How to prepare for traveling the world?

How to prepare for traveling the world?

Things to prepare before traveling

That's it. It is time to leave everything behind, and go for the adventure of a lifetime, a tour around the world.

What will happen? Where to start? Where to go? What to do? How to prepare? So many questions to answer before going, but, really, most of them don't even matter.

What is really important, is to have completed the international travel documents checklist, have checked what to bring and how to pack, have a travel or backpacker travel insurance, and have sufficient funds or be able to make money while traveling.

After that, finding cheap flights around the world is pretty easy. The itinerary should actually be done accordingly - or, more likely, be flexible accordingly.

Cheap flights and hotels around the world

How to travel the world cheap

I am going in a few days, on 11th of March, to start my year long world tour, with a budget of 24000$, or about 2000$ per month for a one year travel. You will be able to read all about it in my blog.

I have met before people that have been on a world tour. The first one went to his wife on a backpacking year long world tour, and it did cost them 20000€ per person, the most expensive length of the trip being in America.

Another one went by bicycle around the world with his girlfriend, and spent more like 10000€ per person for a one year trip with a lot of camping.

My world tour will be different, as my idea is to stay in different countries, rent a flat, use my miles for free hotel nights, or use Couchsurfing, whenever possible.

These are actually the best ways to stay for cheap, and it's how to travel the world on 50$ a day, which is the equivalent of 1500$ a month, a big salary in most countries: live like a local when possible, and think staying with locals by finding a shared room instead of staying in hotels, although in some cases it can also be a good solution.

Couchsurfing: Meet and Stay with Locals All Over the World

International travel documents checklist

Before leaving, make sure you have filled this checklist:

  • ability to access remotely all government websites like taxes, and personal bank accounts, even after having lost your belongings,

  • passport is valid more than 6 months after planned trip end,

  • international travel insurance has been contracted for long enough,

  • vaccinations are up to date (yellow fever for South America and Africa for example),

  • necessary visas have been contracted, where necessary.

What to bring when traveling

This question had me thinking for a while. Take a luggage ? Stick with a backpack?

At the end, people that I have met earlier that went on a world tour, all went with a backpack. Why only a backpack? There are many reasons:

  • no extra fee for luggage check,

  • allow for more movement,

  • is discreet and allows to pass as a local,

  • everything in one place, easier to secure.

And as of what to bring, here is my personal checklist of what to bring for a world tour:

  • one week worth of clothes, half leisure and half party,

  • shoes for business and leisure, plus flip flops,

  • a bag with medicines that I regularly use and a few plasters,

  • a plastic bag with liquids (perfume/contact lenses),

  • a hand bag able to fit the necessary extra items (phone, chargers, ...).

And... that's all. My whole life, all I really need to live, able to fit in one cabin sized travel bag. Everything else can actually being dumped.

If necessary, just buy it. Clothes can be bought anywhere. Pharmacies generally have everything in most cases.

Backpacker travel insurance

One very important thing to check before leaving, is having a proper travel insurance. The one with your credit card will only work if the whole trip is paid with that exact card, might not cover a real emergency (think 500 000€ bill for a helicopter rescue), might not work in all countries, and will most likely not cover you if the trip takes longer than three months.

There are many options for world trip travel insurances, that covers all countries on Earth (except North Korea), and all kind of issues. I personally bought one with Allianz insurance, formerly called Mondial Assistance, that I use every time I need a travel insurance better that my credit card. The insurance cost me 640€ for one year, and can be extended one year more in case I decide to stay longer.

World tour Travel Insurance - Affordable Plans Starting at $23 Backpacker travel insurance

However, there are other world tour travel insurances available, some of them might even be cheaper, but I did read online that they might not cover all countries. Check it for yourself.

World Nomads - Explore Your Boundaries Backpacker travel insurance

How to make money traveling

There are many ways to make money while traveling, in case your budget is not enough to cover the whole cost.

Have you considered part time jobs, such as winter sports support or summer apple picking jobs?

Out of seasons, it might be possible to work in jobs such as grape harvest, or other kind of local food where you are traveling.

It is also possible, providing that your language level is sufficient for the place in which you are, to do part time jobs such as waiter or cleaning dishes.

