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Plan a world trip in 10 steps | Full manual & step-by-step plan

Do your social media feeds make you want to hop on the next plane to an exotic destination? Do you find yourself daydreaming about exciting adventures in distant lands? If you suffer from wanderlust then a world trip maybe the solution. It is always a good time to actually calculate your world travel costs and to map out a route. Planning a world trip is a daunting task, even if you are a frequent traveler. It often takes months of research and planning to get to the stage where you're ready to board that plane and take to the skies.

To prepare for the adventure of a lifetime, here's a step-by-step guide to planning a trip around the world, determining a trip around the world itinerary, and everything that entails.

Step 1: Choose which countries you want to visit

Choosing where to go is important because it changes your focus and inspiration gives to continue your dream journey. But more importantly, knowing the countries you want to visit. It determines a lot. It will help you plan your world travel itinerary, help you decide how long to spend in each place, and how much to budget for in the end. More on that later.

Bucket list world map from the World Travelers webshop
Bucket-list world map from the World Travelers webshop

If you're considering a trip around the world, you probably have a long list of destinations that you desperately want to explore. There's no right or wrong way to do this, it's just a matter of writing down all the places you want to visit so you can plan around them. Do you still need inspiration to determine which countries or places you will visit during your world trip? Then go through different lists, for example this Top 10 with the cheapest countries. Write down the countries or places that appeal to you the most and add them to your 'places to visit' list. Below are some other useful blogs to use for inspiration.

Also read: 20 Must Sees in South America | Food for your Bucket List
Also read: 24 Must Sees in Africa | The most beautiful places for your bucket list

Step 2: Calculate the costs and create a savings plan

It is best to start saving as early as possible. It helps to have an idea of ​​the route you're taking, so you can start figuring out how big your budget should be. At this stage, read travel blogs and travel guides to give you an idea of ​​the costs for each destination you want to visit. Also check the various accommodation sites to see the price of a room during your chosen travel dates.

Also read: Top 10 | What are the cheapest countries for a world trip?

Calculate costs around the world

You can then break it down into a daily budget for each location. Multiply the daily budget by the number of days you expect to spend in each place. Now you know exactly what your world trip will cost. It is important to create separate budgets for each country instead of just a general daily budget. Costs can vary wildly from place to place. Don't forget to include transportation, accommodation, food and drink, and things like visa and border fees.

Determining a total budget around the world

How large your required world travel budget is, of course, strongly depends on your personal travel style. Do you stay in luxury hotels or cheap hostels? And do you plan to fly everywhere or do you like to travel by train or bus? All this has a major impact on the cost of a world trip. Be realistic about the level of comfort you will need while traveling the world and understand that you will generally have to pay more for better amenities.

Make a savings plan around the world

Have you mapped out your required budget? Then it's time to make one savings plan to make. Depending on your required budget and how much time you have to save, you should set monthly savings goals. Yes, you will have to pay close attention to your expenses in the near future. Still, there are many smart ways to save money or earn extra money so you can achieve your goals faster. You can read exactly how to set up a savings plan, including a complete step-by-step plan with goals and tips, on our website save up page.

Our advice for traveling abroad:
Bunq Prepaid Credit Card

The Bunq card is the most accepted Prepaid Credit Card in the world. It's a full-fledged one Mastercard credit card - even offline terminals in airplanes and elsewhere work with this card (we have tested this many times ourselves). You can also rent a car with this card.

  • No BKR check
  • Dutch bank
  • Problem-free car rental abroad
  • ZeroFX (abroad saves about 2-3% per transaction!)
  • Works with Google and Apple Pay
Compare plans Our honest review
By using our affiliate links you support us at no extra cost. Thank you!

Step 3: Map out a route

Now that you have a list of possible destinations and have already saved a little, it is time to connect the countries into a feasible world travel route. Unfortunately, you'll probably have to drop a few places from your list at this stage as it's just not feasible to include them all.

