Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Around the World Travel Guide Part 1 [Planning Desintations]

Helpful Tips for Planning a Year Long Trip Around the World: Part 1
[Planning Desintations]

Step one should always be, make sure you're ready for a 1 Year Trip. But once you've decided that you are, it's time to start your proverbial motors.

This is by far the most fun part of the trip planning. It is during this stage that you get to leaf through magazines, flip through books, browse the internet, and let your imagination run wild.

Grab a sheet of paper, or open up a new Word Document: It’s time to start planning. All those places you’ve wanted to visit since you were a young little thing, throw them on the list. Don’t worry about how far apart they are from one another, or how silly they may seem. Put them on the list anyway. This is the fantasy stage, so nothing is too far away, or too impractical.

Now what if you don’t have any places in mind? What if you just want to travel the world, but you’re not sure what all is out there?

I know what you’re thinking – who would plan a world trip without some idea of where they want to go? That’s ridiculous, isn’t it? …Well that’s how I started out. I just knew I wanted to see all seven continents. If this sounds like you, I have some more tips.

Discovering New Destinations
Look at your list, does it include one of the following: Paris, London, (and if you’re between eighteen and forty Amsterdam)? Oh, it includes all of them? Well that’s not a problem. There’s a reason those locations are so highly coveted amongst travellers. Visiting them is akin to reading the classics. If you know those cities, you’ll have a good understanding of what else is out there.

But there is so much more to see (not to mention so much more to read than Austin, Dickens, and Milton) it’s all a matter of becoming exposed to the destinations. And how does one do that? I recommend books. There’s also the internet, and that’s fine and well for researching specific locations, but you’ll find yourself looking back to the places you know time and time again. Get a book. A big imposing book that you can’t possibly ignore, and feel compelled to flip through at every moment. For your reading pleasure I’ll suggest a few below.

Where to Go and When
This book details countries all over the world, providing information about temperatures, specific highlights, and other interesting information. What this book specializes in, however, is providing your with information about when you should travel there. Are there important cultural festivals? Times when once in a life time events will transpire? You can be sure that this book will provide you with all the required information so you don’t find yourself one week after the biggest carnival of the year just packed up, fliers still blowing idly through the streets.

Where to Go and When: Americas
Much like the book above, this is very similar. However, this book finds itself limited to information about the Americas. When you realize that it’s just as large as the world version (which also includes the Americas, to be sure.) you realize just how much there is going on “out there.”

Make the Most of Your Time on Earth
I can not recommend this book enough. It is a “Rough Guide to the World.” And what a world it is. Unlike the Where to Go and When books, this one gives your very specific country information, and tells you about a number of fantastic must sees. Just flipping through the back index will have your mind reeling, as it lists events, and places, all under their corresponding country’s headline.

The Cities Book
If you love cities, then you must get this book. Flipping through it will set your mind on fire. It’s amazing how different cities can be from one another. It’s easy to get caught up thinking that they’re all more-or-less the same, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. If you’re an urban explorer, then by all means take a peek in this text. You might find some charming alleys just waiting to be explored.

The Travel Book
Made by the same folks who created the Cities Book, the Travel Book gives you a rundown of all the countries in the world. I say again, all the countries in the world (as of the time of printing, anyway.) One way to plan your travel might just be to flip at random, stop on a page, look at the giant glossy image inside, and say, “wow, that’s beautiful. I can’t believe I’ve never heard of that place before. I must go for myself.

With the help of these books I’m sure you’ve amassed quite a list of potential destinations. Keep that list, for in a few years you might be able to say you’ve seen them all. And if you’re really lucky, perhaps by this time next year you’ll be able to say the same thing.

Next up we’ll look at the more practical issues of what you need to know before you travel, and how you can get the specific information you need. As well we’ll take a look at the, often unfortunate, aspect of cutting your fantasy travel list down to something practical for your purposes.

Jump to other Parts
0. Index / Summary
1. Planning Destinations
2. Budget / Culling
3. Hotels vs Hostels
4. Internet Research
5. Tour Groups / Solo Travel
6. Important Travel Gear
7. Packs / Packing
8. Medical Requirements
9. Saying Goodbye / Staying Connected
10. No Fear Travel
Bonus: Overlooked Travel Tips and Tricks

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