Your dream is finally about to come true: you’re going on a trip around the world! It’s time to discover new horizons and different lifestyles, explore the traditions and food of other countries, meet new people, learn new languages, and have the experience of a lifetime. In this article, you will find all tips you need to prepare for your world tour.
Table of Contents
Travel solo or in a group
For some people, travelling alone comes naturally, while others would be terrified of the idea. However you feel about it, it’s undeniable that when you travel alone, you tend to have more conversations with strangers and make more new friends.
Some people travel solo because it is in their nature to be alone and they enjoy their own company, while others do it as a personal challenge, to push themselves outside of their comfort zone.
Travelling alone is not always a choice either – you might simply have no-one to travel with! Leaving your home country and a stable job and launching into the unknown can be scary to many people. Not all professions offer the opportunity to take a year’s sabbatical and have a guaranteed job when you come home. That said, if you have no other choice but to travel alone, nothing is stopping you from meeting up with friends or family in another country and going some of the way with them.
If you travel alone, you won’t be restricted in where you go or what you see. When travelling as a group, it can be hard to agree on what countries to visit and what places to go to. Tastes differ from person to person. You may be a fan of museums and natural history and love the beach, while your travel partner might prefer hiking and other outdoor activities. There are also time and budgetary constraints to consider. Maybe you would like to stay in Rio for a week, while your partner only wants to stay two or three days.
It’s also very possible that you and your travel buddy will butt heads when it comes to your budget. If you like to travel in comfort – sleeping in hotels, taking taxis, eating in restaurants etc. taking public transport and eating in local markets – things could get a bit complicated!
Traveling alone is rewarding! You will still meet other travellers, get to know the locals and ultimately never feel alone in your adventures.
Some people cannot see themselves travelling other than as a couple or with friends. This is easier when you’re on the same page, especially if you’re a couple. Sharing experiences can bring you closer together and create memories to last a lifetime.
Have a health check-up
Before leaving for a trip around the world, it is important to have a health check-up with a GP. Consult your doctor or a health centre to get the vaccinations recommended for each destination you are going to visit. Also remember to visit your dentist, to make sure you don’t have to deal with a toothache thousands of kilometres from home! Also find out about potential health concerns in the countries you are going to visit and purchase adequate travel insurance. You never know what might happen during a long trip. Having comprehensive health insurance for your world tour is absolutely necessary!
Read more: Backpacker Travel Insurance
Evaluate your travel budget
Make sure you look at the travel blogs of other world travellers. Travel bloggers will often share a summary of their budget over the course of a year (or more). You can take inspiration from these blogs, but remember that every trip is different! You will certainly not have the exact same itinerary and won’t necessarily want to do all the same activities etc. In short, you won’t travel the exact same way as someone else! An estimated budget for a trip around the world is around €15,000, but this can be lower or much higher. There are elements of your journey that can help you establish what budget your budget should be. If you choose to travel for a long time in Asia for example, your expenses will be lower. The same is true for certain countries in South America.
Generally speaking, to get as close as possible to your final budget, the key word is “anticipation”! Divide your expenses into categories and list all the necessary elements. Here is a list of the main expense items to take into account when setting your budget:
- Travel equipment (backpack, water bottle, sleeping bag, hiking shoes, clothes, etc.)
- Plane tickets
- Visas (for the country you are going to or the country where you will stop over)
- Vaccinations (yellow fever, hepatitis A and B, rabies, typhoid, etc.) and treatments (for malaria, for example)
- Medicine kit (plasters/bandages, antihistamine cream, anti-venom, anti-nausea, painkillers, diarrhoea medication, disinfectant, sunscreen, thermometer, compresses, etc.)
- Health/travel insurance
- Vehicle rental (car, scooter, bike) and/or transport (bus, tuk tuk, train, etc.)
- Accommodation (youth hostels, hotels, unusual places, etc.)
- Activities (scuba diving, climbing a volcano, visiting a temple, museums, skydiving, various water or land activities, etc.)
- Food (restaurant, supermarket, local market, etc.)
- Miscellaneous purchases (souvenirs, clothes, etc.)
- Photo/video equipment (camera, memory card, camera, etc.)
- Bank fees (withdrawals, transfers)
The best thing is to set a budget per day and per country/continent. Then write down all of your expenses as you go along to regularly check where you’re at.
Choose an itinerary and trip duration
Chances are, you’ll spend a lot of time planning the itinerary for your trip. You will almost definitely change your plans several times, adding countries and removing countries. This is completely normal. If you assessed your budget in advance and planned accordingly, it will make things easier for you.
