November 2017 Update– We are in the process of overhauling this page and some sections below are set to change and may seem a little light. If you wish to read current blog posts, we recommend heading to our blog directory by clicking this link.
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 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:
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!
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.
- Multi-Purpose Packing List: KEEN Footwear
- When World Nomads Saved Our Trip
- Does T-Mobile Really Give Free Data in 120 Countries?
- Leaving Our Wedding Rings at Home While Traveling
- 3 Things We Wish We Would've Done Before Traveling
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.
- How Long Things Last on the Road
- What Dorm Size is Right For You?
- How I Fixed a Catastrophic Hole in My Backpack
- Fixing a Stuck Handle in Our Backpack
- After 62 Countries in 5 Years, We Were Robbed
- Getting an Emergency Passport Abroad
- How We Got a Refund on a Non-Refundable Plane Ticket
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!
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.
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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If you loved the articles featured above, our newsletter is for you! Our newsletter is full of insider tips, behind the scenes info, and is also a great way to stay up-to-date with our most recent articles to inspire you to travel the world.
In addition to the above planning posts and our first self-published book, we have a number of free resources published on this website you may not be aware of! The following are some of our best resources we've developed over the years for your travel planning needs and are always available in our drop down menu at the top of this site!
- Online Resources Database – This page contains a massive amount of information that can be found all over the web. From the best travel companies we personally use to one of the largest collections of travel bloggers on the planet, there certainly is a lot to explore while planning your trip.
- Our Spending Log – This is perhaps our most important tool, as it is a spreadsheet of our spending from almost every single trip we've been on around the world – updated on a daily basis. Want to see our spending averages for hotels in China? It is there. How about food in Thailand? That too. Separated by category, date, and country, we compiled a lot of information in this one.
- Living the Dream's Travel Store – Our online store is a listing of all of the outlets where we sell products online either via affiliate sales, our own images, or our unique products.
Still looking for more? Shoot us an email! We reply to every single message at firstname.lastname@example.org and would love to help you plan your trip! Depending on our travel schedule we may be a bit slow to respond (bad internet does hit even us), but we reply back to all those who message us.
Looking to book your next trip? Check out the following services we use and love or click the previous link to read more!
- AirfareWatchdog to find a cheap plane ticket.
- AirTreks to find more obscure routes / RTW flight deals.
- STA Travel to find travel deals for those under 30.
- Booking.com to find a hotel deal.
- Hostelworld to find a budget hostel.
- World Nomads to insure your trip.
- Viator for a stellar day tour.
- G Adventures for a multi-day guided tour.
- Or our gear list to update your equipment!