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Preparing For Our Around The World Trip

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Preparing For Our Around The World TripIt’s been 5 years since I retired early and it’s time to plan for my next big project. That’s to take a year off to travel around the world. This trip is a few years away so we’re not in a huge rush. However, I’ve been thinking about it quite often so I might as well start the planning process. This trip sounds like it will get more difficult as we get older so we really should go as soon as we can. If we keep putting it off, it probably won’t happen. Anyway, this is the first draft of our plan and I’ll update it periodically. I’m sure new issues will come up as we think about it more.

Logistics issues

For now, I’ll just write down all the logistic issues I can think of. We have plenty of time so we should be able to find the solutions before we go.

  1. Work – This one should be relatively easy for us. Mrs. RB40 plans to retire by 2020 so she doesn’t have to worry about a job when she gets back. As for me, I’m a blogger so it shouldn’t be difficult to transition to a digital nomad lifestyle. I plan to continue to post twice per week. One post will be about our travel and the other will focused on personal finance. I don’t know if this format would work out, but we’ll try it and see.
  2. RB40Jr’s school – This one seems daunting. We’ll need to “road-school” our kid and make sure he keeps up with his classmates academically. I have no idea how to do this right now, but I’m sure there are plenty of resources online. We probably can join an internet based curriculum. I’ll also set up a blog for RB40Jr and he can write about each location we visit. I think this would be a great learning experience for him. Currently, I’m planning to take him out of 5th grade, but it could be 4th or 3rd if the planets align.
  3. Health – We all have some kind of health issue so we need to figure out how to get prescriptions when we’re on the road. I don’t know if we will need health insurance so I’ll need to research more. I’m not sure if we’ll need vaccinations, either.
  4. Finance – This one is simple in theory, but I’m not sure how it will really work out. In 2016, we spent about $55,000. If we could keep it at this level, our year long trip would be a great success.
  5. Housing and stuff – To keep our budget under $55,000, we’d need to sell or rent our primary residence. I’m leaning toward just selling it. This will make life much simpler. We’d also need to rent a storage unit to store our stuff. I plan to sell off as much stuff as we can, but I’m sure there will still be a ton of things left. This is hard because Mrs. RB40 is attached to stuff. Maybe we can leave some stuff at my brother’s house. We probably should sell our car as well. We’ll move into our duplex when we come back.
  6. Mail – We’ll probably need to get an internet PO box or something like that.
  7. Visas and passports  – I’m not sure how visas will work. Most visitor visas are valid from between 14 days to one year so we might need to apply for some while we’re on the road. Before we leave, our passports need to be valid for over a year.
  8. Communication – I need to figure out how to keep in touch with my Republic Wireless cell phone while we’re traveling. We might need to get a different phone for this trip. Google fi cell phone plan?
  9. International driver license – Do I need to get one? I usually don’t drive outside of the US.
  10. Camera – I want to take some awesome photos on this trip. I should take a photography class and may need a new camera.
  11. Parents – Our parents are getting older and probably will need more help soon. This is why we should go earlier rather than later.
  12. What else? – I’ll add new issues here as I find out more.

Preliminary Itinerary

Okay, now we get to the fun part. Where should we visit? This is just a draft and it will most likely change over the next few years.

The current plan is to travel relatively slowly. Many travelers like to maximize their time by staying only a short time and moving on to the next location. These “16 days, 5 countries, 15 cities” tours aren’t appealing to us at all. We prefer to take it easy and get to know a location better. We’ll probably stay at least one week in each location. This will give us time to relax and blog about our experience. Also, schooling will be impossible if we move around too much.

Part 1 – Portugal, southern Spain, Morocco (1 month)

I’m not sure what’s the best route here. I’m not enamored with Madrid so we could just skip that and concentrate on southern Spain. Maybe we could fly into Portugal, then head to Spain and Morocco.

Part 2 – Italy (2-4 weeks)

Fly to Rome and explore Italy. We’ve been to Florence and Venice, but didn’t make it down to Rome last time.

