In the world, there are about 195 independent countries. So how do you even begin your search on what countries you would like to visit? At first this seems a hard task. There are so many beautiful places out there and you want to see them all, right? Unfortunately you have to make choices and keep many things in mind like the weather, high seasons versus low seasons, minimizing flight costs, and so on… I think we literally changed our route 20 times due to beginner mistakes. Don’t make the same mistakes like we did and…
- make an itinerary you will love and actually can achieve;
- know how to choose the right season;
- save a lot of precious time!
Step 1: How to start planning your world trip?
Set priorities! First we wanted to seek countries we really love to see. So in the initial phase, we were not thinking about the weather conditions or how expensive each country is. That’s for later in step 4.
A good way to start is looking at other travel blogs. First look for the highlights each country has to offer. If you like what you see, start looking for more information. Another major source of inspiration was ‘Departures’, a series that we recommend to all that are keen on travelling. Scott and Justin get you acquainted with so many countries! The choice for Sri Lanka, Zambia and The Cook Islands was mainly based on their travels! Definitely the best insider tip we can share with you. If you got inspired, then head to the next step.
Step 2: Know what you like and what kind of traveler you are
Ask yourself these simple questions:
Do I like…
- Big cities or nature?
- Diving and snorkeling?
- History and culture?
This will greatly help narrowing down your list, help to choose the right countries and eventually planning your world trip route. Keep also in mind that you will travel for a longer period. This means that you will have to slow down your normal travel pace and take some rest in between activities.
Step 3: Putting your around the world travel itinerary together
Okay, so by now you hopefully have a rough list of countries you really would like to visit. But how will you put all your ideas together into one ultimate travel route?
On a Sunday morning, we decided to individually write down our top ten. Luckily, there was some overlap! And then, we started planning. We checked different websites where RTW tickets are offered (e.g. roundtheworld.com). The fun thing about these websites is that give you an idea what are logical and cheap stopovers. They let you think out of the box. That’s how China and Thailand were added to our route.
Step 4: easy, cost effective and convenient travel routes
Step 4 is my least favorite step but also the most important one for your bank account. This step is all about making sacrifices, stop dreaming and check if your travel itinerary actually makes sense.
Check every country on your list for the following aspects:
- How do I get from country A to B?
- Can I travel overland? (Cheapest option)
- How expensive is flying from country A to B?
- How expensive are the daily expenses (e.g. accommodation, food, entrance fees, etc…)
This will greatly help you understand logical travel routes and save money and time on the road.
Step 5: picking the right period and season for your trip
This step is also about making sacrifices but to be honest it is not as crucial as step 4. Simply because every season has it’s advantages and disadvantages. Traveling during high seasons will likely have better weather conditions. On the other hand you will face much more crowds and prices for hotels tend to rise. Ideally you want to plan your route around shoulder seasons. This gives you the most comfort and bang for the buck!
Conclusion and last itinerary tip:
Don’t stress about your route to much. As an old saying goes: it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey. Try to see your world trip as a journey and the planning as a process. So as our last advice: be flexible, change your route if you feel like it and enjoy the ride!
Thanks for reading!
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