Round-the-world trips are not just the provenance of the super-wealthy or something that only happens in adventure stories. Most people can take a round-the-world trip at some point in their lives with the right strategies and preparation.
What Is Round-the-World?
As your first step in planning, it can be helpful to think about what round-the-world means to you. It definitely doesn’t mean visiting every country and it doesn’t necessarily mean hitting every continent, even if you eliminate Antarctica. Having a rough idea of where you want to go will help you with the rest of your planning, including budgeting, and your time frame.
If you are flying you might want to think in terms of major cities, such as Los Angeles to Tokyo to Bangkok to Sydney to Paris to New York. Several airline alliances sell round-the-world tickets, and you can see what kind of city combinations are available and affordable. Of course, you may be planning a much slower and more unconventional round-the-world trip, such as cycling or going by yacht, which will probably give you more flexibility.
Figure Out Costs
There are a few things to keep in mind about cost. You can spend a little or a lot on a journey of this nature. Many people will tell you they spent less traveling in the same time period than their cost of living would have been back home. Staying in hostels or renting local accommodations for a longer period of time can help you stretch your funds. There are many different ways to get more money for travel.
You can pick up a part-time job or a side gig. Some people sell their homes or rent them out while they are away. You may have other assets you can sell as well and selling a term life insurance policy can give you a substantial amount of money and the financial freedom to travel for longer. You can review your options for selling a term policy and decide if this is right for you.
There’s really not much point in buying a round-the-world ticket and only going away for two weeks. Ideally, you should give yourself at least a couple of months for the entire trek, but the longer the better. Some people take a year. This can be a great option if you are retired, work at a place that offers sabbaticals or are employed in a field where it would be relatively easy to pick up another job when you return.
When you’re thinking in terms of time, you may also want to try to plan accordingly based on the weather in the various places you’ll visit or how likely they are to be busy with tourists. You also need to think about packing travel essentials that make sense for the length of time that you will be gone.
Being flexible is one of the best ways to enjoy a trip of this nature. This kind of travel offers its own challenges, and it won’t always be as relaxing as sitting on a tropical beach all day. If you prepare yourself to roll with difficulties and see them as adventures in themselves, you are likely to have a more rewarding experience.
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