Planning a round-the-world itinerary: our technique

We love to travel, and whenever we can, we go on vacation or on weekends, extended thanks to the many French public holidays.

I (Floriane) spent a year in the Netherlands thanks to the Eramus project . Matthieu and I had been talking about working abroad for a long time.

One day, a colleague quit his job to go on a round-the-world trip. At first, I thought this project was completely crazy. How is it possible to leave for a year without working?

Then, after several exchanges with Matthieu and research on the Internet, reading numerous blogs and travel reports, we said to ourselves “why not us? A year and a half after our first discussions on the subject, we took off, tears in our eyes of happiness, for the São Paulo Carnival.

To date, it’s the project we’re most proud of. We got to know each other better and never regretted our choice.

Through this blog, we hope to inspire other travelers in need of adventure! In this article, we explain in detail our year of preparation, we answer all the questions we asked ourselves, when to leave, what insurance to take… we detail our budget and our itinerary.

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When to go and for how long?

When should you leave?

It’s obviously a very personal decision. Matthieu, 28, was a contractor before we left. He was therefore able to close his business before leaving.

For my part, after 27 years as an employee, I decided to resign so that I could leave at a time that suited us. I even turned down a long-awaited promotion for this project. Today, I have absolutely no regrets about that choice.

Generally speaking, the long-haul travelers we met were between 25 and 30 years old, with professional experience behind them that had enabled them to make some savings.

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What is the average length of a round-the-world trip?

According to a survey by the tourdumondiste website, 45% of world tours last between 6 and 12 months. As for us, we were away for 12 months, because we bought our plane ticket through an agency, and had to return within a year of our departure. We’ve obviously chosen the maximum duration allowed!

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What’s the budget?

The average budget for a one-year round-the-world trip

The average budget for a one-year round-the-world trip is €15,000. This is what we’ve found from talking to other travelers we’ve met along the way, and from browsing numerous blogs.

Obviously, this budget can vary enormously from one project to another. For example, if you don’t want to fly, you’ ll save between €3,000 and €4,000 on your overall budget. If you’re traveling for a year in Asia, your budget will also be considerably lower.

Conversely, if you want to visit every continent, this will increase your air travel budget. If you stay in the most expensive countries, such as the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Canada or the islands, your budget will increase considerably.

We explain below how to obtain the average budget by country.

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How to save money (without depriving yourself)?

This is the question on everyone’s mind: without a minimum amount of money set aside, this project becomes more complicated to carry out. Don’t panic, as explained below, we’ve met travelers on tight budgets, so we’ll also explain where to go depending on your budget.

Here are our tips for putting money aside quickly and, above all, without depriving yourself.

  1. Take stock of your expenses: we manually listed all our expenses for the last 3 months on Excel and then categorized them: rent, taxes, subscriptions (internet, telephone, Netflix…), supermarket food, clothing, leisure food (restaurants/bars), and travel/weekends.

I quickly realized that I was spending almost 15% of my budget on clothing. I had only been working for a few years, and had become a real shopping addict… I never thought I’d spend that kind of money on a few shopping sprees.

About a year and a half before our departure, I completely changed my habits to save this amount for our trip.

If you don’t want the hassle of processing your banking data by hand (on Excel), you can download a budget management application such as Nestor, Linxo

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2. Reduce leisure expenses: we went away for a long weekend in France or abroad about once a month, then we also spent 3 weeks abroad a year. Knowing that we had a year-long trip ahead of us, we naturally decided to reduce our pace.

For example, we spent time with our families, during our vacations, the year before we left. We have also given priority to more economical carpooling.

We saved the money for a trip and several weekends!

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3. Sell your stuff: we lived in a 40 m2 Parisian apartment full of stuff we didn’t use (electronics, clothes, books…).

As you might guess, the bon coin has become our best friend! About 6 months before our departure, we sorted our belongings and placed our ads on the site. As the trip approached, we had at least 1 appointment a day to sell something!

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4. Focus on purchases for the trip: don ‘t renew your wardrobe before you leave. If you want a new pair of shoes some time before your planned departure date, try to reason with yourself! You’re leaving in a few months, so if you’re not planning to take it with you, wait until you get back to change it.

Your belongings will be stored during your trip, so they may deteriorate. We found some clothes with moth holes, even though we had taken great care to store them in a dry, healthy place.

