For many, travel and vacation occurs in a week to two-week spurts, sometimes less. There’s no real time to settle into a new city like a local.
But extended vacations or stays, especially abroad, can be life-changing experiences, allowing you time to learn the language, find favorite shops and embrace local foods and traditions.
Before you start planning your extended international stay, though, here are a few things to consider before you start packing your bags.
Consider vacation rentals
Chances are you will need a more permanent space than a hotel room or a hostel for a longer trip. Even if you plan to visit more than one place, consider booking vacation rentals.
Websites like VRBO, Airbnb and HomeAway are all good booking sources, and you can find a place that’s within your budget. Or talk to an experienced travel agent who should be able to help you find the right place to fit your vacation style.
» Learn more: 3 ways consumers benefit when hotels compete with Airbnb
Choose the right credit card
Credit cards will be accepted nearly everywhere you need to shop. But, consider a travel credit card that will benefit you as you spend.
If you need to grocery shop or buy gas, consider a card that will reward you with bonus points for spending money at stores and at the pump. Or consider a card that has no foreign transaction fees.
While it’s OK to be off the grid for a week, several weeks or months might worry your employer, family and friends. Get a SIM card for your cell phone at a local store once you arrive, and use free Wi-Fi when you can to log in to apps like WhatsApp to connect with your loved ones.
Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice:
NerdWallet’s top travel credit cards
9 credit card tips to take with you overseas
Foreign transaction fees: What it costs to use a debit card abroad