This article has links to products and services we love, which we may make commission from.
Looking for advice on long term travel planning but not sure where to start? You’ve come to the right place. My husband, Craig, and I (Gemma) took an 18-month career break to the travel the Americas and Europe and have detailed every single movement from saving to packing, planning to staying alive on the road. We visited 16 countries in 17 months from Cuba to Canada, Spain to the States and here is our long term travel itinerary, our daily average budget, and practical tips on how to travel long term.
1. Long Term Travel Destinations
Long term travel routes have to be considered with a sensible head. Yes, it would be sexy to drive along Route 66 in a Cadillac or fun to sing karaoke with the kids in Tokyo but both activities are expensive.
Setting (and sticking to) a long term travel budget is far more challenging than a quick three-week trip island hopping in Thailand then going home to comfortable wage at the end of the month to pay off the credit card bills. There is no home and there is no pay at the end of the month!
Write down where you want to go and what you want to do. Then it is time to do some research – this is all part of the long term travel experience! Use social media, travel blogs, tourist board websites, and Pinterest to get a feel for backpacking prices, visa instructions (and costs), itineraries, public transport information, and ideas of things to do.
Check Prices Online
You’ll swiftly work out that some countries are more expensive than others. For example – a dorm bed in Sydney, Australia starts at $19 whereas you’ll find one in Bogota, Colombia for $6.
Some continents/areas are cheaper than others but countries within those continents/areas vary wildly.
Let’s take Southeast Asia for instance. Hanoi, Vietnam is super cheap, you can get a bed for $2.50 (in a 6.5 rated hostel) compare that to Singapore where dorm beds start at $11 for 5/10 hostel.
Beers in Hanoi are $1.50, Singapore? $8.37!
I’ll cover our strategy for booking cheap accommodation below as it makes sense to investigate flight prices, more on that to come.
If you are travelling long term on a budget, I would strongly suggest avoiding the following countries:
- USA and Canada
- Europe’s Nordic countries
- Australia and New Zealand
But I want to see Niagara Falls! I know, you can – just be prepared to burn through cash like Harry Styles does ladies.
Facebook Groups for Travel Planning
Don’t be afraid to chat with bloggers on social media or join Facebook groups to ask for advice.
There are two excellent Facebook groups for female travel lovers where non-biased travellers of all ages, shapes, and sizes give advice about their home countries and places they’ve visited – Girls V Globe and Girls Love Travel.
These groups are especially useful for ladies looking to long term travel alone.
Every destination has a Facebook group now. Just use the search function to find them.
2. Saving for Travel
My name is Gemma and I am a super saver.
My best tips for saving is to set up three bank accounts.
The first account is where your pay goes, a second account for savings which cannot be touched, and a third for savings which can be tapped into for a wedding gift or new car tires (safety first!)
Next tip is to write down how much you spend (every single detail) for one week and then work out how much you can realistically live off. Each payday, move your savings over into the mentioned accounts.
Avoid window shopping, if there is no temptation, you won’t splurge!
Sell your stuff at car boot sales. Complain! Speaking to companies can reduce your monthly payments, for example, your phone provider. Go sober, not drinking every weekend was one of our biggest saving techniques.
Read more | We managed to save £20K to travel, and you can too.
3. Cheap Flights and Other Transport
Craig lives on the Skyscanner app!
He claims that it is one of the long term travel must-haves, due to its ‘go anywhere’ function.
If you are flexible with dates and destinations – you will find cheap flights.
When searching for flights via computer, always set your computer to ‘incognito’ or ‘private browsing’ so websites do not remember your previous searches and hike up their prices.
Another travel tip is to Google the local airlines, bus companies, and train lines for your desired countries then go directly to their sites.
For example, Air Asia is a popular low budget airline which covers South East Asia and beyond. Sign up for the newsletters of these airlines for deals.
Don’t be scared of buses! We bussed all around Peru, Bolivia, and Colombia – some of the overnight buses have bad boy lazy chairs! Go local!
Do what the natives do – chicken buses in Central America are a thrifty traveller’s dream. Always be cautious of your belongings, opportunists roam in every country. Overnight trains in Vietnam have beds!
Car rental is sometimes a cheaper option in the long run and Bla Bla Car is a new car-sharing option for you to consider. Have you tried Über or Lyft in your home city? It’s a cheaper taxi service which runs from an app.