Part 3 – Eastern Europe (1 month)

Make our way overland from Italy to Eastern Europe. We’ll go counter clockwise like this – Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, Austria, and end in Czechia. This segment will be very open and we’ll wander a bit.

Part 4 – Thailand (6 months)

Fly to Bangkok. The plan is to rent an apartment in Bangkok and make it our home base for 6 months. Mrs. RB40 and RB40Jr can take some classes and learn how to speak Thai. We’ll explore Thailand more this trip. I never had time to see the country much because I needed to visit all my relatives. A longer stay would give us time to visit the less touristy parts of Thailand. While we’re here, we’ll take short trips to Japan, Vietnam, China, Indonesia, and Bali.

Part 5 – New Zealand (3-4 weeks)

Rent a camping van and drive around New Zealand for a few weeks. I’ve done this on the North Island, but didn’t have time for the South Island last time.

Part 6 – Australia (1 month)

Visit my aunt in Melbourne and relax for a while. We may visit Sydney and Uluru.

Part 7 – Pacific Islands (1 month)

We’ll stop and visit a few islands on the way back to the US. I want to revisit the Cook Islands. Mrs. RB40 wants to visit Tahiti. I need to do more research here, but it’d be great if we can stop by Fiji and Vanuatu as well. If we have too much money left, we’ll head to Bora Bora for 3 days of luxury.

Part 8 – Hawaii (?)

If we have extra time, we’ll spend the rest of our trip in Hilo on the Big Island. I want to see if we’ll enjoy a low key island lifestyle.

RTW itinerary

Whew, that’s a lot of traveling. I’m sure this itinerary will get refined once Mrs. RB40 has a chance to go over it. The itinerary is flexible and we could even change plans along the way. For example, if we really like Eastern Europe, we’ll spend more time there.

I particularly look forward to our stay in Thailand. In our previous visits, we mostly spent time with relatives and didn’t have enough time for much else. It’d be great to visit other parts of Thailand to see if retiring there is a realistic option for us.

So what do you think? Is there some place we really need to visit on our RTW trip? Let me know if you have any tricks and tips to help us plan this trip.  

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{ 88 comments… add one }
  • Mr. Tako July 20, 2017, 12:50 am

    What a great new “project” Joe! I can’t wait to see how this one progresses! Six months in Thailand sounds like a lot of fun.

    Now that we’re FIREd, we’re also starting to take much longer trips. This year we’ll be in Japan for a month.

    I’m not sure if I could travel for an entire year, but slow travel is WAY better than just a few days away.

    A few years ago we did a month in Australia and it was a blast. We really loved Queensland. You might want to put that one on your list.

    • retirebyforty July 20, 2017, 6:35 am

      Japan is such a great country to visit. I’m sure you will have a ton of fun. I’ll put Queensland on the list. The GBR would be a nice stop.

      • Working Optional July 20, 2017, 1:04 pm

        When you go to GBR, I’d recommend Port Douglas over Cairns. The former is more laid back, the latter is more ‘backpacker heaven’. Also, the Daintree forest and Cape Tribulation are a short trip away and definitely worth it.

        • D.O. July 21, 2017, 7:59 pm

          Port Douglas is much nicer than Cain’s in my opinion between the slow, lazy pace of a family friendly town and tons of outdoors stuff to do.

  • David Cox July 20, 2017, 1:16 am

    Hi Joe
    They say that great minds think alike, so I hope it’s true as we are planning something similar, although you seem to be much more organised in some of your thought processes than me!
    I wrote a post about our plan for a similar trip a month ago, so I will definitely be following your posts to see what tips I can get from you. If you want, you can have a look at our plan here
    https://www.iretiredyoung.net/single-post/2017/06/23/Retire-Early—Round-the-World-Trip-Plan
    All the best,
    David

    • retirebyforty July 20, 2017, 6:38 am

      Cool. I will check it out. Your trip is coming up much sooner than our. Enjoy!

  • Finances with Purpose July 20, 2017, 1:55 am

    Amazing idea and plan! Making me jealous that we’re not “retired” yet. (I put it in quotes because we’ll probably never really retire in the traditional sense, but we’d like to have the freedom to do things exactly like you’re doing.)

