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6 Things You Need for Planning an Around the World Trip

Planning an around the world trip is one of the ultimate travel dreams. If you’re one of those people who just wants to go everywhere, breaking out of the annual vacation mold is such a tempting prospect. But it can also be really overwhelming.

Quitting your job to travel might seem like a crazy pipe dream. And even if saving enough money to quit seems feasible, the actual round-the-world trip itself has so many moving pieces. How are you going to manage all those nitty gritty details?

Just because long-term travel isn’t easy doesn’t mean the process can’t be simple. Hard work on a streamlined path is the best approach for planning an around the world trip. Get these 6 things in order and you’ll be all taken care of!

solo female traveler at Halong Bay Vietnam

Table of Contents

My Experience Planning an Around the World Trip

When I was in my early 20s and juggling multiple part-time jobs, all I wanted to do was travel. Nothing made me feel happier or more myself. But I spent a long time starting and stopping because I didn’t know whether quitting my job to travel was realistic, let alone how to approach it. Meeting other long-term travelers and digital nomads helped, and after a couple years of saving and figuring things out, I took off on a year-long solo round-the-world trip filled with amazing experiences. Still, I thought there has to be a better way than “roll up your sleeves and figure it out” for young women who just want to travel the world. So I turned WorldSmith into the launching pad for Round-the-World Roadmap and learned how to make your round-the-world trip plans as simple as Save, Plan, Go. These are the 6 things you need to follow that method.

solo female traveler on an around the world trip


Step One: Set a crystal clear goal

I hear all the time from young women about their travel goals and so many of you have incredible, inspiring plans. But you know what I hear the most often?

“I just want to travel more.”

Tough love time: a general goal like that will get you nowhere.

You need specific, crystal clear goals you can break down into smaller steps and track your progress towards. If you just want to see the world and experience as many other cultures as possible, planning an around the world trip is a great goal to adopt. It refers to one specific trip, but can encompass so much more than the average vacation.

Step Two: Create a Savings Plan

You need to pin down the exact amount of money you plan to save. Just like “travel more” is not a clear goal, it’s also not wise to save money until you have “enough.” Put a number on it!

You can check out what I did to save $500 a month for my round-the-world trip, but it’s more important to make your own plan. We’re all in unique financial situations.

If you need more help with this, grab my Travel Savings Toolkit!

Plotting out an itinerary is an important part of planning an around the world trip.

Step Three: Plan a trip budget

Once you know what pool of money you’ll be working with, you can divide that up amongst your trip. Find ways to travel on a low budget so you can stretch those savings as far as they’ll go.

I recommend tackling this even before finalizing an itinerary to help keep your plans realistic. I’m one of those people who just wants to go everywhere and I’m betting you are too. Lean into that and let yourself find amazing, exciting experiences around the world that fit your budget. In most cases, your budget will split evenly across transportation, accommodations, food and entertainment. Don’t forget to include pre-trip expenses, like renewing your passport or stocking up on travel gear!

Step Four: Outline your itinerary

Now you get to do the fun part! If I could do just one thing in my business, it would be planning round-the-world trip itineraries. They are so much fun to put together.

You may find yourself going back and forth between your budget and your itinerary — this is totally normal. Fine tune as much as you need to! Just remember you can’t plan everything in advance for a round-the-world trip. You just want an idea of where you’ll go, how long you’ll stay, and how you’ll get from place to place.

Becoming a digital nomad and working while traveling may be part of your round-the-world trip

Step Five: Prepare your “landing pad”

Your “landing pad” is what I call the three major parts of your life that planning an around the world trip will impact: your job, your home and your relationships with friends and family.

Take some time while you’re planning to consider how your trip will affect these things. Even if you’re not 100% sure what you want to happen after your trip, it’s smart to start considering your options.

Step Six: Countdown with a timed task list

Finally, you’ll lock in a departure date. It is critically important you give yourself a deadline — otherwise you will always be able to find an excuse for why now isn’t the “right time.” That departure date will give you a benchmark for what preparations need to get done when, so all the nitty gritty details don’t seem so overwhelming.

What is a RTW Trip?

When you follow these steps in order, planning an around the world trip goes from feeling like an impossible hurdle to a streamlined and – dare I say it – enjoyable process. With a clear goal, a savings plan and budget, an itinerary, a landing pad and a timed to-do list, you’ll have a plan that can take you literally anywhere you want to go!

Want help following the Save, Plan, Go process?

Hop on the waitlist for Round-the-World Roadmap! My in-depth online course will walk you through every step I outlined above with opportunities for hands-on support.

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