Important note: on entry, countries (bar those in the European Union) may request evidence of an outbound ticket. Immigration wants proof that you are leaving their country.
This restricts the ‘footloose and fancy-free’ hippy lifestyle, a little planning ahead is always required. We were asked by every country for this proof – do not take this warning lightly.
Long term travel visas can also be tricky – be prepared for each country to have different rules regarding visas. For example in Cuba, you must have a Cuba Tourist Card before arriving. Going to Cuba? Here’s our planning guide.
4. Travel Accommodation Search
While searching for cheap accommodation do consider the reviews of places too, we managed to avoid bed bugs and I hope you do.
Each continent/country favours different search engines for hotels – for example, Booking.com for North America, Agonda for Asia.
Hostelworld is still my go-to for hostels.
In Nicaragua, many hostels, hotels, and guest houses advertise via Airbnb, even though they are not private houses.
We’ve stayed in an airstream in Austin, a prison in Slovenia, and a time capsule in Portland!
Word of mouth! Backpackers love to chat and pass on their experiences. Read about our good and bad hostel experiences.
Couchsurfing is not something that we have used during this trip. This website connects travellers with people who can offer a sofa or bed.
Both set up profiles and can leave reviews, like Airbnb but without paying. Naturally, your safety is paramount, so be sure that you are comfortable from the beginning.
We did swap our skills for a bed in WWOOFing style voluntary work (no fruit picking!) through the website Workaway.
» Read more | Check out our review of Workaway and HelpX for more details
You will need this variety of long term travel accommodation, especially if travelling in a couple – often you will want private space but other times you will want/need to converse with other human beings!
5. Pills, Bills, and Travel Insurance
Do not get caught out by medical charges. Long term travel insurance should be up there with Havaiana flip-flops in the priority list.
During your research ensure that companies cover the types of travel (high altitude hiking?) and activities (skiing at Whistler?) that you plan to do.
I did have to visit the doctor in Vancouver which cost $100 CAD and then the physiotherapist (twice $100 CAD) for ear crystals (dizziness), and our insurer (True Traveller) refunded half of the balance.
Malaria and Zika exist and they can floor you. Cover up, avoid dusk and stagnant water, use protection, and take malaria tablets. The more countries you visit, the higher the chance of long term travel malaria being an issue.
Check out if your desirable destinations require malaria treatment. Ladies, for those of us doing long term travel in your 30s, Zika can cause defects in babies for up to two years, get tested as soon as you return. Check with your local travel clinic what vaccinations you require. If you don’t have them, your insurer has a reason not to pay out.
Long term travel birth control can be a dodgy one.
My GP prescribed one year of the pill, I sneakily had a few packs left from other trips to the doctors – luckily I am healthy and my blood pressure did not change.
Probably not wise advice to give as deep vein thrombosis can be linked to the combined contraceptive pill and long haul flights.
Help! I am a fast fat, and Craig is a speedy skinny.
Neither of us liked the way our bodies looked after four months of travel, long term travel weight gain can happen. Regardless of how many hikes you are doing, if you are eating churros every day it won’t keep them at bay! The solution?
Slow travel. I wrote a post on this while spending two months of the summer in British Columbia, by stopping we could move more. Ironic.
6. Longterm Travel Packing List?
Here is a quick overview of what we recommend
- Long term travel backpacks – we have 80-litre packs which have a 20-litre zip on/off day packs, very useful for 2/3 day trips like hiking the Colca Canyon and long term travel carry on
- Lightweight foldaway raincoats – I love my Marmot Precip US / UK. It’s electric blue!
- Invest in a purifying / filter water bottle, save money and the environment – check out our unbiased review of DrinkSafe Travel Tap or get 15% off Water To Go [quote TSA15 at checkout]
- Portable charger – we use Anker charger US / UK for phones
- Digital nomads – I never travel without Mac but not everyone is a fan of Apple so here is a review of the best laptops to take travelling
- I was never robbed, I used my trusty PacSafe which ties around your daypack and hooks up to a radiator or bed frame then you clip a padlock to it.
You may also like
- Ultimate packing list for women. No BS.
- Guys! Here’s a review of the best travel trousers on the market
7. Long Term Travel Hacks
Here’re five travel hacks to save your sanity and keep long term travel expenses down
- Large scarves or flags make great dens in dorm rooms
- Avoid long term travel cell phone bills by closing your account and switching phone to ‘airplane mode’ then pick up WiFi in cafes, accommodation, etc
- Take an external hard drive and swap films with other travellers
- Tweet your bank, then DM them with a contact, ours called us all over the world!
