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I Quit My Job Today

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1. Posted by BlakeyD (Budding Member 3 posts) 36w Star this if you like it!

My husband and I are leaving for a RTW trip on February 4th. Today I gave my notice that my last day working will be December 28th. I am absolutely terrified.

I've started a packing list and made arrangements for our cat and dog. We are renting a storage unit for our stuff. We're arranging for health & travel insurance.

Obviously this isn't everything that has to be done in the next couple months - but is there anything you would suggest? Especially anything we might forget?

Thanks guys - our trip begins in Taiwan. Perhaps our paths will cross...

2. Posted by Jhon Carter (Inactive 20 posts) 36w Star this if you like it!

There are few things to remember while you are travelling around the world. Patience is important, Stash extra cash, Meet local people, Keep an open mind, be willing to change plans, Buy a little souvenir from every place you visit.

The best travel tip, if you want to learn to travel the world is let go of all your inhibitions and go for it.

3. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru 2567 posts) 36w Star this if you like it!

Obviously your Passports are fairly fresh and have lots of validity left on them.

Have a few Visa photos taken. They're handy/convenient to have at some border crossings.

You give no clue of your nationality, but I assume you have credit/debit cards that are good for international travel and a debit card that carries no ATM charges. Both of you should have your own cards.

Take scans of your passport, medical/travel insurance, drivers licences and anything else that's important and store the images somewhere where you can easily access them by email.

Tuck $500 USDs away somewhere and keep it as emergency back-up for the whole trip.

Everyone has their own opinions on how to carry your passport, credit/debit cards and cash in a manner that is pickpocket proof yet easily accessible. Some people like money belts, personally I hate them. Something like this is inexpensive, unobtrusive and works like a charm for me: Different strokes.

Download Google Translate with the appropriate dictionaries to match the countries you're visiting. is handy too. Again, download the appropriate country maps. Both these apps work off-line. There's a pile of great software programs that allow you to make calls, text and send photos for free when you're hooked up to WiFi. Make sure both your smartphones have the same programs downloaded so you can call/text between yourselves while you're on the road.

Are you travelling anywhere that requires special vaccinations?

Bottom line though: Don't sweat it. There's hardly anything that's absolutely crucial to have. You can always fix stuff while you're travelling. The world is very connected and it's pretty easy to fix anything from the road.

Have fun and congrats on your upcoming adventure.


PS You're landing at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport? I just had an 9 frigging hour lay-over there in Terminal 2 Departures so I know the place like the back of my hand. It's a HUGE airport with all kinds of cool stuff.

Best tip: Go upstairs where the premier departure lounges are located. There are two small food courts at either end. One of them has a narrow hallway where there are 3 fabulous free showers. The showers are huge with lots of room for your two luggage carts and remarkably there's free shampoo and body wash dispensers too. There are no towels though, I used the paper hand towels and the hair drier, no big deal. You can borrow towels from the nearby massage joint though for $3 USDs.

4. Posted by OldPro (Inactive 400 posts) 36w Star this if you like it!

Well I would suggest you start reading as many forum posts and blogs on RTW travel as you can. Asking the basic, 'what would you suggest and what might we forget', is asking people to write what has already been written countless times already if you just take the time to look for it.

I'll give you 3 tips. The first two are the commonest mistakes that travellers make. Trying to see/do too much in too little time and packing too much. The third tip is when looking at 'the ultimate RTW backpacker blog', to remember that most of those blogs are written by someone who made ONE long term trip and then decided they were an expert. So use your own common sense when someone says, 'no credible backpacker travels without a pashmina' or whatever.

5. Posted by BlakeyD (Budding Member 3 posts) 36w Star this if you like it!

Thanks all - I appreciate your advice :)

and we are Americans - we do have credit & debit cards without fees and will stash some extra cash. I'm reading as much as I can. My passport is good for 5 years and we will be bringing some extra photos.

It was so hard to go back to work today - I have about 3 weeks left and it all seem so inconsequential now.

6. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru 2567 posts) 36w Star this if you like it!

Quoting BlakeyD

It was so hard to go back to work today - I have about 3 weeks left and it all seem so inconsequential now.

Stop thinking about stealing office supplies, haha.

Tranquilo. You'll have a gas.


7. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 1831 posts) 36w Star this if you like it!

Unless you are very wealthy and have an unlimited budget I think you should plan a budget out so you have some sort of idea how much per day you have for day to day spending. This is daily spending limits AFTER paying for flights. I think you should have some sort of idea how long to stay away from home. My opinion, this way you will have an easier time planning a budget out.

