Here’s a rough list of 6 of the most important things you’ll need to take care of before you leave on your world travel adventure:
1. Change your inner mantras
Instead of focusing on the difficulties involved with traveling to all the destinations you want to see (eg., MONEY, visas, vaccinations, language barriers, hidden dangers, and all the unknowns) continually tell yourself just how much more you’ll soon be getting out of your life. Traveling is rewarding and once you’ve made the decision, pat yourself on the back and leave the pessimism back in your old life where it belongs.
2. Assess your cash situation
Yes, I did tell you not to focus on the difficulties surrounding a world travel adventure in the previous paragraph, but you still need to figure out how you’ll fund your travels. Most people figure they can’t afford it because they don’t have very much (or any) money and likely have at least a little bit of debt to boot. You may need to sell off your house, car, toys, business, etc. in order to get the cash-backing you need to start your travels. There are also plenty of ways to fund your adventures and/or simply save money on expenses along the way like working for your housing and food, couchsurfing from one country to the next, house sitting in exotic locales, and many other options. English teaching is also a popular go-to job for cash-strapped travelers and opportunities exist in any country where English isn’t the first language.
List of typical month-to-month expenses in popular destinations:
- Southeast Asia: $1,000
- Middle East: $1,700 – $2,000
- Europe: $1,500 – $2,500
- Australia: $2,500 – $3,000
- Japan: ~$2,500
- Africa: $2,000
- India: $800
- Nepal: $800
All of these figures can be offset by using the suggestions I offered. The ability to work remotely (via computer or cell) is also helpful if you’re leaving your home with little or no cash. Couples looking to assess their financials should add 50% to the figures above.
3. Hash out a rough itinerary
It doesn’t have to be exact, but figure out where you want to go and a few things you’d like to do. Perhaps you want to lounge on the beach in Bali for a few months? This is a great time to look for house sitting opportunities available in that area. Maybe you want to head out on an African safari adventure? You’ll want to find out everything you need to do before you land on the hot continent and shop around for the most experienced providers.
Fun and success favors the prepared.
This is one of the more frustrating parts of traveling. While getting stuck with a needle is no big deal; several, like the Yellow Fever vaccination can make you feel ill for a day or two. Worse, if you need several shots to gain entry into a specific location, you can’t always get a whole whack of them at the same time, meaning you’ll have to leave yourself time in advance to space them out appropriately. Hit up your local travel clinic or check out the International Society of Travel Medicine and the Center for Disease Control site for more info.
5. Passport and visas
Make sure you get a passport, which is your ticket in and out of every country you’ll plan to visit. Some countries won’t stamp your passport (ie., give you a visa) if you have less than 6 months remaining on your current passport. Check out the rules for each country in advance and check with projectvisa.com (before departing) to determine whether you need to pay for your visa in advance of landing or if you’ll be able to purchase it upon arrival.
You never want to just “arrive” as each country has different rules of entry. For instance, many want to see proof that you’ve booked and paid for a hotel in advance, that you have a return ticket and/or enough cash set aside to purchase one, and that you’ve received any required vaccinations — both for the countries you’ve visited recently and for the specific country you’re seeking entry into.
6. Done — Book your flight!
I’m sure I’ve left some things out, hopefully nothing of too much importance. You need to plan in advance, but definitely don’t over-think your choice to the point of insanity.
Stick to your guns and go see the world!