- Craig maintains that Wednesday is the cheapest day to book flights
8. Long Term Travel Mistakes We Made
Learn from our mishaps
- Cheap flights don’t always work out cheap! Price how to get from the airport, how expensive the airport hotels are, is the time waiting between flights worth what you will spend in the airport shops?
- Write down information in a diary – it’s easy to forget what day it is when travelling and this can cause havoc when you are supposed to check in, start a trip, etc. We turned up at one hostel two days early in Cusco!
- Back up images – don’t overwrite SD cards, transfer to an external hard drive, and save online
- Slow down, you don’t have to see EVERYTHING and you will experience more stopping in an area for longer than one or two nights, avoid burn out
- Solo travellers – be wise, read this guide on how to travel safely flying solo
9. Avoid Blowing Long Term Travel Budget
Readers always ask – how do we organise our monthly budget posts?
In a nutshell – persistence. Craig takes note of how much we spend every day.
He jots down what the item was and the cost.
At the end of each week he tallies up the items under categories – accommodation, food, transport, trips, socialising, miscellaneous/ luxury and sends the numbers to me, ta – da, we have a monthly budget post!
Not going to lie, it takes commitment, patience, and attention to detail – the last two characteristics I do not possess.
However, I personally think it’s the only way to travel long term on a small (ish) budget. At the end of the week/month, you can work out what is costing too much and cut back. Ice cream anyone?…
Another tip to help stretch your travel budget is signing up for Workaway or Help X (mentioned above), researching jobs abroad, or starting a travel blog…
→ How do you keep control of your budget? Tell us in the comments below.
We have worked out that our daily average long term travel expenses are £34.50 each.
That covers 17 months on the road with 20 weeks volunteering (in hotels, hostels, family homes) for our keep and 5 nights staying with friends.
We estimated how much we saved through working with partners via the blog and added that to the total for a realistic long term travel budget.
10. Romance on the Road
Couples that rave together, stay together.
So what about those who live in each other’s pockets, on limited money, with no GPS for a number of months? Long term travel in relationships is a test, whether that be a friend, parent, sibling, or significant other.
My best advice for long term travel as a couple is to test the water first. We endured a 5 – week trip to South East Asia two years before this long term travel trip.
We didn’t kill each other so started saving for the future.
Get hobbies – whether that is reading, blogging, or DJing (Craig makes music on his phone!)
Learning new skills is a great way to avoid getting on each other’s nerves.
Oh, and get used to going to the toilet in close proximately of each other!
These long term travel relationship tips worked for us – I left Scotland with my boyfriend, and came home with a husband (the same man!)
We got hitched in Austin!
11. Long Term Travel Planning Itinerary
Still with me?
If you find this article useful, don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter and never miss a post – there will be much more to come.
This section outlines where we went and what we did over the past 17 months.
There were three countries that we were pretty set on seeing.
Peru for Machu Picchu, Vancouver, Canada to suss out future living arrangements, and Cuba, to drink rum and dive (not at the same time).
The trip had to start in March as we were keen to attend the music festival South By Southwest in Austin, Texas.
Any plans after that were a bonus (and financially motivated!)
I’ve calculated the average daily budget for each country for two people including accommodation, transport, trips, food, socialising, and luxuries.
I’ve identified some of the big things we spent money on in brackets. I’ve added the price of trips/stays when we worked with partners to give you a true reflection of the prices in these countries.
They do not include flights between countries.
After a stopover at a JFK airport, we touched down in New Orleans where we spent the next three days listening to jazz, drinking hand grenades and eating Po Boys!
Next up, one week in Austin, Texas for the popular music festival South By Southwest. We watched new and old bands, drank beer, and ate tacos all without putting our hands in our pockets! Love free stuff? Check out how to do SXSW for free.
- Duration: 9 nights
- Average daily budget: $100 (based on a private room and hostel)
- Currency: American Dollar
We temporarily said goodbye to the United States of America (pausing our ESTA visa waiver) and headed to Peru in South America for one month.
In Peru, we hiked, biked, and attended Spanish school. Our Spanish is still muy malo!
