Part 1 here.
Treat the planning process with respect. People have this notion that you’ll be traveling for a long period of time and that you’re life will be a perpetual vacation for that time so why worry about anything? WRONG – before it’s all fresh mangoes on the beach and riding camels you must prepare thoroughly. I’m talking packing lists, VISAs, vaccination appointments, travel documents, banking system with securities built in for if your credit/debit card gets lost or stolen etc. Pretty much think of everything that can go wrong and then think of a Plan B. I’ve got a pretty intense excel document with lots of tabs with a project charter, task list, locales, budget etc. Ultimately, if you’re going to travel around the world – you MUST be highly organized – from your packing list to your budgeting.
Decide where you want to go. Pretty obvious this one, but probably one of the most challenging ones – if you’ve never been to Asia – how do you know what country will resonate with you? For my trip in particular I was motivated by a couple of factors:
Natural Inclinations: Doesn’t make sense to go mountain climbing if you hate the outdoors or are afraid of heights. Do you dislike the heat? Love the beach? India was top of my list because of my experience in yoga and a strong spiritual curiousity. Burma is an odd yet unique choice but the country is in a rare state of purity after only just allowing in outsiders after 40 years and Bali – well Bali is just beautiful (and highly influence by my travel partner as a destination) and how can I call myself a global citizen if I’ve never known Paris or Rome?
What type of experience are you looking for? Spiritual enlightenment, personal growth, alone time, reflection, endless parties on the beach, great shopping, crossing things off your bucket list (like doing a yoga pose on top of an elephant maybe), meeting new people etc.
Price: Asia is a popular choice because the cost of living is fairly low which means I can travel longer.
Budget. So there’s a reason this is lower on the list. I’m a firm believer of: if you can dream it, you can do it and where there’s a will there’s a way. For me in particular, saving for this trip has not been without sacrifice of course – fewer nights out, moving back in with my family for a year, consistent focus and lots of excel sheets to figure out ticket prices, average monthly living in each country to be visited and lots and lots of research. It can be done!
Booking Tickets – I used AirTreks to book my flights for a ridiculously low price that includes travel insurance and they do all of your legwork by working with your dates and packaging it all together. This makes sense if you’re going to a number of different countries but perhaps not so much if you’re only going to one or two. The only caution for RTW travelers is that once these tickets are booked they can be hard to cancel or change flights etc.
Got travel plans or more tips? Share them by commenting below!