Last updated on June 24, 2023
For nearly a decade, I have collected an exhaustive page answering the most common questions facing long-term travelers. The pages below are stand-alone topics with an in-depth discussion on their own, while resource page covers nitty-gritty information you need to plan a round the world trip—from how to plan a route to handling your taxes. With more than 20,000 words of content, this practical resource should be your first stop
Traveling around the world for a year is a different beast than a one-week or short-term vacation; in essence there are a lot of similarities, but long-term travelers often need different things in their packs. When I left on my yearlong trip, I had a lot of anxiety about what to bring. This post shares not only my one-year packing list and the updates I added along the way, but also my current recommended packing list for those planning a trip (because a lot has changed since 2008!).
I left on a one-year RTW trip and I meticulously documented every dollar spent. This post shares share exactly what each item and destination cost for a backpacker budget, and it provides extensive resources for travelers at every budget level. Easily the most popular post on the site, half a million people view it every year and use the advice to plot and plan their own trip.
My family background is modest, at best. Instead of that trust fund image many have for world travelers, I attended college on merit-based scholarships. And before I booked my round the world ticket, I faced many obstacles—personal, family, and financial—preventing me from traveling. And yet, I have traveled extensively for nearly a decade now. Over the years, I learned the core tenets of personal finance, and I distill this advice into the most useful one you’ll find about saving for travel.
Researching the right travel insurance is a big headache, but it’s a necessity for long trips, those that include any sort of adventure activities, and trips including remote areas. I am a meticulous researcher, so I thoroughly weighed the coverage options, sharing what I use when I travel solo, but also why I switch insurance companies when traveling with dependents in my custody. These are reviews of companies I have come to trust.
One of the scariest obstacles to international travel is often the health question. In my planning stages for my own round the world trip I fretted over the health side of the equation because it was the big unknown. Beyond vaccinating myself, stocking my medical kit, and buying really good travel insurance, the rest is unknown and mostly uncontrollable. Here’s how to be prepared and handle it when serious sickness hits.
No matter your gender, safety is a concern facing every traveler. Fear of the unknown is legitimate and comes to us through our primitive systems—lizard brain. But many places are safer than you might assume and the most dangerous aspects of travel can emerge from unlikely areas. Travelers can take steps travelers to ensure personal, physical, and emotional safety while traveling in unfamiliar countries and cultures.
Leaving to travel was big and scary and uncertain for me. I asked myself over and over in those final hours before I headed to the airport: What if this is the wrong choice? That moment of struggle is one we all face at various points in our lives. Over the years, my readers email with a frequent and heartfelt email refrain of “how did you know you should go?” This post explores the nature of decision-making how we know when it’s time to change the direction of our lives.
Travel Planning Blog Posts
- A Little Discussion… Health, Travel Sickness, and How to Avoid Getting Sick
- A Little Review… The Best Gifts for Women Who Travel
- A Little Technology … How a Long-Term Traveler Backs Up Heaps of Data
- A Little Discussion… International Travel Documents for Travel with Minors
- A Little Review… The Perfect Travel Camera, My Panasonic Lumix
- A Little Planning… Vaccinating for World Travel
- A Little Creativity… Six Packing Hacks for Travel MacGyvers
- A Little Advice… Best VPN to Get Around the Great Firewall of China
- A Little Debacle… How Not to Do a Visa Run
- A Little Advice… Handling Money for Travel: Credit, Debit, & Cash
- A Little Synchronicity… Plan, Who Needs Plan!?
- A Little Humor… The Life of a Backpacker, Days of the Week Style