- Duration: One Month
- Average daily budget: $76 (2 treks, Peru Hop pass, Spanish school, dorm beds)
- Currency: Peruvian Nuevo Sol
- Thinking of Peru? It is so much more than just Machu Picchu
- Here are 14 ways to get to Machu Picchu
Three weeks in Bolivia was spent between the capital, La Paz, the Bolivian Salt Flats – Salar de Uyuni, and the warmer city – Sucre.
One of Craig’s highlights was cycling Death Road. For the first time since leaving, we actually stopped! Feeling a tad burnt out we booked into an apartment in the suburbs of La Paz and breathed.
- Duration: 3 weeks
- Average daily budget: $35 (Bolivia Hop pass, dorms, Salt Flats, Death Road cycle)
- Currency: Bolivian Boliviano
- Don’t bypass this in Bolivia
A late addition to the long term itinerary was Colombia. Every backpacker that we met raved about the country, our only background information about Colombia was cocaine and cartels.
Craig found cheap flights via Skyscanner so off we went to the Caribbean coast! Highlights include the friendly Colombian people, Tayrona National Park, and empanadas.
- Duration: 3.5 weeks
- Average Daily Budget: $53 (Bikes, Volcan El Totumo, Tayrona National Park, dorms)
- Currency: Colombian Peso
- Colombia – no cocaine in sight
Hello Havana! We touched down in the land of cigars and salsa with grand plans of backpacking our way around the island (which is possible in three weeks) however we ran out of money, and patience.
Cuba is hard work.
I can’t sugar coat it! Yes the rum is super cheap and tasty, and the beaches are paradise but it is hot, some locals see you as a walking dollar sign, and the lack of free information made transit tough work.
We were suffering from long term travel fatigue after four months of crazy backpacking.
After two weeks of travel (Havana – Viñales – Playa Larga – Trinidad), we booked ourselves into an all-inclusive resort in Varadero – a holiday within a holiday.
This was the cheapest option for saving our long term travel budget!
- Duration: 3 weeks
- Average Daily Spend: $90 (Havana Walking Tour, diving, all-inclusive, casas)
- Currency: CUP
- Dreaming of Cuba? Check out our Cuba Travel Guide
July – January
The summer months of July and August were spent on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia, Canada.
This hidden gem is only a 40-minute ferry ride from Vancouver and boasts of lakes, hikes, and craft beer.
- Duration: 2 months
- Currency: Canadian Dollar
- This is where we want to live: the Sunshine Coast, BC
- All our Canada content starts here
For the autumn and winter months, we moved to the bright lights of Vancouver!
Renting two apartments over the four months, catching the end of summer in Kitsilano then the rainy months in hipster Main Street. We were lucky enough to review West Trek’s tour of the Canadian Rockies.
For four days we gawked at those blue lakes, hiked around beautiful Banff, and made friends for life with the tour guides.
I left Craig for 5 days and flew West to Toronto! My best friend, Helen, met me. We ate our way around the city, cycled through Toronto Island, and felt the mist of Niagara Falls.
We were very lucky in Canada, not only did we make good friends, our family and friends from Scotland came to visit! Everyone wants a bit of B.C!
Craig also proposed under the fake stars of the Macmillan Space Center on my favourite day of the year… Hallowe’en!
- Duration: 4 months
- Average Daily Budget: $85 (apartment, hikes, lots of nice food)
- Currency: Canadian Dollar
Rested and ready to put the rucksack back on, we skipped over the border to America where we spent two nights in Washington state, filling our stomachs in Seattle. The next four days we partied in Portland. Oregon’s capital city, Portland, is a very cool place.
Full of food carts, cycle routes, and craft beer – it’s easy to lose a long weekend there.
- Duration: 6 nights
- Average Daily Budget: $128 (based on two dorm beds at $32 each)
- Currency: American Dollar
- USA’s hipster city?
On our way to Nicaragua in Central America, we took an extended stopover in… Orlando! For five days we unleashed our inner kid at Disney World, Universal Studios, and iDrive!
- Duration: 6 nights
- Average Daily Budget: $334 (tickets to theme parks, hotel $89 per night)
- Currency: American Dollar
By February that backpacking burn out was looming, the solution? Five weeks living in paradise! We moved into a hotel in Las Peñitas and worked for a bed and one meal. These type of Workaway programmes have stretched our £20K budget and made travelling for longer possible.
In total, we have completed five work/stay programmes. During our time in Las Peñitas, we visited León at the weekends and even boarded down an active volcano!
