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To get a better overview about the time frame I've listed here the most important things you need to do before you can leave your home.

6-12 months before depature
  • Decide for yourself wheter you want to live your dream or dream your life

  • Decide what you want to experience/see on your trip - Do you want to do some volunteering, work during your travel or only travel? Do you need some start-up support from an organization?

  • Decide how long you want to travel

  • Set a rough travel route (with your travel buddy or by your own) 

  • Start saving money! 

6 months before departure
  • You should know now your "must-travel destinations"

  • You should have decided now what you want to focus on - volunteering or work & travel?

  • Talk to several organizations and book your first trip 

  • Set your first travel destination and look for flights / accomodations

  • Decide what you want to do with your apartment / car / job 

  • If you plan on doing a sabbatical inform your job as soon as possible

4 months before depature
  • Get the necessary vaccinations (if your family doctor does not have the necessary knowledge, you can visit a tropical institute)

  • Quit your apartment or look for a subtentant (ask your friends or students are always thankful)

  • Inform your job about your plans and if necessary quit it

  • After quitting your job immediately inform the labour agency 

  • Check all your contracts & insurances (wheter you need them still or can terminate them)

3 months before depature
  • Sell your car or deregister it (for that you need a place to leave it)

  • Arrange some last appointments for medical check-ups

  • Start seperating you from things in your housing you won't need anymore (sell your stuff at a fear market)

  • Check the validity of your passport / number of empty sites and ID

  • Check if you have an international vaccination card 

  • If not done yet, book your first flight and accomodation!

  • Looking & applying for visa if necessary

2 months before departure
  • Get your overseas health insurance 

  • Check your finances - inform your bank

  • Apply for different credit cards

  • Check the validity of your bank cards

  • Set up a seperate travel bank account

  • Check your online banking (TAN method should be executed by an app)

  • If possible set up an authority for your bank account (family member)

  • Check your standing orders and set up a new one if necessary

  • Get your backpacking equipement! 

4 weeks before departure
  • Get a new prepaid card for your phone with good conditions for messaging and calling from Germany to third countries and vise versa

  • Get biometric photos for your ID's and driver licenses 

  • Get passport photos for your application (if you plan working somewhere)

  • Get your international driver license

  • Get a clearance certificate

  • Change your postal address if necessary 

  • Move your stuff from your current home to your parents /friends home or garage (wherever you decided to store it during your journey)

  • Get yourself some cash in foreign notes of your first country (Dollars & Euro are accepted mostly everywhere) It makes more sense to get the foreign notes in the country though

  • Make your last purchases such as missing clothing, travel pharmacy, laptop/iPad or a camera

  • Check all your insurances and contracts again if there is anything missing you need to overwrite or terminate

  • Plan your farewell party!

7 days before departure
  • Make hard copies of all your important documents as well as saving them digital e.g. passport, ID, bank cards, vaccination card

  • If your start your journey by car get the necessary vignette

  • Unsubscribe any abos 

  • Check your documents (flight,-bus,-train-tickets)

  • Download travel apps

  • Arrange your music app (new playlists etc.)

  • Make sure you have enough space on your phone for pictures etc.

  • Repack your backpack a few times until you are totally satisfied (you all know in your case, less is more!)

  • Get yourself a travel diary, where you can note all important memories down, including pictures - perfect retreat to handle all your impressions!

  • Note down emergency numbers / important numbers of your close ones

  • Check everything for apartment handing if necessary 

  • Enjoy the last days with your close ones 

  • Enjoy your favorite meals (maybe your family will prepare it for you)

  • Treat yourself and looking forward to the departure day!

The evening before departure
  • Online check-in (check your flight status) if necessary

  • Pack your backpack a last time!

  • Empty your fridge 

  • Charging your phone / camera / power bank / headphones

  • Be excited and happy!

Finally . . . the day of departure!
  • Get up by time in order not to forget something or miss your plane etc.!

  • Make a last check if you got everything!

  • Switch the lights off, close the door and get in the car! (Definitely, there will be friends and family who will bring you to the airport, train station etc.)

  • Tearful goodbye & joyful anticipation!

Of course, it can all be planned in a shorter time as well, but this is the recommended timeframe if you don't want to have stress. For me, it was perfect, because I like to start planning in time in order to avoid stress and not to forget anything. 

If you want to start planning right now I can send you the pdf version (in German) I've prepared for my subscribers.

Thanks for submitting!

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