How to prepare to travel around the world: our checklist

by suitcasestoriesbe
How to prepare for a world trip: our personal checklist

Are you planning go on a world trip? First of all, that’s so great! Leaving everything behind to travel around the world, is still the best decision we have ever made in our lives! But how to prepare for a world trip and what are the things to keep in mind when you are going to travel for a long time?

Here’s our personal checklist including all our world trip preparations from one year before we left until the day we boarded the plane. Hopefully, it can help you with planning your own world trip too. Enjoy!

One year before we left on a world trip

We started one year before we left to travel around the world by checking off all the necessary and important things we needed to do. We made lists from everything we want to see during our travels, what we needed to pack, what we needed to sell and buy… Countless lists and every day they became longer and longer. Finally, we created one big Excel sheet with dozens of tabs to store all this information. Still every day now, we’re using this file to update our expenses, our itineraries and to have a good overview of everything so far. The first things we started with are the following:

  • Set up a departure date
  • Created a travel budget, and estimated the total cost of our world trip (depending on how long you plan to go)
  • Saved as much money as possible
  • Wrote a list with all the places and destinations we wanted to see and do
  • Started with research, read travel blogs, bought Lonely Planet guides here, scrolled through Instagram a thousand times and let our dreams run free (smiling faces every day guaranteed!)
  • Informed our parents and grandparents (so that they had the time to process this big news)

Read also: world trip updates

9 months before we left on a world trip

Zebra's on a Safari in Etosha
Zebra's on a self-drive safari in Etsoha National Park

6 months before we left on a world trip

  • Planned our last annual holidays (went to Budapest, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Morocco, Spain, Greece, and Iceland)
  • Canceled the lease of our apartment and told our employer about the adventure
  • Told the news about our world trip to the rest of our friends and family
  • Signed up for flea markets and started selling all our belongings
  • Saved as much money as possible
Iceland - Road trip Itinerary
Waterfall in Iceland

4 months before we go on a world trip

  • Made up our first rough schedule and route around the world
  • BOOKED OUR FLIGHTS! (we used Skyscanner to book our one-way tickets to Namibia)
  • Purchased annual travel insurance via World Nomads
  • Saved as much money as possible
  • Moved out of our apartment and canceled all utilities like electricity, water, gas…
  • Found new parents for Filou (our little baby ?)
  • Moved to Mik’s parents for the last months
  • Got our vaccinations and had medical check-ups (dentist, doctor, gynecologist, optician…)
  • Bought new backpacks (for Mik the Deuter Aircontact 65L+10, for Valerie the Osprey Ariel AG 65L)
  • Sent invitations for our goodbye party

3 months before departure

  • Quit our jobs (which was one of the hardest things of our world trip checklist)
  • Applied for international driving permits and collected all necessary documents in the town hall (authorization documents for parents, change of our address…)
  • Went to the bank, notified them about our plans, set up an extra travel account and applied for new credit cards
  • Set cancellation dates for subscriptions and memberships (gym, mobile phone, television…)
  • Sold our land ?
  • Checked visa requirements for the countries we planned to visit + applied for new international passports (make sure the one you have will be valid at least 6 months beyond your last travel date and has enough empty pages)

Please note: visa requirements are different for every country. Please make sure you check all visa and passport requirements in your own country before even booking your tickets! 

How to prepare to travel around the world: our checklist - land for sale

1 month before we left

  • Scanned all important documents like passport, receipts of purchased items.. and gave print-outs to our family + stored it online on our hard drives
  • Took new passport photos (you’ll need a lot of this!)
  • Set up online storage for our travel photos
  • Spent more time with family & friends
  • Started packing our bags and bought last travel essentials (hiking pants, mosquito repellents, organizers, camera gear, adaptors…)
  • Participated in the lottery (you never know ?)
  • Went to the pharmacy for all necessary medicines
  • Got a fresh hair cut
  • Stored our remaining belongings
  • Re-directed all our mail to our parent’s places
  • Ordered foreign currency (US dollars for our Africa trip)
  • Booked our first accommodations in Namibia

Ps: we link to because of the good prices, they don’t charge a service fee and most importantly you can often cancel your reservation without any cost a few days before your check-in. Another option is to use this link to get a $45 discount on your first booking on Airbnb.

How to prepare to travel around the world: our checklist

1 week before departure

  • Packed our bags and changed the items we’re sure we can’t live without, and discarded the rest. (Packing light is essential and less is more!)
  • “Finalized” our travel blog
  • Spent more quality time with our family and friends
  • Learned Whatsapp to our parents and created a group to stay in touch with friends and family
  • Had an unforgettable goodbye party ❤️

Read also: World trip updates

The day we left on a world trip

We prepared everything for our world trip and then finally the moment arrived… With no sleep (hello stress), we said goodbye to our parents, left to the airport and boarded the plane to Namibia where we started our big adventure! The departure was quite emotional but on the other hand, we also looked forward so hard to everything that would come.

We decided to create each month an update of the places we’ve visited which you can follow in our world trip updates.
And if you have any more questions about how to travel around the world or need some help with planning your own world trip don’t hesitate to comment below or send us a message. We would love to help you out!

Valerie & Mik

How to prepare to travel around the world: our checklist - the first day of our world trip

Video with our favorite moments of 2018, the year before we left

Before we left on our world trip we decided to make a movie with all our favorite moments of 2018, the year before we left which we played on our goodbye party for our family and friends. Hope you like it too!

All our world trip updates
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