Pre-Trip Planning

People planning a tripThe toughest thing about traveling around the world isn’t the logistics- it’s motivating yourself to get on the road. Congratulations, you’ve done that! It takes a lot of courage to do it and it’s a step most people never get past. Now, it’s time to start planning your trip around the world. Where do you begin? What do you do? Most travelers are overwhelmed by this. They don’t know where to start with their plans. What are you going to do with all your things? Your apartment? How will you pay your bills? Car? How do you handle money? The list seems endless. Don’t worry though- planning your round the world trip isn’t as hard as you might think. In fact, once you put everything on paper, it’s quite easy:

Bank Accounts- It’s important to get your finances in order before you go away. Beyond just having money to travel with, it’s important that you organize your money properly to make it work for you. We have a number of suggestions that will help make the banking process easier and have you earn a little money while you are out on the road.

Credit Cards- Picking the right credit card is as equally important as picking the right bank account. You want to minimize fees, maximize usability and security, and also get travel freebies- either cash back, airline miles, or hotel points as soon as you can.

Bills- You don’t want to have to worry about mailing in checks or checking ten different online accounts while away. The simplest thing to do is automate all your bills and have them charged to one credit card (one you did not bring on your trip). Simply pay that bill every month. It is much easier to remember to pay one bill than ten and far less time consuming.

Travel Budgets- One of the biggest things people wonder before they travel overseas is: how much will this cost me? Here is a break down of costs for various regions around the world.

Wills and Such- If you’re older, married, or have assets, it’s advisable that you get a will and proper life insurance. If something were to happen to you on the road, it is important that your family wouldn’t have any problems taking care of you or your assets.

Finding Cheap Airline Tickets- Knowing how to find a cheap flight is very important. Airfare will be your biggest expense, especially if you are traveling long distances. The most question question people begin with is should they buy an RTW ticket? We’ve done a cost benefit analysis of RTW tickets and, if you find they are not for you, don’t worry- there are plenty of ways to find cheap airfare.

Travel Insurance- Travel insurance is something you will need on the road. You never know what could happen and most domestic insurance plans won’t cover you overseas. If something is lost, stolen, you have an accident, or an emergency, travel insurance helps keeps you covered. There are many different plans and companies out there, but we have our own preference.

Travel Discount Cards- There are a number of travel discount cards available to travelers. If you are eligible for any or all of them, get them before you go. These cards can save a lot of money on tours, hostels, and transportation.

Vaccinations- Make sure you check with your local doctor for any vaccinations you may need. The last thing you want is to get sick on the road (we’ve experienced it and it’s not enjoyable). Typhoid, Hepatitis, and Tetanus are the basic shots to get and, if you are going to a malaria zone, make sure you get malaria pills. For more information, consult your doctor before you leave.

Selling Your Stuff- Get rid of it all! When you come back you’ll find you have a new appreciation for simplicity and you’ll be amazed at how much stuff you had that you didn’t really need so sell everything. Many times people go away and end up staying away- you don’t want to worry about your stereo while trekking in Nepal. Sites like Craigslist and Gumtree can help facilitate this process.

Choosing the Right Travel Backpack- This will be one of your most important pre-trip purchases, so you’ll want to do it right. You’ll be living out of it for the foreseeable future- you’re going want to make sure you get the right one.  On the most basic level, you’ll want a backpack with straps, padding, an internal frame, and one that is proportional to you.

Packing- Pack as little as possible. You only need half as much as you think (but double the money!). The bigger the pack you buy the more you will be temped to fill it. Before buying a backpack, write down what you’ll need to bring. Surprisingly you will find it is very little. Here is a list of some of the essentials.

My guide book on world travel can help you save even more money and will give you in depth information on the costs of every place in the world with more ways to save money on before you go and during your trip. PLUS, there are discounts and coupons on accommodation, flights, transportation, and tours worth over $1000 USD!! That’s some serious savings!