Let’s start from a base, to travel the world for months is necessary a very important step: to have enough time. There are countries (and professions) that allow to accumulate, during the vacations, enough days to travel. But the most common way is to request what in Spain is known as leave of absence: a time off from work. Another option, obviously, is to leave work and embark on an adventure, without expectation.
Once the decision has been made and you have enough time, the following “dilemmas” arrive, among which is the monetary issue. I will be touching on this topic in different points of the article, especially in the section Travelling cheap around the world.
Luggage to travel around the world – backpack or suitcase?
One of the doubts that can arise when making a trip around the world of long duration (several months), is the type of luggage. For my part, there is no doubt: backpack. It is much more practical and ergonomic for the subject of displacements, by land (there are countries in which the asphalt is not feasible for wheels).
As for luggage, speaking of clothing, the answer is also simple: the minimum. As if you were going to travel for 3 days, at most 4: 3 or 4 changes of underwear, 2 or 3 T-shirts, 2 or 3 trousers, a pair of shoes (closed or open) and some flip-flops. There is a very important factor to understand: things can be washed/bought/replaced along the way, so it is not necessary to come with all the equipment (except for the most technical).
Money: bank card and currency exchange
An element that is also very important when traveling around the world, especially not to lose money with each purchase or withdrawal of money made abroad, is to have a card that does not put extra charges on payments or currency exchange (it is assumed that the trip will pass through several countries).
The way to work with it is easy: a physical card is requested (it can be only in digital version, through the mobile app, but it is more practical to have a physical one) and another card from another bank is associated to it. The recharge (as well as all the control of the account) would be done through the APP. It is a card that only allows you to spend with the money inside it.
Take care of your health
One of the main points to keep in mind when travelling is to get vaccinated against diseases endemic to the countries you visit. There are countries where there is little risk and others where special care must be taken.
Ideally, you should plan in advance which areas to visit and vaccinate against endemic diseases for which prophylaxis is available. In Spain there are international vaccination services, dependent on each Autonomous Community (in some communities the vaccines are subsidized, in others not).
Health Insurance Card
There is another point concerning health which, together with vaccines, seems to me to be fundamental: travel insurance. In countries such as Spain or Argentina, where health care is accessible “free” (except the payment of annual taxes, of course), we are “badly accustomed” to enjoy it in such a simple and inexpensive way. But that is not the reality in most countries.
However, it is important to know that the Health Card has its limitations, since, although it can be used for a good number of circumstances, it does not guarantee that health care will be 100% free, as the conditions of the health system of each country, different from those of , come into play.
For other countries outside the EU or for travellers from outside Europe the presence of a travel insurance becomes more than necessary. Above all for two reasons: for your own personal safety and for the high cost of possible assistance (in some countries, such as Japan or the USA, only an ambulance transfer or the stay of a couple of nights in hospital can be very, very expensive).
Travelling around the world using hosting networks
Accommodation is one of the most important expense factors of any trip (especially depending on the country, Asia is much cheaper than Europe, for example).
Several alternative accommodation options:
- House sitting: this type of networks (there are several websites that offer this type of service) have been in operation for years and consist of traveling taking care of houses and, in some cases, pets. The question is simple: where you travel there is someone who is also traveling and does not want your house / plants / pet are left unattended. So, newcomers can stay at home in exchange for that care/surveillance. To enter the network you have to pay a registration fee to access the profiles offered by your home.
- Guest to guest: this is one of the newest networks. It consists of a home exchange network in which a traveler can request a home exchange with another traveler on the network (without paying a registration fee).
- Warm showers: this is a network of accommodation for those who use their bike as a means of transport. The system is very similar to Couchsurfing, but in the world of cycling.
Travelling using networks
Another way to travel the world in an economically sustainable way is to work. For this there are different networks in which work is done for a certain time in exchange for accommodation and, in some cases, food.
Chasing the summer
This point depends a lot on the type of trip and experiences you want to live, but from the practical point of view by volume of luggage during a long trip, it is much more advisable to travel chasing the summer by the planet (or in places where the temperature is mostly warm).
Taking a long trip has many positive points. Among them, the most important is the number of people from different places that are known and learned from. This is the greatest treasure I have discovered since I began to turn to this kind of life. All these people who know each other have, in addition, an extra point: places of “jump”, as I call them, those places of the world in which the different people who have met in hostels, means of transport.
Take it easy
We are accustomed to having one month’s vacation (approximately) in total during the year and our mental travel planning is based on that time. However, when we travel for months, following that same rhythm is extremely tiring and can lead to us not taking enough advantage of the experience of traveling for a longer time than usual.
Traveling the world can be done for free or practically free. It all depends on the type of trip you want to make.