1. Do the big picture planning first. Rough out a year in full and plan to balance your trip time between expensive and less costly areas. Two months in Europe may equal six months in South East Asia. Do some general searches first to find out cost-of-living and best weather options. Far better and cheaper to spend several months on one continent and get a good feel for a few countries than rush-rush-rush through several. You will enjoy yourself more.
2. Read and research the areas linked with your personal interests so you are indeed a traveler, not a tourist. If you are interested in art, then focus on the major galleries you want to see. If you are focused on an environmental issue, see where you can most get involved.
3. Figure out your biggest expense – transportation – first. When moving from one region to another, compare round-the-world trips from the airline alliances and repositioning cruises in the shoulder season. Many people fly into the major city in the country and then do side trips by train, bus, car, boat, or plane.
4. Become comfortable with on-line technology and information sites. Round-the-world travellers generally book a few months in advance, but not the full year. You will be booking online. Get familiar with some websites, and try them in advance, if possible. Far better to use sites from your home country or from national suppliers that you are confident are going to be around than booking from tiny sites. If possible, book flights through agencies so you are covered if the airline ceases to operate. You will need to get your credit and debit cards in order as well, with cards from both Visa and MasterCard. Have a couple of banks or credit unions, with different systems. Europe and Canada use PIN numbers, while much of the US and South America require signatures.
5. Assemble the electronics you’ll need – camera, netbooks, music, and connectivity. Remember you probably won’t have your current cell phone access. Set up your Skype or Magic Jack accounts at home so you can start using them right away. Set up on-line backup for your photos or plan to bring a portable hard-drive.
6. Reduce or eliminate your home expenses, especially as you come close to leaving. This includes renting or selling your home and vehicles and putting your possessions in storage. Doing this may free up several hundred dollars of on-going monthly expenses.
By planning well in advance, you can just go forward and enjoy your trip. Traveling in itself can be stressful, so taking care of these details will help.
Mahara Sinclaire, M. Ed., the Boomer Expert, is the author of the book The Laughing Boomer: Retire from Work – Gear Up for Living!, available on Smashwords.com. Mahara and her husband are living their retirement dreams and have travelled to 43 countries over the past two years.She has presented hundreds of workshops on a variety of topics, and presents workshops on retirement planning. Mahara is known for inspiring clients to move forward with their lives. She can be reached by telephone at 604 210 2025, firstname.lastname@example.org or [http://www.laughingboomer.com].