Have you always wanted to travel around the world long term? Do you feel like it’s more of a dream than something you can actually do? Well, it doesn’t have to be just a dream! It can be real and in this blog post, I will teach you the 10 steps to you need to do to prepare to travel around the world for one year. I will break it down step by step so you know exactly what to expect as you prepare for your big journey. That way, you can hit each milestone one at a time motivating you to go through with this important life long decision.
10 Steps you need to do to prepare to travel around the world for one year video
The 10 steps you need to do to prepare to travel around the world for one year
Step 1 – Determine how much money you need
If you’re going to prepare to travel around the world for one year, you’ll need to know how much money you need to save up.
After coming back from my own one year around the world trip and tabulating my spending, it came to be $65 CAD ($50 USD) per day. This daily total includes the cost of flights, accommodations, sight seeing cost, and other travel related expenses.
If you plan on travelling for one year (365 days), then you’ll need at least $23,725 CAD ($18,250 USD) saved up.
Can you travel for less? If you are an extreme backpacker, then you can definitely spend less money on your around the world trip. I’ve heard of people being able to travel for one year with just $10,000 USD. However, you’re going to be using a lot of free accommodation options, camping, and hitch hiking to pull this off.
Not everyone wants to do Couchsurfing or hitchhike so this method of travel is not for everyone.
If you want to stay at nicer accommodations and do more things, then $23,725 CAD ($18,250 USD) isn’t going to cut it. You’ll definitely want to save more money before you travel.
Step 2 – Determine your pre-trip timeline
When you prepare to travel around the world for one year, you need to plan a timeline of how you’re going to approach saving money and getting all your necessary documents for this big trip.
Here’s an example of how you can construct a pre-trip timeline:
- 1 year before travelling – Determine why you’re travelling in the first place. Estimate the cost of your trip then create a budget to save up for it.
- 6-12 months before travelling – Decide on your travel destinations, and check your passport validity.
- 3-6 months before travelling – Book your flight so you can’t back out of your trip and apply for VISAS.
- 2 months before travelling – Notify your landlord or rent out your property. Start selling your stuff and your car.
- 1 month before travelling – Get vaccinations and re-direct mail.
- 2 weeks before travelling – Notify your bank, scan your important documents, store away your stuff, and make a packing list.
- 1 week before travelling – Pack your bags, get foreign currency, and eat all your favourite foods.
Step 3 – Generate a list of places you want to visit
An important step when you prepare to travel around the world for one year is to generate a super bucket list of all the places you want to visit.
Make sure to include every single country, city, sights, trekking, and anything that is a must-see and do for you.
You also need to figure out what you want to do. Do you want to live a local and stay in one place for a long time? Would you like to do volunteer work? Or maybe you want to travel fast and rapidly tick off all your bucket list items!
There’s no right and wrong answer here so let your imaginations go wild!
Step 4 – Earn money faster
As you prepare to travel around the world for one year, the most important factor of your trip is how much money you have.
There’s a popular saying that goes like this “if the problem can be solved with money, then it’s not a problem”.
Basically, the more money you have before you travel, the less problems you’ll have while travelling.
Step 4 is all about offense which is earning money fast. The best way to earn money fast is to get a second or even a third job. For one year, have no life and just work and save money.
To speed the saving money process, start selling off all your things. Don’t be attached to material objects unless it has a sentimental value. Sell off everything so you don’t have that much stuff left before you leave. That way, you don’t need to rent storage space. With only a few boxes of belongings left, you can easily store it at a friend’s or family’s house during the time you are away travelling.
Step 5 – Save lots of money
Another important factor when you prepare to travel around the world for one year is limiting the amount of money that’s coming out of your bank account.
Step 5 is all about defense which is being as frugal as possible. Here are some ways you can save a lot of money on a daily basis:
- Cook your own food instead of going out
- Do free local activities instead of paid
- Cancel all your membership and subscriptions (gym, Netflix, TV)
- *Optional* move back home to your parent’s regardless of your age. No rent = massive amounts of money saved.
Step 6 – Pay off your debts
Depending on your personality, you may want to pay off all your debts as you prepare to travel around the world for one year.
In my opinion, having debt is a burden that will weight negatively on your shoulders. It’ll be harder to justify this big one year trip if you have a big debt.
If your debt is $20,000 or under, then I recommend taking more time to pay off your debt before leaving to travel. You might not be able to travel one year from now but instead, two years from now. That’s okay. Get rid of your debt so you can maximize the experience of your around the world trip.
Step 7 – Build up your frequent flyer miles
Don’t forget to start building up your frequent flyer miles balance as you prepare to travel around the world for one year.
In my opinion, it is foolish to pay full price for flights when you don’t have to.
The basic idea is to sign up for credit cards that has high sign up bonuses. Then, funnel your expenses to the appropriate credit cards to hit the minimum spend requirements. After hitting the minimum spend requirement, you will often be rewarded with lots of frequent flyer miles.
You can use these miles to book your international flight for around $100 instead of $1000. The massive savings goes a long way and will let you travel longer or do more things.
If you’re Canadian, read my articles on how to get started earning frequent flyer miles for your big trip:
- The Starter’s Guide to Travel Hacking Part 1: Flights
- The Complete Guide to British Airways Avios
- How to Book An Aeroplan Mini-RTW for Newbies
Step 8 – Book your flight!
Don’t just prepare to travel around the world for one year, make it happen!
I recommend travelling from east to west of the globe. That way, you can significantly reduce the jet lag you experience.
When ready, book your first flight out of the country. Don’t back down from living your dream of seeing the world and going on a trip of a lifetime
Step 9 – Get your gears and vaccinations
Getting your gears and vaccinations as you prepare to travel around the world for one year is important.
Check out this article to determine which vaccinations you’ll need while you travel around the world.
Don’t forget to get travel insurance before you leave, you never know when you’ll need it. I personally used WorldsNomads when I travelled and it’s pretty good (they paid out on my claim when I missed a flight after getting sick in the Philippines). However, when I tried AMEX insurance and I tried making a claim, they put me in a never ending loop and my claim was rejected despite sending them all the documents they asked.
Pick a backpack that you’re allowed to bring in the plane cabin. Something that’s about 45L in size will work. As far as day packs go, find one that has a lock function to keep your belongings safe from thieves.
Here are the backpacks I use now (contains my amazon affiliate link):
You’ll also want to get a camera to save the memory of your journey. Here are the ones that I use now or used during my own 380 days of travel:
Canon M50 – I use this camera now because it’s one of the best vlogging mirrorless camera in the market.
GoPro – I used to use the Hero4 Silver but in the process of upgrading to the latest one.
Canon G7X Mark II – I used the Mark I when I travelled around the world and highly recommend it because of it’s portability and ease of use.
Step 10 – Pack your bags!
Make sure you have a big check list as you prepare to travel around the world for one year.
Before leaving, double and triple check it to make sure you didn’t forget anything important.
Once that is done, pack your bags! It’s time to pull the trigger on your big one year around the world trip.
When you prepare to travel around the world for one year, the most important thing is to follow through your plan of action. Going back on your dream is the worst thing you can ever do for yourself.
Some doors close as you get older and travelling a certain way around the world is not the same when you’re in your 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s and 60+. This is definitely not something you want to put off, especially if it’s your dream to travel around the world for one year.
Pull the trigger on your dream to travel around the world and have an amazing and unforgettable time of your life!