If you are considering a one year trip around the world, then you have come to the right place. If your most burning question is ‘I want to travel the world. Where do I start?’ Then this post is for you.
If you aren’t quite there yet and are wondering what the benefits of a round the world trip are, then let me convince you by telling you about all the things you can learn from traveling around the world.
In this post, I will teach you where to start with your considerations and your planning by thinking about and answering 10 easy questions.
Recommended for you: How I plan my trip around the world (including 41 planning tasks)
Planning a year of travel can be very overwhelming. I know that.
There are probably a lot of scary questions swirling around in your mind right now:
- How will I pay for this?
- What do I need to prepare?
- How do I decide when to go?
- What will my parents/friends/colleagues say?
These are just some of the questions you probably have. There are many more you will need to answer before you can start your trip around the world. But you need to start somewhere, and answering all questions at once can be very overwhelming.
For this reason, I put together a list of 10 question you need to answer so you can start planning a trip around the world.
10 questions you need to answer if you are thinking about a trip around the world
1. Should you do a RTW trip now? [Updated April 2021]
My simple opinion on this question is “NO” now is NOT the time to do it with borders still closed and many countries struggling to get on top of Covid-19.
BUT I do suggest you start planning now. Why? Because if you don’t do it now, you might never do it.
That is the problem with the ‘I will do it when I have more money’ or ‘I will do it when I am 30’ or ‘I will do everything when I am retired’ mentality. You don’t know the future, the magical time you are waiting for might never come. So, if you can do it now, do it now!
Of course, I know it is not as simple as that. So, take the time and evaluate your personal situation. Write a pro and con list if necessary. Talk to your parents, or friends, or partner (or all of them). Ask other people who have done a trip around the world about their experiences, challenges, and fears before they went.
I am sure you will find many reasons not to plan your around the world trip now, but there are probably as many good reasons to do it RIGHT NOW.
Sometimes an ‘as soon as possible’ is also a right answer, as long as you make a real plan to go 1 or 2 years from now and start planning now. Beginning to plan right now is one way to hold yourself accountable and not chicken out of your decision to quit (or pause) your job for a year. I know it can be scary, I have been there.
2. How long do you want to travel?
Actually, you don’t have to travel for a year to go see the world, it could as well be 3 months or half a year, or even two years. So, think about how long you want to travel.
Keep in mind traveling can be tiring depending on the speed you want to move from location to location.
Also, remind yourself that you will be gone from family, friends and your comfort at home. Will you miss it? Do you even want to go for one whole year? Or maybe, is one year even enough? Think it through.
3. Who are you traveling with?
This should be one of the most straightforward questions. Are you traveling alone (which would make this a solo trip)? Are you going with a friend or your partner? There are also people who travel with their parents. And of course, many people who travel all around the world with their family, husband, wife, and kids.
4. What’s your preferred travel style?
Let’s say you want to travel the world in one year, 12 months. What do you want to do in that time? There are basically two ways to travel with many small variations:
You either travel fast, or you travel slow.
Fast travel means trying to experience as many countries as you can in as short a time as possible.
Slow travel means staying in only a couple of select locations during the year and getting to know live in another country in depth.
There is no better or worse way. Just figure it out for yourself, and talk about your expectations with your fellow travellers.
5. Where do you want to go?
Now that you know how long and how fast you want to travel it is time to think about locations. There are many considerations you will need to think off once your planning gets more into detail, but for the purpose right now make a list of the countries you would want to visit during your trip.
This should be a list without judgment. Just write down from your heart. And when you are done try to rank them by how much you want to visit each country. 1 is your first-choice country, 2 is the next choice and so on.
If you are more than one person in your travel party, each person should make a list, and then you can compare your choices. Prioritize the destinations that were high on everyone’s list.
6. How long do you want to go to each destination?
This again depends on the answers to the questions above. If you want to travel for 1 year and travel slowly about 4 countries, you can spend a maximum of 3 months in each country. If you plan to see 20 countries, then each country will be about 2.5 weeks, so about 17 days.
Of course, there will be countries you want to spend more time in and in other places a couple of days (or weeks) will be enough.
Look again at your answers and figure out how long you want to stay in each destination you wrote down in response to question number 6. Start from the top.
7. When do you want to leave?
This is a difficult question to answer. Do you want to leave right away? In half a year? Or can you wait another year or two? There is a lot you have to consider to answer this question with a final answer.
How fast can you prepare for the trip? Do you already have the necessary money or will you need to save first? Is it a good time to quit your job now? How about other responsibilities? All of these questions will play a role in finding a start date for your trip round the world.
I had more than one year between the decision to travel to actually going on the trip. It was the best time to leave after my rental contract had finished and I had gotten my half-yearly company bonus, which is a huge part of my around the world budget.
8. What’s your travel budget?
The most common question when it comes to planning a year of travel is probably ‘how much does it cost to travel the world’ and the answer is: It depends.
It depends entirely on you and your travel style, what level of comfort you want and where in the world you want to go.
9. Why do you want to travel the world?
This might be the most philosophical question of my 10 questions you need to answer for yourself.
I will tell you why a ‘why’ is important. I recently read about a blogger who saved about 30.000 US dollar to travel the world and then decided not to do it and do a master’s degree instead. What does this tell you? When she started saving money to do a sabbatical to travel around the world, she didn’t think about her why.
What are you looking for?
10. What other burning questions do you have?
Write down all your questions and fears. You will need to work through each and every one of these questions before you are ready to go. I already wrote a couple of examples in the introduction.
Here are a couple more:
- What will I do with my house?
- Do I need health insurance?
- How to save money to travel the world?
- How can I travel for free?
- How do I convince my parents to let me go?
- And probably many more.
Just add to this list whenever you think of a new question.
Ready to go? Start planning now with our How I plan my trip around the world (including 41 planning tasks)