Whether you’re taking a sabbatical from work, enjoying time off between jobs, or just reveling in your retirement, there are few things more wonderful than an extended vacation. Going away and completely immersing yourself in somewhere new is great for rejuvenating your senses and giving yourself a fresh start. However, leaving home for a long time can sometimes be stressful. Reduce risks, and have a stress-free extended vacation with these helpful tricks.

Create a Rough Itinerary Well in Advance

A vacation where you plan everything by ear, just going where your mood takes you can sometimes end up causing travelers more stress in the long run. A basic itinerary, as well as travel essentials like train or plane tickets and accommodation, can help you feel at ease no matter where you are in the world. You can still opt to create your own itinerary each day, but the rough outline means you can relax knowing you have a guaranteed place to sleep each night or an idea of what you want to see.

Plan Communication Along the Way

Whether you’re relaxing at a beach house in Belize or backpacking through Europe, friends and family back home will want to stay in touch. Before you leave, give some thought to how you will communicate, and how often that will be. You might make a habit of calling home once each week on a set day, or you can organize to send emails every 48 hours. Make sure at least someone knows you are safe and on schedule.

Handle Any Pending Matters before You Leave

The last thing you want to worry about when on an extended vacation is whether your taxes have been paid, and whether a pending legal matter is going to need attention. Just because these things are on your schedule, doesn’t mean you can’t get away. Make time to clear up these issues before leaving so you know you’ll be coming back to an organized life.

Care for Your Home While You’re Away

Although friends and neighbors can be great house-sitters, it might be asking too much of them for a long trip. Instead, or in addition to a neighbor, pay a caretaker to come in once a week and check on everything from the security system, to your plants. You might also want to make plans for your belongings if you are leaving your apartment for a  while like putting very valuable things away in storage or in another’s care. You can get things such as power of attorney for loved ones who might have to deal with your estate while you are away or in case you don’t return.

Contact Your Bank before the Trip

You don’t want to spend a single day of your vacation concerned about finances or how to transfer money between bank accounts. Make sure you have a budget in mind before you depart and contact your bank to let them know exactly where you’ll be traveling, as well as which cards and accounts you will need access to during that time.

With these tips and tricks in mind, you can plan a stress-free extended vacation anywhere in the world.