Those of you who know me know that I’m constantly dreaming up and planning bigger and crazier run away adventures.
I want to ride the Trans-Siberean this spring from Beijing to St. Petersburg. I want do the Mongol Rally and drive an underpowered Hyundai 10,000 miles to Mongolia. I also want to walk the Camino De Santiago from Rome to Western Spain.
So how do I decide where to go? And how do I turn it into a reality? The short answer, I follow my heart and won’t let anything stop me from getting there.
But if you’ve never really traveled before, just deciding on where to go can be overwhelming. And planning a trip can be stressful as well.
So, if you want to run away and travel the world but have no idea where to begin or how to make it happen, you’re reading the right guide.
Step 1: Choose Your Country
Choosing a country is simple. Maybe you saw it in a movie or read about it in a book and thought I would love to go there one day. Well, that’s the place you need to go!
Don’t worry about how expensive it might be or how you don’t speak the language. If you truly want to go, everything will fall into place, and by one way or another you’ll adapt and make it happen, I guarantee it. If you’re interested in beginning a backpacking adventure, check out The Best Countries For Beginner Backpackers for a few ideas.
Step 2: Buy A Flight
Now that you know where you’re going, it’s time to buy a flight. Don’t worry about buying a return ticket yet, you can always buy that later. For now, just focus on getting there.
Get on Skyscanner and browse around. In order to find the cheapest flight, set the departure date to display departures for the ‘whole month’. Once you’ve found a flight you can afford, don’t hesitate. Just click purchase.
Step 3: Find A Place To Stay
In the words of Martin Lawerence in Bad Boys 2, ‘shit just got real.’ You’ve got a ticket to your dream country and there’s really no turning back. Now you need to find a place to stay. I would recommend just booking 2 or 3 nights at a budget hostel or hotel. This will give you enough time to rest and get acclimated to your new surroundings.
For hostels, I recommend HostelWorld.com. For budget hotels, booking.com and Agoda.com are solid companies with excellent rates. Finally, for longer term rentals, check out AirBnb.com. If you sign up with this link, they’ll give you 25$ towards your first stay.
Step 4: Get Prepared
There are only two essential things you need to do to prepare, get a visa and pack your bag.
If you’re from the US, AU, CA, or EU, chances are you won’t even need a visa. But be sure to research tourist visa requirements for your desired country. (google search: ‘Thailand visa requirements for US citizens.’) If you’re a citizen of the USA, check out my Visa Requirements World Map.
When it comes to packing, the lighter you pack the better. I know it’s tempting to bring as much as possible in order to prepare for any eventuality but you really don’t need as much as you think. Even if you’re traveling to the most isolated country on earth, if there’s something you need, chances are you’ll be able to find it there. For more info on packing, check out How To Pack For Any Adventure.
Step 5: Go!
All your reservations have been made, your documents are organized, and your bag is packed. Now it’s time to put your trust in the travel gods and take that first leap of faith.
I know what you’re thinking. I just simplified an extremely complicated and stressful process. But the truth is, planning a trip really can be this simple and stress free.
Don’t fret the tiny details. Try not to think too far in advance. Keep your options open. Stay positive and adaptable. Envision the person you want to be, and the life altering trip you want to experience, and turn it into reality.
If you need some help planning your trip, you can always connect with me on Facebook. Good luck and stress free planning.