During the past months I have created a checklist to prepare a trip around the world. In this checklist you can find all the important steps we took, starting 1 year before the departure date. Being the control freak that I am, it felt good to check off so many things from my list.

Roughly, there are three important things for preparing a trip around the world: the administrative stuff, the move and the journey itself. This checklist contains all these important things and is easy to use for preparing a trip around the world. From planning and researching your trip to packing tips and finances, I covered everything right here for you.

Hopefully this checklist to prepare a trip around the world will be helpful to you for your preparations!

1 Year before the start of a trip around the world

  • Make a checklist like this one, so you can check off all the steps
  • Fix a departure date, so you can easily start planning your trip
  • Choose your destinations and start planning your itinerary. Keep some flexibility, planning is good, but not too much. Some of the best moments in travel are those that are not planned. It is a good idea to have a rough itinerary planned including a short list of must-sees and interesting festivals for each place you plan to visit. Keep in mind the different seasons of each country
  • Establish a budget per country and a total budget
  • Start saving for your trip around the world

9 Months before the start of a trip around the world

  • Tell your friends and family about your travel plans
  • Investigate the visa requirements. Some countries offer a visa upon arrival, other countries require you to apply for a visa in advance. Nowadays most countries have an e-visa portal through which you can apply for a visa online. However, there are still countries that only issue visas at their embassies
  • Book your flight ticket (Click here to explore 15 Tips for booking a cheaper flight)
  • Make an appointment with a doctor and start preparing a vaccination plan. It is important to start this step early as some vaccines cannot be given at the same time

airplane over world map on blackboard
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

6 Months before the start of a trip around the world

  • Announce your departure to your boss (if you have one)
  • Start the process of selling/renting your home
  • Investigate and arrange travel medical insurances

5 Months before the start of a trip around the world

  • Choose an optimal banking solution for your trip around the world to avoid paying unnecessary withdrawal fees. We ordered a Revolut Maestro card, Wise Visa card and Flying Blue – American Express Silver Card. I always travel with at least 2 cards: an international debit card supported by Visa and a travel card. It’s good to have a backup in case one of the cards gets lost or stolen. Never store your cards together. If you decide to order a new card, you can click on one of the above links and you will receive a little bonus. By opening a Wise account, you will receive a fee-free transfer of up to 500 EUR and by opening a AMEX card, you will receive 5000 free miles.
  • Start selling/renting your personal belongings that you no longer need. This is a great way to complete your budget
  • Research if you can suspend your car from taxes or sell your car

3 Months before the start of a trip around the world

  • Book you various medical appointments for a final check-up with the dentist, dental hygienist, doctor, etc.
  • Start thinking about what to pack. I advise you to pack light and buy what you need. Start buying travel proof clothing and gear
  • Cancel any subscriptions on time, like for your telephone, internet, television, cinema, gym, groceries, newspaper, magazines, public transport, etc. Some subscriptions have a 3-month notice period.
  • Check the validity of your passport and the number of pages available. Please note that in most countries you visit your passport must be valid for at least six more months after entry
  • Check the validity of your bank passes and driving license
  • Make copies of important documents like your passport, vaccination record, driving license and insurances. Keep a copy on you and upload one online
  • Find a place to store your belongings
  • Book your first night accommodation
  • Research your destinations
  • Apply for an international driver’s license

1 Months before the start of a trip around the world

  • Move out (in case you do)
  • Start preparing your first aid kit
  • Prepare a travel blog or Polarsteps account to keep friends and family updated of your trip around the world
  • Collect all the addresses and phone numbers you will need in your phone. Think about emergency numbers of relatives and important companies like your bank, travel insurance and embassy. It’s also smart to make one list and send this one to your email address (in case you lose your phone)
  • Write on a small piece of paper your ICE contacts and important medical information. You can store one in your backpack and one in your wallet
  • Make a power of attorney (bank) to one of your relatives for the duration of your trip
  • Subscribe to a VPN to be able to surf the internet safely
  • Make some passport photos. You will need them for some visa applications

woman writing on a notebook beside teacup and tablet computer
Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom on Pexels.com

1 Week before the start of a trip around the world

  • Start packing
  • Sign up for a workaway account
  • Eat all the things you won’t find abroad during the trip
  • Enjoy the last moments with friends and relatives
  • Download important travel apps like XE currency converter, Booking.com, Google Translate, Maps.me, Grab and Uber

Ready, Set, Go!

I hope this checklist to prepare a trip around the world has been useful for you. It’s probably not complete for 100%, but it covered all the essentials for my trip around the world. If you find that something is missing, feel free to let me know! I wish you all the best for preparing your trip!

Author: Daphne

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