As we’re planning to travel to Australia, Asia,
South-America and more destinations, we thought it would be useful to share our preparations with you. This November we will leave to Australia, without knowing when we will return to The Netherlands. Are you planning something similar, but don’t know where to start? Read on we’ll explain how we managed to plan our world trip.
Edit 30 may 2017: This is my first post on Chapter Travel and it’s a bit outdated. Read this more extensive article that was written after we travelled for 18 months: How we were able to travel for more than one year. Also, I realise now that it’s not the same for everybody, because there are different factors that count for everyone, and these tips may not work for you at all. I know that not everybody is able to travel and it’s not always as easy as to just dream, work, save up and go. I do hope this article proves useful for some people that want to go on a world trip and are able to, but aren’t sure where to start.
How to Plan a World Trip
Step 1. Dreaming
The first thing I did was actually just fantasizing about travelling the world. I know this sounds a bit vague, but how else do you know where you want to go, with who you want to go, and what you exactly want to do? And visualising what you want in life often helps you to actually get there. I already knew I wanted to travel after my studies, but this time not just for a short amount of time, meaning that I did not want to backpack for just a few months. No, I wanted to do the real thing; start somewhere far from home, and try to see as many places as possible. And most importantly; I wanted it to be a long journey. But I was not sure where I wanted to go.
Then I met my boyfriend, or let me correct that; then I fell in love with him. I already knew him, but we weren’t together yet. We were on a date, our first official date, and started talking about travelling. He told me that he was planning to go to South-America with a friend next year for 6 weeks. I told him that I wanted to travel as well, but for a longer period of time, indefinite actually. I don’t even remember how the conversation went after that, but before we knew we were already talking about travelling together. Eventually I also loved the idea of South-America. But, I had to work at least a year after my Master’s to afford to travel in South America for longer than just a few months. Eventually our plans changed, as they always do, and we decided to start our travels sooner by going to Australia to travel and work. And after that we’ll see what happens!
So start dreaming and start fantasising where you want to go! After you decide on your first destination you can start saving money to buy a ticket and for your travels!
Step 2. Save up money before you leave
This is very obvious. Don’t believe people who say you can travel without money. I don’t mind if you rebel against society and start acting like a hippie, but unless you want to sleep on the streets and eat out of garbage cans (sounds very exciting as well), you really need at least some money to travel. Also, if you are planning to go to Australia, you might even have to prove you have a certain amount of money in your bank account.
Make a calculation, how much money do you need per month? If you are planning to make a world trip, you will probably not save up enough money beforehand to last the whole trip. For instance, we made a calculation how much money we need for the first three/four months of travel, and after those months we will get a job.
I have some difficulty to get my money together at the moment. That’s because I don’t have a fulltime job, and have just finished my Master’s degree. So, I really minimize my spending on other stuff. I will tell you a secret: I even live with my sister at her home, and don’t pay rent. I try to contribute by helping out in the house and by doing groceries. If you have an opportunity to live at your parents place, or somewhere else for very cheap; do so. Why pay for a house if you are leaving for such a long time? But: don’t be a burden and be thankful that they help you out.
Step 3. Look for working opportunities
How can you travel for more than one year if you are not filthy rich? You have to work in between your travels (and save up your money beforehand as I said in step 2). And there are enough possibilities abroad to get a job. Do you know people abroad who can help you? Contact them. Ask around. Look online. Nowadays it’s so easy to search for possibilities for work, even if it’s on the other side of the planet.
After me and my boyfriend had the idea to go travelling, I talked to one of my close friends who was already travelling with her boyfriend for over 7 months. She was (and still is) in Australia, and had just worked for 4 months at a hotel. When she told me about the salary and how much money she had already saved up just by working there, I was thrilled. After her story, I knew I could start my trip even sooner, as I could save up my money when I was there even faster than here in my home country. Thus, the reason we choose to start in Australia is basically because we can earn more money, save more money, and more money means more travelling! It’s as simple as that. But, from what I’ve heard it’s an amazing place to go as well.
Also read our article Working Holiday Visa: Save money fast.
Step 4. Practical, somewhat boring, issues
When you plan to travel for a long time, it also involves a lot of practical issues, such as health insurance, your phone subscription and so forth. Just a short list that is useful when you are leaving your home for a long time. If I forget something, you can always comment below.
Another obvious point, but people really forget how important your passport is. Make sure your passport is not expired, and will not expire in a couple of months. If you are planning to go away for more than 1 year, make sure it doesn’t expire in a year.
How to arrange your health insurance really depends where you live and the health insurance you currently have. For instance, I have already found that if you go to Australia, you can get a Medicare Card if you’re from a certain country. The Australian Government has arrangements with The Netherlands, The United Kingdom, New Zealand, Ireland, Sweden, Finland, Italy, Belgium, Malta, Slovenia and Norway. The arrangement entails that the residents of these countries can get some essential medical treatment when visiting Australia. Please visit this website for more information.
Subscriptions and belongings
In your home country you probably have a lot of subscriptions. You won’t need them anymore. If you have a gym subscription, cancel it. If you have a phone subscription, cancel it. Just cancel everything, because you won’t need it anymore.
As for your belongings: first of all, stop buying stuff you don’t really need. I have some trouble with this, as I really love to shop. It feels as if my wardrobe is getting smaller and smaller. Sometimes I just need to buy something, because I do still have a social life here and go out and about. But, don’t make large purchases (e.g. a new house, car, laptop). If you are planning to leave the country for a few years, I would even advice you to sell as much as you can of the stuff you won’t need for your traveling. If you already bought a home, its advisable to rent it out. You can really use the money, and it’s just a waste of travel money if you still pay your mortgage. If you have a car, just sell it.
Of course it’s a different experience for everyone how you eventually manage to travel for a long time. But, if you have the chance to travel my only true advice is: just do it. You’ll figure it out along the way. I know I will!