Also read: World trip route in 5 steps | How do you make a plan?

Remember that the fewer places you visit, the less money you will have to spend on transportation to each location. More countries and locations simply means that your budget goes up further. It also means you can spend less time in each place. A common mistake is wanting to see too many countries in too short a time. This not only makes your world travel route complex, it also generally does not benefit your travel pleasure.

Also read: Cheap world trip route example | Around the world for €1500

World trip | Route example
World trip | Route example

The best way to plan your world travel route is to pull out a large world map and mark all the destinations on your list. You should start seeing clusters of destinations that are close to each other and how to potentially get from one to another.

When planning your route, it is also important to take into account the weather and climate of each place. Check the seasons in advance as it can change the direction you travel and when you go. on climateinfo.nl you can see per country or region whether your travel period matches the desired weather.

Step 4: Start booking your world trip

Booking flights, accommodation and even visits to major attractions in advance doesn't sound appealing. In some cases it may be essential. For example, if you plan to use the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu If you want to walk, you would do well to reserve this well in advance. There are only a limited number of visitors allowed to do this each year, as not many permits are issued. Therefore, you need to book about six months or more in advance to secure everything.

Book essential trips well in advance
Book essential trips well in advance

Reserving or booking in advance can also be an excellent way to save money, as things are paid for before you leave. However, spontaneity is one of the real enjoyment factors of traveling the world, so a tight schedule will detract from that. Give yourself some flexibility to stay longer or change your plans if you wish.

Book flights

Only book essential flights far in advance to ensure that you have a common thread throughout your world trip, but no more than that. For example, only book long-haul flights, for example from Europe to Asia and from Asia to the USA. The flights you may still want to book in between, for example from Singapore to Indonesia, leave yourself open for now. Do you really want to get started?

The best thing about booking your first flight tickets is that it all suddenly feels very different. You are really going on a world tour! This great feeling provides months of euphoria and planning the rest of your world trip suddenly seems a lot easier. You will be whistling through life in the coming months!

Also read: Skyscanner | How to save (a lot of) money on flights

Book accommodations

You are tired after a long or intercontinental flight. At those times it's just nice to know where you're sleeping. Avoid having to look for hotels at the last minute, because you won't have the energy for that just before or just after a long flight. Holidays, events, weekends and festivals also mean that accommodations are suddenly fully booked, so it is also advisable to book ahead.

Book tours

De inca trail op Machu Picchu to admire? The active rinjani climb a volcano? Make sure you book these unique but popular tours more than 6 months in advance, because believe us, they fill up quickly. There are many other popular tours and destinations that you should book well in advance. Do you know in advance which places or tours you absolutely do not want to miss? Then record them well in advance, just in case. Nothing is more annoying than being disappointed at the last minute.

Tours are the best here books, on the website of Get Your Guide. They have a huge global selection and they are usually a lot cheaper than TripAdvisor.

Step 5: Organize your banking

When you're good saved for your world trip, you de have a plan ready and have actually booked your first tickets, it is wise to think carefully about your money matters and what you do in case of an emergency. Avoid problems with your budget on the road. Make sure you keep most of your money in a bank account that doesn't have card access but can be accessed online. You may need to open another account for this. From there you can transfer smaller amounts to an account with card access. So if your card is stolen, the thieves will only have access to a small amount of money. Due to the potential difficulties of getting new cards along the way, it's also a good idea to have more than one account that you keep pretty much empty, but that you can transfer money into if needed.

Money matters and credit cards for your world trip
Money matters and credit cards for your world trip

Tip:: I have been using the BUNQ Travel Card / Prepaid Credit Card. This is a full-fledged prepaid credit card that is accepted worldwide and with which you can also rent cars. That makes this card unique compared to competitors such as Revolut and N26.

Knowing more? Then read: Which (prepaid) credit card is best to travel with? And why?

