Before we started cruising, a lot had to be organized home. We herein describe our preparations for traveling the world.
At home, the paperwork started. Depending on your travel budget this means selling the apartment, renting it out, canceling it or just leave it as if on vacation. In any case hundreds of items have to be considered such as organizing mail delivery, canceling power and phone, renew bank and credit cards and possibly switch to online retrievable mail .... The cars need to be sold or otherwise housed. Ultimately, the goal is to cut running costs and get rid of exceeding items.
Our costs before traveling included private pension plans, club contributions and other insurance that you do not necessarily need - everything was either terminated or deferred as far as possible.
Health insurance was a big issue for us and we spent a lot of time organising new plans while traveling. Since in Germany private and statutory health insurance companies abroad pay only limited for medical expenses and are far more expensive as compared to health insurance plans for expats, we froze our German plans. Instead, we set up a new family health insurance plan for long-term stays abroad. Compared to German domestic health insurance, the foreign health insurance is relatively cheap - at least if all family members are younger than 65 years. Such insurance must be paid in advance and should be completed before the trip from Germany so that the insurance coverage is given, for many providers, the maximum insurance period is 5 years. We have ensured that home leave is also insured, if we temporarily need to return to Germany or want.
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The following things were especially important for our travel plans:
We worked with Jimmy Cornell's World Cruising Routes to estimate distance and weather conditions. In addition, the pilot charts, which are also available as a plugin in OpenCPN are helpful. Detailed planning is provided by local cruising guides such as RCC Atlantic Islands, Reeds nautical Almanac, Windward Islands, Panama Cruising Guide and some open source guides we found on www.freecruisingguides.com.
As we didn´t manage to find shops to purchase curtesy flags along the European coast we already bought some for our global travels in advance in Germany.
As an immunologist, I carefully plan for adequate vaccination protection and recommend to take a look at the vaccination record before leaving. In addition to the vaccinations recommended in Germany by the Standing Vaccination Commission (mumps, measles, rubella, pertussis, diphtheria, hepatitis B, tetanus, polio, Haemophilus influenza type B, pneumococci, meningococci, rotavirus) one may also think of vaccinations against diseases occurring in other places.
I recommend to consult a physician or - if you want to go to tropical regions - to get advice from a tropical institute. Which vaccinations are required depends on the exact itinerary. For our potential journey (Europe, Caribbean, Panama, French Polynesia, Southeast Asia) we considered the following:
Before departure, we went to the necessary child care examinations. In addition to the pediatrician we took the children to ENT and ophthalmologist. We all went to the dentist. Please do not forget the gynecologist and other doctors in case you need maintenance thereapeutics.
! (Medies.jpg? Classes = left) Medicines that could be useful for the on-board pharmacy are very well collected in the book of Meinhard Kohlfahl "medicine at sea". Basically, the book explains first aid measures on board, but also compiles a list of medicines recommended on board. The medication list includes simple mild painkillers but also describes medicines that might be useful for more serious illnesses or emergencies. As a layman often can not decide which drugs to be taken for certain symptoms, one can contact physicians at [Medico Cuxhaven] (http://www.medico-cuxhaven.de) in an emergency for support. The doctors make an effort to provide a remote diagnosis after telephone consultation and select correct medication or procedures on board. Since the recommendations for the medicinal cabinet also include prescribed drugs, it is advisable to work through the list with a doctor at home. What medications we carry on board are listed hier: [Medicinal cabinet] (/ moya / on-board pharmacy)
Since there is compulsory schooling in Germany, homeschooling is difficult for German parents, thus we wanted to start our trip before Joshua becomes a first grader. We unsubscribed both kids from the kindergarten and already organized a Kindergarten for Jonathan upon our return. For Joshua, we wanted to conduct the school entrance examination early, and contacted the regional health department, but failed as Joshua was still too young. Additionally, we contacted the future school and figured that before school entry, children must be registered personally. To enable school registration, we have issued a power of attorney to the grandparents. Day care (after school) needed to be organized in addition.