Are you dreaming of long term travel for a year, or maybe forever? Who doesn’t! We collected all the information you need to turn your dream into reality.
Dreaming of Memorable Long Term Travel?
Budgeting for long term travel
1. What type of experience do you want?
Will it be adventure, backpacking, luxury, tour-guided?
2. How long are you planning to be gone?
If it’s long term travel, you’ll need to build in a break here or there…maybe even a trip back to reality then back to the road.
3. What part(s) of the world are you visiting?
Some areas of the world you can live like a queen or king for $25 a day, other parts you can’t even get a meal for that amount.
4. What type of accommodations do you desire?
Dorm-style hostel…small hotels with shared/private bath…luxury/boutique hotels.
5. Are you planning to see EVERY site you can or will you be choosy in what you include on your agenda?
On average, I recommend a budget between $50-100 per day for your long term travel. If you are traveling alone it can cost almost the same as if you are traveling with someone. This budget calculator is a great resource to help you with your budget. Dreaming of traveling for a year could soon become a reality!
If you want to dive deep into this topic, check out the ultimate resource: the Girls Who Travel Budget Travel Toolkit!
A few things to remember in your budget
1. Country Visa fees (including departure and arrival taxes)
2. Internal country travel costs (buses, trains, cabs, etc)
3. Tours and activities
4. Souvenirs and gifts
5. Preparation items – vaccines, clothes, backpack, airplane ticket and travel insurance
Start your long term travel savings account TODAY. You can be dreaming about long term travel, but you need the necessary pocket change to do so. Add $100 a month to a money market or savings account just like you with your retirement savings. If you get a large sum of money (tax refund, inheritance, etc) put this directly into your travel account. Do you own a car? If you don’t, what would you spend on gas, parking, insurance, etc? Take that amount and put it into your travel account on a monthly basis. Before you know it you will be on your way!
Are you the type of person that will buy a one-way ticket to Bangkok and see where the wind takes you or do you love MSExcel and have every country in the world in it in order of where you want to go first? Planning where to go can be overwhelming. Here are a few questions to consider in you planning.
1. Will you be purchasing an Around-the-World ticket or using several airlines?
Airtreks has a great website to get you started if you are using several airlines.
2. What type of guidebook do you want to use?
Lonely Planet is great for Southeast Asia and Australia while Moon Travel Guides are great for Central/South America. Spend an afternoon in your local bookstore and determine what book best fits your style of travel. It is helpful to have a plan for your arrival into each country.
3. Where will you be staying?
Girls Who Travel recommends you have a reservation for the first night (at least) and an understanding for transportation to your first night accommodation. (HINT: Never be afraid to ask your hostel for complimentary airport pickup OR for the best way to arrange to get to their establishment.) Arriving into a new country can be intimidating and having a place to stay and transportation will help ease your entry.
4. What is the currency/conversion for the country?
If you are coming into an airport, use the airport ATM to get your initial cash needed. If you are traveling overland, find an ATM right away when you arrive.
10 Survival Tips for long term travel
As you develop your long term travel plan, keep these things in mind.
1. Pack light
Bring only as much as you can carry. I know this is easier said than done yet for a multitude of different reasons this is very important.
2. Purchase a money belt of some sort
It can be annoying, unfashionable and uncomfortable to wear as you travel through India’s 103-degree temps. But it is worth it when you know your important documents (and CASH!) are being kept safe.
3. Get your loved ones on Skype or Google Hangouts (if they aren’t already).
It is the best and cheapest method to keep in touch with family and friends. Wi-Fi is pretty readily available now-a-days and if it’s not, internet cafés are generally EVERYWHERE in foreign countries.
4. Bring a sleep sheet
It is well worth the investment for some of those dodgy mattresses.
5. If traveling alone
Stay at a place with a great common space to meet fellow travelers (if you want to meet others).
6. The word “cute” when used to describe a hotel usually means small and old.
Remember, everyone has different tastes so make sure to check the hotel/hostel website for pics or reviews.
7. Determine your “Worth It” factor.
The “Worth It” factor is used to prioritize the places and things you want to visit. Borrow ideas and get recommendations from other travelers. They are your best friends when prioritizing what to do and how to do it during your long term travel.
8. Ride buses
Go on a journey by bus (public or tour) across the city whenever you can – you see way more of the city that way.
9. Join a tour group
Sometimes it is easier and more efficient to see the highlights of a destination rather than go at it on your own. After the tour you now have a chance to delve into all your favorites.
10. Resign yourself to the fact that you CAN’T see everything
If you adopt this philosophy early it will make your extended trip all the more enjoyable. Remember even Marco Polo didn’t get to see Africa.
Specifically Long Term Travel For Women
1. Develop your sense of confidence and remember to trust your gut.
2. If traveling in culturally sensitive areas, ask your guide or a trusted source when/if you need to abide by the local customs.
3. Read the “Women Traveling Alone” section of the guide book – it can provide great insight into a cities/countries attitude toward women. Other helpful sites: briefcasetobackpack.com hopstop.com budgettravel.com yapta.com jennathan.com]]>
No more dreaming about long term travel! Now you have the skinny on make it happen!