How to Plan a Round the World Trip

The very short answer is Google Maps and a Spreadsheet.

End of Blog.

How to plan a round the world trip

Only kidding! For us we have chopped the trip in half. As we are going to working for 6 months in Australia, we know we have plenty of time to plan the second half of the trip. This has made it much more manageable for us to get our heads round.

We started with our Travel Journal, split the pages in half and wrote a list for Chloe and a list for Duncan, of what we want to do and see in those countries.

We plotted these on Google Maps. Once you have saved it you will find it through Your Places > Maps > Open in My Maps. The mister loves Google maps and he has created layers and a colour coded system that is truly spectacular to look at… as well as informative.

So for example, we have a Destinations layer that clearly outlines our Round the World route. Then we have layers for each country and within that layer the hostels, things to do and bus stations are colour coded. I particularly like that you can add notes to each of your ‘Pins’ for extra detail. I have found I will quite easily forget why I wanted to visit a certain place so this is a great reminder.

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The added bonus with maps is the journey time. This has been particularly useful for our North America road trip as we really don’t want to be driving for days. We also need to avoid Death Valley (as were not insured to drive there!) so maps has helped us figured out our route around that. For people who are quite visual this method works well for planning a round the world trip.

Now as visual as I am, I’m more of an Excel kinda girl then a Maps kinda girl. Geography has never been my strong point so this whole planning malarkey has been a learning curve from Day 1. The Mister can vouch for that one!

Our spreadsheet works in conjunction with the Google Maps. It features tabs such as:

  • Transport to (How an earth we get there)
  • Destination
  • Dates
  • Sights to see (in brief as we have Maps for that)
  • Accommodation (that we like the look of)
  • Transport details (websites for booking buses with costs)
  • Climate
  • Comments (I like to know when the walking tours are so we add this here)

If you would like a copy of our excel spreadsheet for your own travel plans, comment below or connect through Social Media – I will happily send it across.

As with anything, we started off very vague and have then worked towards the finer detail. Our main focus has been on South America, as we know the language barrier will be a struggle, so the more we know the better.

Read, read, read and read a bit more. It’s literally the only way to learn.

As wonderful as the sight-seeing element is, remember to take a look at the ‘boring bits’. There’s the VISAs, the transport, accommodation and vaccinations (< blog covers this). Make use of your travel provider, STA have been continuously helpful. Even if it’s unrelated to STA, the sales assistants have all been round the world and are more than happy to answer any questions.

We spend most evenings working on something towards travelling. We pick a topic to focus on and simply crack on. Not only are you getting to grips with the scariness of a Round the World Trip, you will continually be inspired by travellers who have gone before you. You’re not the first and you won’t be the last to endeavour on an epic year long trip. So learn everything you can from like-minded people.

Go the Distance



Planning: Peru on a Shoestring

Something we have talked about for over a year now, is soon to become a reality. Up until Christmas the focus had been on saving, saving and guess what more saving! But then we stepped in STA travel last month to make some decisions. With the help of Jack at STA Travel Manchester and his two hours worth of patience, our flights were booked!


Our Round the World trip covers; South America, North America, New Zealand, Australia, South East Asia, India and Europe… in just over a year! There will be plenty more blogs breaking all of our plans down into bitesize chunks. It will be interesting to see how much of what is planned… actually happens!

While at STA Travel our talks centred around our South America plans and Jack kindly informed us about the VISA’s needed for Machu Picchu. This is something we were blissfully unaware of. Only 500 VISA’s are granted a day and these are booked well in advance. Our hearts sank, thinking we were too late to book the Inca Trail. But as luck would have it there were about 7 available for 3 months into our travels (if we had left it much longer we would have had to take the Lares Trek instead).

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One of these dates meant we will be hiking the Inca Trail on my Birthday… so that was it! Big decision made and we now know we are definitely seeing one of the seven wonders of the world!

Through G-Adventures we have booked the 14 day ‘Peru on a Shoestring‘ experience. We will meet and stay with local families, visit Colca Canyon, surrounding villages and conquer the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu on a 3 day trek. Our meals, accommodation and transport are arranged. This will be a big change to our self-sufficient 3 months prior to this. It will be all hostel living and navigating the buses, up until this point.


The Checklist that we have been sent literally looks endless. However, at a second glance there wasn’t much on there that we hadn’t thought off. Although were going in ‘dry season’, we have read not to presume it will be dry. Apparently it can feel very damp so cotton clothing and jeans are big no no’s. All of our trekking gear and waterproofs will go with us and the rest will stay behind, hopefully safe and sound!

Having the date booked for this has actually really helped us in planning everything up until Peru. We have been able to allocate time to each country on the journey up to Peru much easier, as we have no choice but to get to Lima in time.

I genuinely cannot wait for these stock photos to become our own pictures with the most incredible memories attached.

Go the Distance to see the world.