Travel planning is half the fun and half the battle of getting your Big Trip going. It’s endless to do lists and things to “wrap up” and take care of and one more trip to Target. AND it’s a glowing, wonderful anticipation of your travel dreams becoming a reality.
I once read the best destination is the airport right before you leave on a Big Trip. Very true for myself and I’m sure many other traveler. To get you there, here are some articles I’ve found to be very helpful and very true in planning for your own Big Trip. I’ve peppered in a few of my own around budgeting and packing as well, but really I’m just the curator for all the very helpful travel planning information out there.
A Small Request: Add your own link by replying to this post and let’s build a nice little list here.
First…Enough excuses already – Making your travel dreams a reality. A great pep-talk article by @driftingkiwito help you put down those harmful thoughts and pick up your travel vibe and get planning! Or you could always tell yourself reasons not to travel (We’re just kidding. This tongue-in-cheek article by @Lozula is really telling why you should.) BootsNAll makes it a little easier with 11 reasons to stop dreaming and start planning your around the world trip. Really, that discomfort you feel in daily life may be telling you to wander a bit.
Determining Where You Want to Go
- NEW: 7 Steps to Making Your Around the World Trip a Reality: a high-level to very practical way to go from dreaming to doing by @airtreks.
- Nine Epic Quests to Inspire your Trip: This article is one of a series from @BootsNAll on RTW travel themes. You’ll find trip ideas from traveling around the world to volunteer or try street food in every country.
- Solo Travel Planning: inspiration, orientation and perspiration: This article focuses on the solo traveler, but has great, practical tips in beginning to think about your trip. Take your travel dreams from vision to reality with this article by @solotraveler
- Create your travel vision: My article on the first step to realizing your travel dreams – determining where you want to go – and bringing it out of your heart and into reality.
- How to Decide Where to Go on a RTW Trip: @Bootsnall gets it right in so many ways. Here’s a very helpful article on how to analyze, plan, and make the choices for your big trip.
- The Lonely Planet ThornTree Forum This community is always there to answer any questions – cruise around it at first and then dive in and start asking some questions on where to go and what’s it like to go to your dream destinations. Helpful travelers are always ready to comment and answer questions.
- The RTW Must-Do List I like this list by @somanyplaces because it starts with the intentions and experiences of where the couple want to go and do. A great trip forms around bringing these intentions into reality. Then come the logistics and plane tickets.
- Five Destinations Under $30 a day: A nice budget conscious list by @nomadicmatt of still cheap destinations. A surprise – Greece!
Budgeting and Saving Money for the Trip
- How to Estimate a Budget For A Big Trip To begin saving, I recommend knowing how much to actually save – this was how I approached my trips. Estimating a budget is a little bit of art and a little bit of science and a lot of excel. You’ll estimate costs per day, transportation costs, and pre-post trip numbers. BUT Having this dream trip budget number really helped me choose the trip over say that cute pair of shoes at Nordstroms.
- How to Save for A RTW Trip A practical article that reads like your favorite financial planner is giving you advice and encouraging you – it really is possible to save all this money and live your travel dreams.
- A Little RTW Budget…A Year Traveling Around the World Costs Most comprehensive article I’ve read on long-term and RTW travel budgeting – woman has actual spreadsheets! (this makes my inner geek so happy). I found this article when I was planning my last trip and found it to be right on as I traveled. Overall, a very comprehensive site on all things travels planning by @ShannonRTW
- Round the World Travel Saving status Open, honest article about a couple who is saving for their yearlong RTW trip and how they are budgeting to do it. They also published a cute article on making your change jar work for your long-term travel.
- 11 Tricks to Cutting Travel Costs in 2011 Oh NYTimes practical traveler – what don’t you know about making the most of your travel dollar?
- How to Travel the World For Free There are a lot of these articles out there on this topic, but this one on Matador is unique, soulful and speaks to the internal tasks you must take care of (like going slowly and carrying less) to make the most of your travel dollar.
- How Much Does it Cost to Prepare for A Trip Around the World This article by @ITravelBig is a helpful list with exact costs on items packed. To me, it showed how achievable the actual preparation is with the per item breakdown.
- How to Travel When You Have No Money The biggest travel blogger @nomadicmatt shares how to travel the world for free OR make choices that allow you to save money and travel
- The Baffling Word of Visa Restrictions Just a helpful reminder on getting all those Visas taken care of prior to travel and leaving plenty of time to do so. Also, consider a applying second passport if you’re nervous about giving away the only document that verifies your national identity (Note: This article is just applicable to US citizens).
- How to (Legally) Stay in Europe Longer than 90 days A very comprehensive and creative article on how to work with and around the Schengen Visa by Nomadic Matt
Packing (This should also be “Shopping for a big trip”)
- Top 10 Things you should carry on any backpacking trip Number 1 – Toilet paper – is overlooked, but so necessary. Very helpful @maitravelsite
- How to Travel Long Term with only Carry on Luggage This list/goal by @nevendingvoyage is what I aspire to! I wasn’t able to do it, but if you can, definitely do it the benefits are most seen at the airport and while running for trains. This wonderful blog also has a packing list for very long term travel.
- What to Pack for a Big Trip My own list of packing for a four-month trip to India, Southeast Asia, and Morocco. I changed it after I came back to show what I would leave behind – books – and what I should have taken. AND I just put up a Pinterest board with pictures of all these items.
- 28 Tips for Traveling with An SLR and Laptop Inspirational, and very practical, world traveler @whereisjenny shares some very valuable advice for traveling with these very valuable items.
- What not to pack in your suitcase Helpful advice by long-term traveler and nomad @ottsworld
Picking Travel Companies
- Travel Companies I use I was going to put together my own list, but then found this very comprehensive one by @NomadicMatt – terminal world traveler and agree with pretty much every link on this list.
Just Before You Leave
- 28 Things I wish I Knew Before Traveling by The Art of Non-Comformity. Excellent and practical list on tips for preparation and in-country behavior.
- Don’t Forget To… A great list by @MyMelange about those things you really don’t want to forget before venturing off to the departures hall of your hometown airport. Like slip-on shoes. And passport copies. Important details indeed.
- 80 Things We Wish We Knew Before We Started Traveling A wonderful list put together by the wise folks at Matador travel network. It’s fresh, creative, and oh so true. Especially the section about taxis.
While You Are There
- Top 10 Ways to Deal With Culture Shock Amusing and helpful list by long term traveler @kristifuoco while living in Germany.
Thank you and…This list isn’t comprehensive, just my own personal bookmarks that I keep returning to when planning and thinking about big trips. Add your own in the comments/reply to help other would-be travelers.