For the final three weeks in Nicaragua, we backpacked around Ometepe (an island with volcanoes), Somoto (a beautiful canyon), Granada (a very well developed city) and Managua (the capital and transport hub).
- Duration: 8 weeks
- Average Daily Budget: $35 (scooter hire, hikes, tattoos, private room in hostel)
- Currency: Nicaraguan Córdoba
- We lived in paradise
In March we returned to Austin, Texas, after a one-night stopover in the ridiculously expensive San Jose, Costa Rica.
I arrived in Texas an Orrock and left as an Armit – Craig and I eloped in Austin!
We got hitched after SXSW at the lush Lady Bird Lake then partied at the DJs Junior Boys in the evening. A perfect day!
- Duration: 8 nights
- Currency: American Dollar
- For romantic readers – More wedding photos
By April we had said goodbye to USA, after one night in New York, we touched down in Oslo, Norway then met our true destination, Budapest, Hungary.
We spent the next five weeks in Hungary, 3.5 weeks of that was spent living with a family helping out around the house and garden. The rest of the time we soaked in spas and socialised in Budapest (cheapest place in Europe to drink) with family and friends who visited us. We also hired a car and took a Hungarian road trip to explore Budapest’s day trips.
- Duration: 5 weeks
- Average Daily Budget: $37 (baths, car rental, private room $17)
- Currency: Hungarian Forint
- Budapest: The cheapest place to party in Europe?
May was pretty manic!
First stop was the laid back Ljubljana, Europe’s cutest city! We also visited Bled and Kolpa River in Slovenia (eight nights) before moving on to Bosnia and Herzegovina’s (BiH) Sarajevo (six nights). That is a damn cool city, rich in history and culture. If heading to BiH, Mostar is not to be missed!
Next up was Serbia’s Belgrade (three nights) then the buzzing capital city of Romania, Bucharest!
Belgrade bypassed me but Bucharest blew me away. We left Bucharest with a stopover in Bergamo, Italy on our way to the sun.
- Duration: 20 nights
- Average Daily Budget: $56 (private room)
- Currency: Slovenia (Euro), BiH (Bosnia and Herzegovina convertible mark), Serbia (Serbian dinar), Romania (Romanian leu) and Italy (Euro)
- Further Reading: See city names!
Welcome to warmer climates! Hello Espanol! The summer month of June was divided up between Marbella with Craig’s family, our final Workaway in Granada, and Malaga with my friends Shelley and Jen G.
- Duration: 34 nights
- Average Daily Budget: $65 (based on $32 private room)
- Currency: Euros
- I wouldn’t say Granada is my favourite city, what’s yours?
Last stop – Portugal! We spent the next ten days using the capital, Lisbon, as a base. We attended the music festival NOS Alive, watched Portugal win the European Championships, and devoured custard tarts in Belem.
- Duration: 11 nights
- Average budget: $160 (based on $49 private room in a guesthouse)
- Currency: Euros
- 15 Lisbon activities for under €15
12. How To Apply For A Career Break
So why a sabbatical? I had always regretted not taking a gap year between university and work so when I found out that after three years of working with my council that I could apply for a sabbatical that was me ready.
When Craig and I met, he was planning on moving to Holland but put that on hold and we tested the wayfaring waters with a five-week trip to South East Asia. We did not kill each other, so the long term planning began.
I verbalised my plans with my line manager and head manager, they were both supportive so I put in my application with a supporting statement which identified what benefits me taking a career break would bring to my job.
I was a politics and current affairs teacher so the justification was pretty straight forward – I wanted to bring the textbook to life!
Craig is a self – employed gas engineer, he passed his business to his brother.
Waiting for it to happen or making it happen fellow travel lovers?
Have we missed work? Yes, I miss the routine, constant chat, and the banter with the students, but I have still worked every day – blogging which I now do full time.
» Read my step by step guide on how to apply for a sabbatical
13. Long Term Travel Checklist
To finish off this ridiculously big guide of long term travel advice here is a quick to-do list for you to check off and remember – long term travel is not for everyone. I had an incredible time but I’m looking forward to the shorter trips that the future holds!
- Work out your budget
- Investigate countries which meet the budget
- Price flights
- Start selling and saving
- Advise work/apply for a career break
- Get vaccinations/buy travel insurance (research travel quotes here)
- Organise visas, credit cards, and currency
- Stop dreaming, start living!