5. Rent out your apartment on a platform like Airbnb: for this, of course, you need to be a homeowner. Unfortunately, we were unable to do so. We’ve met travelers who were able to earn a few hundred euros for their trip.

Vos meilleurs amis : où vendre ses affaires ?

Le bon coin que nous ne présentons même plus est l’idéal. Nous avons vendu de nombreux biens (vêtements, électroniques, livres…)
Momox pour les livres, en scannant le code bar de vos livres le site vous indiquera son prix de rachat. Vous déposerez votre colis dans un point relais. Le site prend à sa charge les frais d’envoi. L’avantage, c’est que vous vendrez plusieurs livres en même temps.

Vinted qui est spécialisé dans les vêtements, ce site n’existait pas, il me semble à l’époque. Aujourd’hui, je l’utilise pour vendre des affaires. Si vous voulez y jeter un œil, mon pseudo est le suivant : morissetfloriane.

– Utiliser un site de cashback:
Igraal: nous adorons ce site, il vous permettra de cumuler de l’argent grâce aux achats que vous effectuerez. Dès que vous effectuez un achat chez l’un des sites partenaires (environ 1400 sites) vous récupérez une commission (de l’argent). Par exemple, nous l’avons utilisé pour l’achat de notre machine à laver chez Darty. En suivant ce lien, vous gagnerez 3€ de bienvenue et nous gagnerons également 3€ !

– Hébergement :
Airbnb: Si vous êtes propriétaires, vous pouvez proposer votre logement sur Airbnb, le site vous indiquera le montant de vos gains potentiels !

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Main expense items

For our part, we spent €15,000 per person. You’ll find our main expenses below.

We don’t have a vaccine budget, as our mutual insurance company covers them. We were delighted to discover this pleasant surprise, as the bill came to €500/person.

Nor do we have an equipment equipment nts, as we managed to get almost all our equipment for our birthday and Christmas before the trip. We also had a good portion already in our possession since we had invested on previous trips. You can easily count on around €1,000 per person.

Our detailed budget for our one-year round-the-world trip

Local expenses (accommodation, transport, food…) 10 €571
Visas 194 €
Airline tickets 3 702
Cap Aventure Health Insurance 516 €

Our method for planning an itinerary

Building a travel itinerary is no easy task. In any case, you won’t be able to do or see everything. And do you know what? Well, it doesn’t matter, you’re going to see a lot during your trip, whether you visit 1 or 15 countries.

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How to create your itinerary

1/ You need to decide on a list of countries or places you’d like to visit. We made a list on our own, drawing inspiration from the internet and travel books such as “Terre secrète – Merveilles insolites de la planète” and “1000 idées de voyages du Lonely Planet”.

It’s important to respect each person’s wishes and desires, so that the two of you can build this trip together from the outset. This is our favorite part of the planning process. You can let your imagination run free for the time being without constraint.

Then we printed out a world map and colored in all the countries we’d noted, in green for Matthieu and pink for Floriane. We couldn’t wait to see the results and each other’s choices – phew, we had countries in common!

2/ You have to limit yourself…! This really isn’t the easiest part. We’ve chosen to travel to 1 country per month. We followed the advice given on the travel blogs.

That’s good, but often too little. For example, Argentina is almost the size of Europe, so imagine going around Europe in 1 month…

It’s a very personal choice. Don’t panic, you can also adapt your itinerary to suit your local needs. During our trip to Asia, we withdrew from Vietnam to spend more time in Cambodia and Sri Lanka.

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Where can I find information on the different countries?

This is where the long and interesting part comes in… reading the thousands of travel blogs! It’s a gold mine for planning and imagining what you can do in the country, and how much time you can spend there.

Try to choose between 2 and 3 to avoid spreading yourself too thin. You’ll also get a lot of local information from your hosts and other travelers.

Nos blogs préférés

A2pasdumonde d’Anais et Julien nos amis rencontrés sur l’île de Pâques (la classe)! Eux venaient d’Asie et nous venions d’Amérique du Sud. Nous nous sommes donc inspirés de leur parcours pendant nos 7 mois en Asie ! Vous trouverez des informations utiles et détaillées sur les différents pays qu’ils ont traversés.

Novo-monde c’est une référence sur l’univers du blog tour du monde et du voyage en sac à dos. Fabienne et Benoit proposent des articles très complets.

