Posted 22 Jan, 2013 | 5 Comments
Posted in: Planning, Travel Blogs

In Part 1 of Preparing To Travel Around The World, we talked about having your passport up to date, the visa situation looked into, getting your vaccinations and budgeting for your trip. Here are some more steps you will need to take before travelling around the world:

Don't make the mistake of thinking that Africa is easy on the wallet
We always carry a debit card, credit card, local currency and USD. You don’t want to be stranded without money!

A common question that we get asked is: How do you pay for your trip while abroad? We suggest using an ATM/debit card while travelling. This is the easiest and most practical way of taking out money. There are ATM machines all over the world. Make sure your bank card is on the cirrus or plus network. Look into different banks and see what kind of withdrawal fees they will have for overseas transactions. The local ATM will charge you, as will your bank at home (if you’re Canadian, click here for a recommended bank). Traveller’s cheques are a hassle and credit card fees can add up quickly.

We carry a credit card, debit card, local currency and some US dollars. If a bank machine isn’t working and we’re out of local currency, we can always exchange the US dollars for local cash. It’s a good idea to have a few options available to you. You don’t want to be stranded without any money!

Booking a flight out of your home country is so exciting!

The biggest and most thrilling thing you will check off of your travel to-do list will be booking your flight around the world! Check out Google Flights or Kayak for discounts. We have found some great deals using these search engines. Make sure to source out a few different dates before finalizing the booking. If you leave on a weekend it usually costs more. If you travel during the holiday time in your destination, the prices of flights will have increased significantly. Search around for a while before committing to a flight.

Ideally, you won’t have to take all that many flights while travelling the world. We prefer to travel by train, bus, truck, tuk-tuk, camel, foot, boat…you get the picture. We’ve travelled in every mode of transportation you can imagine! If you travel by land, you will interact much more with the local people and see the landscapes as you pass by. Isn’t that what backpacking is all about?

backpacking mozambique
Travelling by land can be very interesting. Villagers selling their goods on the train journey from Nampula to Cuemba, Mozambique.

You will need to choose a form of luggage to carry all of your gear. For us, it’s a backpack or nothing. Imagine yourself trying to roll a suitcase down a beach while searching for the perfect bungalow, or dragging your luggage behind you while dodging crowds at a market or busy train stations. No thank you. If you have a backpack, you can walk much more freely and don’t have to worry about bumping into people or your luggage wheels getting stuck on something.

backpacking kuala lumpur
Nick walking effortlessly down the streets of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It’s a backpack or nothing for us!

Once you’ve chosen your backpack, you’ll need to figure out what to pack. It may sound cliché, but the traveller’s motto is true: “lay out what you think you will need, then cut that in half”. You are a backpacker now. Forgo all of your previous notations about what is a “necessity” in life. Ladies, you won’t need a curling iron, straightener, blow-dryer, high heels or a bag full of make-up, trust me. Men, you only need one pair of shoes, no jeans (too heavy), no hair product and no cologne! Stick to the basics, choose colours that will match with everything (brown, grey, black, beige). You want your bag to be light enough that you can carry it around and not be in pain. Pack wisely.

what to pack backpacking
Pack wisely for a trip around the world.

You’ve now checked 8 things off of your to-do list before travel. See, it’s not so hard, is it? Trust us, we’ve embarked on 2 long term trips around the world. We know it may seem overwhelming, but follow the steps we’ve listed and you’ll be fine. We have been on the road this time for 2 years. We now consider this our way of life and lucky for us, we’ve found a couple of ways to sustain our passion: Teaching English abroad in China and TravelBlogging (well, soon we hope that blogging will sustain us!)

teaching in china
Dariece with 3 of the cutest kindergarten girls ever. Teaching English in Yangzhou, China.

Preparing to travel around the world may seem like a daunting task, but once you’re on the road any doubts or fears you may have had will be long forgotten. Following your dreams of travel is a decision you will never regret.

We hope that this list has helped you to get a jump-start on planning your trip! Safe travels.



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Preparing To Travel Around The World- A How-To Guide Part #2

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Nick Wharton and Dariece Swift are the owners and founders of Goats On The Road. Together they have been travelling and working abroad since 2008 and have more than 20 years of combined experience in online business, finance, travel and entrepreneurship. Their expert advice has been featured on the Lonely Planet, CNN Money, Business Insider,  WiseBread and Forbes and they also spoke at the World Tourism Forum in Istanbul about the business of travel blogging.

Learn more about Nick Wharton and Dariece Swift on their respective author archives on this site and on the Goats On The Road About Us Page.

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5 thoughts on “Preparing To Travel Around The World: A How-To Guide Part #2

  1. Oh my goodness! Awesome article dude! Thank you, However I am encountering difficulties with your RSS.
    I don’t know the reason why I can’t subscribe to it.

    Is there anyone else having identical RSS problems?
    Anyone that knows the solution will you kindly respond?

  2. Hi goats!

    I’ve been following you for a couple of months now. I must thank you for your amazingly helpfull site!
    I’m now planning to travel around the world with my boyfriend. We want to start in 2016. We only started planning some months ago but we’ve got to make it in time! Anyway, I’ll continue to follow you guys and maybe we can meet somewhere it this world if our trip goes as well as yours 😉
    Keep up the good work and thank you!

  3. HI Rita!

    Thank you for the kind words. Enjoy your trip and happy travels to you 🙂

  4. I’ve been reading blogs about around-the-world-trip with my wife and this blog is definitely one of the best resources available. Thank you, both!! 🙂

    One question – How did you know/plan that which places you are going to visit in each country? Is there a “list” available that a traveler would normally visit?

  5. Thank you so much for the nice comment 🙂

    Honestly? You just have to do some research and figur out which countries appeal to you. If you are on a budget, then most people head to SE Asia or Central America. If you want a crazy culture shock, head to Africa, Asia or Latin America. Europe is beautiful for those interested in nature and history! It really just depends on what you’re after. We looked at a map and decided where we wanted to go. We then checked out the weather, and plotted our routes from there. For our Central Asia trip, it made sense because we were in China 🙂

    Pick a spot and sort of look at which countries are nearby, then go from there.

    Happy planning!

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