Whether it’s for one month or one year, choosing to travel full time is an increasingly popular way to see the world. And it’s more common than you might think – momondo recently surveyed* travellers across Europe and found that 53% have travelled for more than one month at a time.
Whether it’s taking a gap year between studies or a break from work for a while, or whether it’s to explore a new culture and learn new things about yourself every day – there are many different reasons people choose to travel for an extended amount of time. Of those survey respondents who have travelled for more than one month at a time, most went to expand their horizons (28%) or to experience new cultures (28%). Some travellers also went to get away from day-to-day life (22%) or take a break from their job (14%), or simply to meet new people (9%).
Whatever your reason, if you’re thinking about taking some time off to travel, there are a few things to consider before you decide to head off on your trip of a lifetime. We’ve collected advice from some of our in-house and expert trusted travellers who have done the whole full-time-traveller thing, to share with you their best tips for travelling full time.
Take care of things at home first
Before jetting off on a months long adventure, consider the everyday costs you need to take care of at home first. What will you do with your apartment? Are there any subscriptions (phone, internet, etc) you need to put on hold while you’re gone? What about any student loans? Tie up the loose ends at home first and make sure you have no running costs before you leave for your trip.
When it comes to budgets, aim high
It’s always better to be safe than sorry, so budget for higher expenses than you originally expected.
Do the research first – find out the local costs of transportation, accommodation and meals in the countries or cities you plan to visit and come up with an estimate of how much you think you will realistically spend. Of those travellers in momondo’s travel survey who said they travelled for more than one month at a time, the overall most common monthly budget was €1000 – €1500 (£870- £1300).
Once you have a general idea of your budget, increase it to an amount that you are comfortable with. You never know what’s going to happen during your travels and if there’s a mishap that leaves you needing to spend extra cash, you’ll be happy to have the extra money and will be prepared to pay for things if necessary.
Don’t over plan
Rather than trying to schedule every hour of every day before you leave, consider leaving some leeway for spontaneity, so you can change or extend your itinerary along the way. Plan just enough so that you feel comfortable (perhaps some of the flights and any tours that need to be booked in advance), but don’t over-commit to pre-booked transportation and accommodation for every step of the way.
Leaving some gaps in your plan will give you the freedom to stay longer somewhere or visit a new place that sparks your interest as you continue to travel and explore.
Make some time to travel solo
While travelling with your partner or a great group of friends certainly has its own set of benefits, don’t wait around for someone else to join you if you really do want to travel. You’re much less likely to find the time to go if you’re always trying to sync up schedules and wait for others to confirm their plans. Solo travel allows you to get to know yourself better, gain confidence and have unique experiences that you might not have had when travelling with others.
Go with the flow
No matter what you are planning, at some point in your trip something will come up that you didn’t expect or plan for. Whether it’s a spontaneous trip to a nearby country or a once-in-a-lifetime dining experience you can’t say no to, you will probably end up doing something that you could never have planned for before you left. So be flexible while you travel and be open to any new adventures that come your way.
Don’t get caught up in the small things
Depending on where you go and for how long you will be travelling, there is bound to be a time when things might not be as perfect as you would want them. In many off the beaten path destinations, there won’t always be the same comforts as there are at home – maybe you won’t always have clean hot showers or unlimited high-speed Wi-Fi, but try to enjoy the simple things in life. Know what you’re getting into and tag along for the journey.
If you’re planning to work and travel
It’s becoming increasingly more popular to work while travelling, either by becoming a freelancer or working full time remotely for a company. But travelling as a digital nomad is slightly more complicated than travelling for leisure. Most likely, you’ll need better accommodation with constant access to high-speed internet, which could be more expensive. You’ll also need a lot of discipline and commitment to your work schedule to complete all your tasks on time, which could get in the way of sipping on margaritas on the beach all day.
Evaluate all the pros and cons of working as a digital nomad before you dive in head first to the world of work and travel.
If you’re thinking about it, just do it
There is no perfect time to travel. You’re always going to have commitments, jobs, friends and family you don’t to want to leave, but if you’re thinking about travelling, make it a priority and do it sooner rather than later. The longer you wait, the more entrenched you’ll get in the city you’re living in, your job and your relationships – and the less willing you’ll be to leave it all for an extended period of time.
The longer you put it off the more reasons you’ll find to convince yourself not to go. Quitting your job or taking a break from your studies to travel is not the end of the world, and at some point in the future, you will regret not taking the trip. So don’t overthink it, just go.
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