For wandering souls, the ultimate trip of a lifetime is a long-term, round-the-world vacation. A journey like this promises exciting new foods, exotic locales, and lots of adventures just waiting to happen. Are you one of the lucky ones who’s planning a trip like this? If you are, you must be so excited, elated…and maybe overwhelmed? Not to fret, whether you’re already planning or are still in the dreaming phase, here are some helpful tips to prepare yourself for this extraordinary journey.
1) Outline your travel route.
Even if you consider yourself among the most adventurous, you’ll thank yourself later if you spend a little time now coming up with an outline of your travel plans. If you’re traveling mostly via public transportation, you don’t have to be exact about the number of days you’ll spend in each place. Instead, figure out the route you’ll take so you won’t be stressed about what town to visit next instead of enjoying your current stop.
2) Brush up on your language skills.
If you’ve already studied one or more of the languages that will be spoken in some of the places you visit, now’s the perfect time to brush up on your skills. Take a free online test to judge your skill level and consider signing up for courses. If you can, try watching TV shows in the language to re-familiarize yourself with the sounds and to get your mind thinking about the language again.
3) Plan a solution for mail and bills.
Ask a trusted friend or family member to manage your incoming mail while you’re away on holiday. They may be able to come over at least once a week to collect everything and make sure nothing important is overlooked. Some post offices also offer a collection service and can hold all your incoming mail until you’re back in town. Also plan accordingly to be able to manage your bills while you’re away. Will you have access to the Internet on a regular basis? If so, you may want to pay your bills online. Another option is to sign up for automatic debits while you’re traveling.
4) Meet with a travel doctor.
Get some peace of mind by making sure you’ve received all the recommended vaccinations for the areas you’ll be visiting. Some vaccinations are administered in a series of 2 to 3 injections, so you’ll want to see a travel doctor well in advance of your trip. The CDC website is an excellent resource for travelers as well.
5) Learn some basic facts about your destination countries.
A round-the-world trip means visiting many new places and countries you’ve never been before. Chances are, you know very little about many of the stops on your itinerary. Take some time to learn the basics and you’ll feel more comfortable when you arrive. You can even make a cheat sheet that lists important facts about the countries you’re visiting and carry that with you throughout the trip. These basics make a great starting point: language spoken, national flag (try this free “Guess the flag game” to test your knowledge), major cities in each country, most common religions, and population.
An around-the-world journey is a traveler’s dream. With the right planning and a positive attitude you’ll get to make new friends, try exciting foods, and travel to the places you’ve always dreamed of. Good luck, and happy traveling!