The Step-By-Step Guide To Plan For Traveling Long Term

When it comes to long term travel, if you don’t do it now, you’ll never do it. world map

It’s been itching at you. You can feel it. This is the moment. When it comes to long term travel planning, if you don’t do it now, you’ll never do it. I’ve been there, your life is needing a kick of inspiration. You need a break from the mundane routine that is far too familiar, and you simply can’t fight off that urge to change your pace, your daily grind.

But where do you start? How do you possibly plan for a trip which may last for 3 months, 6 months or even a year? There’s enough money in the bank to last for a few months without work, but how do you begin the planning process?

Yes, it can be so overwhelming. But it can also be incredibly fun! The research experience is an exciting education all on its own, and you’ll soon fall in love with certain bloggers who are already doing what you’re about to embark on. Their soul-searching stories will soon become your actual reflections.

If you’re looking to pack up your bags and take off for long term travel, this step-by-step guide will help you kickstart a massive (and important) plan. Remember, depending on who you meet on the road, and how you feel in certain cities, your plans WILL change. So give yourself the flexibility to alter your plans at any moment during the trip, and that’s OK!

Step 1. Look at your bank account.

So you can get an idea of how long you can sustain traveling without having to work. If money is not an issue, then move onto Step 2. But if you’ll be a budget traveler and plan to stay at hostels, then you should budget approximately USD $1,500 – $1,800 per month in Europe, USD $800 – $1,000 per month in South America or Southeast Asia. These are just ballpark numbers from other experienced travelers, and you’d rather overestimate than to underestimate.

Step 2. Figure out which continent you want to explore.

The world map is looking pretty big, and where should you begin? A good tactic is to start filtering down to individual continents. Depending on your budget, you’ll know that Europe or South Pacific might be too expensive to sustain a few months without working. If you can only allow yourself to spend USD $1K a month, then South America or Southeast Asia might be a better continent to start with. If budget isn’t a concern, then simply think about where you’ve always wanted to visit but never got a chance to. Here’s your moment to do it all!

Step 3. Narrow down to the countries you really want to visit.

Once you’ve got a specific continent down, you can starting filtering down to countries. The best way is moving in one direction, from south to north, east to west, or vice versa.

For example, if you’ve decided that Southeast Asia is where you’re headed, then you might want to start from Indonesia, which is located in the south, then upward toward Philippines where you can move eastward to Vietnam, Thailand, then Laos…and so on.

If you’re planning for South America, then you might want to consider starting in one country, then moving in a circular route from country to country so you’re not overcompensating on time and money via unnecessary long travels.

Europe is where you’re going? Then I highly recommend starting from the west (UK) and move eastward, or the other way around.

Step 4. Choose 2-3 cities in each country that seem interesting to you.

Having continents and countries locked down, you just need to work on which cities in each country you’d like to see, which will give you a good idea on how long you’ll end up in each country. If you’ve got the time and budget, then visiting all major cities in a country is definitely possible and you should. But if that’s not the case for you, then select 2-3 cities in each country that interest you. If you have no idea, then pick major cities. Your plans will certainly change as you meet new people on the road who will recommend hidden gems that will switch your plans around.

Step 5. Plan on spending at least 3-4 days in each city.

This way, you’re not rushing in and out of a city (since most of the time, transportation takes up to a day,) and you’ll be able to enjoy and take in local experiences. Look a list of local monuments and sites that you’ll want to check out. Some cities have more than others which would require more days.

When long term traveling, you don’t ever want to feel hurried only to leave a city feeling like you haven’t benefitted from the experience. It defeats the whole purpose of why you took off in the first place. So don’t rush, take your time and plan adequate days in each city so you can really soak it in. Who knows, you’ll probably fall in love with a city so hardcore that you’ll want to stay for a whole month, and that’s OK too!

Step 6. Start looking at lodging options in those cities.

Once you’ve decided on which cities to visit and how long you’ll want to stay, then the next step is to browse through places to stay. Budget travelers will want to use and luxury travelers might consider using for better deals at boutique and luxurious options.

The most important component is to not stress over the whole process. Take your time to read through blogs, travel platforms (ahem, Jetset Times) and you’ll begin to have a better understanding of where to go and how you’d like to go about it. Good luck and have fun!

Wendy Hung


As the founder of Jetset Times, Wendy is an avid traveler and fluent in five languages. When she's not traveling, Wendy calls Paris and Taipei home. Her favorite countries so far from her travels have been: Bhutan, Iran, and St. Bart's because they were all so different!

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