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Plan a world trip in 10 steps | Full manual & step-by-step plan

Are your social media feeds making you want to jump on the next plane to an exotic destination? Do you find yourself daydreaming about exciting adventures in faraway lands? If you suffer from wanderlust, a world tour may be the solution. Planning a world trip at the moment seems an impossible task due to the coronavirus, but this is perhaps the right time to actually calculate your world trip costs and map out a route. Planning a trip around the world is a daunting task, even if you are a frequent traveler. It often takes months of research and planning to get to the stage where you're ready to board that plane and take to the skies.

To prepare you for the adventure of a lifetime, here's a step-by-step guide to planning a trip around the world, determining a trip itinerary around the world, and everything that entails. A nice bonus: you immediately have something to do during this annoying corona period that seems to have no end. Help yourself through the winter!

Step 1: Choose which countries you want to visit

Choosing where you want to go is important because it changes your focus and inspiration cares to continue your dream journey. But more importantly, knowing the countries you want to visit. It determines a lot. It will help you realize your world travel itinerary and decide how long you are going to spend in each place, the route you take and how much you need to budget in the end. More on that later.

Bucket list world map from the World Travelers webshop
Bucket list world map from the World Travelers webshop

If you're considering a trip around the world, you probably have a long list of destinations that you desperately want to explore. There's no right or wrong way to do this, it's just a matter of writing down all the places you want to visit so you can plan around them. Do you still need inspiration to determine which countries or places you will visit during your world trip? Then go through different lists, for example this Top 10 with the cheapest countries† Write down the countries or places that appeal to you the most and add them to your list of places to visit. Below are some other useful blogs to use for inspiration.

Also read: 20 Must Sees in South America | Food for your Bucket List
Also read: 24 Must Sees in Africa | The most beautiful places for your bucket list

Step 2: Calculate the costs and create a savings plan

It is best to start saving as early as possible. It does help to have an idea of ​​the route you are taking, because then you can start figuring out how big your budget should be. At this stage, read travel blogs and guidebooks to give you an idea of ​​the cost for each destination you plan to visit. Also check the various accommodation sites to see the price of a room during the travel dates you have chosen.

Also read: Top 10 | What are the cheapest countries for a world trip?

Calculate costs around the world

You can then break it down into a day budget for each location. Multiply the daily budget by the number of days you expect to spend in each place. Now you know exactly what your trip around the world will cost. It is important to create separate budgets for each country instead of just a general daily budget. Costs can vary wildly from place to place. Don't forget to include transportation, accommodation, food and drink, and things like visas and border fees.

Determining a total budget around the world

The size of your world travel budget, of course, strongly depends on your personal travel style. Do you stay in luxury hotels or cheap hostels? And are you planning to fly everywhere or do you like to travel by train or bus? All this has a major impact on the cost of a trip around the world. Be realistic about the level of comfort you need on your world tour and understand that you generally have to pay more for better amenities.

Make a savings plan around the world

Have you mapped out your required budget? Then it's time to make a savings plan. Depending on your required budget and how much time you have to save, you should set monthly savings goals. Yes, she will have to pay close attention to your expenses in the near future. Still, there are many smart ways to save money or earn extra cash to help you reach your goals faster. You can read exactly how to draw up a savings plan, including a complete step-by-step plan with goals and tips on our save up page.

Step 3: Map out a route

Now that you have a list of possible destinations and have already saved up a bit, it's time to connect the countries into a feasible world travel route. Unfortunately, you'll probably have to drop a few places off your list at this stage because it's just not feasible to include them all.

Also read: World trip route in 5 steps | How do you make a plan?

Remember, the fewer places you visit, the less money you'll have to spend on transportation to each location. More countries and locations simply means your budget continues to grow. It also means you can spend less time in each place. A common mistake is wanting to see too many countries in too short a time. This not only makes your world travel route complex, it also generally does not benefit your travel pleasure.

Also read: Cheap world trip route example | Around the world for €1500

World trip | Route example
World trip | Route example

The best way to plan your world travel route is to pull out a large world map and mark all the destinations on your list. You should start seeing clusters of destinations that are close to each other and how to potentially get from one to another.

When planning your route, it is also important to take into account the weather and climate of each place. Check the seasons in advance as it can change the direction you travel and when you go. on climateinfo.nl you can perfectly see per country or region whether your travel period matches the climate.

Step 4: Start booking your world trip

Booking flights, accommodation and even visits to major attractions in advance doesn't sound appealing. In some cases it can be essential. For example, if you plan to walk the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, you would do well to book this far in advance. Only a limited number of visitors are allowed to do this each year, because limited permits are issued. That's why you need to book about six months or more in advance to secure everything.