Some countries will probably have a higher cost of living than your home country, and plane tickets to get there are expensive, even if you book in advance. Take for example French Polynesia, Japan or the USA (Los Angeles or New York). The price of plane tickets to these destinations is high. Accommodation and outings (activities, catering, various purchases, etc.) on site can also be very expensive. If you are going to these destinations, you will need to plan a budget accordingly. The opposite goes for countries with a lower cost of living, where your money will go further.
The first thing you need to do is to list your “must sees” – that is to say, the countries or places that you absolutely do not want to miss during your world trip. Then establish an approximate itinerary. You need to take into account the climate and the seasons when planning (for example, you might want to avoid the rainy season in Vietnam etc). Also take into account administrative formalities such as visas and available means of transport when planning your route! As you will be crossing several continents, it is best to group your destinations together. If you can cross borders by land, you can avoid racking up high costs on flight tickets. For example, if you dream of going to Brazil, why not combine this trip with a visit to Colombia, Peru or Argentina.
The final thing to take into consideration is the safety of the country you want to visit, particularly if you are a woman travelling alone. Find out as much as you can about the security of the country you want to visit and take any necessary precautions. You don’t necessarily have to eliminate a country from your itinerary, but you may need to avoid certain neighbourhoods or areas and not go out after dark. These rules also apply if you are traveling in groups, because groups are not always safe from danger either. Additionally, consider researching the culture and lifestyle of the locals, so you can avoid inappropriate behaviour or behaviour that could be frowned upon or misinterpreted.
Finally, don’t plan too much in advance. Throughout your adventure, you will most likely meet other travellers and chat with locals who will share great tips and cool places to visit, so it’s best to be flexible. Surprises aren’t always bad!
Book your flights
The best option when booking your flights is to choose “around the world” tickets, as you will benefit from lower prices and save money. However, if you prefer, it is entirely possible to book your tickets individually yourself, particularly if you don’t have a specific date for each destination and you want to buy your tickets as you go. You will save money by purchasing your tickets in advance, but you will also be able to score deals at the last minute.
Why not try a mix of these two methods? It’s up to you to choose what suits you best! You must keep in mind that a trip cannot be planned 100% in advance. There will always be unforeseen events: weather conditions, accidents, a destination you discover you love that you want to explore for a little longer, or somewhere you’re not a fan of and want to leave earlier than you anticipated.
Doing odd jobs around the world
When you head off on a trip around the world, work isn’t necessarily going to be the first thing on your mind – but sometimes it is necessary if you’re running low on money. Other times, getting a job can be a way to experience something different, like working on a farm.
One option is to try HelpX or Wwoofing, where you work a few hours a day in exchange for room and board. There’s nothing like meeting the locals and experiencing total immersion in Aussie culture – it’s an unforgettable human experience. Generally speaking, you can save quite a bit of money doing this because you won’t have to pay for accommodation or food.
Choosing Australia as a destination
Australia is a place that many of us dream of visiting. One of the largest countries in the world, it has a varied fauna (kangaroos, dingoes, wallabies, koalas, whales, etc.) and flora (mountains, sea, tropical forest, bush, desert, etc.), as well as a relaxed way of life that has mass appeal. Australia is synonymous with freedom and discovery and many are tempted to rent a campervan or 4WD and head for the open road. The country is easy to explore thanks to the free campsites scattered here and there and the showers available almost everywhere.
If you’re planning to travel Australia, remember that the distances between areas of interest can be very long. You will probably have some tough choices to make, and might have to miss out on seeing some destinations.
Most people stop by Australia before going to New Zealand or South America on their world tour. A month is a good amount of time to stay in Australia for a small glimpse of what the country has to offer. However you won’t be able to see everything in that time, so you might want to consider staying longer.
Australia is also quite expensive so make sure you have enough money in your budget.
Wearing a mask is no longer compulsory in businesses open to the public, nor in maritime, river, land and air transport, but it’s still recommended. It’s up to you whether you want to wear one or not.
Remember to check the government website for the country you’re travelling to for travel advice. Requirements differ depending on whether you are travelling within Europe or internationally. Some countries no longer require proof of vaccination, Covid recovery certificate or “health pass” while others do. Throughout your adventure, check the access conditions so as not to have any surprises at the last moment!
Some populations and governments may be concerned about Covid-19, and wary of foreigners not wearing masks, not disinfecting their hands etc. and potentially causing the virus to spread again.
Covid-19 has also shaken the global economy, and prices have increased worldwide – so be prepared!