What to Plan for a Trip Around the World
Travelling around the world does, unfortunately, require a certain amount of planning before you leave. Usually the more experienced you are in travelling, the less you tend to plan, which is great because it allows you to have that kind of flexibility that makes travelling a fun experience. But if you are preparing for the first extensive trip in your life and you have no idea what you are getting into, then you probably want to plan a little bit more thoroughly.
In the beginning everything might seem quite overwhelming, especially if you are only experienced in planning out short vacations. Obviously I was facing the same issue myself. After years of having only short vacations and trying to make the most out of the limited amount of time, it was simply an impossible task to plan out a year-long trip through many countries.
One of the first things I did when I decided to travel for a year, was to write down a list of all the countries in the world that I wanted visit. Since I obviously wanted to see a lot, including many smaller places is European, I ended up with a list of about 50 countries. A year only has 52 weeks and when realizing that I would only have about one week to travel in each country, I came to two conclusions: On the one hand the world was too big to see in one year and, on the other, it would probably be better to spend longer time in fewer destinations.
In the end I settled for a lot less countries and a Round the World Ticket to keep moving efficiently throughout the year. Also the RTW ticket made me feel comfortable in a way, because my one year trip had a somewhat planned structure. Luckily besides the ticket I wasn’t able to plan for more than the first two months of my trip. By the time they were over, it had become obvious that there was actually no need to plan things too far in advance and I felt comfortable enough to rather wing it for the remaining time.
What had become quite clear during the first two months of my trip was that planned events are nothing but an annoyance. They take away a lot of the flexibility that makes long-term travelling so attractive and they even collide with unplanned events like Miserable Sick Days. Having some kind of flexibility and sufficient time allows you to feel that you are living in several countries, rather than just travelling around on a set vacation schedule.
Still, the question of whether you need that overall structure for your trip or are comfortable doing everything by yourself and on the road remains. The choices you have are the Round the World Ticket, which can be attractive in price and coverage, or the Do It Yourself Ticket, which can be more flexible. Both choices largely depend on where you want to go and how much time you have. While the RTW gives you peace of mind and a set cost at the beginning of the trip, the DIY keeps you busy during your trip, trying to find the next cheap flight. You can find a more detailed comparison of these two options under the After Travel section.
So what should you really plan before you go on your world trip? Well it really all depends on your level of comfort, your experience, your style of travelling and where you want to go. At the very least you want to address preparational items like vaccinations, visas, travel insurance and access to money before you go. Everything else should be planned out as little as possible.
- Travel light with a Backpack
- How to pack for a World Trip
- What to bring for long-term Travel
- How to dress while Travelling around