Preparing a trip around the world isn’t an easy task. It requires a lot of patience to research the places you want to visit, as well as booking your flight and accommodation. However, if you are willing, you can certainly make such a trip both memorable and exciting. Here are ten tips which can help:
Photo Credit: Time is Money by Tax Credits, on Flickr
Time and money: Planning such a long trip requires time, but also funds. Can you safely quit your job or ask for a leave for several months? Do you have the money to not only arrange your accommodation, but also spend on yourself? Are you travelling over the Christmas holiday, or are you planning a one-year adventure? If you’re planning on organizing such a trip, make sure you start saving up early and find the best time in which you can actually go. It is always good to know if you will have a job to come back to once your trip is over, especially if you’ll be gone for several months.
Get fit and healthy: Get yourself in good physical shape before you start your travels. Travel can be tiring and you’ll need more energy than for working 40-hours a week in a cubicle. Hit the gym, build muscle and increase your cardiovascular fitness. Watch your diet before you leave and you’ll be setting yourself up for healthier travels on the road. It can be hard to eat right if you’re travelling a lot so consider bringing along a supply of gold standard whey for when you can’t manage a proper meal.
Photo Credit: Vaccination by Sanofi Pasteur, on Flickr
Get vaccinated: You might need vaccination depending on which country you decide to travel to. Use the CDC website to find out if your destinations require vaccinations. Don’t forget to bring your international vaccination certificate, as custom officials might ask you if you’ve taken your shots. If you’re afraid of losing it, always keep a few copies with you, or even scan the certificate and store it in your e-mail account. In addition to this, you might want to get some form of health insurance for travellers.
Leaving things behind: It is guaranteed that you’ll be gone for a long while, so you definitely need to figure out what you’re going to do with your house. If you have been renting an apartment, you need to figure out if you’re going to keep paying the rent while you’re gone, or moving out permanently. If you’ve decided on leaving, then you also need to decide what you’re going to do with all your stuff. You can’t bring your bookshelves with you on holiday. You can opt to store all your items somewhere and take them back when you return, or you can simply ask a friend or a relative to store them for you. Also, if you own an apartment, you can easily rent it out to someone while you’re gone and have an extra source of money you can use during your trip.
Photo Credit: Mail by Bogdan Suditu, on Flickr
Mail and taxes: While you’re looking over living arrangements, make sure you also save enough time to figure out where you will receive your mail while you’re gone. At the same time, you might need to send a couple of packages full of the souvenirs you’ve bought during your trip. Talk to the post office and see the solutions you can come up with. Another issue is for some is preparing their tax documents. Scan all important documents and carry copies on your laptop or tablet to avoid any problems.
Buying the right ticket: Now that you’ve solved the basics, you need to decide where you’re going to take this trip around the world. Put together a list of the countries you would most like to visit and what you would like to do in each. After that, go online and look into purchasing a RTW ticket which uses only one airline alliance. By choosing this method and buying your ticked beforehand, you can save a lot of money, and you can also change your flights easily (for an extra charge) if you want to stay in a country longer at the very last minute. There are certain rules you need to follow if you decide to buy a RTW ticket, such as booking your flights before departure, but this won’t hinder you from enjoying your trip, and you can visit a great number of countries where airlines from a particular alliance fly to.
Photo Credit: Around the world by Justin.li, on Flickr
Picking the right destination: Let’s pretend you already have a list of countries or cities you would most like to visit. One of the things that you need to know is that prices vary considerably depending on where you’d like to go. If you want to visit well-known cities like London, New York or Sydney, you will find some very cheap RTW tickets. However, if you’re planning on going to lesser known places, then prices might rise considerably. However, if you have a small daily budget, then you’d be better off avoiding popular places such as North America or Western Europe, and opting for countries in South America or South East Asia, for example.
Avoid visa and exchange rate problems: It is important to know where you want to go from the start, especially since you might need a visa to get to certain places. Each country has a different visa system, so do your research beforehand to know if you have to buy your visa when you enter the country or before. Also, make sure you find out when you can exchange money. Some countries, such as Morocco, restrict travellers from exchanging money before their arrival. In this case, you will simply have to do that when you arrive at the airport. Also, make sure you’re always aware of the exchange rate. Sometimes it might be advantageous to exchange more money right away, while at other times it might be better to wait a day.
Photo Credit: packing by jaymiek, on Flickr
Pack light: Many people have this problem, whether they’re travelling around the world or not. However, if you’re going to places with different types of climate, you definitely need to think long and hard about what to bring and what to leave behind. Don’t pick up unnecessary items which you can buy along the way, such as a spare toothbrush or a second bottle of shampoo. You can easily find those in supermarkets! Bring only a few pairs of shoes which you can combine with different outfits, and make sure to put comfort in first place. Naturally, you want to look your best during your trip, but you also don’t want to feel miserable. At the same time, you might pick up souvenirs or new clothes during your trip, so it’s best not to over pack and save enough space for those as well.
Sometimes it is best to have a back-up: This is particularly important if you’re taking your camera wit you. Bring extra batteries in case they run out in the middle of the day, or they simply stop working. Also, you can bring a few memory cards with you if you’re travelling for a long time, or if you’re simply the type of person who likes taking lots of pictures. These items don’t take up a lot of space, and they’re certainly not heavy, so you can make room for them easily.
These are some basic tips which will help you start organizing your RTW trip. Whether you’ll be gone for two weeks, or two months, or even a whole year, it is important to plan ahead and take care of all the necessary formalities.
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