Here is our advice to Scottish mum/daughter duo who are about to take the trip of a lifetime
~ featured on STV2
Did you find this useful?
Why not pin to your Pinterest board?
Any questions or quips?
Fire them in the comments and I’ll get back to you.
46 thoughts on “Long Term Travel Planning: Save, Book, Go!”
Wow, what an amazing time you’ve had! I’m moving to Vancouver/Vancouver Island in 2017 with a work visa and I CANNOT WAIT!
I am super jealous of this – do not miss the Sunshine Coast at some point, such a lovely area of B.C! Good luck and I’ll hopefully see you over there in the future.
Wow girl! Talk about a thorough post 🙂
Pretty sure that this will prove invaluable to anyone planning that first long term trip – great article!
I feel like I gave birth to it (well I imagine that’s what giving birth feels like). Many thanks!
This is an epic breakdown, Gemma. Totally agree with you about talking to people. Many times it’s helped us find a place that we’d overlooked in books and guides. I did a double take when I saw $300 for daily budget but thankfully, that was just for 6 days. Yikes either way though. Thanks for sharing this and all the best to you as your new year starts.
Thank you! Talking to people is what sent us to Colombia and turned out to be one hot fave! To be fair, that $300 would include the theme parks too, Orlando is definitely not part of everyone’s long term travel budget…
Great tips. We chose to move to the UK then use it as a base to travel whilst working. Enjoy your travels.
A base is a good idea, I definitely struggled not having that at times!
Excellent advice and an amazing article. So detailed!
I would love this – but what to do with my darling dog?!
I’ve joined the dog club Lynne! We inherited a 3.5 year Husky / German Shepard, luckily we have family and friends who will take her (for the weekend anyway!)
Fab article. I’m planning on a 6 month career break towards the end of next year. Will be travelling solo though which is scary! ?
I wish I was going on mine again. Work sucks! Where are you thinking of going? Lots of countries are very geared up for solo trips!
I was keen on Europe (close to home) but I’ve been advised to venture further out as i can do Europe at any time. I’ve always wanted to do South America so i guess now is the time!
I loved Peru, Bolivia and Colombia – different crowd of backpackers to those who travel around South East Asia too. We’re toying between sticking around Europe this year as we hope to move to Canada in the next four years!
This is is a fabulous post, so informative and full of detail, you really are an inspiration how you have put this together! My hubby and I are about to embark on a nomadic lifestyle so will be travelling long-term, but we don’t actually have a plan to return to the UK, we hope to find work on the road so our circumstances are slightly different, however you have provided amazing tips that can 100% be followed!! Thank you for taking the time to break this down and share your invaluable knowledge, pinned this for the future!
Best of luck Angie! It’s definitely different from life in the UK! We hope to return to Canada at some point in the near future, more permanently! Just need more of a plan and some more cash. You know where to find me if you have any questions. Can I ask where you found the post? Always interested to hear where readers stumble upon us!
Your blog was in an email from Pinterest advising it may be something of interest – they were right! Good luck in Canada, I will be paying close attention to your future travels and referring to your blog quite a bit – I have already pinned a few starting with Chaing Mai as we are thinking of getting an apartment there for a month to slow down the travel and see what it feels like to stay somewhere longer, especially as we will be therefor Songkran. Really glad we came across your blog(s).
How incredible! I’m going to email Pinterest and thank them. That’s the first time I’ve heard that. Thanks for coming back to me.
Yes, Chiang Mai has a good reputation for travellers slowing down and co-working spaces too. Songkran looks like fun! Don’t miss the Elephant Nature Park, so cute.
Hi we are planning on a trip to South America. Where would you recommend after all the places you’ve been. We have been to Asia and loved it. Colombia or Cuba?
Colombia without a shadow of a doubt. It’s understated and the people are super friendly. Caribbean coast, national park (Tayrona, you can read about it here), cool cities, interesting recent history. We felt safe at all times. Cuba was hard work, definitely something to experience at some point but Colombia would be my choice. Our full guide is here, come back with any questions.
Great post Gemma! How are you feeling now you’re back home in bonnie Scotland? Do you still have the urge to travel long term or are you happy being back teaching again?
Good to hear from you Laura. It’s nice being back in a routine and making money. I wouldn’t be up for such a large trip again but I would definitely do a month or two then go to a base, that base doesn’t have to be here in Scotland! What about you? What are your plans?
