First and foremost, eliminate what bills you can then automate the remainder. One of the biggest wastes of money while you’re away is paying rent in an unused apartment. See if you can take this opportunity to end your lease and move your stuff into storage until you get back. The best storage is free storage so, hopefully, you’re on good terms with your parents. For me, I took the plunge and got rid of everything except for three boxes of keepsakes and winter clothes. One box was my DVD collection which, in hindsight, was a complete waste of a box – as everything is downloadable now.
A List Of Things You Must Do Before You Come To Thailand Photo Gallery
Put your stuff in Storage. If you must store your things find the cheapest storage possible. I used a service where they deliver a huge metal shipping container pod to my front door; I filled it up and they picked it up a day later to stack on top of other units. The downside to these pods (since they are stacked on top of each other) is you don’t have easy access to them like other storage units; however, the great thing about them is you can still call ahead to get things out or, better yet, just have them deliver it to your new apartment when you get back, saving you moving trucks. I packed up my container in Orange County and had them deliver it up to Los Angeles, about an hour away, for no additional charge.
Okay, so I know some of you are only going to Thailand for 2 weeks and don’t want to pack up your whole life for it. In that case, still try to eliminate and automate your life as much as possible before you come. There is a 50% chance that once you’re in Thailand, training Muay Thai, MMA, travelling, scuba diving or doing what you love, you’ll want to either extend your trip or stay indefinitely. Trust me, I’ve met hundreds of guys at the camps here and I would say that at least 20% just say “fuck it!” and stay longer than they planned, regardless of any preparation on their part. So, even if you don’t anticipate staying longer than planned, it’s a good idea to have it be an option – just in case.
Sublet your apartment.
If you’re going to be gone for 1 month (or longer) sublet your apartment. It’s a huge waste of money to pay rent while you’re away. If you’re worried about your things, it’s still cheaper to spend $100 and put all your things in storage for a month than it would be to pay a full month’s rent just to have the peace of mind that no one’s touching your stuff. If you own your house and are paying a mortgage, hire an agent or manager to look after your rental property while you’re away. Three months of rent is huge and even if you’re giving 10% to your manager you’re still way ahead. Don’t be lazy and leave your house empty while you’re away; put your stuff in storage and rent it out while you’re gone. The act of putting your stuff in storage is a fantastic way to gauge what you really need and to eliminate the things you don’t.
Visas and Passport.
If you’re reading this and you don’t have a valid passport, stop and go get one – now! If you wait until the last minute you’ll have to pay all sorts of crazy expedite fees and overnight shipping. You’ll need a passport that’s valid for at least 6 months from your last entry. To play it safe, make sure your passport is valid for at least another year and, if you have the option when renewing it, get one with extra posts as visa runs will quickly fill it up with stamps.
Even if you think you’re only going to be in Thailand for less than a month don’t settle for the free 30 day on arrival visa. Spend the $30 and get a 2 month tourist visa instead. This gives you 60 days with the option to extend it – for another 30 – without leaving the country. I’ve met tons of guys who ended up staying longer and had to do annoying visa runs to Myanmar (Burma) just to get an extra two weeks stay. The current visa rules – for most countries – are you get 30 days free exemption if you arrive by airplane, and if you arrive by land you get 15 days (hence the visa run to Myanmar). If you see your country on this list you can technically just show up without a visa and get 30 days for free.