excel Sheet: What Can Disappear?

WHAT CAN DISAPPEAR? Current Expense Expense While Traveling
Rent/Mortgage  x
Rental/Home Insurance  x
Electricity  x
Water  x
Heating  x
Gas  x
Garbage Pickup  x
Telephone/Land Line  x
Mobile  x
Cable  x
Internet  x
Auto  x
Car Maintenance  x
Fuel  x
Car Insurance  x
Lease/Loan  x
Parking  x
Tolls  x
Warranty  x
Commuting Expenses  x
Medical Insurance  x
Gym Membership  x
Clothing  x
Dry Cleaning/Tailoring  x

What other expenses do you have that will disappear when you start your career break?

We Met…Now What?
Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

If you attended one of our nationwide events, chances are you heard some inspiring stories from veteran career breakers. You may have even met some like-minded individuals who have similar dreams as you. That powerful combination may have helped to motivate you to realize you can make a career break happen for yourself. But…now what?


You may be asking yourself – okay, I have all this energy to get going, but how do I actually make it happen? You have the motivation, but now you want to start planning. And we have the tools to help!

The “Plan” section of Meet, Plan, Go! features resources to help book RTW flights, secure travel insurance, book hostels through GoMio, get destination inspiration, and read reviews on other helpful resources and books. All of the trip planning tools you need at your finger tips.

Career Break Basic Training
Booking flights and deciding where to go is one aspect of trip planning. But what about the life planning? Do you quit your job or negotiate a sabbatical? Rent/sublet your home or sell it? How do you save for your career break and set a budget that won’t drain your savings? And of course – how do you prepare for your return before you even leave?

Our Career Break Basic Training course & community is here to help guide you through this complex, and sometimes, stressful process. From contemplation and preparation to life on the road and re-entry, this private network offers a supportive peer community and access to career break travel experts to guide you throughout.

Each section includes video interviews, valuable travel tips, resources, discussion groups, and concrete steps to follow towards your escape. In addition, all members receive a $75 AirTreks flight coupon and we are talking about a great value to the $149 membership fee.

Get your plans rolling and sign-up today!


We won’t keep you waiting until next year to meet again. Stay tuned for news on regular local meetups. The best way to find out? Our Newsletter and Facebook pages!


While you are planning, and even when you “Go!”, we want to stay connected with you and you with your career break community. Here’s how:

Facebook Pages
Get the latest news and join the conversations on our Facebook page.

Tripping is a global community of travelers. When you’re traveling, Tripping enables you to connect safely with locals who will introduce you to their towns, their cultures, their lives and their friends. And you can now connect with fellow Meet, Plan, Go! members!

Check out our main Tripping page and then join the sub-networks for each city.

Register Your Break
Are you now planning your break – or even better – experiencing it? Then please register with us! We’d love to hear where you’re going and what you plan to do. We also love to highlight event attendees who were brave enough to follow their dreams. And who knows – maybe you will return to inspire others by joining an event panel or even hosting! Register Now!

Share Your Story
Over on the Go! section of our site [aka Briefcase to Backpack] we share stories from career breakers through every stage of their break: from Contemplation and Preparation to On-the-Road and Re-Entry. You may have already been inspired by some of their voices. Well why not share your own? View our editorial guidelines.

Newsletter subscribers get an added dose of inspiration every two weeks. Plus, if you can’t stay up to date on our content, we give you a recap of what you may have missed. And as an added bonus, subscribers are the first to know about special news, exclusive deals, and announcements about upcoming webinars. Sign-up Now!


Your career break may be a year or two in the future, but that doesn’t mean your travel plans should remain on hold – start exploring the world in small stages!

Intrepid Travel’s small group tours are great for breaking up extended travel, but they are also a valuable way to explore parts of the world when you have limited time.

Imagine you are sipping wine on a vineyard tour near Mendoza, admiring the dramatic scenery of Chile’s Lakes District and then sampling tasty local delicacies in Bariloche on Intrepid’s “Best of Chile & Argentina” tour. Or walk the famed city walls of Dubrovnik, dine on traditional treats in Korcula, and sip a cocktail at a waterside bar in Hvar on “Explore Croatia”.

If that doesn’t whet your appetite for extended travel, we don’t know what will. Take advantage of the three-tiered discounts from Intrepid – get the best discount by booking by mid-November, but discounts also continue through next year!

Make the most of your e-Goody bag discounts with Intrepid now!

Career Break Guide Table of Contents

Meet Plan Go