Of course preparing for a trip around the world will depend on where exactly you’re going, when you’re going, who you’re going with and what you plan to do. In this post I draw on my experience to tell you everything that you should consider when flying around the world, so before you start planning a world trip itinerary, read on.
1. Steady Your Nerves
Kiss your family goodbye, as it may be the last chance you get. Although I’m kidding, you should really do it. My first point is the opposite to nerves though, try not to be afraid. Wherever you go will be amazing, trust me. You may miss people, but not as much as you first think. Social media helps you keep in touch just fine. People spend too much time worrying about what might go wrong instead of just going for it. Having said that…
2. Plan, Plan, Plan
Tighten security with fake wallets, slash-proof bags and anything else to put your mind at ease (thus helping number 1). Plan where you are going and what you are doing and when, remembering most of your time should be ‘free’ as things always come up, travel takes longer than expected and a lot of the time you just want to do something different. You will not stick to the plan when you fly around the world, but it needs to be there.
3. Research Routes
Guess what, you’re already doing that right now. Well done. Do more. Research the destinations, the currency rates and where to change it, where to stay, where to eat, even down to which launderette to go to. All these things will help you find the best way to travel the world, even if they end up being redundant. Research when is the best time to buy your plane/train/bus ticket and save yourself bundles. Ask the locals, or experienced travellers you meet where is the best place to buy in that area. More is usually better!
4. Don’t Buy A Return Ticket
If you’re not sure whether you’re coming back “home”, and you’ve got the minerals, don’t book a return ticket. It can be the earmark of a true traveller at times, and I have heard countless stories of “I wasted my money on a return ticket”. I’ve never heard anyone say “I wish I had booked my return earlier” though, and that speaks volumes. Make sure when booking flights you search for cheap flights like a pro.
5. Do A Budget
Whether we like it or not, stuff costs money. Do your budget. This is one of the most important travel tips in this list. Try to find a nice balance between doing everything you want to do and making sure you have enough money to live and get to the next place. If the numbers don’t add up, change your plans accordingly.
6. Luggage/Backpack Contents
That huge heavy bag you’re carrying around could always be lighter, especially when you’re halfway up Maccu Picchu and the humidity is 99%. Be careful what you pack and don’t pack. General rules include; clothing should be quick drying and breathable, gadgets should be minimal and make sure you use packing cubes. For example, you don’t need a laptop, tablet, smart phone and camera, when just the tablet will do. I take hand luggage only and have plenty of room. Also, try not to be tight when buying your clothing, sometimes you really do get what you pay for.
7. Ensure You’re Fit
Most people should be okay here, but if you normally smoke 40 a day and only ever eat things covered in batter you might want to think how difficult it will be for you to go deep sea diving in Fiji. A slightly healthier lifestyle and some light exercise before any trip is recommended.
8. Be Ready To Be Flexible
This isn’t a traditional holiday. You can’t throw your toys out the pram and complain to management when you’re staying at a backpackers hostel and the water goes cold for a minute or two. Well you can, but you won’t get anywhere. Just as you probably won’t get much out of Solomon Airlines if they delay a flight and you miss a connection. It’s all an adventure, and should be seen that way. Get in the mindset before you go that you need to stay flexible, and you will get the most out of your travel around the world.
9. Get Insurance Cover
Are you going somewhere that needs a VISA you have to pre-purchase? Some countries such as China require that you obtain a visa prior to travelling. If so, sort it. Going somewhere that needs documents stating you’ve had your yellow fever jabs? Get the jabs and confirmation. You’ll probably also want travel insurance, so go for it. Be wary when on comparison websites though, as the cheapest travel insurances usually don’t cover much.
10. Practice Speaking Like A Local
Odds are that you’re going somewhere that speaks a language foreign to your own, so try to learn a new language if you can as speaking to the locals is one of the highlights of any trip. You will pick things up as you fly around the world, but if you already know the key phrases it will help you massively. “How much?”, “Where is the…?”, “Thank you” and “Sorry” are my favourites.
Of course this list of travel tips is not exhaustive. Hopefully this will help you prepare mentally and physically for your journey around the globe. Always remember that the most important thing is to enjoy it!