Most people dream of seeing the world, but few take steps to make it happen. A world tour can be overwhelming, and you’ll need to find the balance between being efficient in your travels while still enjoying the places you visit. That’s why we’ve put together this guide on organizing your ultimate world tour so that you can do it right and make the most of every day on your journey around the globe.
Choose your goals
If you’re not 100% sure what your goals are for traveling, think about why you want to travel. Perhaps you want a change of scenery. Maybe you want an adventure. Or perhaps it’s time for some soul-searching and some self-discovery! Whatever your reason is, make sure that your goals are clear and achievable so that when your trip comes around, it’s exactly what you want. If it isn’t quite what you expected, you can work on improving next time! Now that we know our goals let’s plan accordingly!
Get the right visas
International travel is an experience of a lifetime, but you’ll want to take care when arranging your visa paperwork. Every country has its specific entry requirements for tourists, and sometimes getting a visa can be tricky. Be sure to research in advance, so you don’t miss out on visiting your dream destination; also, be aware that visas are often very expensive!
If you’re worried about missing out on visiting certain countries because of visa issues, consider traveling in between official tourist seasons or contacting a great travel advisor for more information. An experienced travel advisor can help ensure that your trip is smooth from start to finish like customized excursions to Turkey.
Map out your destinations
Before planning your itinerary, it’s essential to know where you want to go. Once you have a destination in mind, it’s time to plot them on a map and determine how much travel time will be involved in traveling from one location to another. It will take some research and collaboration with fellow travelers.
But your ultimate world tour won’t seem so daunting once you see all of those dots connecting on paper. (Be sure to include factors like currency exchange rates when researching.) For example, if travel days are too long or inconveniently placed between destinations, consider rescheduling your trip by changing its order or altering its length.
Make a packing list
Take a blank sheet of paper and create a list of things you think you’ll need while traveling. Try to include every situation, even if it seems improbable that you will ever be in it. Now take your list and sort each item into one of these categories: Absolutely Must Have (If You Lose It, You Lose The Trip), Should Have (Without This, Your Trip Would Be Inconvenienced), Nice To Have (You Could Do Without This But Life Will Be Easier With It). When packing for your trip, make sure all ABSOLUTELY MUST HAVE items are at hand—on your person or within immediate reach.
Do an inventory
To organize your trip and make sure you don’t forget anything, you must inventory everything in your possession that may be used during travel. Start with clothing, food supplies, toiletries, electronics, and other devices.
If you need something specific for your trip, like a camera or a camcorder, now is a good time to buy it—especially if you have time before your departure date. This will ensure that you have everything you need before leaving home.
Figure out transportation costs
You’ll need to book flights and find reasonable lodging. Make sure you’re not booking a super-expensive flight on miles alone — often, it doesn’t make sense to use miles if it makes your ticket super expensive, like $3,000+ for a transatlantic business class flight. You’re using points & miles as leverage, not spending money out of pocket. For more travel advice, check out our Travel Advisor series here on MileCards! A round-the-world trip isn’t feasible with most frequent flyer programs, but that doesn’t mean you can’t create your loop!
Sign up for travel insurance
Travel insurance covers various expenses, including trip cancellation and interruption, medical expenses, and lost or stolen belongings. If you’re traveling abroad, it’s smart to sign up for travel insurance. Most major credit cards automatically include some basic travel insurance coverage as part of their standard offerings.
But don’t assume your credit card provider has all your bases covered—it pays to different research policies and asks lots of questions before committing and traveling with children?
Certain policies cover costs like childcare while you’re away or lodging if there’s an emergency at home that requires you to cut your trip short. And yes, if you were wondering: Some policies even cover honeymoons and traveling for business?
Calculate how much money you’ll need for daily expenses
First, you’ll need to figure out how much money you’ll need each day for living expenses, which will vary depending on where you plan to travel. You should look at local prices and consult travel books for daily costs of living—lodging, food, transportation, and entertainment.
Multiply that number by how many days (or weeks) you expect your trip to last, and that’s how much cash (and traveler’s checks) you’ll need. Now multiply that total by two if you want some wiggle room in case something unexpected comes up or in case there are problems with currency exchange rates.
Decide if you need special equipment
You’ll need more than a passport, swimsuit, and hiking boots for your journey. Traveling abroad can get downright complicated if you’re not prepared. If you plan on traveling extensively or want to ensure that you have what you need when it comes time to go backpacking across Europe, consider working with a travel advisor who can help ensure all of your bases are covered.
Set up a budget spreadsheet
Keep your expenses in order by setting up a simple spreadsheet. As you begin planning your world tour, start breaking down your trip into categories like transportation and lodging. Note where your budget is going, so you can make sure that you have enough money for each category as you go along.
This will allow you to stay on track and ensure that everything gets paid for promptly. Additionally, note any essential travel documents (i.e., visa information) that need to be prepared before heading overseas.
With a firm grasp on all of these details ahead of time, organizing a world tour will be much easier than it might otherwise be. After all, nothing ruins an adventure quite like last-minute planning.