Setting up a long trip is often seen as a task of epic proportions. With so many questions that arise in your head, it is easy to get blocked and especially if you have never planned something similar.
I still remember the constant stress organizing my first backpacking trip, which covered the Central American region. I got a guide to Central America and in general terms that was all I used to organize myself.
Back then, mobile apps were in their infancy and there were not so many blogs providing travel information like today. Therefore, I made several mistakes along the way, leading me to improvise on the march. But the good thing about the mistakes is that they teach you for the next time, and it was no exception on my first backpacking adventure. I learned to list things to try not to leave anything out and avoid future mishaps.
In an effort to help those who are disoriented, I leave this guide so that everything is more bearable when planning a trip (either short or extensive).
1- Decide before everything where you want to travel
Defining a specific travel destination is the initial goal. It is common for people to wander when you ask them where they expect to go. Unless you are willing to improvise in the march, the usual thing would be that you choose where you plan to be.
Instead of thinking ” I’m going to travel to Asia, ” you better think ” I’m going to travel through India, Thailand, and China .” This will make it clearer what you want to visit, making the planning process less tedious. If you still do not have a destination in mind, you could do a great job checking some of the ones I mentioned in the ” images ” category.
2- Determine the approximate duration of your trip
How much will it cost you to go abroad? Answering that question will depend to a large extent on the amount of time you choose to leave. It is difficult to calculate the estimated amount you should save if you have not clearly defined the time you will be traveling.
An advice from me is that the slower you travel, the more economical you will be so you will not have to spend your money wanting to see too many attractions in such a short time. Going slowly (even if you’re vacationing for a few days or several weeks) allows you to enjoy the place where you’re standing without knowing that you’re in a hurry like someone who just left the train.
3- Visa or no visa?
At present, there are nations that are difficult to explore if you do not have a visa, which is granted by the embassy or consulate of the country you intend to visit. The essential thing is to have your passport valid for at least 6 months to apply for a visa. Of course, depending on your origin and the country you choose to travel, you may not be asked for a visa.
To know if it is a requirement to get one to that destination you want to go, Visa HQ is the ideal place.
4- Investigate your costs
Now that you know where you are going and for how long you will leave, it is time for you to find out the amount of money you will need, which will vary based on the type of trip you want to make. It is not the same as a backpacker (who usually stays in hostels, is mobilized using urban transport, cooks his own food) than one who prefers “five-star” luxuries.
Knowing the standard cost of accommodation, transportation, attractions, tours, and food will tell you how much money you will need per day. Although many do not like to carry them, the travel guides are really good to inquire about prices.
However, if you are looking for something more accurate and that is not outdated like travel guides, Eardex is a web portal that provides that information based on the contributions of other users. With this, you will be more feasible to get an idea of how much you should spend.
5- To save has been said!
In a world that has taught us to waste without control, it is normal for most people to find it difficult to master the important part of saving. Saving is more than separating a part of your salary and putting it in a bank account; is to put aside spending on things that are not so necessary in your day and that you could well survive without them.
Whether it’s the morning coffee you buy before you go to work, the beers you drink with your friends every weekend or that ice cream cookie that fascinates you so much in the afternoon, these little things add up to a considerable amount of money in the long run if we see it as a whole.
If you really want to make changes, take the task of writing down on a sheet each of your expenses, divided into discretionary (casual expenses such as going out to dinner or going to the movies) and mandatory (those that are monthly like water, electricity, and phone). Try not to leave anything out.
Do the test at least for the first month and you will be surprised to see how much money is going on in banal things. If your traveling plan is serious, you will do everything possible to dispense with those guilty pleasures that do not help you save. Even if the total sum of your discretionary expenses seems ridiculous, it will undoubtedly benefit you by increasing your bank account, even if it is very much or very little.
Parallel to what is mentioned in this point, you can also save during your adventure with the following recommendations.
6- Get a credit card with a frequent traveler program
It is no secret that credit cards are the preferred mode of payment for many cardholders, and there are those that have a frequent traveler program. These programs consist of acquiring airline miles each time you make a purchase with your card. The accumulation of those miles makes it possible to exchange them for air tickets.
