Whew! Made it through Bootsnall’s “Plan your RTW trip in 30 days” challenge! Now I’m even more stoked to leave than I already was! The folks over at Bootsnall have some great tips to share and if you’re even just thinking about a RTW/extended trip, go check them out. The 30 day challenge will be able to help you figure out if you’re serious or not. Another awesome website that inspired me to take the plunge is Nomadic matt. Seriously, I want his life. Happy travels!
Posts Tagged With: bootsnall
Day 29 of Bootsnall’s “Plan your RTW trip in 30 days” is the Final RTW Checklist!! This is a summary….
1 year + from estimated departure…decide the why, the where, the how much you’ll need, and how much money you can save/earn in the time you have.
6 months-1 year…lock down that departure date, figure out what you’re going to do with current bills, housing, your job and STUFF, start the immunization process, and make sure your passport is in order.
3-6 months…consider slowing down your itinerary, decide on whether you’ll go with a traditional RTW ticket/buy as you go/combination for flights and solidify your route.
2-3 months…start telling people (whoops, I started doing that a year ago haha), look into your accommodation options, research overland travel, and pick out your travel insurance.
1-2 months…suss out your packing list, choose your luggage, cut your packing list in half (ok, i added that, but trust me, it’s necessary), make sure your current housing is taken care of (i.e. your house is sold, your rental agreement is ending, whatever), get any visas in advance that you can, and make sure you have what you need for other visas you are getting on the road.
>1 month…automate your bills/banking, look into your working on the road options, figure out how you are going to stay connected on the road, book 1-3 nights in your first destination, make any last minute doctor visits.
2 weeks…quit/leave your job, get all the stuff you aren’t selling and aren’t taking with you into storage, have a going away party (after all, you’ve earned it after all that hard work), get any last minute cravings out of the way by eating and drinking at your favorite places.
1-7 days…cancel any bills/services that you won’t be needing on the road, pack your bags, and get any last minute things that you need.
Day of departure…get a ride to the airport, grab a latte and a magazine, and get on the plane!!
Day 23 is titled “Automate the boring stuff”. It basically talks about automating your finances before your trip so that while you’re out traveling the world, you don’t have to think of mundane things like hoping your payment to your credit card went through or wondering when you’ll be able to get to a computer or phone so you can make sure your monthly mortgage payment is on time. My solution will be to get rid of all my monthly payments (though I will still have a credit card, so I’ll probably set up automatic monthly payments from my savings account to take care of that). I’m timing it so my rent with be up when I leave which takes care of rent, water, electricity, and cable/internet. I’m going to turn the gas off as soon as it gets warm enough (I have an electric heater for emergencies). I have a month by month cell phone plan (yay virgin mobile!) so that’s easy enough to stop. I’l have to write my health insurance about a month in advance to let them know I’m dropping them (that’s a first…I’m used to it being the other way around haha). And that takes care of my monthly payments…My advice to you is get rid of as many of those pesky monthlys as possible and automate the rest. Happy Travels!
Advice for the day, take some time within your trip for “slow travel”. You will probably, at some point, experience travel burnout during your crazy-long trip. At this time, do not be afraid to take a vacation from your vacation. Sounds silly but trust me, you’ll need it. Hunker down somewhere for a week or even a month. When you start moving again, you’ll be able to experience your trip with fresh eyes and get so much more out of it than if you just keep moving throughout your entire time away from home. Sometimes you just need to feel grounded. It does not make you any less of a super-awesome traveler for taking a break. My plan is to take at least one mini break in each main area I’m going to. Australia will be easy since I’m planning on working a lot of my time there. When I’m burnt out traveling through southeast Asia, I’m thinking I’ll rent an apartment for a month, probably in Thailand, preferably near a beach, maybe I’ll even get my dive masters (takes 6-8 weeks usually). In South America, I want to take time for an intensive spanish language course in one of the cheaper countries. Bottom line, don’t be afraid to stop to smell the roses. After all, you’re taking this trip to experience life in other countries, not just to snap a few pics and hop across the border.
Day 20 — what to do with housing while you’re away. This is an easy one for me. I’m renting and when I leave I’ll just…stop renting lol. I have family only a couple miles away who have graciously offered me a bit of space in their basement for anything I want to keep (I’m limiting myself to the old fashioned trunk my dad found years ago and anything I can fit into it) and I’m selling everything else I own, so no need to rent a storage space.
For me, the situation of what to do with current housing is an easy one, but it might not be for you. And to be truthful, it almost wasn’t easy for me. I’d been thinking about buying a house in the area and for a while, I convinced myself that I should still buy a house, fix it up over the summer, and then find a company to manage renting it out while I was gone. If I was only going to be gone for a year or if I’d found a house I loved, I probably would have gone through with it, but because I don’t actually know how long I’m going to be gone and none of the houses on the market in the area I want to buy in are what I’m looking for, I decided to scrap that idea. If you do own a house though, look into renting it out while you’re gone. Like I mentioned above, there are companies out there that will manage your property for you while you are gone. They screen rent applicants, keep your house in good working order, etc, for usually 10% of the rent. Something to think about…
Day 19 of Bootsnall’s “Plan your RTW trip in 30 days” basically just asks how the trip planning is going thus far. So far, I think the challenge has been very helpful. It’s approached a few topics from angles I hadn’t thought of, reiterated the importance of others, and kept me motivated. There were a few days I just glossed over the article because I already had that aspect of my trip sorted, but I definitely think every day’s topic would be helpful to someone who has never traveled long-term before. The only thing I think needs to be changed is the fact that you can’t just go to bootsnall.com and see each day’s action guide. All in all, great job to the folks at Bootsnall for putting this together! Stay strong and travel on!
Day 17 of Bootsnall’s “Plan your RTW Trip in 30 Days” addresses what kind of luggage you should take…suitcase, backpack or hybrid? This seems like a pretty obvious choice to me, but maybe it wouldn’t seem that way if I had never traveled long term before. In my eyes, a backpack is the only way to go. A rolling suitcase may seem practical…until you’re faced with miles and miles of gravel or cobblestone. That hard-shell might seem like a good choice…until you can’t stuff it in your assigned locker at a hostel and therefore can’t lock it up. For these and a variety of other reasons, I’d recommend going with a backpack. It’s just easier to sling a backpack over your shoulder when you’re hopping from hostel to hostel, train to ferry, bus to plane. Having said that, don’t just run out and buy the cheapest backpack you can find. Take your time finding the one that is right for you. Remember, you’re gonna be hauling this beast everywhere with you so you need to make sure it not only fits your body correctly, but is made out of a very durable fabric, has enough space for what you need, but not too much, because that can also cause discomfort, and fits any other specifications you may want. For instance, I prefer mine to have a raincover, be top-loading and front-loading for easy access, have a separate compartment for muddy shoes, and have limited extra external pockets as they tend to be a target for pickpockets.
You don’t have to spend a ton of money, but don’t skimp on your backpack because it will be such an important part of your trip. Check out the sale rack at REI, LL Bean, Northface, etc. An outdoor store is more likely to have a super comfortable and durable backpack than say, Walmart, which is where I got my first travel backpack. It did alright, but after about 6 months of backpacking, it had 2 holes and one of the stabilization stays had ripped off. The straps were starting to rub and it smelled like a foot (though that last detail probably had more to do with the fact that I’d spent 6 months in the super humid Central American climate where nothing ever seemed to dry. Stay strong and travel on!