Wow, this is huge, right?
Travelling around the world is probably one of the most life changing things you can do, so preparing for it should take precedence in the months, or even years, leading up to it.
Huge things in life need planning, but where do you start?
How are you going to fund it?
When you first get the idea, you might think they’re just pie in the sky thoughts, however if you actually decide to go for it, you need to think about work. Can you afford to save up enough beforehand, and quit your job? What are your contingency plans for coming home, e.g. money when you get back. Can you ask your boss for a career break or unpaid leave? Can you work whilst you travel, e.g. freelance writing etc? These are all options to fund your trip and help you come back home (if you choose to) to a sturdy environment, and not be flying by the seat of your pants too much.
Do you rent? Do you own your house? Do you live with parents or friends? If it’s the latter, how much notice is fair to give them of your moving out? This is something you need to think about. If you own your house, are you planning on selling up, or do you want to rent it out whilst you’re away? If you’re selling, you need to get to work, because this can take time. Have you got somewhere to come back to?
Talk to the mail man
Visit your local mail office and discuss options for your mail whilst you’re away. Can you have this re-diverted to a family member or close friend?
Get yourself fighting fit
Travelling around the world isn’t going to be a luxury holiday, because to afford it, you’re going to have push boundaries. Start eating healthily before you go, hit the gym, and get yourself in tip-top condition. You also need to visit your doctor and have a full body MOT, as well as asking about and getting any travel vaccinations you may need, or anti-malaria tablets. Make sure you get a certificate to say you’ve had these immunisations too, and take it with you.
Research your insurance options, and never be tempted to travel without it. You’ll find lots of companies offering backpacking insurance, just make sure it covers your entire area, and that you declare any pre-existing medical conditions. Again, take all paperwork with you, and save the email in your inbox, in case you lose the original. Store the claim numbers in your phone too.
Sell your rubbish
To fund your trip, have a massive clear out, get rid of the things you don’t want and sell them on sites like eBay. You’d be amazed at the things people will buy, and it all goes into the pot for a) clearing out, and b) funding your travels.
Get a Kindle, in fact, get a Kindle Fire – this will be your lifesaver in terms of packing, as guidebooks are notoriously heavy. Load it all onto your Kindle Fire, and you can also use this as a tablet, to save space. Scan any important documents you need to take with you into your computer (assuming you’re taking a laptop with you) or into your emails, and access through your tablet.
Okay, so get a map, get a pad of paper, get a pen. It’s list time. Write down where you want to go, draw up a loose itinerary or route, and get researching the best times to go, the visa requirements of those places, and where is best to stay. When it comes to booking, look at booking a RTW ticket with a particular airline, as this saves you money and gives you flexibility and peace of mind.
This is arguably the hardest bit – be ruthless and pack light.