A Short Guide to
Planning for Round the World Travel
Photo : Wiki Commons
I am in my third and final year at Newcastle University, and currently busy planning for a round-the-world trip starting next June. I have greatly enjoyed planning for the trip but it can be difficult at times so I wanted to write a short guide which I hope can be of some help.
To start, I would do some preliminary research. When going travelling there are hundreds of different companies and groups all trying to offer you different packages and deals. It is no different to choosing from any item - it is best to shop around! Before making any concrete plans, and definitely before you hand over any money, I would recommend just researching on the internet to start with.
A quick Google search could lead you to a wealth of information. This could be from a number of places – blogs, newspapers, travel websites etc. Every site has the potential to be useful in deciding where you want to go and what you want to do – but if you want to check something specific it’s best to cross reference. A second opinion is vital especially considering travelling can be expensive.
Sites I have found that are particularly useful are Seat 61for worldwide train travel, Lonely Planetfor general travel guides, Hostelworld for worldwide accommodation, and VisaHQ for country-specific information regarding what visa you may require.
When you feel like you have researched enough I would say the next step is to book the flights. Countless companies offer Round the World flights but I would advise to buy flight tickets from a reputable travel agent such as STA Travel in the UK. I would also make sure that the company had a local branch near you, so that if you have any problems you can speak to somebody in person.
There are lots of other things to consider other than flights – including visas, insurance, cashcards, accommodation, work, volunteering, vaccinations, transport, and much more! Again, it’s best to shop around. This is especially the case with insurance – a good place to start would be your bank who may offer travel insurance. Comparison websites are also a good idea for finding the best deal.
Furthermore, I think it’s best to some degree to conduct your travel arrangements with one company to avoid confusion, but you shouldn’t buy everything from the same place. There isn’t one travel company that offers the best deals on everything, despite some that claim this! Another thing I have noticed is that travel companies try to offer you goods and services you do not necessarily need. For example, one company I found charges you to secure an Australian working visa – claiming the process is confusing and complicated. It isn’t, I secured mine within a day! Remember you don’t need a travel agent to sort out everything for you.
As travelling can be expensive, many people look for work. Once the money runs out there’s very little you can do, so it’s vital to consider your financial situation. For example, I’m planning to travel around Thailand first (where prices are relatively cheap) and then move on to Australia where wages are high and jobs are readily available. Although living costs in Australia are notoriously high, there are plenty of well-paid jobs available, whether its manual labour (from milkman to fruitpicking!) to graduate jobs. It could be useful to look for work that ties in to your degree course or potential future career – it will significantly add to your CV.
If money is not so much of an issue, volunteering is also a fun way of adding to your CV. There are countless companies that offer different volunteering packages – again, I would say it’s best to do research. Ask people who have been travelling before, look on different websites etc. It’s best to do lots of research before you buy as volunteering abroad can become quite expensive.
I hope this has been of some use. Happy travelling!