Paris! Bali! Kenya! Copenhagen! Costa Rica! If one of these locales is calling your name, it’s time to pack the perfect carry-on and set off on a trip. If ALL of them are calling your name? Well, this is a sign that you need to plan that epic around-the-world trip you’ve always fantasized of to satisfy your wanderlust, and we have just the tips to make it happen.
This really is the kind of trip that will change you forever; it will exhilarate you, challenge you and will be — in a word — unforgettable. So get inspired by the White House’s totally awesome creativity initiative — the National Week of Making — and start taking steps to see those travel dreams of yours transform into a reality today. To use some bumper sticker wisdom, “Life is not a dress rehearsal.” Don’t wait, just make it happen!
How to Start Planning a ‘Round-the-World Trip
1. Start saving, like now. We’re not going to lie to you; an around-the-world trip won’t be cheap. While it might be tempting to just pull out the Amex and charge the whole thing, you’ll drown in debt to make your dream come true. It’ll take you some time to fine tune your itinerary and deal with all the deets of your trip, so you’ll have some time to save. And you should start saving now, like today. While you’re reading this, pause, log on to your bank account and transfer some money from checking to savings. Then adhere to a strict budget and commit to a savings plan.
2. Decide who will go on this magical tour of the world with you. If you’re independent and brave, you might make this trip solo (but be mindful of what countries are safe for women traveling alone). Otherwise, having a partner in crime to share this adventure of a lifetime with could be awesome… if you go with the right person, that is. Maybe it’s your BFF, maybe your boyfriend, maybe your sister — whoever you pick better be able to go with the flow and be ready for the ups and downs of such a big trip, including sharing in the cost of tip #1.
3. Now the fun part — figure out where you will go. It’s a great big world out there. Get out your atlas and travel guides and figure out what destinations are a must. Have you dreamed of visiting Petra? Then add Jordan to your list. Have you fantasized about visiting a monkey forest in Ubud? Bali goes on the list. Do you want to stare in amazement at the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel? Then you’re off to Rome. After assembling your list of all your “musts,” get out a world map and draw lines from place to place to see what kind of journey you’re looking at.
4. It’s not just the where; it’s the when. Consider what events you’ve always wanted to be a part of and schedule your trip around that. If you want to witness the cherry blossoms in full bloom in Tokyo, quench your thirst with a stein of Märzen while celebrating Oktoberfest in Munich or maybe, just maybe, you want to run with the bulls in Pamplona, then you’ll want to take note of these special times of year. Combine the destination map of your potential journey with a calendar so you can hit as many of these oh-so-special events as you can.
5. Think about purchasing a Round the World (RTW) ticket. This allows you to do all your airline booking ahead of time. While there are sometimes conditions — such as only being able to fly certain airlines or flying in one direction — you can save a significant amount of money and time by purchasing an RTW. For example, OneWorld allows you to choose between 1,000 destinations in nearly 160 countries across the globe and Star Alliance lets you choose from 1,300 places in 192 countries.
No matter if you’re planning on taking that trip two months from now or in two years, there really is no better time than today to make a life-changing trip like this happen. Remember, the world is your oyster, and this is your opportunity to slurp it up!
Do you have any savvy traveler tips for planning a trip around the world? Tweet them at us @BritandCo!
(Photos via Getty)