If you ever ask for hotel help have a nightly price range in mind. I always remind my credit and debit card companies that I will be overseas before leaving home. This way when ATM withdrawals suddenly start coming from overseas they don't first suspect some sort of fraud. I more often use my debit cards for ATM withdrawals and keep credit cards for plane tickets and emergencies that may come up. (Know how much your bank allows for daily ATM withdrawals.) Some overseas banks may have high ATM withdrawal charges; I usually take out the maximum at one time so I don't pay big fees for small amounts withdrawn.

When making cheap purchases overseas I use cash. Some people use plastic for every little stupid thing they buy - that's not me! My opinion, the less I use my cards for cheap stuff from restaurants, vendors, bars, Seven Eleven type stores, etc. the less chance of credit card fraud.

You should research the available weather for the months you will travel. Only you know how long your trip will take. If you are visiting beach areas make sure the weather is right, same for skiing and winter sports. Read up on any scams to avoid for the particular countries you will visit.

Good luck.

8. Posted by Tabithag (Budding Member 93 posts) 36w Star this if you like it!

Congratulations on taking the plunge. My husband and I stopped working, rented out our flat and started travelling in June 2011. We don't travel continuously, but we have clocked up some amazing places and experiences in that time, and we are so pleased that we made the decision to do it.

You've had some good advice above, so I'm just going to add a few things, the first of which being that you should do what suits you, not what anyone else tells you is right. I've seen many people telling others that they must plan their trip, and many others telling people not to plan anything at all in advance. The reality is, different things suit different people, and whilst I would certainly recommend listening to the advice being offered, and thinking about their suggestions, you should never feel obliged to travel in a way that you aren't comfortable with. Equally, it is entirely up to you whether you dash around every museum and tourist sight, or if (like us) you pick out those that interest you most and spend other time in cafes watching how the locals live, or finding ways to interact with them.

I would suggest learning some words and phrases of the local languages. Even where people speak great English, our experience is that they really appreciate you making the effort, and it can lead to some much better interactions.

And assuming that you intend to take photos, do back them up regularly. Anything else can generally be replaced, but of the people that we have known who have had things lost or stolen, their photos are generally the thing that concerns them most.

Hope you have a great trip.

9. Posted by OldPro (Inactive 400 posts) 36w Star this if you like it!

I am firmly in the 'wing it' rather than 'plan it' camp. That's because I like to take advantage of opportunities that present themselves when you are travelling long term.

Just as there are the 2 commonest mistakes I mentioned above, there are the related two things I have never heard a long term traveller say. 'Next time I will pack more' and 'next time I will plan more'. It is the opposite that you hear repeatedly by travellers AFTER a long term trip. 'I will pack less and I will plan less.'

Tourists plan a tour, that's where the name comes from.

10. Posted by gary-k-smith (Budding Member 3 posts) 36w Star this if you like it!

We're now 464 days into our RTW family adventure. Greetings from NSW, Australia!

Things we had done 6-8 weeks before we left (i.e. The stage you are at now)

1. Made a list of our "must see" places and sorted them into a rough route. We then booked our RTW flight tickets to do the big flights on that route. The alternative is just to have booked your first flight now.

2. Researched what visas we needed and how we would get them (I.e. Where & when, lead times etc). Checked the entry requirements for the countries on our list to ensure no issues

3. Applied for overseas-friendly credit card(s)

4. Ensured we had all the necessary vaccines arranged and had the associated certificates

5. Researched the right Travel Insurance policy for us (don't leave home without one)

6. Made sure our passports would remain valid for the entire trip plus 6 months and there had a sufficient number of empty pages for all the stamps

7. Found tenants for our house

In addition, think about if you want to learn any additional languages. We spent 3 months in Latin America and I wish I had spent some time learning some basic Spanish before we left as we found that English wasn't spoken as widely as I'd assumed. Same would be true of of somewhere like China. However, we had no language difficulties throughout SE Asia, India or Southern Africa

I'd also encourage you to pack lightly, you only need about 30% of what you think you need and there are shops on your travels if you do need something along the way! Oh, and invest in good backpacks.

Tell your bank about your travel plans to minimise problems with using your cards overseas.

Ensure your phone is not locked to a network so you can buy SIM cards where you go if you want to. However, wifi is pretty much everywhere these days, so don't waste money on local SIMs everywhere you go.

There really is no reason to be terrified. We've had a real adventure so far and, with a bit of planning, we've had no issues worse than a stomache upset in Varanasi, India. Where else are you planning to head on your trip?