I hope you are all prepared because this blog is about to explode with information! That’s right a world tour or round the world trip (RTW) is coming in 2023. I have always had a passion and love for travelling, and recently made the decision to plan and set out on a world tour. Of course this trip will be solo.
There are so many reasons as to why I decided to plan this trip and actually venture out on this trip, but my main reason is I am in my late 20’s and I currently have no commitments, so why not! I have always wanted to see the world and always wanted to travel for an extended amount of time, so I figured I am at that stage of my life where it is the perfect time to do so.
If you follow me on instagram (@beckkyhamilton), you would know this and have seen my posts about my plans. I’ve got a lot of questions asking how I’ve planned my world tour, so thought why not make a blog post on how I planned this trip and hopefully help others plan one too. So without further adieu – here are my 8 steps to planning a world tour!
Planning a World Tour at first glance
- STEP 1: Decide where you want to go
- STEP 2: Create a bucket list for each destination
- STEP 3: Decide on a time frame
- STEP 4: Plan a direction
- STEP 5: Plan a rough route
- STEP 6: Will you be chasing summer or winter?
- STEP 7: Set a budget
- STEP 8: Create a savings plan
1: Decide where you want to go
First thing to do is decide which countries you want to visit! If you already know where you want to go, that’s fantastic. However, if you don’t know where you want to go, you can read travel blogs, find places on instagram, Youtube, word of mouth and so much more. For my world tour I plan on visiting roughly 35 countries, possibly more. I simply made a list of the places I definitely knew I wanted to go and adding more as I continued planning.
You can also do this by continent or area (for example: South East Asia, South America etc), if you’d like a bit more flexibility or are not too bothered about specific countries.
2. Create a bucket list for each destination
The second step is creating a bucket list for each country/continent/area. By bucket list I mean activities, specific places within those destinations (like beaches, historical sights, National Parks etc).
Example – I want to visit the Philippines and these are some of the places in this country I know I want to visit
- Cebu: Moalboal, White Beach, Kawasan falls
- Siquijor: Old enchanted tree, Cambugahay Falls, Lugnason Falls
- Legazpi: Mayon Volcano
- Bohol: Chocolate Hills
- Palawan: El Nido
Dependant on how much research you want to do, will depend on how in-depth your list will be (I love researching, so my lists are always in-depth). As you can see from above, this list is separated into islands and specific places or sites I want to visit. This is list is just for example, there are alot more places I plan on visiting in the Philippines!
By doing this second step, it makes it easier to determine how long you will need at each destination. For example you might only want to visit a few places in Malaysia, but have a full list for Thailand – You will want to allocate more time in Thailand then Malaysia (if you are on a time frame).
3. Decide on a time frame or none at all!
The third step is deciding on a time frame, how long you have to complete your world tour. Most people give themselves 1-2 years to complete their tour, of course this will be dependant to your lifestyle and situation. You don’t need a lot of time to complete a world tour, it just depends on how you want to travel, your travel style, how long you plan on spending in each country and how many destinations you have on your list. Of course budget will also come into play when it come to your time frame, but we will get into that later.
The other option is to have no time frame at all! This option will only suit people who don’t have any obligations back home, can work remotely or for any other factors. Generally for people who don’t have a time they need to return home. I am very fortunate to be one of these people. I have given myself a time frame of 2 years to travel to world or for as long as I can with the budget I have given myself. This did keep extending the more I researched for my trip and I wouldn’t be shocked if it continued extending while on my trip! I understand that I am very privileged to be able to say and do this.
4. Plan a direction
The fourth step is to plan a direction, east to west or west to east. Which way you plan is completely up to you, apparently travelling from east to west (a westerly direction or clockwise) causes less jet lag than travelling from west to east (easterly direction or anticlockwise). I haven’t completed my world tour yet, so I can’t confirm nor deny this. Another thing to keep in mind is which way is going to be more budget friendly or is going to fit in better within your time frame and what season you plan on chasing.
I will be travelling from east to west, starting in South East Asia and ending in South America. On my final leg I will be flying from west to east, stopping in Indonesia before travelling back to Western Australia. I can’t help this as Western Australia is quite isolated from the rest of the world and this is the way majority of airlines fly to Perth.
5. Plan out a rough route
The fifth step is to plan out a rough route. Why do I say rough route? Because there are a number of factors that can change the route of your RTW trip. It’s always good to have some flexibility in your travels, because the unexpected can happen.
Your route is similar to your direction but in more detail. For example my route is South East Asia -> Europe/UK -> Africa -> Mexico/Central America -> South America. I have then planned routes within those destinations, or in other words the way I plan on travelling in each country or through multiple countries. There are alot of ‘backpacking routes’ for particular countries and continents, which are very popular and the easiest way to plan out a route. Examples of these are:
- Banana Pancake Trail (South East Asia)
- Gringo Trail (Central America)
- Gringo Trail (South America)
- A Grand Tour of Europe (Europe)
- Tracing the Silk Road (Central Asia)
- Golden Triangle (India)
And there are so many more! To find out more about these backpacking routes and where they take you, you can read my blog here.
Here is a good website to help plan a route for a world tour.
6. Will you be chasing summer or winter?
The sixth step is deciding whether you will be chasing summer, winter or a mixture of both. This step does fall into choosing a direction you plan on travelling, but is something to think about separately. Why? Because it will help determine things like how long you will be spending in each country/destination and help you decide on the best times to visit each destination.
I always recommend travelling in the shoulder seasons as there are usually less travellers and the main attractions are less crowded. Another factor to keep in mind while planning a world tour is seasons! Make sure you do your research for each destination. It would be a shame if you got to a country during its wet season and were able to do a lot of things on your bucket list!
7. Set a budget
The seventh step is to set a budget. If you are wondering why this is the seventh step and not further up in the list, it is because this is how I’ve planned my world tour mainly for one reason. I wanted to go on this trip and see everything on my bucket list, no limitations. So in order to do this I completed a list of everywhere I wanted to go and what I wanted to do, prior to setting a budget as this allowed me to get an idea of how much I would actually need to complete this trip. After I had an idea, I set a budget and started saving.
This isn’t going to work for everyone, and of course you can set a budget first and then plan your destinations/bucket list to work within that budget. Honestly, it’s up to the traveller!
Another thing I did while setting a budget, was set a rough budget for each country. I did this by reading other blogs and watching YouTube videos to get a rough idea on how much other travellers are spending on their trips. Always budget a bit more than what you will need, in case of emergencies or the unknown. Of course your budget will depend on the type of traveller you are; budget backpacker, flashpacker, mid range traveller, luxury, etc.
8. Create a savings plan
Now that you’ve planned out a rough guide for your world tour, it’s time to start saving! I recommend giving yourself a fair amount of time to save for this trip. I actually gave myself 2 years to save for my trip, which allowed me plenty of time to accumulate that money. In all honestly I decided to use my house deposit to travel instead, because why not!
How much you can save depends on your current income, living situation and spending. A savings plan is going to be specific to your current lifestyle so I won’t be telling you an exact way to save for a world tour. However, I do recommend just cutting back on things you don’t particularly need. While saving I always asked myself whether I really needed something before making a decision to buy it or not. This is why I say give enough time to save, because you shouldn’t be cutting out everything that brings you joy in life to save for this trip (unless that’s what you really want to do!) Another good idea is if you have a set date you want to start your world tour, work out how much you need to save each week in order to reach your budget goal.
Looking for more information on planning a world tour? Read this blog post.
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