Living the Dream was founded to chronicle the planning and execution of our own long-term trips. After planning our own travels for several years, and having gone on two long-term trips (2010 and 2013-2014), we have researched and discussed nearly every topic that we had to address when traveling not only long-term, but short-term as well. Since searching through the hundreds of posts on this site to find the most relevant to planning your own trip is time consuming, we put together this guide to highlight the best posts for each stage of planning.
Initial – Refinement – Commitment – On the Road – After
Initial Stages – What Can You Do?
Before the first dollar is spent there are a number of topics you must consider to see if a long-term adventure is right for you, within your savings reach, and what you need to do in order to make it happen. The following are a collection of some of our favorite posts to help get you started in planning your trip during the initial stages:
- Why Haven’t You RTW’d Yet?
- 5 Things You Should Do Financially Before Traveling
- Getting Into the Savings Mindset for Long-term Travel
- So You Want to Crowdfund Your RTW Vacation?
- Long-Term Family Travel: What You Need to Know
- Planning a Long-Term Itinerary When You Are Going Everywhere
- 4 Reasons You Should Work Before Travel
- 4 Reasons You Should Travel Before Work
- Why Travel Long-Term With a Family?
- Traveling Long-Term With Your Family Things to Know
Refinement Period – What Do You Need To Achieve It?
Now that you’ve decided to make the leap into long-term travel, it is really time to get into the weeds of planning. A few purchases may be made during this step, but overall it is getting into the gritty little details on where you want to go, what you may want to do, and figuring out major logistics to ensure that the trip is financed to carry you through your dreams!
- Proof of Onward Travel: Part 1
- Proof of Onward Travel: Part 2
- Use Your Credit Card for Major Frequent Flyer Miles
- One Year of Travel Hacking: Frequent Flyer Points Update
- Deciding Where to Sleep, Hostels are the Answer!
- Rail or Wheel? Comparing Bus and Rail Travel
- Your Liquid Diet Will Ruin Your Travel Budget
- When Skipping a Once in a Lifetime Destination Makes Sense
Commitment – What Purchases Need Made Pre-Trip?
The final hurdle before departure is making the commitment of buying the first plane ticket and other expensive items necessary to travel. Back out now, and you lost a fair bit of money. The following are a collection of some of our favorite posts during our commitment phases when planning a long-term trip.
- Duffels, Backpacks, and Suitcases: How to Choose!
- Multi-Purpose Packing List: KEEN Footwear
- When World Nomads Saved Our Trip
- Does T-Mobile Really Give Free Data in 120 Countries?
- Are Hilton Credit Cards Good for Travelers?
- Why I Am Excited to Travel the World
- Why I Am Terrified to Travel the World
- Are United Credit Cards Good for Travelers?
- The Best Things to Do Between Travels
- Don’t Be Caught Without Cash – Call Your Bank!
- Panic! The Biggest Travel Mistake of My Life
- Leaving Our Wedding Rings at Home While Traveling
- Saving When Your Favorite Activity is Spending
- Do You Sell Your Life’s Belongings to Travel? Or Save Them Until You Return
- Around the World Packing List
- On the Road to Healthy
- Revisiting a Long-Term Travel Packing List
- 3 Things We Wish We Would’ve Done Before Traveling
- It Is The Little Things That Get You
On the Road – What To Do?
Just because you start traveling doesn’t mean that the challenges are over. There are many unique scenarios that come up when traveling long-term that shorter vacations just don’t have to think about. The following are a collection of some of our favorite on the road topics.
- Visas on the Road: Preparing the Route for Bureaucracy!
- …and then PNC Changed the Rule
- How Long Things Last on the Road
- 6 Tips for Having Parents Visit on a RTW
- Traveling as a Couple – His Perspective
- Traveling as a Couple – Her Perspective
- Learning to Cook While Traveling the World
- Tips and Traps on Staying Healthy
- What Dorm Size is Right For You?