Our advice for traveling abroad:
Bunq Prepaid Credit Card

The Bunq card is the most accepted Prepaid Credit Card in the world. It's a full-fledged one Mastercard credit card - even offline terminals in airplanes and elsewhere work with this card (we have tested this many times ourselves). You can also rent a car with this card.

  • No BKR check
  • Dutch bank
  • Problem-free car rental abroad
  • ZeroFX (abroad saves about 2-3% per transaction!)
  • Works with Google and Apple Pay
Compare plans Our honest review
By using our affiliate links you support us at no extra cost. Thank you!

Step 6: Start Preparing


Staying healthy while traveling the world should be your number one priority as many countries are affected by diseases and illnesses that we cover here The Netherlands just don't get it. Find out which vaccinations you need once you've figured out your route. Don't wait with that, because vaccinations sometimes only work after a few weeks or need to be updated again GGD travel vaccinations. There are even some countries that won't let you enter without proof that you've had certain vaccinations. So make sure you have this in order.

Also read: Vaccinations for a World Trip | Everything you need to know

Medicines | Plan a world trip
Medicines | Plan a world trip

Note: We also strongly advise anyone traveling to a country or area where Malaria may occur not to jump to conclusions from this or other articles. Always make an appointment with one of the specialists of the GGD. The information they have is always up-to-date and that is why they can advise you specifically based on the specific travel plans you have.

malaria pills

If you're on medication or traveling to malarial areas, you should also prepare a plan to make sure you have enough for the entire trip. You should also research whether you can buy that medicine in any location, whether you need a prescription, and how easy it is to obtain it, should the need arise.

Also read: Travel and Malaria | Everything you need to know about malaria pills

You will not enter any country legally without a valid passport and Visa, so you will have to arrange this well in advance. Many Dutch people with little travel experience expect to be able to walk in anywhere with a valid passport – unfortunately that is not the case in many countries and you will have to take that into account.

arrange visa

Visas can be both an extra cost and a complication. Unfortunately, as a Dutch traveler you regularly have to pay a request a visa for the different countries you visit. Be sure to do your research and apply in advance for countries that require it. For some countries it is difficult to obtain a visa and it may only be possible to do this from your own country (at an Embassy for example), so check and arrange this before boarding the plane.

Passport and Visa arrangements
Passport and Visa arrangements

Passport validity

Your passport must still be valid for at least six months at the end of your trip, as many countries will not let you enter with less than 6 months validity. If you go on a world trip for a year, your passport must therefore be valid for at least another 1,5 years and preferably even longer, if you decide to stick to it for one or two months. You should also have enough pages left over for all the stamps and visas you are going to purchase. Most countries require a minimum of three full pages. It's a strange requirement that is never actually checked, but theoretically it could become a problem. It's worth doing a quick calculation to make sure your passport lasts until the end of your trip. This will prevent you from being turned away at the border.

Home Affairs

If you own a house, are you going to rent it out while you're away? Do you have recurring invoices that you need to automate or cancel? Do you plan to travel before your trip? to sell stuff to raise additional money? There are plenty of things to take care of at home before you leave and the sooner you start, the less stressful it will be. Make a list of everything you need to do to prepare for your world trip and spread out the tasks leading up to your trip. For more information and useful tips to prepare for your world trip, take a look at our preparation for a world trip page.

Buy travel insurance

There are people who choose to go abroad without travel insurance, but if you're going on a longer trip or world trip, it's just not worth the risk. Get a decent round the world travel insurance policy that will cover you for medical expenses, trip cancellations, lost luggage and anything else you need. As with any insurance policy, double-check the fine print to make sure it's appropriate and worth the cost. Take your time with this, do it carefully.

Best price/quality ratio
Travel insurance from Allianz

Whether you're looking for short-term or long-term travel insurance, Allianz is the best choice for those who travel regularly. The coverage for luggage, gadgets and medical expenses abroad is generally higher with Allianz than with comparable insurers.

The travel insurance can also be expanded with cancellation insurance.

