Getting ready for an extended period away exploring and travelling the world couldn’t be more exciting. But while it may seem like the exact opposite of the fun you’re planning to have, making sure you have your finances in order before you pack your bags and get on your way is in your best interests long term.

With plenty to settle at home before you go, do you need to cancel your rental agreement? Are your employers happy to give you extended unpaid leave with a guarantee of employment when you return or not? Have you got bills and debts that require settling before you’re too far away to address them? There is also plenty to be aware of once you’re on your travels too.

Establish your budget

While you’re saving to go travelling, come up with as detailed of a plan as possible, listing where you want to go and what you want to do while you’re there, researching local costs and possible places to stay. By planning for more and giving yourself a number to target before setting off, you will put yourself in the best possible position to avoid running out of funds while you’re away, maximising the time you spend stress-free and enjoying your trip, rather than fretting about finances. Guesswork will only get you so far, and while it may be a time-consuming task to undertake before you leave, you’ll appreciate it once you’re there.

Don’t travel without insurance

While nobody would want to invite accident or incident, it’s always prudent to plan for them, just in case. You can never be guaranteed of safe travel, your luggage staying intact or arriving along with you, your accommodation being exactly what you paid for or even your good health, so having the right travel insurance policy in place before you go is paramount. Not only will it cover any losses or breakages — within reason — should worst come to worst and you require medical attention while outside the care of the NHS, the spiralling fees won’t hurt your pocket as much as they may do otherwise.

Secure your cash and travel documents

While you can use cashless alternatives in some countries — travelling companies now offer cards that’re essentially modern travellers’ cheques that can be topped up via an app – not all territories are as technologically advanced, so having the local currency will be a must. As it’s unwise to carry all of the money with you at once, just in case, you should have contingency plans in place for how you’re going to store and access your complete funds. The same should be said of your travel documentation, too, as you’ll want to ensure your passport and any relevant printed booking confirmation are secure, so it may well be worth investing in a robust and discreet travel wallet before you depart.