- Adjusting to Life on the Road
- The Worst Part About Long-Term Travel
- How I Fixed a Catastrophic Hole in My Backpack
- Traveling Safely With a Food Allergy
- Fixing a Stuck Handle in Our Backpack
- After 62 Countries in 5 Years, We Were Robbed
- Getting an Emergency Passport Abroad
- When to Question Brand Loyalty – Is It Time to Switch
- How We Got a Refund on a Non-Refundable Plane Ticket
- 5 Haggling Techniques to Score Your Next Souvenir
- Top 10 Murphy’s Laws of Backpacking
After the Fact
Finally, unless you are a digital nomad you must come to the realization that your trip must end one day. The following are some of our favorite trip end posts from our first long-term trip to give you an idea of how much we spent, what we did, and ways to make your own adventure more enjoyable!
- Our RTW Trip Has Ended – So We Surprised Our Parents
- The RTW Tally Results for Our 2013-2014 Trip
- $75,000 Vacation Part 1 – The Dirty Details (2013-2014 RTW)
- $75,000 Vacation Part 2 – Optimizing Savings (2013-2014 RTW)
- $75,000 Vacation Part 3 – Detailed Cost Breakdown (2013-2014 RTW)
- Relocate Abroad or Stay at Home?
- How We’re Coping No Longer Being Nomadic
- A Lesson in Recovering Stolen Souvenirs
- The Final Numbers Part 1 – RTW Tally (2010-2011 RTW)
- The Final Numbers Part 2 – Spending (2010-2011 RTW)
- The Final Numbers Part 3 – Country to Country (2010-2011 RTW)
- How Much Money You Need to Start Life, Post Travel
- 8 Interview Questions to Deal With After Traveling
- A Packing List Dissection – Things I Didn’t Use
- A Packing List Dissection – Things I Needed
- A Packing List Dissection – Things I Couldn’t Live Without
- Did Our KEEN Shoes Survive 15 Months of Travel?
We also have country and monthly recaps from each of the destinations we’ve visited on our long-term trips. These also provide more in-depth evaluations on our spending figures and travel advice in various parts of the world.
- 2013-2014 RTW Month 1: Switzerland, France
- 2013-2014 RTW Month 2: Greece, Italy, Austria
- 2013-2014 RTW Month 3: Bulgaria, Turkey
- 2013-2014 RTW Month 4: Slovenia, Austria, Germany, Hungary, Romania
- 2013-2014 RTW Month 5: UAE, Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro, Croatia
- 2013-2014 RTW Month 6: Oman and Nepal
- 2013-2014 RTW Month 7: India
- 2013-2014 RTW Month 8 and 9: Argentina, Chile, Zambia, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Mauritius
- 2013-2014 RTW Month 10: Argentina, Chile, and Easter Island
- 2013-2014 RTW Month 11: Bolivia
- 2013-2014 RTW Month 12: Peru
- 2013-2014 RTW Month 13: Ecuador and Galapagos
- 2013-2014 RTW Month 14: Colombia
- 2013-2014 RTW Month 15: Mexico
- 2010-2011 RTW: Japan
- 2010-2011 RTW: China
- 2010-2011 RTW: Vietnam and Cambodia
- 2010-2011 RTW: Thailand
- 2010-2011 RTW: Malaysia
The Long-Term Traveler’s Guide
As many of these posts were tailored to our own personal itineraries, some information that may be relevant to your dream trip may not have been included. In order to cover all thoughts required to plan your own personal long-term trip regardless of where you are from or are traveling to, we published our first book, The Long-Term Traveler’s Guide in 2012.
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The guide is designed to be the ultimate planning resource for all travelers and covers every topic you need to consider when planning your trip abroad. Rather than focusing on specific details like what visa travelers from the USA need for China (which may be different for someone from Japan, for example), the guide looks at the larger issues all travelers face on the road and gives resources for you to figure out how your trip may be affected, no matter where you come from or where you are going.
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