For so many years, I thought it was impossible to travel the world. Better yet, it never even crossed my mind. And now that’s all I want to do but I need to be prepared.
I was originally going to write up my global bucket list because I’d like to share all the beautiful places I plan on visiting before I die. But while I was writing down those places, I realized I’m not ready to go just yet.
In this post, I’m listing 6 crucial things I need to do before setting off on a crazy adventure.
Some of these are already in progress but if traveling more is also your goal, follow these steps to prepare yourself as much as possible. These are not in any specific order. So, let’s get started!
To-Do List Before I Travel The World
1. Get fit.
There is a high chance that no matter where you travel, you’ll be doing some walking. If you know you’ll be participating in outdoor activities, you’re definitely going to need some stamina. Getting some exercise before the trip can go a long way. My family and I recently took a trip to Las Vegas, Nevada and I was not ready. I had been away from the gym for quite some time so all the walking and moving around was not kind to my feet or back. If you want to travel the world and not get tired easily, make exercise part of your lifestyle before you go.
2. Read about the world.
Having general knowledge of what’s going on around the world is important. Go to the library or buy books about other countries (or your very own country!) and read about their customs and traditions and culture. The more you know about the world, the more it’ll come in handy when you need it the most. Go online and read about what’s happening across the world. Whether it’s tragedy, a new discovery, scientific evidence, and so on. There’s so much to learn!
And since I’m on a mission to become a more well-rounded person, this will really help me become aware of what’s going on outside my own country.
3. Learn about the place.
While you’re reading about the world, read specifically about where you’re going too. Do some hard core research about what exactly you’d like to see when you get there. Write down some foods you’d like to try, activities and events you’d like to attend, and the culture. If this is your first time out of your country, learn about the other countries’ language. No, this does not mean you HAVE to learn French or Portuguese or Spanish before booking your flight. It means, learn a few basic phrases:
- Hello, my name is…
- Where is…
- Thank you
- I’m allergic to…
- Can I have…
- How much?
- Do you speak English?
- Call the police
- Help me
You can read Olivia Christine Perez’s article Helpful Language Phrases to Learn Before You Travel for more phrases.
4. Create rough itineraries.
While you’re learning about where you’re going, take some time to write up an itinerary. It doesn’t have to be super specific and you don’t have to follow it to a T, but having some sort of plan can help you navigate when you get there. Speaking from experience, every itinerary I’ve ever created has almost entirely fallen through. Things don’t always go according to plan, so don’t be disappointed if yours don’t either.
The main purpose for creating a rough itinerary is to figure out what you’d like to do there. For instance, the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (MNAC) in Barcelona, Spain is free admission every Saturday starting at 3pm and on the first Sunday of every month. So, if you’re looking for free things to do in Barcelona, you may need to plan on going to this museum on the first Sunday or on a Saturday at 3pm.
Just going through the motions will help you decide on what you’d like to see and do when you get there.
5. Save money.
This one might be a given. You need money to travel the world. However, traveling isn’t as expensive as most people think. For the past four years, my wanderlust has been out of control. All I think about is traveling and through my research, money isn’t the biggest problem anymore. While you’re doing your research, come up with a savings plan that works for you. You can even open a separate savings account exclusively for the trip. Whatever works for you.
I’m focusing on paying off some credit card debt so I can save more money. Prioritize and plan your finances to prevent feeling overwhelmed. Keeping your goal in mind helps. Next time you’re adding unnecessary items to your cart, think about your goal. It’s all about your goal!
6. Figure out the logistics.
This is the least fun part, in my opinion. But it’s still crucial! There are plenty of logistics you want to make sure are squared away before venturing out into the world. Here I’m listing just a few that come to mind once I’ve decided on the place:
- First, your passport. Make sure you get your passport well ahead of time if you haven’t already. Or renew if you need to renew. The application process for a US passport can take up to 8 weeks. (There’s an expedited process with an additional fee of $60). Do your research!
- Second, vaccinations. Depending on where you’re traveling, some vaccinations are recommended while others are required. Again, you’ll want to plan this ahead of time as some may need to be taken 4 to 6 weeks before traveling.
- Third, your credit cards and bank. Before leaving your country, call your bank and make them aware of your trip so they don’t cancel your card. You’ll be left with no money in a strange land! Research on whether your debit or credit cards work where you’re going. You’ll need them to work if you need to exchange currency when you arrive.
Like I said, there are more things to consider, those were just a few. As you’re doing your research for your specific location, there will be more logistics you’ll need to take care of. I’ll be keeping this in mind as I create my bucket list.
Traveling isn’t as difficult as I once thought it was. But with an open mind, you can travel almost anywhere without spending thousands of dollars. Next time you’re writing up a bucket list, think about all you need to do to prepare for those places. It’s important to have some sort of plan before booking your flights. (maybe that’s just me, I like to plan everything)
So, there you have it, the top 6 crucial things I’m doing before I travel the world. What are you doing to prepare? Let me know in the comments, maybe I missed something else that’s also crucial!