• Travel

How to plan to travel the world

Article by GVI


Posted: February 10, 2023

Travelling the world is a journey of a lifetime. Imagine yourself immersing in new cultures, discovering stunning landscapes, and creating memories that will stay with you forever. Whether you’re planning a gap year, a round-the-world adventure, or a series of overseas trips, it’s crucial to plan ahead for a smooth and unforgettable experience. 

Key things to keep in mind when planning to travel the world

Get ready for take-off! Before embarking on your world travel adventure, there are several important steps to consider to ensure a smooth and worry-free trip.

Set a budget

Before you set off, you’ll need to think about several practicalities. The first step is setting a budget. World travel can be expensive, so it’s important to be realistic about what you can afford. Consider the costs of flights, accommodations, transportation, food, and activities, as well as any unexpected expenses, such as travel insurance or visas. It’s also a good idea to have a contingency fund for emergencies.

Where do you want to go?

Once you’ve established your budget, you can start thinking about your route. How long do you want to travel for? Which countries and regions do you want to visit? Do you want to follow a specific theme, such as visiting all the world’s major cities or following a cultural or historical trail? Be flexible, as your itinerary is likely to change as you go along.

Having a broad idea of where you want to go will influence other decisions, like visas, insurance, and medical advice – more on that later. 

Get your documents in order

Next, make sure you have all the right travel documents. This may include a passport, visas, and travel insurance. Some countries may require you to get vaccinations before you arrive, so check with your doctor or a travel clinic for advice.

Planning your itinerary

Now it’s time to start planning your itinerary in more detail. Research destinations that interest you, and read up on their attractions, culture, and history. Look at travel blogs, guidebooks, and online forums for inspiration, and ask for recommendations from friends who have travelled to the places you’re interested in.

Decide on your mode of transportation. Will you fly, take trains, buses, or rent a car? Consider the costs, the time it will take to get from place to place, and the environmental impact of your choices.

Think about the activities that are most important to you

When planning your itinerary, it’s important to think about what type of activities you would like to do in each destination. Whether you’re interested in outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, or relaxing beach holidays, taking your interests into consideration will help you make the most of your time and create a well-rounded trip.

For example, do you want to learn to scuba-dive and gain PADI qualifications? Or, would you prefer to learn how to cook Thai food? Maybe wildlife is your passion, and you want to see creatures like elephants, cheetahs, and hyenas in the wild. 

Focusing on your interests can help you hone in on destinations, when it feels like there are too many places to go and things to do. 

Booking flights

Book your flights and accommodations as early as possible to get the best deals. Be flexible with your dates, as prices can vary depending on the season. For accommodations, consider a mix of hotels, hostels, and Airbnb rentals to suit your budget and style of travel.

Decide how much time to spend in each location

Finally, allocate enough time to each destination. You don’t want to feel rushed or miss out on important sights and experiences. At the same time, don’t over-plan your itinerary, as some of the best moments of world travel come from unexpected encounters and impromptu adventures.

Before you go – some extra factors to consider pre-departure

Packing and preparing for your trip can be just as exciting as the journey itself. It’s the final countdown, and the last chance to ensure that you have everything you need for a smooth and comfortable trip. But where to start? 


Now that your itinerary is set, it’s time to pack. Make a list of essential items, such as a passport and money, as well as travel-friendly clothing and toiletries. Consider taking a small daypack for exploring each destination, as well as a larger backpack or suitcase for your main luggage.

Research the culture in your destinations

Culture shock is a common experience for many travellers, so be prepared to cope with it. Research the customs and etiquette of each country you’re visiting, and try to be open-minded and respectful of the local culture.

Brush up on your language skills

Learning a few basic phrases in the local language can go a long way in helping you navigate your destination and connect with the people you meet. Apps like Google Translate or Duolingo can be useful tools for learning a new language.

Take safety measures

Finally, stay safe and healthy while travelling. Invest in comprehensive travel insurance, including coverage for medical emergencies, and make sure to carry a copy of your policy with you at all times. Keep your valuables and important documents secure, and be aware of your surroundings at all times. When it comes to health, stay hydrated, follow food safety guidelines, and get adequate rest. Consider getting recommended vaccinations and carrying basic first-aid supplies with you. Visiting a travel doctor before departure is a good idea – your doctor can advise you of any necessary vaccinations or medications that you might need. 

Whether you’re on a budget, seeking adventure, or a mix of both, the world is waiting for you. Embrace the unknown, take the leap, and let your journey begin!

If you’re looking to turn your travels into an impactful experience, check out GVI’s range of volunteer programs abroad. Whether you’re interested in scuba-diving in Mexico, teaching English in Thailand, or participating in wildlife conservation in South Africa, GVI offers a variety of programs that allow you to make a difference. Turn your travels into a meaningful adventure.

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