When we left home on our RTW trip we basically had a year planned out day by day. We had done so much research we really thought we knew it all…well first thing wrong was our one year trip around the world has now turned into three years and still going strong! Here are our 3 biggest travel mistakes over the past 3 years of traveling.
Planning Too Much
As an American I think we are programmed to have our vacation planned out day by day. You know what you’re going to do, you have your tours booked, and you’ve even looked up on TripAdvisor where to have dinner. Well, we didn’t go to this extreme but we had our first year of travels planned out day by day as far as what city we’d be in. We also had an excel spreadsheet with what to do and estimated budget for the day.
For years 2 & 3 we had way less planned and just key major dates on the calendar, which happened to always be a wedding somewhere in the world. If we had somewhere to be in 6 months then we could play the rest of time by ear. We prefer traveling this way as it gives us much more freedom to stay longer somewhere or add a new destination to our plans.
Packing Too Much
Shocker, we packed too much and we still pack too much. When we first started our trip we each had a real backpack filled to the brim. Literally after traveling only one month we sent Hannah’s entire backpack home with a friend. For the first 2 years of traveling we traveled with 1 checked bag (50lbs) and 2 carry-ons (computers/cameras/etc.) We brought everything we thought we’d need in the years travel, not thinking that we could just pick some of the items up along the way when we needed them. We’ve realized that you can buy almost the same brands everywhere in the world and it makes no sense to carry around hiking boots/clothes for a year when you’re using them for 5 days…
Since the start of our trip, we have picked up a ton more equipment, as Adam’s photography has become a key reason to the success of our blog. Not only are our 2 carry-on bags all equipment but we’ve added a second checked bag for the underwater housing. We’ve also decided to keep our wardrobe updated and we travel with more options now. So, Basically we’ve gotten worse at packing.
Traveling Too Fast
We wanted to see the entire world in one year, so we packed our route with as many destinations as possible. Once our over planning backfired as we were moving too fast. Most cities we only stayed 2-3 nights, which we later learned is not nearly enough time to really explore a city. Not only did it not give us enough time in cities, but switching hotels every few days is tiring. Plus our schedule didn’t allow for new destinations, we can’t even begin to tell you of all the places we wish we would have had time to visit.
Traveling isn’t the easiest thing in the world, we found that out the hard way. We had read about other travelers talking about travel burnout and didn’t realize it’s a real thing until we had a bad case of it ourselves. We’ve learned that after 3 months of constant travel, our bodies are just done, they need a solid few weeks or a month in the same spot.