Compare insurance
By using our affiliate links you support us at no extra cost. Thank you!

Also read: Which travel insurance do you need for a trip around the world?

Buy a foreign driver's license

Are you planning to rent a car or scooter on a world trip? First of all, make sure you familiarize yourself with the rules of the country in question and check whether you are actually allowed to drive the vehicle with your driver's license. Check?! Then you can easily reach the ANWB buy an international driver's license. This costs about 20 euros on average. There are 2 types of driving licenses for Asia, so make sure you have the right one. One driving license is valid for 1 year and the other 2 years. All you need to bring to the store is a passport photo and your Dutch driver's license.

Step 7: Packing for your world trip

Packing for your world trip can be a daunting task as it can be very confusing to know exactly what to bring and what not to bring. Start by looking at the places you will visit, the climates you will experience and the activities you will do. These three things will help you determine what to put in your luggage. Remember, you can buy just about anything in the world.

Smart packing for your world trip
Smart packing for your world trip

Pack smart

Instead of overpacking, it is better to buy things that take up a lot of space, such as warm clothes, on the way and resell them or give them away to someone who can use them. It is also a good idea to pack what you pack as well and neatly as possible in such a way that you can almost blindly find everything. Give everything a permanent place. Use packing cubes for order and tidiness of your clothes. Use recognizable bottles and smart bags to keep your things sorted and separated, so you know where to find the right thing even in the dark.

packing cubes

There are many smart 'Gadgetsavailable to help you pack your backpack. It is important to organize your backpack as efficiently as possible. For example, there are bags where you can suck or squeeze the air (vacuum bags) so that your clothes take up much less space. However, this also means that you can take more with you! That is sometimes positive, but think about it carefully… You can suck or squeeze air out of it all you want, but the weight will remain. We recommend lightweight packing cubes at. Here you can keep your clothes perfectly sorted.

Expandable make-up bag

Another handy tip is a compact makeup bag. Some are ideal for taking cosmetics and jewelry with you on a trip. Look for a bag made of waterproof PVC and nylon that prevents any leaks from ending up in the rest of your luggage. Some bags have a soft lining that provides protection against drops or bumps.

Leave as much at home as possible

Experienced world travelers know that the first 2 or 3 times you take way too much anyway, which you then carry around for weeks or months. Do you really need 9 pairs of socks? You end up walking in your flip flops 98% of the time. 2 sweaters and a cardigan for when it's a bit cooler? Leave those 2 sweaters at home! If it gets a bit cooler, just put on more layers (2-3 shirts + cardigan, for example). In addition, as a Dutch person you tend to bring long trousers, but you never wear them in the end. If you still want to bring long pants, pack a compact, quick-drying fabric with a light weight. No jeans! Or such a neck pillow for the plane? Know that you have to carry it with you the whole journey!

Fun fact: The first time we went backpacking for 6 months, our backpacks weighed 18 kilo† The 2nd time 16 kilo and the last trip we were about finished 13 kilo† And believe us, we still haven't worn or used a part! This included camera supplies, batteries, tablets and chargers.

Step 8: Leave and be on your way

Visit Grandma

Avoid angry looks from Grandma! Realize that you will be away from home for a long time. You will not be able to visit the sick if loved ones are in the hospital. You will have to miss graduations and graduations in your family. The annual family outing, you won't be there next year either. It is therefore nice for yourself and for your family to stop by before you leave. Take the time for this! Plan that Sunday afternoon to do something with your grandmother or nieces and nephews. You will see that it feels good.

Avoid angry looks from Grandma!
Avoid angry looks from Grandma!

Throw a farewell party

For yourself and your friends and family who do like a party, a farewell party can of course not be omitted. It's the nicest way to say goodbye to everyone before you go on a world trip. Just make sure it's not 'the night before', because sitting on the plane broke and nauseous on a 24-hour flight with a transfer, you're going to regret it. Trust me, I know!

