If you are considering full time travel, these tips will get you started so you feel as prepared as possible!
We have been traveling full time for the last 18+ months and have learned a ton. Before leaving on this journey, we didn’t even travel. So everything we learned has been while traveling full time. We wish we had known these tips before we left because they are so helpful!
We’ll cover our top full time travel tips, pros and cons of full time travel, travel tips and tricks, 5 travel tips, and more!
> Follow along on YouTube with all of our full time travels!
This post is all about our top 11 full time travel tips that you need to know before you travel!
Full Time Travel Tips:
Go With the Flow
This is absolutely the biggest tip for me. I can be pretty uptight about our plans and things going right, even still, but with travel, you can’t control anything. You really do just have to go with the flow. If something goes wrong, which it will, you just have to be okay with that and do your best to figure out an alternative solution. We have missed flights, forgotten to take COVID tests, gotten lost, ran out of data, and so much more. And we are so much better now about laughing off the craziness that is travel.
This will make your life 1000% easier. The less stuff you have the easier it will be to transport, pack, choose what to wear, do laundry, fit it on a small bus, or in a tiny hotel room. Trust me, we started with two stuffed suitcases and the struggle I had to go through every time to pack was absurd. We have since gotten rid of so many clothes we rarely wore and just have the essentials. Also, fewer shoes, are always the space killers. We still have two checked bags and two carry-on backpacks but it’s much more manageable since we never really have to weigh them and we can both roll and carry a bag.
> Check out our full list of Long Term Travel Packing List!
Find Your Style
As you start to travel will you find what you like and what you don’t? It may not be what the stereotypical trip may look like and that’s okay. Don’t get sucked into traveling the way other people think you should or what social media is pushing. If you want to travel slow and sit in a country for all 90 days of your visa, do that. If you want to travel super fast and get as many countries under your belt as you can, do that! Maybe all you like to do is relax and surf or layout on the beach and maybe you are a rock climber or trekker. Just find what you like and what travel means to you and do that. Every single person travels differently and just the fact that you are getting out of your comfort zone and traveling the world is incredible!
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Get a Local SIM Card
In each country, you can easily get a local SIM card. This is super helpful to be able to connect to data and not have to rely on Wi-Fi (although it is possible, not exactly easy though). You will also get a local number which makes it nice to call restaurants and hotels locally for reservations or assistance. It’s always extremely easy to get a SIM card and very cheap. We usually pay about $40 a month for 2 or 3 countries. Sometimes you can get unlimited data other times you can get 5GB for two weeks and that usually lasts us just fine for Google Maps, Uber, quick research, and the occasional social media search.
You’ll quickly realize how often people use Whatsapp once you start traveling. Set it up now so you are ready to go and you can even start reaching out to tour operators and hotels ahead of time if you need. Seriously, every business uses it and if you meet any locals on your travels, this will be the best way to stay in touch with them. This has also been super helpful for scheduling COVID tests abroad. It’s much easier to message via Whatsapp when there is a language barrier than trying to talk over the phone.
Document Your Travels
I highly highly recommend documenting your travels. Even if this is your life for the foreseeable future, you are going to be experiencing so much so quickly, you’re going to want to document it! We have been recording our journey on YouTube and already we have forgotten some things that have happened to us. We can easily go back to see what happened, how we reacted, and just who we were in those moments. You don’t have to start a YouTube channel to document your travels, though. You can write in a journal, take photos, write blog posts, or record Stories on Instagram. There are honestly endless ways for you to document your travels so find what works for you!
> Check out our free Notion Travel Journal template!
Meet Fellow Travelers
We are introverts by nature so sometimes we get sucked into our little bubble and don’t venture out to meet anyone else. But every single time we do, it is awesome. We have met so many fellow travelers and they are all incredible people. You can do this by staying at hostels (we always stay in private rooms and socialize in the common areas), booking group tours, at the bar, or waiting in line. Asking people where they are from, how long they are traveling, what have they done, and what are their plans are always great conversation starters and work for virtually every single person!
You can also connect with fellow travelers on Instagram! We have met so many amazing people that are also traveling the world and we have even been able to meet up with some of them in real life!
Earn Points & Miles
This is something we kind of did but really had no idea how to leverage it to our advantage. As long as you are a responsible credit card holder and pay your bill every single month, you should be earning points and miles. The benefits that come from earning points are incredible. We have only recently started to figure out how to best use our cards and points and we have already received over $4,000 in free flights! We recommend this Credit Card Churning class on Skillshare to help you get the full concept of earning and using your points and miles! This is also something you can start well before your trip!
> Check out what Travel Credit Cards we use to earn our points and miles!
Track Your Spending
It can be really easy to fall into vacation spending habits when you start full time travel (we did). But if you are hoping to make this work full time, you likely will have a budget and need to be somewhat conservative. I’m not saying you need to pinch pennies, but have 4 Piña Coladas a day might not be the most reasonable thing for your budget or your beach bod. We track all our expenses through Mint. This is a free service that connects to all of our credit cards, bank accounts, and investment accounts to track every expense we have. We can categorize it and see our spending at the end of the month. Even if you don’t have a budget, this is still a great practice to ensure you are spending your money on things you care about. Also, a great way to ensure you don’t have any fraud or duplicate charges.
Get Up For Sunrise
Trust me, this is not easy and we rarely do it. But every time it is always so magical and even if the sunrise is a dud, we never regret it. Sunrise is some of the most magical times during our travels. You don’t have to do it every day, but you should get up when you can for those really special experiences. It’s especially nice for really busy destinations so you have the whole place to yourself. One of our favorites was getting up for sunrise at the Grand Canyon. We saw amazing colors and it was so calm and there was no there.
Talk to the Locals
It honestly can be really hard sometimes with the language barrier but it’s so fun getting to know the locals. Learn to ask a few questions like where are they from, what’s their favorite restaurant, do they travel at all, and, my favorite, what’s on your bucket list? That’s a hard one to translate or explain but you can get some really cool answers! This is the main reason we love traveling. So many locals have been so kind to us and helped us and been genuine friends!