Traveling with an eye toward becoming an expat may be the ultimate life-changing trip, but not necessarily a vacation.

Leisure travel and expat travel may seem like one and the same thing, but they aren’t. One adds fun, spice and color to your life. The other can lead to you becoming resident — or even a citizen — of another country.

So if you’re traveling with an eye toward ultimately moving abroad, whether temporarily or forever, you may have to approach expat travel a little differently. Because depending on the nation you have your heart set on, there can be a lot of devils in the details.

I mean, a LOT.

What does mean to you? It means this may be less of a vacation and more of a scouting trip. Preparation. Reconnaissance. A need to answer a seemingly limitless number of questions in a limited amount of time.

That means fewer visits to major tourist attractions, less time at the beach or the hot nightspots. Instead, more time spent checking which neighborhoods you’d love to call home and which ones you can actually afford.

How do rentals work, leases work? What kind of cash do you need to come in with for deposits? Utilities — how do you set them up, are they even reliable…and what are your options if they’re not?

Is the grid stable enough to let you work here remotely — and are you legally allowed to work here at all? What kind of permits or permissions do you need to do…well…anything?

What’s the cost-of-living like? What’s the healthcare system like? Will your existing health insurance be accepted? Is the country safe to live in?

That last one is important, because there are places in the world where you might not be treated with the same deference as a resident that you’d receive as a tourist.

In more ways than one, then, you’ve got a lot to unpack.

You need to identify the right offices, public and private, to help you. You need to connect with expats who’ve already completed the journey you’re thinking about launching, and can give you insights to help you navigate the road ahead.

And here at Trips by Greg, our research and connections can help you do all of that. So while we can’t guarantee you a perfect life in your new country of residence, we can help you smooth the path toward getting there.