There is so much I wish I knew before I dropped out of life to travel long-term. Anything from how to save money, plan and prepare, and even the practicalities about dropping out of life. If you’re planning to travel long-term either as a backpacker, digital nomad, or perpetual traveler, here are ten things to know before traveling the world!
10 Things to Know before Traveling the World
Sign up for a rewards credit card specific to one airline (in my case American Airlines). Pay all your bills on this card and earn miles to redeem for free flights, accommodation, car rentals, and more. Learn more about credit card rewards on The Points Guy.
Avoid eating out and cook at home. Instead of spending $10 on lunch every day at work, pack a lunch and save at least $200 or more per month. That’s a savings of at least $2400 a year – enough for a flight and 1 month in Southeast Asia!
Don’t shop just because something is cheap. Buy things that fit well, are quality and will last a long time. Avoid browsing sales because the low prices may encourage you to impulsively buy things you don’t need and won’t actually wear.
Don’t buy a new car, especially not a sports car. Buy a reputable, previously owned vehicle that won’t depreciate in value as much as new car. Also find one that saves money on gas.
Pay for gas and any other bills using the rewards credit card so you can accumulate free travel on basic daily expenses.
Pay for everything using the airlines reward credit card and sign up for bonuses such as the shopping and dining out programs so when you do splurge, you’ll earn points on your card towards free flights.
Joining an airline frequent flyer program is a fantastic way to earn free flights. Sign up for a major air miles program such as American, United, or Delta. Try to always book flights with them or their airline alliance partners so you can consistently earn points and maximize miles and the places you can fly.
I wish someone had recommended American Airlines from the beginning because they’re one-way award tickets are a better value than Delta or United.
(Update Jan 2016: frequent flyer programs have undergone big changes. Visit the airlines for the latest news.)
Once I started traveling, these are the things I wish someone told me:
Rent out your apartment and don’t pay the rent on a place you’re not using. The $1000 a month the apartment cost to keep is the TOTAL amount you’ll spend living in a tropical paradise for a month.
Don’t rent a storage. With the amount you’ll save on one year on storage you can afford to buy new furniture all over again if and when you decide to return home.
Read this post on how to travel cheaply and find out the hacks I’ve learned on the road!
What are other things to know before traveling the world? Comment below!