Sleep well on the plane

And of course also in buses, trains, boats and everything in between. You will spend a lot of time and the traveling itself so it is nice to be well prepared for that. Don't use those hours to get tired, but to rest! Common tips are to bring an eye mask for total darkness, earplugs and noise canceling headphones against the noise. Less common, but super effective: sleeping pills (use this with care). Consciously book flights or rides in the middle of the night so that you can fall asleep more easily. Buy a sturdy but soporific (pdf) book and watch space/star documentaries, for example those from The Universe (yes, it really works).

Also read: Five expert tips for a good night's sleep on the plane

Essential world travel apps

Nowadays, a smartphone while traveling is so much more than a device to make calls or to be reachable. It's our navigation, notepad, the gateway to the best restaurants, our booking assistant and even the complete photo and film crew are incorporated in it... A telephone is simply indispensable in our daily lives and therefore not when travelling. Which Apps are essential for a world trip and which are not? Below is a small list of essential apps for your world trip.

Step 9: Keeping You Healthy

These tips may be more philosophical than practical, but equally important when the sights, smells, and chaos of a new place briefly overwhelm you. You are really not the first and certainly not the last to go through it during a long trip or world trip. Traveling asks a lot of you and it is really not just relaxation. To stay calm and positive during your world trip, we have the following tips of great importance.

Also read: Getting sick during your trip? † 7 tips to avoid that

Making sure you stay healthy during your world trip
Making sure you stay healthy during your world trip

Give yourself time

Before you pass judgment on a new place. You usually arrive tired from the journey and less open-minded than usual. Give yourself a chance to get used to it before you decide to leave. Initially I didn't enjoy my time in Bangkok, but after leaving the main tourist areas and staying in the middle of street food heaven, I found myself captivated by the city anyway. Sometimes the places that make the worst first impressions become your favorites.

Don't worry about the little things

Cliche, but true. The sooner you start weighing down your days with disappointment or anger about things you can't change, the sooner you'll want to leave. A long journey or world trip never goes quite as planned, but that is just part of the adventure. Now is the time to resign and take it as it is.

Let go and enjoy

Do not worry too much. During your trip around the world, some things will undoubtedly go wrong or will go differently than expected. Plans that change, things get stolen, the wrong bus and no longer know where you are. It can all happen and be at peace with this. You often come across the most beautiful places at unexpected moments. The most special people or positive memories that you will never forget.

Step 10: Returning to the Netherlands

Now that you are back in the Netherlands, you will of course first visit your family, relatives and (former) colleagues with full enthusiasm to tell about your great adventure. Show your best photos, have a beer and wine with them and enjoy seeing everyone after that long time.

Don't sit still

If you're having trouble getting back from your trip around the world, the last thing to do is sit still on the couch. This just makes it more difficult to move on and can take you to the point of becoming depressed. So stay active and do something.

Don't sit still after your world trip
Don't sit still after your world trip

Set new goals

Goals give you something to work on. Maybe you would like to travel the world again as soon as possible! Then immediately set new goals and calculate your next world trip costs and budget. Also determine your next world travel route, because you must have missed or skipped countries! A sub-goal of this can be that you find a job as quickly as possible to get that money together. Perhaps you no longer want to travel at all, but choose a career. Set goals what you want to achieve within this. Maybe you want to build a stable life, maybe not at all. But whatever you do, make sure you have a goal that you can live towards.

Also read: 10 reasons why traveling is good for your career and future

More information about world travel

Planning a world trip is almost impossible to overcome in one article. In the near future you will have to delve more deeply into everything that has to do with making a world trip. Read more about world travel routes, world travel costs, world travel preparation and everything that comes with it. Don't worry, we have a Homepage made where you can go through all the necessary steps again in peace. There you can go through all steps from 1 to 10 at your own pace and read multiple blogs about that specific topic for each part. Add the homepage to your favorites so that you can quickly and accurately return to the next step in your planning.

Good luck with the preparation and if you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask in the comments!

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