– Nous avons également consulté le blog de Marion et Renaud, partis en tour du monde un an avant nous, les informations communiquées étaient récentes et fiables !

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Plan your route

Now you have to adapt your wishes to the weather and your budget and budget. For this part, the travel planner on the “À contre-sens ” blog helped us enormously. This is not the most pleasant part of planning. We regretfully had to pull out of New Zealand as it was the middle of winter.

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Planner of the a-contresens blog

This is an important step that will help you avoid climate and budget setbacks. By taking a month off in New Zealand, we could live another month in Asia.

We entered our draft itinerary, then the software showed us the estimated budget and the most favorable climate by country/region.

Now you’ve got your list of countries and the order in which it’s best to do them. Now all you have to do is buy your plane tickets!

A word of advice: in the beginning, you’ll have plenty of energy and drive, so 1 country a month is fine. Beyond 6 months, however, you’ll probably start to get tired, and it’s better to plan fewer countries and choose to stay longer in each selected country.

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Choosing your plane tickets

  • Going through a specialized agency: that’s the option we took. This solution allows you to keep some flexibility in your itinerary. Ticket dates can generally be changed free of charge (this is indicated on your flight plan), but destinations cannot.

    For example, we had no difficulty in rescheduling our arrival date in Sri Lanka. We recommend that you contact several agencies. For our part, we asked Travel Nation and Zip World, and got a better feeling with the former for a similar price.

    Going through an agency will also enable you to exchange ideas and optimize your itinerary with the help of a specialized advisor. For example, our contact at Travel Nation recommended that we spend a few days in Tahiti for the modest sum of €200. We wouldn’t have thought of it at all on our own.
  • Buy your plane tickets yourself: this method gives you great flexibility, since you can buy your plane tickets as you go along. On the other hand, buying tickets at the last minute can be expensive.
  • Join an alliance: there are three: Oneworld, Star Allianceand SkyTeam. We had compared the prices of the various alliances with our itinerary, and the price was higher than if we had used a specialist agency.

Choosing your travel health insurance

Am I covered with my credit card?

The question we couldn’t find the answer to. The easiest thing for us to do was to ask our bank directly. With our VISA and MASTER CARD bank cards, we were covered for 90 days if and only if we had a return ticket (with a date no more than 3 months after your departure date) in our possession. This was clearly not the case for us.

Our research also revealed that traditional bank cards offer very low levels of cover, with lower ceilings than traditional travel health insurance.

How to choose your insurance ?

For us, having the right insurance for our round-the-world trip was an obvious choice. We wanted to be covered in the event of a problem or the slightest doubt, and to be able to go to the doctor without hesitation (which is exactly what we did).

We compared different insurance offers and found useful information on many blogs. Generally speaking, all the insurances you will find on the market offer the same kind of formula. Rates vary according to several criteria:

  • Amount of coverage provided
  • Your age and the number of people covered
  • The destination (Or zone: Europe / USA – Canada / Rest of the world)

We decided to choose the Cap Aventure formula from Chapka Assurance. In our opinion, this is the most interesting offer on the market. It offers a good ratio/guarantees/price.

UPDATE 2022 – Before our second long trip (this time by camper van), we once again compared the various travel insurances available in 2021.

Chapka always offered the best value for money. And now the teleconsultation service is included in the Cap Aventure package, so when we travel with children, it’s a luxury to be able to call at the slightest doubt.

Travel insurance: our feedback

Before our departure, we had come across many articles comparing travel insurance, but few feedbacks.

We’ve written an article about our opinion and experience with Chapka, detailing when we had to call on our insurance and whether or not we were covered. We were fully satisfied with the service provided by Chapka, and we’ve taken out this insurance again for our second long-haul trip in 2021-2022.

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Our one-year itinerary

After several months of reflection and many exchanges with our agency, we finally validated our final itinerary.

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Map of the a-contresens blog

We started with South America(Argentina, Chile, Peru and Bolivia), with a stopover in São Paolo for Carnival.

Then we flew toAustralia via Easter Island and Tahiti.

We then spent 7 months traveling around Asia, passing through Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar (Burma), Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. Finally, before heading home, we made one last stop in Sri Lanka.

In the end, we planned to spend around a month in each country, with a small bonus for Indonesia and Sri Lanka.

