How to Plan a World Trip
You’re not a man of the world until you’ve experienced what the world has to offer, yet taking the first step out of your door actually begins at home! What I’m referring to of course, possibly being the scariest thing about taking a trip around the world, is the incredibly daunting task of planning!
Behind money, planning the trip is the second biggest obstacle discouraging us to take the trip of a lifetime, however once you start planning and set a date, it’s amazing how much better at saving you actually become.
So, before you accidentally get someone pregnant, before you get busted by the feds for illegally downloading music and video, before you do something absolutely ridiculous out of shear boredom and end up loosing your leg, get off your backside and do what you’ve promised yourself you’d do for the last 10 years….. travel around the world!
MGTE have once again done the hard work for you, all you now have to do is follow these few basic steps.
1- Save the cash! Before booking anything, you’re gonna need around £3000 ($4000) to pay for all your flights. Beg, steal, borrow, sell blood or semen, or rent out your pretty little bottom, until you have this figure. When you do, please proceed…
2- Work out the main places you want to go! This should be the first question that you ask yourself, as once you’ve decided when you want to go, you’ll be able to work out how much money you could save before that date. Everything will then stem from this total budget.
3- Establish how long can you afford to go for. You have your total budget, now you need to work out how long it could last. Either where you go to, or the total length of your trip, will depend on your budget. The following is a very rough guide for how much you will need to backpack very comfortably in these regions (this is dependant of course on how much drinking and pillaging you intend to do, and whether you’re prepared to eat like a local (these weekly budgets include internal travel and experiences and sightseeing, but not stupidly expensive activities like skydiving)):
• Asia (excluding Japan as that place is way expensive!)- £300 ($400) per week
• Africa- £250 ($350) per week
• Europe and Australasia- £350 ($500) per week
• South America- £250 ($400)
• North America- £350 ($450)
Before you progress passed this step, check the current political situation of each of the locations you wish to visit (that nothing stupidly mental is going on), and any visa requirements, as being refused entry to a country that you’ve just flown to really sucks.
4- Make it a reality, book your flights! Now you know how much money you will have and where you want to visit, you should have an idea of how long to spend in each location and when you’d expect to return home. With all of this in mind, it’s time to put that £3000 ($4000) to good use.
This is probably the most daunting part of the exercise due to the sheer magnitude and co-ordination required to link countless flights. Personally, I’ve always used an agency to help me organise this, as they tend to have very favourable relationships with certain airlines, allowing you to get more miles per dollar. My favourite of which is www.statravel.com, as their service and prices seem to be best, and their ‘Round the World Trip planner’ is very user friendly.
If you’d prefer to organise all flights yourself, then Skyscanner is probably the most respected and well-established comparison websites.
Get booking, get excited!
5- Buy insurance. The very second you pay for your flights, buy travel insurance! You could literally step out of your house to buy milk 5 minutes from now, and get hit by a car resulting in you having to cancel your trip. Respectable travel insurance will cover you for this!
6- Book Visas. Book your Visas as far in advance as you possibly can (timing their expiry date shortly after you hope to leave that particular country), as the signing off of each visa can be a long drawn out process and most visas will require you to send your passport to the corresponding embassy. Make sure that all details and proofs are correct in your application forms, as having your visa sent back to you incomplete is very time consuming and you WILL start to panic!!
7- Go to see your doctor. Again, do this as early as possible in order to get advice on, and receive, the immunisations you will require for each country, as well as other preventative medications such as Malaria pills. I could bang on all day about my preference with regards to Malaria treatment, however, each to his own as your doctor will certainly have their own preferred prescription. Whatever they prescribe though, be sure to inquire into the side effects, and also make sure that your doctor has sufficient knowledge to discuss other options- if they don’t, find another doctor who does!
8- Book essential accommodation. At least for the first couple of night’s stay in each new country, it is advisable to have somewhere booked as it’s not fun traipsing around foreign back alleys at 2am upon arrival looking for a place to sleep! Once you’ve found your feet however, it’s nice to still have the freedom to find somewhere a bit more ‘you’. www.hostelworld.com is by far the most comprehensive list of both hostels and hotels around the world.
9- Pack all that you need. What to pack obviously depends on where you’re going, but essentials that I always recommend are in the equipment list above.
10- Don’t forget your passport!
Stop talking about it and do it.
If you’re carbon aware, please donate to a carbon offsetting programme in order to mitigate the carbon deposited in the atmosphere from all that flying around the world you’ll be doing!!!