Do you want to create your own version of a "trip around the world in 80 days"? Worry not!
This guide will give you an idea of how to start planning your ideal round-the-world trip. As a common bucket list item for many travel enthusiasts, this guide is a trending topic in the travel community - so much that many travel influencers and YouTubers even leave their day jobs to fulfill their dreams of traveling the world!
A round-the-world tour requires weeks of planning and organization. The process may sometimes feel overwhelming but also exciting once you start. There may be some setbacks, but trial and error will help you gain experience. It might feel scary at first, but that's how every great adventure starts!
This article will give you a starting point for planning your trip. It highlights all the bases you need to cover before your grand journey worldwide.
What is a "Round-The-World Trip"?
What exactly does a round-the-world trip entail? Is it only one if you visit all 195 countries?
Well, the answer can vary. Some travel enthusiasts aim to tour most countries. But for others, a round-the-world trip could mean visiting a few countries from each continent. Beginners can also take the Eastward or Westward technique of a round-the-world tour.
Round-the-world trips start with a one-way ticket to wherever your heart desires. They usually last around six months to one year. Of course, the involvement of your bank account is inevitable. You may even have a travel bucket list of witnessing all of the world's wonders. Every country has its own natural beauty and history. Travel lovers find fascination in different cultures, cuisines, and languages.
But before diving into how to plan for the trip, let's look at the different approaches to world tours.
Eastward around the world
With the Eastward approach, your trip will mainly cover Asia, Australia, and the Pacific regions of the world. This is the way to go if you're eager to learn about Eastern culture - it's also a good starting point for beginners because the Eastward approach puts less constraint on your budget.
You can plan your trips around Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, and many more. This approach will allow you to see at least two of the world's wonders. You can also witness India's most significant monument, the Taj Mahal at sunrise, or tour the Great Wall of China.
Westward around the world
A Westward trip highlights the continents of Europe, North America, South America, and Africa. You can choose this method if you want to indulge in Western civilization. But the Westward method is comparatively more expensive than the Eastward.
Plan your trip around the world in 8 simple steps
Following these steps will push you to start organizing your world tour. Remember, planning can make for a seamless experience. It's the key to a successful and satisfying trip!
Step 1: Decide on your destinations
Deciding which destinations you want to visit is the first step of the plan. Avoid randomly picking countries. You want to lay out your travel destinations in an orderly manner.
Give yourself some thinking space, or pull out your travel bucket list. Then, decide if you want to take the Eastward or Westward approach. There are plenty of resources for you to find inspiration. You can listen to travel podcasts, read travel magazines, or find articles on the best countries and islands to visit.
Most beginners start with 10 to 15 countries. It's best to start in more affordable cities that you feel familiar with. You can always add more if you're feeling confident.
Step 2: Decide on your trip length
Deciding how long you want to spend traveling depends on you and your budget. Firstly, ask yourself if you'd prefer a fast or slow pace of travel. Some seasoned travelers can jet-set to more than 50 countries in a year. In contrast, some like to take their time to indulge in all the different cultures.
Curate a list of countries you want to visit. Then, list all the points of interest you want to see in each. This will give you an estimate of how long it'll take to cover all the locations. If you're a beginner, going slow instead of rushing everything is wise.
It can be worth it to allocate a decent amount of time to each country. Spend your trip interacting with the locals and immerse yourself in their culture and history. This will enrich your world knowledge and elevate your travel experience.
Step 3: Create your trip's budget
This is the backbone of your trip planning. A flexible budget allows you to explore the world more freely. Most travelers have extra funds dedicated to traveling. If you're planning a trip around the world, it's time to start saving!
Budgeting can be challenging when it comes to a round-the-world trip. Research the cost of living for each country and make sure to look for special deals and offers to save money. You can divide your budget into different categories. It's also vital to keep some funds aside for emergencies.
You can comfortably travel in countries like Nepal on a budget, but it'd be challenging to do the same in a European city. If you have a smaller budget, start with more affordable places to visit in Asia, Africa, or South America. Crossing out some countries from your list is expected due to costs. But gradually, you'll become an expert in budgeting your trips efficiently!
Step 4: Research the countries and local holidays
This is the part where you research as much as possible so you know what you're signing up for. Absorb all the information that you can about each country. You can check various travel guides, YouTube videos, podcasts, and more.
It's essential to research the weather in each country. Each country has its different seasons. If you're traveling around June, it'll be winter in Australia, while India will be scorching hot. Planning for the weather will also guide you in packing your clothes.
Try to learn the basic etiquette of each country. You don't want the side eyes of the locals! Many countries have rules you may not be aware of. For instance, Singapore prohibits chewing gum.
Each country also has its own unique holidays and events. Attending festivals is a great way to experience other cultures. You can also plan your trip such that you celebrate one local holiday in each country.
Step 5: Plan out accommodations
Once you're confident about what you're diving into, it's time to book your accommodations. You can look into websites like TripAdvisor and Trivago to plan your stay. If you can spare some extra expenses, you can also talk to a travel agency to scout hotels for you.
It's essential that you thoroughly check the reviews of each accommodation. This enables you to filter out the best deals. Moreover, try to grab all the discounts and offers you can.
Avoid staying in remote locations, as these are huge red flags for tourists. Choosing accommodations around your point of interest is best for safety and convenience.
Step 6: Arrange all the necessary documents
Arranging all your travel documents can be pretty tedious. If you make a list of all the essentials, it becomes easier.
The primary key to your bon voyage is your passport. It's mandatory to check whether you need to renew your passport and resolve any issues before your trip.
It would help if you also got all the visas when traveling to multiple countries. It's highly advisable to start your visa procedure months in advance. Research all the requirements for each country based on the passport you hold. Some countries may give you a visa on arrival.
Remember to apply for travel insurance! This allows you to receive compensation for any travel-related incidents. Try to have all your health documentation, as well as vaccine cards. Especially after the pandemic, these are a travel necessity.
Step 7: Book your round-the-world tickets
Now, it's time to book your round-the-world (RTW) ticket! Every travel enthusiast is aware of the three primary airlines for RTW tickets—Star Alliance, OneWorld, and Skyteam. These airlines are the top choices when it comes to traveling around the world.
RTW tickets allow you to make multiple stops and visit various countries. These three airlines give you the option of going east or west. It is crucial to remember RTW tickets have the rule of starting and finishing in the same country. Backtracking is not permissible with this type of ticket.
Step 8: Pack for the great adventure!
When it comes to packing, you might feel lost. This is understandable as you might be away from home for more than six months or even a year. Before you start packing, it's helpful to look into guides and packing lists. There are various articles and videos about how to pack for your trips.
When packing for a long trip, focus on the essentials. Pack light to avoid the hassle of carrying multiple heavy luggages. The clothes you pack should also be compatible with different climates. This is where individual research concerning each country's climate comes in handy.
Moreover, investing in a good pair of running shoes that are sturdy enough for your adventures will definitely do the trick. These packing cubes will definitely come in handy for your next adventure!
Packing is easier when you make a checklist. Don't worry if you leave something behind. It's an honest mistake, and you can always buy things at your destination. Just don't forget your passport and ticket!
Plan your Round-The-World Trip with Pilot!
World tours can elevate your travel experience to great heights. You'll learn many things about the world and witness different cultures. If you're thinking about a round-the-world trip, take the leap of faith and go for it! Of course, it requires heavy planning, but that's where Pilot comes in.