We’ve got just over 3 months in New Zealand then who knows! Trying to weigh up our options. A visit home will definitely be on the cards at some point though….make sure the sun comes out for us haha!
We should meet if you have time! How is the financial situation in NZ?
And yno what, NZ is actually pretty good! I mean some things are more expensive than the UK but eating out is so cheap in Wellington. You can easily find deals for £5-10 at lunchtime and dinner during the week. I’ll be so sad to leave!
I felt that way about Vancouver. Think you could live there?
Nice tips! It is just awesome. I will add in my list & i am also suggest to my friends to read your post.
Thanks! I wanted to help those who hope to travel long term too.
Such awesome tips, Gemma! I found your tips very useful and motivational!
Thanks Agness! Are you planning a big trip?
Found your blog through an article on Pinterest about Austin, Texas. My son’s trying to convince me to go there (yep there’s a girl). I’m not so sure – I’ve been Portland where they also do ‘weird’. Unfortunately our trip has to be last week of August and there doesn’t appear to be any great events that week. There is a car race beginning of September though so that’s going to be the big event. Also I hear it’s hot there… that also worries me. See I’m from Vancouver and we don’t do heat here. At least not in the Lower Mainland – okanagan definitely – in fact Osoyoos is actually a desert. Today it was 34 degrees C which is only about 94F and only because it’s the first really nice weekend of the year is reason we’re not complaining. After having 5 months of snow (which is about 4.5 months more than normal) we deserve this. All this to say – glad you enjoyed your stay in Vancouver. Sunshine Coast is pretty awesome! Did you get a chance to go to Vancouver Island or the Gulf Islands? All are amazing – each perfect in their own way. Course I might be a little biased 🙂 Okay a lot. I know a good thing when I see & live it 🙂
Bizarre timing, someone just asked me if I’d been to the Gulf Islands on our FB page! Not this time around but definitely next for that and Van Island. Like on the Sunshine Coast, lake life is a big thing in Austin so you could always take a dip if it feels too hot! I loved Van, Portland and Austin so I’m totally biased. Austin has more neighbourhoods than Portland and the likes of So Co are very shiny (and overpriced because of it, wouldn’t of been that way a decade ago I guess!) Thanks for reading our posts Lori! I hope you take the plunge and make it to Austin (come one, gotta love a romantic story!!)
Wow Gemma, this is an amazingly comprehensive guide – you really covered everything! Sounds like an amazing trip you had. The month-by-month breakdown is great. We will leave for our first 9-month trip starting in October so currently devouring all the intel we can from different blogs, podcasts and vlogs. This is easily one of the most exhaustive. Thanks for sharing all these nuts and bolts, really useful!
Thanks for the feedback Sarah! Envious that you are about to embark on your travels. All the best!
I am a fast fat too! These are really smart tips for traveling, especially in for Orlando where it’s really easy to spend a ton of money without realizing it! As a business traveller, I try not to treat my hotel stays as a vacation and always go to the gym when I can. The dreamers aren’t the ones who succeed, it’s the doers!
Or fake it ’til you make it! Funny you say that, Orlando is the one time we had access to a gym and I did actually use it!
What an awesome post! I loved reading it and cannot wait to put some of your tips and advice into my own travel planning! Thanks so much for sharing all of your experiences.
Cheers Kirsty! Where are you off to?
There are so many places on my list! I want to go everywhere!
You have time!
Thanks for sharing your ideas and thoughts. Traveling always seems like the best thing on earth when doing it. I just need to escape this 9-5 job and go traveling long-term. I have been lucky to go Thailand for 4 weeks before but would like to go for much longer.
I agree, it is a privilege! Personally, I wouldn’t travel without a base for this length of time again but definitely would do 2 months at a time. Hope you get there.
Thanks for sharing your valuable experience with us, Planning and preparing your trip in advance may save you money and avoid bad surprises. I used to have a list of things to pack for each trip type : hiking, beach, winter/snow, with family…
Cheers Tim! Happy travels.
Hey Gemma, thanks for sharing wonderful pictures and experience with us.I agree with all the points and tips mentioned in the article, will recommend my friend who is going for 9months travel to Portugal, Morocco, Canada and some of the Asian countries, this article will be really helpful for him.Great job!
Thanks Monica! That sounds like a varied route. I really love Canada 🙂