Book essential trips well in advance
Book essential trips well in advance

Pre-booking or booking can also be a great way to save as things are already paid for before you go. However, spontaneity is one of the real pleasures of traveling the world, so a tight schedule will again detract from that. Allow yourself some flexibility to stay longer or change your plans if you wish.

Book flights

Only the essential flights are booked far in advance to ensure that you have a common thread through your world trip, but no more than that. For example, only book long-haul flights, for example from Europe to Asia and from Asia to the United States. Leave the flights that you may want to book in between, for example from Singapore to Indonesia, open for now. Do you really want to get started?

The best thing about booking your first flight tickets is that it all suddenly feels very different. You are really going on a world tour! This great feeling provides months of euphoria and planning the rest of your world trip suddenly seems a lot easier. You will be whistling through life in the coming months!

Also read: Skyscanner | How to save (a lot of) money on flights

Book accommodations

You are tired after a long or intercontinental flight. At those times it's just nice to know where you sleep. Avoid having to look for hotels at the last minute, because you really don't feel like it just before or just after a long flight. Events and festivals also ensure that accommodations are fully booked quickly, so it is advisable to book well in advance.

Book tours

Admire the Inca Trail at Machu Picchu? Climbing the active Rinjani volcano? Make sure to book these tours more than 6 months in advance because believe us, they fill up quickly. There are many other popular tours and destinations that you prefer to book far in advance. Are you sure in advance which places or tours you absolutely do not want to miss? Then book them far in advance, just in case. Nothing is more annoying than being disappointed at the last minute.

Tours are the best here books, on the website of get your guide. They have a huge global selection and they are usually a lot cheaper than TripAdvisor.

Step 5: Organize your banking

When you're good saved for your world trip, you de have a plan ready and have actually booked your first tickets, it is wise to think carefully about your money matters and what to do in case of an emergency. Avoid budget problems on the go – keep most of your money in a bank account that doesn't have card access, but can be accessed online. You may need to open another account for this. From there you can transfer smaller amounts to an account with card access. So if your card is stolen, the thieves will only have access to a small amount of money. Because of the potential difficulties of getting new cards along the way, it's also a good idea to have more than one account that you keep pretty much empty but can transfer money into if needed.

Money matters and credit cards for your world trip
Money matters and credit cards for your world trip

Would you like to know more about arranging your money matters for a trip around the world? Then take a look at our Money matters for your world trip page.

Step 6: Start Preparing

Vaccinations

Staying healthy while traveling around the world should be your number one priority, as many countries are affected by diseases and conditions that we just don't get here in the Netherlands. Find out which vaccinations you need once you've figured out your route. Do not delay, because vaccinations sometimes only work after a few months or require repeated visits to Vaccinations Op Reis or the GGD. There are even some countries that won't let you in without proof that you've had certain vaccinations. So make sure you have this in order.

Also read: Vaccinations for a World Trip | Everything you need to know

Medicines | Plan a world trip
Medicines | Plan a world trip

Note: We also strongly advise anyone traveling to a country or area where Malaria may occur not to jump to conclusions from this or other articles. Always make an appointment with one of the specialists of Vaccinations Op Reis or the GGD. The information they have is always up-to-date and that is why they can advise you specifically based on the specific travel plans you have.

malaria pills

If you're on medication or traveling to malaria areas, you should also plan to make sure you have enough for the entire trip. You should also research whether you can buy that medicine at any location, whether you need a prescription, and how easy it is to get it if needed.

Also read: Travel and Malaria | Everything you need to know about malaria pills

You will not enter any country legally without a valid passport and Visa, so you will have to arrange this well in advance. Many Dutch people with little travel experience expect to be able to walk in anywhere with a valid passport – unfortunately that is not the case in many countries and you will have to take that into account.

arrange visa

Visa can be both an extra cost item and a complication, but unfortunately as a Dutch traveler you regularly have to apply for a visa request a visa for the different countries you visit. Be sure to do your research and apply in advance for countries that require it. For some countries it is difficult to obtain a visa and it may only be possible to do this from your own country (at an Embassy for example), so check and arrange this before boarding the plane.

Passport and Visa arrangements
Passport and Visa arrangements

Passport validity

Your passport must be valid for at least another six months to cover the end of your trip, as many countries will not let you in with less than 6 months validity. If you are going on a world trip for a year, your passport must therefore be valid for at least another 1,5 years and preferably even longer, if you decide to stick to it for one or two months. You should also have enough pages for all the stamps and visas you are going to purchase. Most countries require a minimum of three full pages, it's a strange requirement that is never actually checked but theoretically it could become a problem. It's worth doing a quick calculation to make sure your passport lasts until the end of your trip – avoid being turned away at the border.

