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Archive | Long Term Travel Guides

Introduction

Heidi & Gilles - Pure wilderness, Chilojo Cliffs Campsite 1, Gonarezhou National Park, Zimbabwe, Africa

Heidi & Gilles – Pure wilderness, Chilojo Cliffs Campsite 1, Gonarezhou National Park, Zimbabwe, Africa

Naturally, on a Long Term Trip, you will not only visit more places, but also completely different ones than on a two to three week vacation. You will also enjoy a higher flexibility and hence will have the opportunity to stay longer in each place. Consequently your travel experiences will be utterly different.

From our experience, on a short trip, we usually focused on the “highlights” and quickly move from one attraction to the other. With much more time at hand, we were able to truly discover the countries we were visiting, and travel Off The Beaten Track. Not very surprising, though… Continue Reading →

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Itinerary

Choosing An Itinerary – Do Less & Experience More!

Dance of the Masks, Dogon Country, Mali, Africa

Dance of the Masks, Dogon Country, Mali, Africa

The usual mistake most travelers make when planning a Round The World Trip (and believe us, we did the same!) is trying to pack too much into their itinerary. You will never see it all, even if you travel for 10 years. There is simply too much to see out there.

Most people see a Long Term Trip as a unique experience, the first and probably only such trip, and worry that they will miss places that they might never be able to visit again. For us it was the Easter Island and the “South Seas” in the Pacific, or South Patagonia in South America. And we are glad we went there, actually. Continue Reading →

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Preparations

Preparing A Round The World / Long Term Trip – So Many Things To Think About?

Great Enclosure, Great Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe

Great Enclosure, Great Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe

In our opinion, mainly two aspects are important when planning Long Term Travel:

  • Take the decision – This is the only real tough part in the whole process. But be sure of one thing: once the decision is taken, you have accomplished the most difficult part!
  • Stick to this decision – You will experience a lot of headwind while preparing such a trip: people warning you that it is dangerous, the anxiety about your job or your company offering you new possibilities to keep you (we have been through this), your family being not really being amused about this project… All this obstacles are best avoided by communicating your plans widely, so that there is no turning back. That done, when doubt comes up (and it will happen, sooner or later), you will feel compelled to stick to your plans. And you will be happy about it in the end!!!

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Budget for a Round The World Trip

Malawean Kwachas - Approx. 280 €

Malawean Kwachas – Approx. 280 €

The most frequently asked question when we traveled for a year in 2007 – 2008 was “How much does / did it cost?

Here is the answer: in total we spent 20.700 Euros per person for an entire year. That’s a lot more than most people spend. People we met usually had a budget between 12.000 to 15.000 Euros per person. Once we talked to a couple that lived on 10.000 Euros for 2 years, between the two of them! On the other hand we met people who burned 45.000 Euros per person in 15 months. Obviously the sky is the limit… Continue Reading →

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Money Matters – Cash @ Low Cost!

Ugandan Shillings (approx. 700 Euros)

Ugandan Shillings (approx. 700 Euros)

Fees to access local currencies can turn into an expensive affair. These costs can be as low as 3% to 5% of your total expenditures, but also reach a mind-blowing 10 to 12% if you are not well prepared, like us in Malawi in 2014! We did not bring enough cash and we had all kinds of cards but not a VISA.

So have a very close look at this aspect, as we are talking about serious money there. For example, take a budget of 15.000 €: it can mean as little as 450 to 750 € in total or as much as… 1.800 €! Continue Reading →

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Travel Gears – The Less The Better!

Heavily loaded bike, near the Red Fort, Agra, Rajasthan, IndiaBasically, the less you take the better you will feel while traveling. Do not forget that you will have to carry all that stuff, sometimes for quite a while. Besides, you will have to pack and unpack your backpack many, many times! So each piece of “stuff” that you take – no matter if it is clothes, shoes, medicine, electronics, books or whatever…will cost you time, energy and nerves! Continue Reading →

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RTW Tickets Versus One Way Tickets

Sunset over Paris... view from an Airbus A320At first sight “Round The World Tickets” seem to be much cheaper than a string of “One Way Tickets”. But a closer look shows that Round The World Tickets are only cheap if you stick to a very basic route (i.e. London – Bangkok – Auckland – Rarotonga – Los Angeles – London). Each change, especially adding an extra continent, increases the price dramatically. Moreover, those tickets are extremely inflexible. And flexibility is what you will want most! Plans do change while traveling – believe us! On top of that, our route was organized around specific travel hubs – from there we were able to get “One Way Tickets” at a very reasonable price. Continue Reading →

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Transport

Mobility – Choose the right mean of transport

Crossing the Border from Bolivia to Argentina...

Crossing the Border from Bolivia to Argentina…

Do not underestimate the time you spend traveling – We traveled 354 days during our Trip Around The World in 2007 / 2008 and spent slightly above 1.000 hours in long distant transport. This mind-boggling number does not include the time we spent in inner-city busses or on short excursion from a certain hub. Considering that you normally work 169 hours a month (in Continental Europe), it is precisely like spending 6 months in the office! Continue Reading →

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Health & Insurance

Gilles at the hospital in Leh, Ladakh

Gilles at the hospital in Leh, Ladakh

Be realistic: at some point, on a Round The World, you WILL get sick. Usually it is only a cold or an upset stomach. But accidents happen and sometimes even a trip to the hospital is necessary. A Travel Insurance costs a few hundred Euros, paying for medical care after a nasty accidents can literally cost millions. So do not be stupid: you NEED a Travel Insurance, and a good one at that! Continue Reading →

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Red Tape

Heidi crossing the border from Venezuela to Brazil

Heidi crossing the border from Venezuela to Brazil

Red Tape varies from country to country and also largely differs depending of your very nationality. Therefore, we won’t start to be specific here. Do your homework before visiting one place:

  • Is a visa required for your nationality?
  • Where is the last possible place to apply for a visa? You cannot get visas everywhere, sometimes it might even be required that you apply for a visa in your home county or country of residence! This is the case for Iran (at the time of writing, though it might turn much easier in the near future) and for some African countries like both Congos.

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