There’s nothing quite as liberating and educational as traveling around the world. For many people, it’s just a dream that they never think they will be able to fulfil, but it’s not really as difficult as it might seem if you have the time to do it and, essentially, put the right planning in place before you go.
There are a number of things you need to factor in during your round-the-world traveling planning. Some may seem obvious but can be easy to forget in the excitement of the process, while some may need a little more thought.
Here are some suggestions to help you prepare for what is likely to be a life-changing experience.
Where do you want to go?
Yes, it seems obvious, but actually is the most important thing you can do to start with because it’s the lead in to the rest of your planning. Don’t be afraid of thinking big. You can always tinker with your itinerary later but aim as high as you can. Want to visit the Great Wall of China, the ruins of Machu Picchu, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef or go on safari in Africa? Check everything out that you might want to do, use maps and social media to inform yourself, and be as adventurous as you feel confident with.
How long do you want to go for?
There are three considerations to begin with. How much money have you got, how will it fit with your job (for example would you need a sabbatical or extended leave), or are you going to quit your job to get the freedom of doing what you want?
You may need to work on narrowing the list of places you want to visit simply because of time constrictions. If a safari is all you want to do in Africa maybe save that for another trip in the future. Be realistic about your timings and how long you will actually be traveling for to reach your destination.
Make final decisions
You’ve done the research so now finalize your route and decide how you’re going to get to the places you’ll be visiting. In particular check out the best way to get flights as cheaply as possible. Round-the-world tickets can save money and hassle but if you’re savvy and prepared to do it yourself you could book a whole range of cheap flights, possibly saving you money andalso giving you flexibility.
Organizing the budget
This is where you get to the nitty-gritty of world traveling – how much money will you have? It can be an expensive business taking into account flights and other forms of travel (boats, trains, etc.), accommodations (even though you can cut costs by staying in hostels and cheap hotels and B&Bs), the cost of insurance and visas, food and drink and trips to attractions.
Budgeting for travel is where a savings account can be useful, enabling you to build up a substantialamount of money for a period before you travel, and lookfora savings account that will accrue some decent interest on your capital. You could also earn money when you’re traveling if you have particular skills, such as teaching English as a foreign language or doing web design, something you can do for clients wherever you are if you have a reliableinternet connection.
Doing the final checks
It’s a big undertaking to travel the world so go back over all your planning to make sure everything adds up in terms of destinations, routes, timings and, as far as possible, money. Try to have a contingency fund that you can access in an emergency. Traveling, especially to some countries, is not risk free so it’s better to be prepared on the off chance that something could go wrong, but don’t let it put you off. Make sure you know how long it will take visas to come through and plan your departure accordingly. Check up whether or not you need particular vaccinations for countries you visit and ensure you get them as you may find that if you fall ill when you’re away the medical facilities in some places may be few and far between. And get comprehensive travel insurance to guard against illness, accidents, severe travel delays and loss of money and possessions.
Have a great time!
There are few things more exciting than taking the plunge into traveling the world. With the right preparation and planning you’ll be ready for the experience of a lifetime.