We were delighted that we did a lot of things right on our round-the-world trip, but not everything went as planned and we also made our fair share of mistakes during the journey.
Fortunately none of these mistakes were too major, however we hope you can still learn something from them if you’re planning an extended trip in the future.
Our diet was appalling.
We were determined to eat as healthy as we could on our travels, but this soon went out the window as price and convenience became the first things we looked for. Our fast food count, which initially was a bit of fun, quickly became embarrassing as the tally grew rapidly and it didn’t take long before we realized we were getting fat.
Please, pay a little more money and go for the healthier option when you’re on the road – your body will thank you for it!
We left flight bookings until the last minute.
Although our flexibility opened up some amazing experiences for us, it also hurt us at times as well. We hesitated on booking flights until the last minute (even though we were always going to take them) only to find that the price of them jumped sharply as our departure date approached.
That meant we needed to spend much more money than we should have or needed to come up with a creative plan at short notice to keep our costs down. The worst? Having to hire a one-way rental car and drive it from San Antonio to Houston simply to catch a flight but save nearly $400 in the process!
We spent way more money than planned.
We never set a fixed budget on our travels but had hoped to keep our spending to $100-$150 per day in North America and Western Europe. By the end of our journey, our daily spending average was closer to $200 per day which when spread over 4-5 months does make a lot of difference!
Although we have no regrets on spending so much, it would definitely have helped our trip planning had we spent more time coming up with a realistic budget estimate before departing.
We moved around too much.
Although it was something we said we didn’t want to do, we fell into the trap of moving around too much and trying to see everything we could. It led to us suffering from travel burnout a couple of times on our journey which resulted in a few completely wasted days.
On the upside, it opened our eyes and made us realize that we’d rather do short trips to a variety of destinations rather than travel indefinitely. Now we just need some all inclusive vacations to recharge the batteries!
We traveled through different climates.
Iceland was our favorite destination on our RTW trip, but including it on our itinerary caused all sorts of havoc on what we had in our luggage.
When you jump from the summer heat of Las Vegas and San Antonio to the sub-zero temperatures in Iceland, you need more than just a pair of jeans and a sweater. We had to purchase all new winter gear while in New York and spent well over $1000 on waterproof clothing, base layers, accessories and footwear as well as sending all of our summer gear back to Australia.
It’s little wonder a lot of travelers chase summer on their extended trips. It would make packing a hell of a lot easier (and cheaper too!).
We spent too long in the USA.
At first 83 days in the USA seemed like a dream way to start our journey – we love the country and still had so much to see there. For the first month we were happy with our decision and things were good.
But when the budget started rapidly declining (we spent 50% of our travel fund in the United States) and we were forced to find places to stay just to “waste time” between cities, we knew we had spent too long there.
It’s a shame that we missed out on so much in Europe because of this decision but as the clichés goes, you learn from your mistakes and there’s always next time.
We visited Las Vegas on a long weekend.
We thought spending the Labor Day Long Weekend in Las Vegas would be an epic way to finish our road trip through California. Soon we realized that it wasn’t – you could barely move on the strip (us and crowds don’t get along!), everything was overpriced more than usual and there were so many douchebags walking around you couldn’t possibly keep count.
It wasn’t a complete write-off though – we did have the biggest, drunkest night of our entire trip at XS Nightclub thanks to Kieu from GQ Trippin.
Hopefully you can learn from our mistakes and fare better on your next travel adventure!