How to make long term travel plans

When it comes to planning a gap year, round the world trip or an extended stay in a region, having the right travel plans are crucial. Here we look at some of the most important things you'll need to consider.

Your health

Visit your GP around three months before you are due to go overseas for any required injections (e.g. hepatitis A, typhoid etc.) and medication (e.g. malaria). Many of these treatments need time to begin working so don't put off the visit for too long.

Your budget

Whether we like it or not, our travel plans are often curtailed and even decided by our budget. Rather than saving as much as you can and hoping it lasts, we recommend that you tally up all the money that you will realistically have by the date you want to leave. Then consider how much money you will spend on each day of your trip. Of course, this varies for every traveller - but as an example, you might set a budget of £65 a day in Australia, £60 a day in Western Europe, £45 a day in Eastern Europe, £25 a day in South East Asia etc. You should also factor in one-off costs like flights and insurance. Then work out how long you can afford to stay in each place that you want to visit.

You might find that your plans are unrealistic for your budget, meaning that you wouldn't get to spend as long as you hoped in a particular city or country. Use your budget to make more suitable plans - for example, spending a week less in an expensive country and a week more in a cheaper country.

Your flights

Book as early as possible to get the best deal - as soon as you set travel dates.

Your accommodation, tours, land transport etc.

How much you plan ahead is really up to you. Some travellers like to set off, see where they end up and book as they go. Other travellers like to research everything in advance and have their entire travel plans mapped out before they leave. Both methods have their advantages and disadvantages, and which you go for will probably depend on your time constraints as well as your personality.

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