It’s very different to talk about traveling around the world than it is to give notice at work and really do it. Once the decision and commitment are made, things fall into place…with the help of many “to do” lists and excel planning spreadsheets.
How long do you need to save for a trip like this? That depends on your rate of savings and travel style (which directly affects budget). Money aside, expect to spend 3-6 months planning and preparing.
- Read travel and around-the-world advice books
- Talk with friends with extensive travel experience
- Network with people you know or friends know in the countries you want to visit
- Research online – travel websites, travel community message boards, travel articles. There is almost too much information these days.
Practical considerations (this is by no means an exhaustive list)
- Vaccinations and malaria medication – we made regular visits to the travel health clinic in Prague to sort our which vaccinations we needed based on our itinerary. We highly recommend this clinic (and it’s very reasonably priced).
- New passport/additional passport pages plus extra photos for visa applications
- International Driver’s License – AAA or AATA/National Automobile Club (will mail directly overseas). Make sure your original driver’s license is still valid.
- Scan important documents and email them to someone you trust – passport, identification cards, receipts (for insurance), etc. This will allow someone to email you proof of your identity and nationality if your passport or ID cards are stolen.
- Travel Health Insurance -we chose World Nomads Travel Insurance for basic health and equipment insurance. So far, they have been easy to work with and relatively inexpensive.
- Leave a will and medical directive with a loved one – not to sound morbid, but something may happen to you on the road and having your wishes in a legal document makes it easier for everyone if anything were to happen.
- Issue Power of Attorney to a trusted family member or friend in case he/she needs to act legally on your behalf
- Transfer accounts and statements to electronic format. Unsubscribe to newsletters or magazines. Even with these actions, things still arrive in your mailbox. Ask a friend to check it from time to time or forward mail to someone you trust (thanks, Bohdana!).
- Moving sales, donations, trash. Depending upon your housing situation, you may need to liquidate (almost) everything like us. It’s amazing how much stuff we had accumulated in a short time…and how quickly we’ve forgotten about it.