Compared with our dream itinerary, we had to withdraw a few countries for a number of reasons.

  • To limit our travels and therefore the cost of our plane ticket, we had to concentrate on Southeast Asia, whereas we had dreamed of going to India, China and the Philippines.
  • To keep up with the seasons, we didn’t stop in New Zealand, as we were there in July, in the middle of winter. This is an expensive country, so we preferred to come back later when the weather was milder.

We also adapted our itinerary to suit the visits of our friends and family. The aim was also to share this unforgettable journey with them!

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The itinerary in detail

  • February (5 days): Sao Paulo (Brazil)
  • February (1 month): Argentina
  • March (1 month): Chile
  • April (1 month): Peru
  • May (1 month): Bolivia
  • June (5 days): Easter Island
  • June (10 days): Moorea (Tahiti)
  • June – July (3 weeks): Australia
  • July (3 weeks): Malaysia
  • August – September (1? months): Indonesia
  • September – October (1 month): Myanmar
  • November (1 month): Laos
  • December (1month) : Cambodia
  • January (3 days): Vietnam
  • February / March (1? months): Sri Lanka
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Inspiring travel books and guides

In addition to the many blogs that we read regularly and the You Tube channels that we follow, we regularly read many travel reports.

Livres et guides de voyages inspirants

– Nous avons feuillé de nombreux guides pour planifier notre itinéraire, nous adorons les guides Lonely Planet et les guides du Routard. Nous aimons en apporter avec nous à chacun de nos voyages.

– Nous avons également consulté plusieurs livres de voyages, 1000 idées de voyages du Lonely Planet, Destination Petaouchnok… Ces livres sont inspirants, ils nous ont donné plein d’idées. Les images des différents sites sont magnifiques. Nous avions noté tellement d’idées que nous aurions eu de quoi partir 3 ans en tour du monde.

Mise à jour 2023 – Nous sommes de nouveau partis en voyage longue durée, en tour d’Europe en camping-car, avec notre fille, qui avait 1an et demi au moment du départ.

Nous avons encore lu de nombreux livres et récits de voyage, nous en achetons une grande partie et évidemment nos proches nous en offre à chacun de nos anniversaires ou à noël, si vous avez des copains voyageurs, c’est vraiment le meilleur cadeau à offrir :

➡️« Americana », Luke Healy, une traversée à pieds de l’Amérique, nous avons dévoré cet BD, Luke Healy raconte cinq mois de randonnée en pleine nature sur le Pacific Crest Trail. Nous avons adoré, car il est parti sans être vraiment préparé et sans savoir à quoi s’attendre, c’était la grande aventure nous adorons cet philosophie de vie !

➡️Et si on plaquait tout ?: le pari fou d’une famille sur les routes du monde, Audrey de la Family Coste raconte leur folle aventure en caravane américaine du Canada au Mexique. Une lecture qui a fortement inspiré notre année de voyage en camping-car.

➡️”Chroniques birmanes” de Guy Delisle a suivi sa compagne plusieurs mois en Birmanie alors qu’elle y travaillait avec Médecins sans Frontières. Il raconte son quotidien au travers d’anecdotes avec beaucoup d’humour. Une BD instructive et drôle que nous avons encore une fois dévoré.

➡️”Africa trek – tome 1 Du Cap au Kilimandjaro ” un récit de voyage à pied, raconté par Sonia et Alexandre Poussin et maintenant, ils voyagent toujours, mais en famille, nous avons quasiment lu tous leurs récits, de vrais fans !

➡️ “L’odyssée électrique : 20.000 KM, 120 jours, un Tuktuk électrique” un récit de voyage en tuk tuk électrique, un mode de voyage hyper original. Un récit rafraîchissant et encore une fois inspirant !

Now you know everything, or almost, we wish you an excellent preparation, put you as soon as you can!

Don’t hesitate to drop us a line below or on Instagram to let us know your departure date, share our article or ask any questions you may have – they’re usually our favorite questions, as they help us get back into this incredible adventure!

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We are Floriane and Matthieu, a French couple with a passion for travel. After working for a few years in our beautiful capital, we decided to leave everything behind to travel around the world. of 2016-2017. Today, travel is still a part of our lives. Here we share all our traveltips and useful information. Find out more about us.
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