1. Pack lightly
Unless you have your own personal assistant laying down rose petals 4 paces ahead of you that can carry your 12-piece luggage set, you’ll want to pack as lightly as possible. There will be a time (or two or three or four) when you have to carry it all around. It could be between checkout and check-in times for a few hours or it could end up being all day when your hotel reservation gets lost or your flight gets delayed.
In addition to a few basic sets of clothes, some reading material, some hygienic products, and small electronics, make sure to bring an international plug adapter. You’ll be incredibly grateful when you’re stuck in Phnom Penh with a dead computer needing to book the next leg of your trip.
2. Set a budget.
Based on where you are going, how long you will be there and whether the country is 1st, 2nd or 3rd world, you’ll need a matching budget. There will always be unexpected expenses, so add a solid “for emergency” category.
Obviously, first world countries are the most expensive (Europe, Canada, USA, Japan). Second world countries are a bit harder to define, but are usually somewhat developed (Mexico, Eastern Europe, China, Egypt). Third world countries are the cheapest but most difficult places to travel (most of Africa, Bolivia, Peru, SE Asia).
3. Think safely.
Going around the world can be as dangerous as you let it be. Take the appropriate precautions to avoid being taken advantage of.
Alert your bank. Some banks are almost too responsible and will cancel your cards due to suspicious activity. To avoid this, call them before you leave to inform them of your exact itinerary, not just that you’re traveling. It’s also a good idea to call them when you get back.
Don’t carry around your valuables in a bag that can get easily swept of your shoulder or cut without you noticing. Invest in a money belt or small purse that is worn close to your body. Keep your cash, credit cards, and passport in this.