For us, it was about choosing one place we wanted to go and building from there. Next, it was about deciding how long we wanted to travel. We started with seven months and built it out to twelve. My advice, be realistic about how much you can see and how long you’re prepared to travel without a substantial break. For us, I think a week is a reasonable time to spend somewhere and if we’re talking big cities, we don’t plan on doing any more than two excursions per day. That’s as good a place as any to start when planning a trip. Long trips are difficult to plan without help. I highly recommend using researchers and travel consultants/agents. We used the team at 360 Travel and found them to be excellent. As for research, I found excellent researchers on Freelance.com. I used one just to research volunteer opportunities around the world and another to research products (luggage, trail shoes, electronics etc) In terms of cost, you can set the bar at any level you want but I paid on average US$20/hour.

Walking and food tours are a great way to explore a destination. They’re run by locals who know and understand the area you’re visiting and offer an authentic taste of wherever you are. We’re big fans of open bus tours, it’s the perfect way to familiarise yourself with a city and get that all important sense of direction. 

This is a whole blog post so head over and read Wardrobe Woes for a better of understanding of what we took and why but the number one rule is, less is more. Stick to three colours; two base, one accent, you can mix things up with accessories. Comfort is key so don’t compromise on footwear. If you can, find orthopaedic style shoes that offer arch support and only wear wool socks.

There are a few not negotiables on this trip and wifi is one of them. Talk to your mobile provider about overseas plans. Our telco is offering a pretty competitive day/month rate for sticking with them for the year rather than fiddling around with local/rechargeable sim cards everywhere we’re going. If local wifi is available, we’ll use it. Otherwise, we’re staying with our Hong Kong provider’s plan.

Sometimes visas are overlooked or applied for last minute. Don’t put it off, in fact make it one of your earliest jobs. Countries like India demand an extensive amount of information for each applicant including parents’ names, past occupations and a list of every country you’ve visited in the past ten years. Allocate a good 30-45 minutes for each application. If you’re planning on visiting lots of countries, create a visa tab on your travel spreadsheet and label several columns; country, lead time, type (on arrival or pre-apply) and cost. Always use a government-approved visa processing service. If the cost differential is minimal, go for the longest tourist visa available, it’ll likely get processed more quickly. If you can, save each visa in a cloud-based folder for easy access.