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HOW TO PREPARE FOR A ONE-YEAR WORLD TRIP

August 14, 2016

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Here we are, less than one month before our big adventure and we would lie if we said we are relaxed and readyWE ARE NOT and we would probably never be until the very minute our flight will take off. And even then our minds will be racing a millions miles per hour, running through all the things we’ve done so far and all those we still have to take care of…and yet, we have that reassuring feeling that EVERYTHING’S GONNA BE ALL RIGHT, that everything will fall into place at the right time and what’s left to us is to live our experience to the fullest!

 

That said, we came to this reassuring feeling with a little bit of PREPARATION – leaving for one-year world trip is no easy task and here below are some pieces of advice, in no particular order, we would like to share with anyone interested. These tips have worked very well for us, however, everyone will start from a different situation and can readjust the below to his/her own specific needs. Enjoy!

 

  • MAKE LISTS – Visualising helps our minds focus on what’s important and get it done. Think of any possible step to take towards your big adventure, write everything down and order all actions in chronological order. Every time you’ve completed an action, cross it off your list – this will make you fell much better knowing your one step closer to achieve your dream! 

 

Insider tip – Make a list of what to buy for your trip, of all your subscriptions to cancel before leaving, of all your friends to meet before your departure…. Anything you don`t want to forget and you want to get done. 

 

  • SAVE MONEY – Many will think we`re rich if we can travel the world for one year, except we are not. We’re not lucky either, no big inheritance or lottery wins – we’ve been saving money and without much effort or sacrifices. Sometimes it’s more about how you allocate your spending than about how much money you make. 

 

Insider tips – you can start with small savings working your way up to big numbers. Eating out everyday for lunch? Reduce it to one time per week, rediscovering how much fun and healthier your home-made meal can be. Learn more HERE.

 

  • CREATE A TRIP CALENDAR – Again, don’t underestimate the power of putting something in writing. Things get done magically (or almost) =) Here is the excel calendarwe have been using for our planning – nothing complicated that can be simplified to only one column for all expenses’ types. 

 

Insider tip – You can start by adding only approximate figures to calculate your initial budget – start with big expenses such as flights and rental vehicles and then work your way down to accommodation, activities, entry fees, visa fees…everything that comes to mind when planning. Use different colors to identify expenses or booking priority and even set deadlines if this helps you. 

 

 

  • MONITOR FLIGHTS – A general rule for all your bookings is to monitor prices and compare – never impulse buy! But also don`t wait for last-minute deals. Accustom yourself to price variances (price varies significantly depending on the day of the week) and strike your deal in advance.

 

Insider tip - Signing up for email alerts from airlines on your specific flights and using flight comparison websites can turn up to save you some time. Check these websites out:

Skyscanner

Kayak

Momondo 

 

  • PRE BOOK - Book all main accommodation/transportation/activities in advance – last minute deals are all but real these days. If you travel in peak season and in an exclusive location, the more reasons to pre book – some websites like Booking.com will make you cancel 24hrs before arrival with no cancellation fees, which gives you some flexibility to change your plans later on.  

 

Insider tip - Connections around the world are a great resource for insider tips and secret spot locations to visit. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with your friends living around the world to catch up over a dinner or coffee during your stay. They might even offer to host you for a couple of nights. Don’t forget to return the favor in the future!   

Airbnb

Booking

 

  • CANCEL CONTRACTS & SUBSCRIPTIONS – Make a list of all your subscriptions/contracts and contact them one by one to cancel your services (electricity, internet connection, mobile plan, rental agreement…). Some operators will require you to cancel your subscriptions way in advance. Don’t leave them to last!

 

Insider tip – Make sure you read the cancellation terms and conditions for each operator, don’t get stuck in cancellation fees only because you forgot to end your contract before a certain date.

