I don't know if anyone's mentioned this one - but I thought of this the other day.
Save all your boarding passes!! I intend (don't quite know if it's 100% feasible) to join an Air Miles club and add on all my flights - Sarah has something like 20,000 from the flights we've done. That's something like a return flight from London to Rome with BA.
My biggest advice is pick a departure date NOW (even if it's a long way in the future) and stick with it. I made plans and delayed them for this reason, made more plans and delayed them for that reason. Before I knew it 5 years had passed and I still hadn't gone. Finally I just picked a date 8 months down the road and booked a one-way flight to London. With the decision firmly made things just fell into place from that point on.
Packing Advice: Go low tech and light. Take a good quality camera (well insured) but other than that just take basic, cheap, light weight clothes and a simple pack. Then, rather than constantly fretting about your $300 Gortex jacket, $150 Ultra-quick-dry pants, etc getting lost, stolen, or your whole pack bouncing off the top of the roof rack and into the gorge you can relax and know that whatever happens you can replace it all for $50 in the next town.
My husband and I just set out on a year long trek accross the U.S. We sold our house in FL and are living out of our Honda Element. We built a bed with storage and a small refridgerator below. We are living off a budget of $20,000 for the entire year. Sadly, most of it goes towards gas expenses. Nomadic is a conceptual art project, and I will be leaving a painting in each state. My husband will be working on his music and documenting the whole trip via video. Everything will come together for an exhibit that will travel in our path. People can get involved and actually be a part of art history by e-mailing us . Or, visiting the website.
You do have the right idea about doing it when you are younger. I traveled only because I worked for a company that did. I didn't see much. raised a family. Now we are getting ready to retire and wish we had traveled earlier. suggestions are: if you are a native english speaker you can find work for as little as a weekend nearly anywhere. The pay might not be much but it will buy a day for a half day. One day work will always provide a minimum of two days travel and lodging in addition to the time spent there teaching. We are nearing 70 and beginning an around the world scooter trip. do not be afraid of the age idea. Go to www.Virtual Tourist.com. the thousands of people who have traveled have also shared every conceivable answer, warning, tourist trap and sightseeing idea you can imagine. prepare a journal of what you want to see. carry a tent, sleeping bag and a small stove with pans. that alone can easily cut your travel expenses in half, provide great experiences, and free you from a fixed itinerary such as might be mandated by reservations in hotels, hostels, etc. Throughout europe there are 1000s of good campgrounds, some in africa, a few in arabia, many in asia. for one person 800USD is more than ample.
good luck and good traveling
My wife and I are also planning a worldwide journey, were not nomadic, were not Vacationers, were TRAVELERS! 😊, I have been approaching this thirst to "Travel the WORLD. WHILE WE STILL CAN and WANT TO!... we live in Michigan and we would like to take a year of our lives, (Maybe More) and have no Destination but a path of adventures, I have Been dabbling on how to begin( whether it be mentally preparing for "leaving and Acknowledging the TRUE IDEA of how this gloabal trip will forever CHANGE our lives, and also the Idea of what Ill actually need for the trip,"Finances" which ill have to factor for both my wife and I. This message is just the beggining of many beacuse we would like to begin this adventure in 2013 😊 ahhhhhhhhhh,,, please send all routes of europe and southeast asia, also going from bangkok the island and down until we hit austrailia, then over to new zeland or straight to fiji,indonesia, malaysia? and bali and other layed back style exotic stays. We have been to bora bora and the islands and will most likely head from that "side" of "Town" over to Europe, the netherlands down to france, italy, greece, will see "ASIA may and WILL probably BLOW our minds with culture shock, i want to feel the heart racing of the unknown!