Today marks the 100 day count down till my ‘Round The World adventure begins. Seeing that I’ve been building up to this adventure for quite some time I wanted to share 100 tips to help you prepare for your own RTW adventure. Also, for some more great RTW tips check out Traveling Canucks list of 15 things not to Forget and Legal Nomad’s Resource List.
Understanding your financial commitments for a RTW adventure allows you to make realistic preparations and ensures you understand your financial limitations. The biggest excuse people often give is that they can’t afford travel. The problem is they never truly tried to calculate the cost of RTW travel or explored the differences between vacationing and long term travel.
- Get rid of your belongings
- Connect with a travel friendly bank
- Get a checking account
- Get a credit card linked with an airlines or other reward program
- Make sure you have a spare account with at least one other bank in case of emergencies.
- Organize your finances and start saving
- Track your current expenses and organize your debtbefore you leave
- Set up a budget (Download a free Budget Spreadsheet)
- Find a way to earn extra money – a second job, rent out a room, etc
- Pay yourself first by putting a percentage of your earnings into your travel fund.
- Set up a Travel Expense Budget (Download a Free Travel Budget Form that I designed/stole off of Traveling Canucks)
- Plan to go over your budget to accommodate entertainment and splurge expenses
- Factor in miscellaneous expenses like taxi (using this International taxi fare calculator), laundry, tips, and souvenirs.
- Figure out how much you need to save by setting up a daily maximum expense (divide your savings by the length of your trip as a starting basis then see if you can lower your daily expenses)
- Compare your figure to what the average daily budget per country/region using BudgetYourTrip.com
- Decide on Travel style -
- Pay off your bills
- Set up automated payments for those that will continue after you leave
- Decide if you will be working while traveling
- Location independent
- Teaching English
Your health should always be a priority, but when you are considering exploring far off lands some things that you would traditionally take for granted can end up causing you trouble while traveling.
- Immunizations and Vaccinations
- Center for Disease Control Prevention
- Give yourself enough time for shots and budget for their expenses, some are spread out over 6 months
- Keep a copy of your immunizations with dates received
- Get traveler/medical insurance
- Get a check up from your Doctor, Dentist and Optometrist while you still have insurance
- Eat healthy
- Exercise and get in shape
- If you are going to impoverished countries consider water filtration
- Learn how to stay healthy while traveling
- Learn how to say your allergies, prescriptions, and medical needs in each country’s language.
- Inquire about extended supplies for your prescriptions
There is a lot of planning for your RTW adventure that is required before you even commit to the adventure itself. If you truly want to set off on a RTW adventure you need to consider all the practical pre-trip planning that go along with it.
- Sell house or notify landlord
- If renting explore subleasing options
- Consider Renting out your house or “Swapping“
- Plan on where you would like to go
- Research those countries
- What countries will require visas before entering?
- Create a Must See List
- What do other travelers/locals say
- Learn a new language – even if it is just a few basic words, it always helps to be able to communicate in a foreign country
- Take into consideration the time of year you want to travel, and the seasons that your travel destination will be in to avoid common RTW planning mistakes.
- Read travel blogs and get involved with the travel niche
- Make sure your passport will be valid the duration of your trip
- Do you have enough blank pages in your passport?
- Select a guide guidebook that fits your travel style
- Set a date and start working towards making it a reality
- Locate Volunteer opportunities
- Purchasing your plane ticket
Travel gear is a scary word that conjures up thoughts of over-priced items that suck your budget dry before you ever hit the road. Do you get the latest and greatest or bargain shop. What do you need before you set off and what can you buy while on the road. What you need depends on a lot of things but ultimately your pre-planning will dictate how prepared you are for your adventure.
- Create a packing list
- Make sure you pack according to the weather and season of the region you will be visiting
- Practice packing your backpack
- Weigh your luggage
- Get your supplies in order
- Break in your travel shoes
- Shower shoes/flip-flops
- Purchase your camera gear and make sure you know how to use it.
- Even if you have a DSLR make sure to bring a thin-cheap point and shoot camera
- Find a way to store your photos safely
- Pack basic medical supplies like Imodium
- Get packing organizers
- Try hiking with your gear packed to ensure comfort and to consider weight
- Consider your travel/adventure style
- Museum touring vs mountain trekking
- Get light weight – quick drying clothes
- Try out everything before you start traveling
- Leave empty space
- Socks and undies are essentials that are typically form fitting – don’t go cheap.
- Laptop vs Netbook vs Tablet
- You don’t need all three
- Security for laptops, cameraand money
- Packsafe bags
- Hidden pouches/money belts
- Know about digital security
- The unusual essentials
- Duct tape, string or twine
- Zip lock baggies
- Entertainment, for long traveling hours or just quiet nights, a deck of cards or an e-reader can go a long way
Some things, no matter how well prepared you are need to be done, or can’t be done, until the last minute. That, or they aren’t high on the priority list and can be pushed off until right before you leave.
- Get cash for each country you know you will be visiting. Enough to last you your first day there so you aren’t forced to use the nearest currency transaction station.
- Figure out how to communicate with those back home
- Create a blog
- Cancel subscriptions
- Forward your mail or go paperless
- Update your mailing address with companies/businesses (such as college loans, credit cards)
- Tell people, family, friends
- Figure out technology requirements
- Electrical outlets
- If subscriptions/services are available outside the US -Netflix and Pandora aren’t
- Quit your job
- Figure out how to store those things you can’t or shouldn’t sell/get rid of like family photos, your baby blanket you just can’t seem to throw away and probably your tax files.
- Let your bank know where you will be traveling with a rough itinerary
- Get an International Driving permit
- Cancel your cell phone
- Make copies of important documents
- Give a copy for someone back home
- Keep a copy for yourself on a flash drive, or in my case a private Google page.
- Take a picture of all your belongings for record keeping purposes – including luggage
- Have a going away party
- Plan a ride to the airport
- Going from one weather to another?
- Consider boosting your immune system with a vitamin boost
- Go tanning if you are heading somewhere tropical to give you a base tan so you don’t burn.
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