Home Affairs

If you have a house, are you going to rent it out while you are away? Do you have recurring invoices that you need to automate or cancel? Are you planning to sell your stuff before your trip to raise extra money? There are plenty of things to take care of at home before you leave, and the earlier you start, the less stressful it will be. Make a list of everything you need to do to prepare for your trip around the world and spread out the tasks leading up to your trip. For more information and useful tips to prepare for your world trip, take a look at our preparation for a world trip page.

Buy travel insurance

Many people choose to go abroad without travel insurance, but if you're going on a longer trip or around the world, it's just not worth the risk. Get a decent world travel insurance policy that covers you for medical expenses, trip cancellations, lost luggage and everything else you need. As with any insurance policy, you should double check the fine print to make sure it is appropriate and worth the cost. Take your time for this, do it carefully.

Including covid-19 coverage
Travel insurance from Allianz

Whether you're looking for short-term or long-term travel insurance, Allianz is the best choice for those who travel regularly. The coverage for luggage, gadgets and medical expenses abroad is generally higher with Allianz than with comparable insurers.

The travel insurance can also be expanded with a cancellation insurance and all travel insurances have been standard since this year covid-19 coveragein the unlikely event that something happens just before or during your trip.

Compare insurance
Want to support us? We earn a small commission if you make a purchase through our link(s), at no additional cost to you.

Also read: Which travel insurance do you need for a trip around the world?

Buy a foreign driver's license

Are you planning to rent a car or scooter on a trip around the world? First of all, make sure you familiarize yourself with the rules of the relevant country and check whether you can actually drive the vehicle with your driver's license. check?! Then you can easily buy a foreign driving license from the ANWB. This costs on average about 20 euros. There are 2 types of driving licenses for Asia, so make sure you have the right one. One driver's license is valid for 1 year and the other for 2 years. All you need to bring to the store is a passport photo and your Dutch driver's license.

Step 7: Packing for your world trip

Packing for your trip around the world can be a daunting task as it can be very confusing to know exactly what to bring and what not to bring. Start by looking at the places you'll visit, the climates you'll experience, and the activities you'll be doing. These three things will help you determine what to pack in your luggage. Remember, you can get anything pretty much anywhere in the world.

Smart packing for your world trip
Smart packing for your world trip

Pack smart

Rather than overpacking, buy items that take up a lot of space, such as warm clothes, on the go and then resell them or give them away to someone who can use them. It is also a good idea to pack what you pack as well and neatly as possible in such a way that you can find everything almost blindly. Give everything a permanent place. Use packing cubes for order and neatness of your clothes. Use recognizable bottles and smart bags to keep your things sorted and separated, so you can find the right thing even in the dark.

packing cubes

There are many smart gadgets available these days that can help you pack your backpack. It is important to set up your backpack as efficiently as possible. For example, there are bags from which you can suck or squeeze the air (vacuum bags) so that your clothes take up much less space. However, this also means that you can take more with you! That is sometimes positive, but think about it carefully. In terms of weight, you can suck air out or squeeze whatever you want, but the weight will remain. We recommend lightweight packing cubes at. Here you can keep your clothes perfectly sorted.

Expandable make-up bag

Another handy tip is a compact makeup bag. Some are ideal for taking cosmetics and jewelry with you on a trip. Look for a bag made of waterproof PVC and nylon that prevents any leaks from ending up in the rest of your luggage. Some bags have a soft lining that provides protection against drops or bumps.

Leave as much at home as possible

Experienced world travelers know that you take way too much the first 2 or 3 times anyway, which you then have to lug around for weeks or months. Do you really need 9 pairs of socks? You end up walking in your flip flops 98% of the time. 2 sweaters and a cardigan for when it's a bit cooler? Leave those 2 sweaters at home! If it gets a bit chilly, just put on some more layers (2-3 shirts + cardigan, for example). In addition, as a Dutch person you are inclined to take long trousers with you, but you never put them on in the end. If you still want to take long pants with you, pack a compact, quick-drying fabric with a low weight. No jeans!

Fun fact: The first time we went backpacking for 6 months, our backpacks weighed 18 kilo† The 2nd time 16 kilo and the last trip we were about finished 13 kilo† And believe us, we still haven't worn or used a part! This included camera supplies, batteries, tablets and chargers.

Step 8: Leave and be on your way

Visit Grandma

Avoid angry looks from Grandma! Realize that you will be away from home for a long time. You will not be able to visit loved ones who are in hospital. You will have to miss graduation parties and graduations in your family. The annual family outing, you will not be there next year either. It is therefore nice for yourself and for your family to stop by before you leave. Take your time for this! Plan that Sunday afternoon to spend some time with your grandma or nieces and nephews. You will see that it just feels right.

Avoid angry looks from Grandma!
Avoid angry looks from Grandma!