 

 

  • SPRING-CLEAN - Be ruthless with your cleaning before leaving. Ask yourself: how many time have I used this item in the past year? Has this been valuable to me and will this still be of value in the future? Am I ready to pay a fee to store this item til I come back? If the answer is no to these questions, then GET RID OF IT – it might be difficult at the beginning but in the end you will end up reducing your storage space, saving money and feeling much more light.

 

Insider tip - Sell or donate old/unused clothes and items to Second Hand Shops or Charities or on Internet groups, they will be forever grateful and you will feel just great. Garage sale is also a great idea! You might even make some extra money for your trip – every bit counts!

Here are our picks for Auckland (New Zealand): 

Dove Hospice Auckland

Auckland City Mission

Neighbourly

Trademe

 

  • STORAGE SPACE – Most big cities offer self storage spaces for a monthly fee – it might pay to visit the actual storage facilities to have an idea of the size of the storage units and pricing. 

 

Insider tip – Ask friends and family around. Most will offer to store part of your stuff without even asking – storing is caring =)

 

  • BE LIGHT – The first rule of travel is as simple as that: be light! Choose your travelling clothes carefully. Make a list of what to take, yes, another one – and stick to it, don`t pack more than that. Pack all-weather, all- purpose and no-iron clothes and coordinate colors – you only need few clothes which will be great in any weather and go well with each other.  

 

Insider tip – Choose the right luggage for your trip – Duffel bags are strong, compressible and sturdy and get less damaged than rigid suitcases. This is our choice: Osprey Transporter

 

 

  • MONEY ABROAD – Be prepared for your travel expenses abroad – having a credit card is always a good idea (it`s compulsory if you`re renting a vehicle) but be also aware of all the double fees you`re paying on top of your travel expenses. For everyday travel expenses look into a prepaid traveler card (ask your bank) and withdraw cash as you go. Here is our choice: WestpacCurrencyCard

 

Insider tip – Tell your bank you’re travelling, for how long and where – don’t get stuck with a blocked card. 

 

  • RESIGN – It will never be easy (unless you really hate your job!), especially if you like your job, your life-style, your colleagues. It`s difficult to separate ourselves from a comfortable life – why are we doing it to ourselves, right? And the answer is just right there: some people more than other need action and change and no matter how much comfortable their life can get, they will always lack that spark that makes them feel alive. 

 

Insider tip – Be honest with your boss and explain why you are resigning – eventually they will understand your choice and make your resignation much more enjoyable than you expect. Here few tips: Resign Gracefully 

 

 

  • VISAS AND PASSPORT – Why are we not living in a world without barriers? While we keep singing “Imagine” (John Lennon) to ourselves, we know that documents have to be in order to be accepted by other countries. Make sure to check the specific entry rules on the Immigration website for each country you visit – you may be asked to fill in an online/paper form and pay an entry fee. Make sure you have sufficient validity on your passport for your travel.

 

Insider tip – Some country like USA will ask you to apply for a visa even if you only transit with your flight – be prepared, especially if you have a tight flight connection! More here: Esta

 

 

  • INSURANCE – Don`t go with the first good-looking cover - do some research before buying insurance. Make sure it will cover where you are going and what you are doing (hiking above 3000mt, skiing….).

 

Insider tip – There are some very good websites out there which do the job for you, you will still need to read all Terms and Conditions but they will save some of your precious time.

Here what we used (these are for New Zealanders but will work well for Australians too):

CompareTravelInsurance

Finder

 

  • GOOD-BYE PARTY – It’s exciting, you`re leaving for a one-year adventure, with the prospect of meeting lots of new interesting people and making new friends! Yet, don’t forget who is going to stay – your friends and family will always be there for you and deserve a good-bye party more than you do because you know you can always count on them when you will be back after your adventure. Celebrate with style!

 

  • And most importantly DON’T PANIC! – Your plan will never be perfect, so just do your best to make it work and EVERYTHING’S GONNA BE ALL RIGHT. Dream your adventure and believe in it – you`re already half way!

 

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