round the world tips



Today, I am sat in a café overlooking the Pacific Ocean, in the small town of Kaikoura, New Zealand; it’s a beautiful place.  Reflecting the last five months of my round the world trip, it has been a thoroughly positive experience, but here are some tips that I would like to share.

Challenge yourself every day

Remember that this is a trip of a lifetime, one that you will be talking about when you’re older, so make sure you don’t waste any opportunities, challenge yourself every day and get the most out of your round the world trip.  Take yourself out of the comfort zone (without putting yourself in danger of course!) and do activates that you would not usually do back home.   I am not a strong swimmer, but it wasn’t going to stop me going kayaking alongside the stunning Angthong National Marine Park, or, snorkeling in the Whitsunday Islands.  

Passport and wallet security

Your main priority as you travel around is to look after your passport and bank cards; if you lose either item, it could end a trip of a lifetime, or at the very least, create a lot of stress. Many budget hotels do not offer safes, so, find places where you can hide them without the risk of housekeeping destroying them. (I say this because a friend thought it would be a good idea to hide his passport under the bed sheets – the cleaner took the sheets and washed them along with his passport).  

I hide mine in the first aid kit, underneath the plasters, and other items. The first aid kit is kept away from my main bag, so should someone break into the room and just swipe the bag, my passport and wallet would not go with it.  Most opportunist thieves would want to be in and out of the room quickly, and who’s going to steal a first aid kit!

Umm, maybe I revealed too much information there.

Bank machines

Imagine the scenario, you have arrived in a small town in the middle of nowhere, you need to pay for your hotel but they do not accept debit cards, so you find the only bank machine in the town, and it is out of order.  Yes, this happened to me, thankfully, the hotel accepted my passport as guarantee, and I paid my bill the next morning, but it could have ended completely differently.  It’s always a good idea to research ahead when you are visiting an island or small town, don’t assume that they have the same banking facilities as cities and larger towns.

While I am on the subject of bank cards; I realise most people know to do this nowadays, but make sure you inform your bank that you will be travelling for an extended period of time, and tell them where you’re travelling to. That way your card isn’t blocked, and you don’t end up in any sticky situations.




Save money on accommodation

Reduce the cost of accommodation by volunteering for a few weeks. In Australia I knew it was going to be expensive to spend six weeks travelling around the country, so while in Melbourne I volunteered for two weeks; three hours a day, in return for free accommodation and food.  In Australia you can volunteer under a tourist visa, providing that the majority of your stay is travel related.   Less so in New Zealand, where you have to apply for a visa to volunteer, so it is always worth checking the visa conditions before agreeing to volunteer.

There are a number of websites that allow hosts to list their volunteering opportunities and my personal favourite is You pay a nominal fee for a premium account and set up a profile.  Then, contact the hosts and tell them a little bit about yourself, your experience.  Read the listing to make sure you understand the type of work and hours they will expect you to work.  If in the listing it does not state how many hours they expect you to work then ask. I have heard a few horror stories where hosts have expected volunteers to work 6 or 7 hours a day, for 7 days a week.  

I hope you find these tips useful to help you prepare for your round the world trip.

by Darren Cronian


Disclosure: Darren is travelling on a Navigator round the world ticket which is valid for 12 months and is date changeable free of charge.