If you are considering a one year trip around the world, then you have come to the right place. If your most burning question is ‘I want to travel the world. Where do I start?’ Then this post is for you.

If you aren’t quite there yet and are wondering what the benefits of a round the world trip are, then let me convince you by telling you about all the things you can learn from traveling around the world.

In this post, I will teach you where to start with your considerations and your planning by thinking about and answering 10 easy questions.

Recommended for you: How I plan my trip around the world (including 50 planning tasks)

Planning a year of travel can be very overwhelming. I know that.

There are probably a lot of scary questions swirling around in your mind right now:
How will I pay for this?
What do I need to prepare?
How do I decide when to go?
What will my parents/friends/colleagues say?

These are just some of the questions you probably have. There are many more you will need to answer before you can start your trip around the world. But you need to start somewhere, and answering all questions at once can be very overwhelming.

For this reason, I put together a list of 10 question you need to answer so you can start planning a trip around the world.

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10 Questions You Need to Answer If You Are Thinking About a Trip Around the World

I want to travel the world. Where do I start?

My Trip Around the World

Lena from The Social Travel Experiment

I am thrilled you found my website, so let me just introduce myself in a couple of sentences, so you know where I come from and why I want to help you make this big step.

My name is Lena, I am 26 years old, and I am originally from Germany. After graduating from university, I went to Japan to work there as an IT consultant, but after about 2 years of working there, I realized I wanted to change something. I talked with my partner Taka, and we decided to quit our jobs to travel around the world.

From this decision to the actual start of my RTW trip it took more than a year of planning and preparation. But in July 2018 it was finally time to start my adventure.

I planned everything about this trip myself, by reading through many blog posts by other people who have traveled around the world, there was a lot of stuff out there that didn’t apply to my case and it was very time consuming to sort through everything, to find the information that I needed to plan my journey around the world.

Because I went through all of this, I decided to create a resource with all the information in one place. I want to help you plan your trip around the world.

Aside from this post, there are many more blog posts and resources. You can find them on my Round The World Travel Planning Blog.

If you want to stay up to date with new content I publish and also gain access to my free resource library sign up to my mailing list.


Let’s get started with the 10 questions you need to answer to start your gap year around the world planning!

1. Should you do a RTW trip NOW?

should you do a gap year round the world now

My simple opinion on this question is “YES” now is the time to do it! Why? Because if you don’t do it now, you might never do it.

That is the problem with the ‘I will do it when I have more money’ or ‘I will do it when I am 30’ or ‘I will do everything when I am retired’ mentality. You don’t know the future, the magical time you are waiting for might never come. So, if you can do it now, do it now!

Of course, I know it is not as simple as that. So, take the time and evaluate your personal situation. Write a pro and con list if necessary. Talk to your parents, or friends, or partner (or all of them). Ask other people who have done a trip around the world about their experiences, challenges, and fears before they went.

I am sure you will find many reasons not to go around the world now, but there are probably as many good reasons to do it RIGHT NOW.

Sometimes an ‘as soon as possible’ is also a right answer, as long as you make a real plan to go 1 or 2 years from now and start planning now. Beginning to plan right now is one way to hold yourself accountable and not chicken out of your decision to quit (or pause) your job for a year. I know it can be scary, I have been there.

2. How long do you want to travel?

do you want to take a gap year for one year

Actually, you don’t have to travel for a year to go see the world, it could as well be 3 months or half a year, or even two years. So, think about how long you want to travel.

Keep in mind traveling can be tiring depending on the speed you want to move from location to location.

Also, remind yourself that you will be gone from family, friends and your comfort at home. Will you miss it? Do you even want to go for one whole year? Or maybe, is one year even enough? Think it through.

Want to do a trip around the world?
Start planning NOW!

Using the RTW Travel Prep Checklist including 50+ planning tasks

3. Who are you traveling with?

Who are you traveling with on your gap year round the world

This should be one of the most straightforward questions. Are you traveling alone (which would make this a solo trip)? Are you going with a friend or your partner? There are also people who travel with their parents. And of course, many people who travel all around the world with their family, husband, wife, and kids.

I am traveling with my Japanese boyfriend, his name is Taka. I have never been much of a solo traveler, because I just need someone to share my experiences with. I get very lonely traveling on my own. But there are many people who love it. So, who are you traveling with?

4. What’s your prefered travel style?

Fast travel vs slow travel

Let’s say you want to travel the world in one year, 12 months. What do you want to do in that time? There are basically two ways to travel with many small variations: 

You either travel fast, or you travel slow. 

Fast travel means trying to experience as many countries as you can in as short a time as possible.

Slow travel means staying in only a couple of select locations during the year and getting to know live in another country in depth.

There is no better or worse way. Just figure it out for yourself, and talk about your expectations with your fellow travelers.

I decided to visit over 20 countries in my 1 year around the world trip, there are people who visit, even more, around 40. On the other end of the scale, some people visit only 1, 2 or 3 countries.

5. Where do you want to go?

the social travel experiment where do you want to go

Now that you know how long and how fast you want to travel it is time to think about locations. There are many considerations you will need to think off once your planning gets more into detail, but for the purpose right now make a list of the countries you would want to visit during your trip.