The goal of getting a lot of miles in your favor is more achievable in the long term or if you travel on a regular basis. If you are interested in going deeper into the matter, go to the main banks in your country and find out in detail the frequent flyer programs they offer. This will make it easier for you to compare which one best suits your needs.
7- Notify the bank that you are going abroad
As a continuation of the previous point, do not overlook to notify the bank and the company with which you have the credit card that you are traveling. That way, any transaction you make will not be marked as fraudulent and thus you reduce the chances of your card ending blocked, ruining the occasion.
8- Keep the traveling flame alive
In what you continue making the preparations, it is essential that you continue feeding your traveling desire. You can start by taking the initiative and writing to people from other countries in online forums ( Travelers is quite popular in our language) or in groups traveling on Facebook, either to establish friendships or to tell them about your plans. This greatly encourages and in my case, it has helped me to remember that there are also individuals like me wanting to backpack.
Reading the stories, phrases, and anecdotes in the blogs will certainly nourish your spirit and keep your thoughts more inspired to continue with the preparations for your trip. In my links section, I have a list of blogs that would do you good to take a look.
Another option that motivates too much is learning a language. You can be self-taught and you learn it on your own or go to a teaching center in your city. Personally, going to a school or institute where they teach the language I find it better because you will interact with other students, removing that barrier of shyness when you speak an unknown language in public.
9- Book your flight
Booking a plane ticket can be for many an odyssey that will end in a headache. Airfares are one of the highest costs of a trip, and it is a fact that you have to deal constantly with price variations. It is common to hear stories of those who one day saw on the Internet that a newsletter had X price and the next day it was $ 100 lower (or higher).
However, there are still ways to avoid being that person who paid the rest for your plane ticket. In this post, you will read firsthand the tips that will tell you how to reduce the value of airline tickets.
10- Book your accommodation
If your schedule is adjusted, do not be afraid to book accommodation for the entire duration of your trip. Otherwise, separate space only for the first days if you leave for several months. If you know the dates that you will be in your destination, I do not see a real reason why not look for accommodation once you are there.
Hotels, unlike hostels and guest houses, are more expensive, although there are low budget hotels but they are not usually seen in the central areas of a city. Sites like Booking, Agoda, and Hostelworld are ideal for you to find the best accommodation rates.
An alternative far from the above options is to use the free hosting network Couchsurfing, where you send requests to stay in guesthouses. If Couchsurfing catches your attention, it is essential to contact the users in advance so they can prepare in advance of your visit.
On the other hand, if you bet to have your personal space, consider renting apartments ( Airbnb is a great reference).
11- Sell your things
If you go on an extended adventure (of about six months or more) and you see fit to get some extra money selling items of your belongings, do not hesitate to do so. In Find24, Mercado Libre and OLX you can start by publishing what you want to put on sale.
Do not have problems to skip this step if you do not intend to sell anything. Now, if you are going for a good time and you are looking for where to store your things, ask a friend or relative to do you a favor, or take them to a place in your city to rent deposits to carry your belongings. ).
12- To buy the backpack
Find a suitcase or backpack that meets your needs requires time until you find the appropriate one. It is easy not to know at first what to choose with the wide diversity of models that exist. Since I am not inclined to travel with a suitcase, what you will read in this article is only if it attracts you to get a backpack. Visit here so you know what I usually pack.
13- Do not leave without travel insurance
Insurance is one of the most important things you will need for your trip. Even when you think you are healthy and nothing will happen to you, it is never bad to be cautious. In addition, insurance does not cover only the medical part, but also in other areas.
If you get canceled a flight, if your personal documents are stolen or if you must return home because a family member died, rest assured that this expense will be reimbursed thanks to travel insurance.
Read the following guidelines so you can research more on the subject.
14- Enjoy the trip
The only thing that remains is that you go to the airport, board the plane and rejoice for the fruits of your work. It is here when you must look back and see where you have come from after so much effort. Do not forget to keep in touch with your family and friends so that they know of your progress.
By using all the information in this post as a guide, you can organize yourself properly for your trip, no matter how long it lasts. If you want to deepen the planning of a trip around the world, take a look at my digital book for you to locate.