Throw a farewell party

For yourself and your friends and family who do like a party, a farewell party cannot be left out of course. It's the nicest way to say goodbye to everyone before going on a world tour. Just make sure it's not 'the night before', because sitting on a plane sick and sick on a 24-hour flight with layover is going to be something you'll regret. Trust me, I know!

Sleep well on the plane

And of course also in buses, trains, boats and everything in between. You will spend a lot of time and the travel itself, so it is nice to be well prepared for that. Don't use those hours to get tired, but to rest! Common tips are to bring an eye cap for total darkness, earplugs and noise canceling headphones to reduce the noise. Less common but also super effective: sleeping pills (be careful with this). Consciously book flights or rides in the middle of the night so that you fall asleep more easily. Buy a sturdy but sleep-inducing (pdf) book and watch space/star documentaries, for example the one from The Universe (yes, it really works).

Also read: Five expert tips for a good night's sleep on the plane

Essential world travel apps

A smartphone when traveling is nowadays so much more than a device to make calls or to be reachable. It is our navigation, notepad, the gateway to the best restaurants, our booking assistant and even the complete photo and film crew are incorporated in it.. A telephone is simply an indispensable part of our daily life and therefore also indispensable when traveling. Which Apps are essential for a world trip and which are not? Below is a small list of essential apps for your world trip.

  • Google Maps
  • Maps.me
  • Komoot
  • Booking.com
  • Hotels.com
  • Airbnb
  • Skyscanner
  • MeetUp
  • Rome2Rio
  • TripAdvisor
  • AllTrails
  • CityMapper

Step 9: Keeping You Healthy

These tips may be more philosophical than practical, but equally important when the sights, smells, and chaos of a new place briefly overwhelm you. You are really not the first and certainly not the last to go through it during a long trip or world trip. Traveling asks a lot of you and it is really not just relaxation. To stay calm and positive during your world trip, we have the following tips of great importance.

Also read: Getting sick during your trip? † 7 tips to avoid that

Making sure you stay healthy during your world trip
Making sure you stay healthy during your world trip

Give yourself time

Before you pass judgment on a new place. You usually arrive tired from the journey and less open-minded than usual. Give yourself a chance to get used to it before you decide to leave. Initially I didn't enjoy my time in Bangkok, but after leaving the main tourist areas and staying in the middle of street food heaven, I found myself captivated by the city anyway. Sometimes the places that make the worst first impressions become your favorites.

Don't worry about the little things

Cliche, but true. The sooner you start weighing down your days with disappointment or anger about things you can't change, the sooner you'll want to leave. A long journey or world trip never goes quite as planned, but that is just part of the adventure. Now is the time to resign and take it as it is.

Let go and enjoy

Do not worry too much. During your trip around the world, some things will undoubtedly go wrong or will go differently than expected. Plans that change, things get stolen, the wrong bus and no longer know where you are. It can all happen and be at peace with this. You often come across the most beautiful places at unexpected moments. The most special people or positive memories that you will never forget.

Step 10: Returning to the Netherlands

Now that you are back in the Netherlands, you will of course be the first to visit your family, relatives and old?() colleagues with full enthusiasm to tell about your great adventure. Show your best photos, have a beer and wine with them and enjoy seeing everyone after that long time.

Don't sit still

If you're having trouble getting back from your trip around the world, the last thing to do is sit still on the couch. This just makes it more difficult to move on and can take you to the point of becoming depressed. So stay active and do something.

Don't sit still after your world trip
Don't sit still after your world trip

Set new goals

Goals give you something to work on. Maybe you would like to travel the world again as soon as possible! Then immediately set new goals and calculate your next world trip costs and budget. Also determine your next world travel route, because you must have missed or skipped countries! A sub-goal of this can be that you find a job as quickly as possible to get that money together. Perhaps you no longer want to travel at all, but choose a career. Set goals what you want to achieve within this. Maybe you want to build a stable life, maybe not at all. But whatever you do, make sure you have a goal that you can live towards.

Also read: 10 reasons why traveling is good for your career and future

More information about world travel

Planning a world trip is almost impossible to overcome in one article. In the near future you will have to delve more deeply into everything that has to do with making a world trip. Read more about world travel routes, world travel costs, world travel preparation and everything that comes with it. Don't worry, we have a Homepage made where you can go through all the necessary steps again in peace. There you can go through all steps from 1 to 10 at your own pace and read multiple blogs about that specific topic for each part. Add the homepage to your favorites so that you can quickly and accurately return to the next step in your planning.

Good luck with the preparation and if you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask in the comments!

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Wereldreizigers.nl (World Travelers dot NL)

Wereldreizigers.nl means 'World Travelers' in Dutch. Get inspired, get onboard!

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