This should be a list without judgment. Just write down from your heart. And when you are done try to rank them by how much you want to visit each country. 1 is your first-choice country, 2 is the next choice and so on.

If you are more than one person in your travel party, each person should make a list, and then you can compare your choices. Prioritize the destinations that were high on everyone’s list. That’s how Taka and I decided on the countries we wanted to visit for our round the world trip. We both agreed we wanted to focus on Africa, Asia and South America, by the way. You can find out more about my travel destinations on the Round the World Travel Destination Blog.

Recommended for you: What to pack for a trip around the world (all 80+ items I can’t live without)

6. How long do you want to go to each destination?

How long do you want to stay in each country

This again depends on the answers to the questions above. If you want to travel for 1 year and travel slowly about 4 countries, you can spend a maximum of 3 months in each country. If you plan to see 20 countries, then each country will be about 2.5 weeks, so about 17 days. Of course, there will be countries you want to spend more time in and in other places a couple of days (or weeks) will be enough.

Look again at your answers and figure out how long you want to stay in each destination you wrote down in response to question number 6. Start from the top.

7. When do you want to leave?

When do you want to start on your gap year around the world

This is a difficult question to answer. Do you want to leave right away? In half a year? Or can you wait another year or two? There is a lot you have to consider to answer this question with a final answer.

How fast can you prepare for the trip? Do you already have the necessary money or will you need to save first? Is it a good time to quit your job now? How about other responsibilities? All of these questions will play a role in finding a start date for your trip round the world.

I had more than one year between the decision to travel to actually going on the trip. It was the best time to leave after my rental contract had finished and I had gotten my half-yearly company bonus, which is a huge part of my around the world budget.

Want to do a trip around the world?
Start planning NOW!

Use my worksheet to answer the 10 questions in this post!

8. What's your travel budget?

how much money do you want to spend on a gap year round the world

The most common question when it comes to planning a year of travel is probably ‘how much does it cost to travel the world’ and the answer is: It depends.

It depends entirely on you and your travel style, what level of comfort you want and where in the world you want to go.

My travel budget is 30.000 dollar. It is higher than many but lower than some. It isn’t really easy to answer this question and for this reason I am currently working on an online course to help you work out your travel around the world budget.

9. Why do you want to travel the world?

Why do you want to do a Gap Year and travel around the world

This might be the most philosophical question of my 10 questions you need to answer for yourself.

I will tell you why a ‘why’ is important. I recently read about a blogger who saved about 30.000 US dollar to travel the world and then decided not to do it and do a masters degree instead. What does this tell you? When she started saving money to do a sabbatical to travel around the world, she didn’t think about her why.

I travel the world in search of freedom. I hope to find new inspiration for the future. I don’t want to go back working for a big company, but I don’t really know what else I want to do and where. So far, I have worked in Japan, but I am not sure I want to return to Japan right after my trip. Maybe I will study Spanish in South America or focus on my blog while living somewhere in East Asia. The point is, I am looking for freedom.

What are you looking for?

10. What other burning questions do you have?

Write down all questions you have about your upcoming Gap Year Round the World

Write down all your questions and fears. You will need to work through each and every one of these questions before you are ready to go. I already wrote a couple of examples in the introduction. Here are a couple more:

What will I do with my house?
Do I need health insurance?
How to save money to travel the world?
How can I travel for free?
How do I convince my parents to let me go?

And probably many more. Just add to this list whenever you think of a new question. Let’s work on answering each and every one together.

Want to do a trip around the world?
Start planning NOW!

Using the RTW Travel Prep Checklist including 50+ planning tasks

Need some help?

If you need help answering any of the questions or want someone to give you some feedback head over to the RTW Travel Planning Facebook Group. I am here to help, and other members of the community will be happy to give you their opinions as well! Even if you plan this trip around the world yourself, you don’t have to plan it alone.

It is probably best to write down the answers to these big questions. I have made it very easy for you to do this, by creating a free printable with the 10 questions and space to write your answers. All you need to do is subscribe to my mailing list. Don’t worry I don’t like spam either, I will only send you e-mails with information I think will be helpful for your around the world travel planning.

Answering the above 10 questions is only the beginning of your journey. After you have a very rough idea how your trip around the world is going to look like, it is time to get into the details. For this reason, I suggest you head over to the RTW Travel Planning Blog to find more posts that will help you plan your trip.

I really want to get to know you and your journey. So, introduce yourself to the Facebook community, or leave a comment on this post if you are planning a trip around the world. I am here to help!

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I want to travel the world. Where do I start? It can be so overwhelming to plan a trip around the world. This post will help you start the planning process.
I want to travel the world. Where do I start? It can be so overwhelming to plan a trip around the world. This post will help you start the planning process.

Authors Note:
None of the experiences in this post are in any way sponsored and have all been payed for by myself. The opinions stated are all my own and have not been influenced in any way.
This posts contains affiliate links. I receive a commission if a product is purchased through one of these links, at no extra cost to you. Please support me by purchasing products through my links!

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