5 tips from the round-the-world experts
Are you dreaming about quitting your job, slinging some belongings in a backpack and setting off on a round-the-world adventure? We spoke to five travel agents who have travelled to 127 countries between them - and this is their top advice for anyone interested in making a round-the-world trip a reality...
1. Just go
You'll never feel totally prepared for a round-the-world trip. You could always have polished up on your Mandarin a little better, planned your route in a little more detail, investigated volunteering opportunities a little more or - most commonly - saved up a LOT more. You could spend your whole life saving and planning for your trip, but you'll eventually have to make do with what you have and set off. And the chances are you'll do just fine.
2. Remove the safety net
Once in a while it's nice to come across a 711 in a foreign country, or enjoy a pint in a tribute English or Irish pub. However, don't spend your days hunting out the things that you could easily get at home (pastries for breakfast, beer in the evening, chocolate, branded toothpaste...) - live, eat and shop like the locals and you'll gain a much richer understanding of the country and its culture.
3. You can't do everything
If you're the sort who dreams of a round-the-world adventure, the chances are that you want to see as much as possible. However if you're whizzing through cities and countries to tick boxes, you're not going to enjoy your travel experience. Take your time and explore a few places in detail.
4. Learn basic local lingo
Before you enter a new country, always learn the local words for hello, please, thank you and excuse me. "This one" and "that one" go a long way too.
5. Don't follow the guidebook
If you're not interested in art, don't spend your days touring galleries because your guide book tells you to. To really get the most out of your round-the-world adventure, set your own priorities.