How to prepare to go travelling for a year

how to go travelling

Hi! After a few months of preparations for my year of solo travel around the world, It’s now time to start traveling!

NOTE: This blog contains affiliate links to pages selling products and/or services, I may get a small comission if you make a purchase through these links at no extra cost for you. There’s no sponsored content on this blog.

Contrary to my trips, which tend to have a high component of improvisation, I have had a pragmatic approach on this planning as I wanted to make sure everything will be fine whenever I decide to go back to an office life.

Everyone’s situation is different, I have decided to take this trip of a lifetime for different reasons.

Backpacking in Cham Island Vietnam

Mainly, after having done a few trips in my life, I have met wonderful people everywhere and most of the time I was the only one travelling for just a couple of weeks as I had to go back to work (I still consider myself very lucky to be able to travel often!)

When you meet many people that travel the world solo for several months or even years you can only think of what would something like that feel, so I decided to prepare myself and do it now as I have no attachments or commitments and would never allow myself to grow old and ask myself why didn’t I do it on my thirties!?

Budgeting

Not only you need to budget your trip (transport, food, accommodation, activities, etc) but if you’re planning to go back “home” at some point, you will also need to put aside some money for whenever that happens.

Solo hiking in Cornwall

The amount for this will of course depend on your city and lifestyle so it’s pointless for me to start putting numbers here as they will differ greatly if you’re in London, Barcelona or New York.

I have put aside money that will allow me to survive, on a humble lifestyle, for 6 months which should be more than enough to find a place to live, a job, etc. If you have any other things to consider, such as taking care of your family, loans, charities you support, etc you will of course have to add this as well to the equation.

In terms of the budget for the year, it will also depend completely on your lifestyle and where do you like to stay, what do you like to do, which countries are you planning to visit, for how long, etc.

I have read several blogs mentioning that you can travel a year from as little as US$10k, which comes to $27 per day, so I decided to set my budget on $40 per day which in some countries will be a lot and in some others not so much (*update: after 3 months travelling, I spent an average of US $20/day)

Solo backpacking in Patagonia

I also include on this daily budget all transportation and activities (dives, museum/parks/attraction entry fees, any other activities…). I also plan to do some “volunteering” with workaway in some places.

I think and hope that this budget will be generous enough as I normally stay in cheap hostel dorms and I’m also planning to camp a lot, travel by bus and hitchhike.

Job

Over the past few years I have been lucky enough to be working in something that I’m passionate about, if you’re in a similar situation just communicate your plans with plenty of notice.

Wild camping lake district

Leaving a job because you’re travelling could never be taken badly (as if you were moving to a competitor) and leave the doors open as you never know when you may need to knock on a door even if you end up somewhere else.

Stuff

If you have moved to a new house in the past few years, you know how many things we accumulate overtime.

As I have moved quite a few times, I’m not exactly attached to “things” and have a quick approach of “if I have not used it for a year then I don’t need it”.

For a couple of months I have sold a lot of stuff on eBay, donated a lot of other ones and only kept a few life-memories that I sent to my family for storage and a week of clothing for whenever I decide to go back.

I have also given a lot of stuff to friends such as plants, books, homeware stuff, etc.

Iceland Glacier Trek
Iceland Glacier Trek

Equipment

Once all this was sorted, I started looking into what sort of stuff will become my-life-on-my-rucksack. Most are related with the regular equipment that I’d normally pack. This is what I will be carrying on my shoulders of the next 12 months:

Equipment/Accessories:

-Rucksack: Osprey Kestrel 68l

-Daypack: Salomon Trail 20

-Tent: MSR Elixir 2

-Sleeping bag: Haglof Tarius -5

-Head torch: a good selection here

-Cooking equipment (pans, stove, spork, knife) I got one of these

Camelback Bladder

-x2 Reusable water bottles

MY CAMPING ESSENTIALS

Miscellaneous:

-Anti-blister kit

-x1 Roll of toilet paper

-Sunglasses: Oakley EvZero

-Book (check out my post about my travel books)

-Quick dry towel

-Toiletries (tooth brush/paste, deodorant, clipper, etc…)

-Plastic bags for wet clothes, dirty clothes, clean clothes and for rubbish when camping

-Laptop

-Padlock

-Action camera

-Chargers and batteries

Clothing:
-x5 T-shirts

-x5 Boxers

-x4 Pairs of socks

-Hiking trousers (zippable to shorts)

-Waterproof shell trousers

-x1 Pair of quick dry shorts

-Base layer top and bottom (my favourite brand for this is Icebreaker, invest a bit and you will never regret it!)

-Mid Layer top

-Down liner jacket

-Waterproof shell jacket

-Hat/Beanie (again an Icrebreaker one works wonders, some more hats here)

-Glove liners

-Flip flops

-Hiking boots: I love my Salomon Boots!

-Trainers

Insurance

I’ve normally not taken travel insurance for short trips, except on a couple of ocassions.

Of course, solo travelling for a longer time increases the chance of something happening and because of this I decided to take a not really expensive policy that covers many outdoor activities with TrueTraveller

You can read my honest feedback on this post about travel insurance for backpackers

Backpacking in Tonsai Beach

If you’re starting to think on doing a long term trip and are a bit concerned with where to start or what to do, feel free to reach out, I’ll be more than happy to extend myself more in detail! One thing I can guarantee is that as soon as you decide to go for it, that’s the moment your adventure begins!

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