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Tips for Travelling Fulltime: Things I Learned Fast & Never Forgot

November 30, 2016

Let’s face it – many of us would love to quit our jobs, pack it all in, and spend a few months (or years!) travelling the world. If you’ve got a gap year, a backpacking stint or even just a few months of exploration in mind, here are my tips:

1. Fly with local (cheaper) airlines

I can’t describe how much this helped me save. It means avoiding popular search comparison sites, which sometimes only index larger airlines, and seeking out the underdogs – and their cheap fares.

For instance, I just did a little impromptu search on a one-way flight from Paris to Munich. On the big-name sites, the cheapest fare came in at around $250. But on less prominent sites, I was able to find a flight for just $48 on smaller, local airline, a result which wasn’t included on those more popular search sites.

2. Dress like the locals do

This was something I wanted to do straight off the bat (in non-westernised countries) because I wanted to feel like less of a tourist – and more at home.

It doesn’t necessarily mean buying a whole new outfit, but simple things like a scarf or a colourful skirt can help you feel like you’re connecting a little more with the culture.

3. Make the effort to stay in touch

With both friends and family back home, and with new people you meet along the way. Simple things like email and social media worked well for me.

It meant I could get the support I needed when I was feeling lonely or homesick, and that I could easily stay in touch with new friends I’d made, even organising to meet up with them again or at a different destination.

4. Buy travel insurance

Travel insurance can be a lifesaver, particularly on long trips like these. Only a few things went wrong for me, but it was great to have someone there to help when I needed it most (especially in those non-English speaking countries).

And it also helped me save (via claims) a lot of money that I would’ve otherwise lost.

Overall, I found that Backpackers travel insurance worked best for me – it meant that I could travel for as long as I liked (well, up to 1.5 years, which was plenty of time) and that I had cover for things like medical, hospital, emergencies, baggage, valuables, sports and activities, and more.

5. Be friendly

It’s surprisingly how far a smile and a greeting in the local language goes. I met new people this way, made friends this way, and even got help when I was lost or unsure.

6. One last thing – don’t waste time

Rest is important, but don’t get lazy. Get up early to see sunrises or stay out to attend night markets. Relax on beaches, but also go for hikes and sign up for tours and activities. Do as much as you can. You probably will only get to travel fulltime once or twice in your life, so make the most of it!