Temporary Winter Jobs, Employment | Indeed.com
Temporary Summer Jobs | Glassdoor

Another solution, which is the one I use, is to work remotely. If you are not already setup as a freelancer, create your own personal company in your home country before leaving, if your country allows it, and you are ready to work anywhere and invoice clients.

Think about what you know: can you do copy writing? IT development? Design? Teach? There are tons of possibilities.

Find Freelance Jobs Online - Freelancer

Starting your own website is also a solution, in which case, the best way to monetize it is through advertisement, by using an ads mediation company such as Ezoic - they will find the best paying ads for you, which will significantly grow the income you make with Google Ads for example, as they compare ads from tenths of agencies, and display the highest paying ones on your website.

Increase ad revenue 50-250% with Ezoic. A Google Certified Publishing Partner.

Cheap flights around the world

Finding cheap flights really isn't the issue. Especially if you're only traveling with a backpack, and are flexible on the timing.

Then, you can easily find intercontinental flights for 300$, by checking different dates.

For example, I am starting my world tour from France. I found a flight Luxembourg to New York for 200$.

After USA, I'll be going to French Polynesia, and got a flight for 350$.

Not bad, isn't it? Always compare prices on several websites to make sure to get the best prices, such as the ones below: WhereCanIFLY , Skyscanner, Kayak .

WhereCanIFLY? Cheap flights around the world
Skyscanner - cheap flights around the world
Kayak - cheap flights around the world
Cheap flights around the world

Travel the world for a year itinerary

Preparing an itinerary for a year long round the world trip can be tricky.

However, a good starting point could be Wikipedia: which countries can you access without visas, and that you haven't visited yet? Try to aim for these ones, especially the ones that does not seem to cost much, and where there are much activities to do.

Category:Visa requirements by nationality - Wikipedia

My personal travel itinerary, leaving from France, and subject to any change, as I have only booked the first few countries so far:

  • departure from France,

  • first flight in Luxembourg,

  • a night in Portugal,

  • USA: one week in New York, one week in Orlando, one week in Las Vegas, few days in San Francisco,

  • April in French Polynesia,

  • May in New Zealand,

  • June in Australia,

  • July in Philippines,

  • August in South Korea,

  • September in Vietnam,

  • October in Kazakhstan,

  • November in Israel,

  • December in Senegal.

StarAlliance round the world ticket

At first, I was thinking about getting myself a round the world ticket with StarAlliance, the airline alliance that I am using for more than 600 flights over 10 years, and with which I could get a world tour for free using my miles.

It is also possible to buy the world tour with money instead of miles.

However, I did a simulation with my draft itinerary, and came with the following conclusions:

  • it is designed for a 2 weeks fixed vacation,

  • must be booked by phone with a counselor that knows nothing about travel,

  • costs most than booking one way tickets individually,

  • is not flexible at all - one flight missed, the whole trip is canceled,

  • the number of stops is limited,

  • it is not possible to change, the whole world tour must be planned before departure,

  • airports must be connected, no possibility to include a coast to coast US road trip for example, or must come back to departure point for the next flight,

  • it is a loss of miles! separate segments can be bought for less miles and more flexible than a round the world ticket.

Example1: a world tour Germany - Costa Rica - Canada - Australia - South Korea - Kazakhstan - Germany, costs 3800€ with the StarAlliance round the world ticket, while a similar option on WhereCanIFLY costs only 2600€... a huge 30% saving!! And by booking separate single segments, it is even possible to lower the bill even more...

Example2: a short world tour Germany - USA - Japan - UAE - Germany, costs 3000€ with the StarAlliance round the world ticket, while a similar option can be found for 2400€, a 20% saving... definitely not worth the trip.

Round The World - Star Alliance

Round the world trip wrap

In definitive, and writing this a few days before my own first world tour will start, this are the takeaways:

  • do not plan too much, and buy one way segments,

  • be flexible on destinations and timing,

  • travel with carry on backpack only,

  • rent flats and stay longer instead of hotels and moving all the time.

Have a great world tour if you are planning one, and if not, hope you will enjoy following mine!

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