This is what I will be doing for the next few years as I plan my extended travel experience. I welcome you to join me in the planning process! Before setting out on a trip you need to have an idea of places you want to go. When you set off you can formulate a plan to see them all or just connect the dots as you see fit.
The goal of this article is to give you ideas for travel inspiration, tips to determine how much money to save, and also give you some ideas on how to fund your overseas trip. We will delve deeper on travel details such as packing lists, visas, and travel hacks in future articles. Enjoy!
You might find out you don’t need as much money as you need to meet your goals of medium or long term travel. Now is a good time to create a realistic budget. First you want to decide how long you want to be gone and how much money per day this will cost. You may have an idea of where you want to go and for how long, if you don’t then Step 2 has some good tips.
Your budget will depend on where you plan on travelling and what kind of travel you intend to do. Staying in luxury hotels and flying everywhere? You won’t be gone long. Staying in hostels, making your own meals and taking the local public transportation are great ways to save money abroad. Many think this isn’t an option or don’t know how to travel in this style. For others a mix of hotels, hostels, Airbnb stays is a good mix of luxury and budget travel.
To get an idea of how much travel will cost you can take advice from some of the best travel experts around. Travel experts recommendations range anywhere from about $50 to $200 per day.
- Nomadic Matt in his book, How to Travel the World on $50 a Day, gives tips and advice how to travel for $50 per day on average.
- Rick Steves recommends around $200 a day for a normal traveler and $100 for a budget traveler, not including airfare.
If you want to travel on the cheaper site you will get more travel days for the same amount of money, allowing you to travel more often and for longer. For some money saving tips visit some of my favorite travel bloggers:
- Nomadic Matt article how to save for a trip
- Brook Saward 50 ways to save money to travel the world
- The Boots N’ All Team has some great money saving tips on their site
- Wandering Earl has a great story of how little money he needed to set off into the world of long-term travel
Start planning destinations
Now is a good time to start a bucket list if you don’t already have one. My preference is to use the notepad on my phone to record fascinating locations, festivals, cultural experiences etc. and then transfer them to a word doc on my computer. The internet, apps, books, magazines and talking with friends and family who have been interesting places are all good ways to get travel ideas. Also see my featured articles on upgraded bucket list for more ideas.
Magazines offer great photos and articles for travel inspiration. One of my favorite weekend activities is to browse the travel section at my local bookstore for ideas. Some of my favorites include:
- Travel and Leisure
- Conde Nast Traveler
- National Geographic Traveler
- Outside Magazine
Some popular apps for locating pictures for travel ideas featuring visually stunning photos found on sites such as Pinterest and Instagram
- My favorite Pinterest sites: Everywheretrip, Nomadic Matt, wanderlust, Places to Visit Before You Die, Beth Williams, travelleisure, The Planet D, ytravelblog, Matt Long, Alex in Wanderland,
- Some of my favorite Instagram travel sites include: everythingeverywhere, dametraveler, expertvagabond, worlderlust, worldwanderlust, polkadotpassport, travelandleisure, momondo, lonelyplanettraveller, natgeotravel, getlostmagazine, and darlingescapes.
Books are a great place to look for travel advice and recommendations. Some classics include:
- 1,000 Places to See Before You Die by Patricia Shultz.
- Rick Steves is a master of European travel, some of his best books include Europe through the backdoor, Europe 101: History & Art for the Traveler, and Postcards from Europe.
- The Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger
- Into the Wild by John Krakauer
- Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey
- The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
- In a Sunburnt Country by Bill Bryson
Decide what kind of travel experience you want
What is your goal in travelling? Do you want to be a traveling vagabond not tied to any one location, free to roam as you see fit. Do you want to fund your travel experience by working while you are on the road. Is your goal to meet interesting people or help others? Every traveler and travel experience is different. Here are some of my favorite authors to help you tease out your purpose for travel.
Classic travel authors give you advice and inspiration for travel.
- Vagabonding by Rolf Potts.
- Rick Steves’ Travel Suite: These 3 books should be mandatory reading for anybody planning on pursuing travel as a lifestyle: Travel as a Political Act, Anything by Paul Theroux, Bill Bryson, or Tim Cahill is a good place to start.
- Endurance: Skackletons Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing
Working while Traveling
- Wandering earl, funded his non-stop world travel by working on Cruise Ships, find out how by ordering his book here.
- Nomadic Matt funded his overseas travel by teaching English
- Woofing stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. They connect you to different farms in almost every country in the world. The experience and duration will depend on the individual farm you want to work for. Most offer free room and board in exchange for your time and can be a great option for people looking to get an interesting local experience. The service is free but they charge you a fee per country for the list of participating farms. Visit their website here.
- Conservation Travel is an Australian and New Zealand based organization that connects volunteers to conservation based programs. Projects range from pulling weeds to surveying for endangered species. They charge a small fee for participants but cover room and board. Visit their website here.