    No stop for Greece? Incredible history there. And Israel. Also, no stop for China? Other than that, this is a pretty comprehensive trip! And I realize: you can’t do it all, even in a year. Love your ideas for staying with family or camping around New Zealand–those are awesome plans. You’re making me jealous! (And my wife better not stumble here or she’ll be even more jealous….)

    As for schooling, it’s incredible what you can do just with internet now. Also, your kiddo will benefit immensely from the experience of it alone – probably more than a year’s worth of formal education could provide, even. So more power to you! Hope you enjoy it!

    • retirebyforty July 20, 2017, 6:42 am

      I’d like to visit Greece and Turkey someday. Maybe we can go from southern Italy to Greece and make our way up. Israel and Egypt will have to be another trip. We have a stop in China. Probably Shanghai and southern China for 2 weeks or something like that. We’ve been to Beijing and Xian area. Thanks for the suggestions.

  • B July 20, 2017, 1:56 am

    I have the same plan as yours but travel schooling will be a great challenge so we probably had to cut it shorter and deal with shorter slow travel at once.

    • retirebyforty July 20, 2017, 6:43 am

      What grade is your kid in? I think it’s okay in elementary school. They are learning just the basics anyway. 🙂

  • Luis Azevedo July 20, 2017, 2:34 am

    Hi Joe from Porto, Portugal,

    I’ve been following your blog for some time so I’d be glad to give back with some tips on Portugal.
    If it’s slow you want, I’d sugest landing in Lisbon (I’ve lived there and in Madrid and there is no comparison on which one you should visit) and then nothing like a good walking route along our southern coast, you can get more info here:
    http://en.rotavicentina.com/

    Porto and the North of Spain and Portugal are beautifull but not so easy to visit in the winter months, all those green landscapes come from all that rain.
    Send me a mail if you want to discuss something in concrete.

    Tchau,,
    Luis

    PS: I’m also writting (in portuguese) about FIN here: http://www.luistinocoazevedo.com/

    • retirebyforty July 20, 2017, 8:58 pm

      I’m not sure if we can do the walking route. We’d be carrying our bags so it won’t be fun.
      Lisbon sounds like a great place to visit. That will be our first stop. We’ll probably skip Madrid this time.

  • Apathy Ends July 20, 2017, 3:31 am

    I like your travel style – I am not a fly through a city and back on the plane guy either.

    I also enjoy a home base so a year straight would be an interesting voyage – I suppose for 6 months you will have a home base in Thailand

    Road schooling would be difficult but as someone mentioned above, he will learn a lot just experiencing other cultures. Pretty awesome!

    • retirebyforty July 20, 2017, 9:02 am

      Most travelers just zoom through their vacations. We’ve done that before, but we prefer to travel a bit slower now. We’ll see if we can take it easy on this trip. I’m sure we’ll all learn a lot from this trip.

  • Pennypincher July 20, 2017, 4:30 am

    It looks like you won’t need any vaccines, but check w/your doctor or county health dept., they should know.
    For Jr., I wonder if his school would help coordinate a year of lessons somehow while on your trip-so many homeschooling resources out there, it shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
    Kids learn so very much while traveling, they don’t even know they are learning!

    Two side stories-while in Australia, my side trip to Fiji was cancelled because the small airlines went on strike-be ready for anything! As my friend rushed to the airport in China, she left her camera and an epic trip of photos in the back seat of the taxi! Lesson here-always, always turn around in trains, planes, automobiles to make sure you left nothing behind-best lesson for kids as well!

    • retirebyforty July 20, 2017, 9:08 am

      I’ll check with our doctor. We might need Vaccine for Laos and Vietnam.
      Thanks for sharing. We should be flexible enough to handle travel plan changes. Sorry about your friend. That really sucks!

  • Ms. Frugal Asian Finance July 20, 2017, 4:36 am

    I am so excited about your trip and look forward to hearing your stories. Mr. FAF and I travel to Asia on a regular basis since our whole family is there. However, we have been dreaming about traveling to Europe one day.

    I’m paranoid about losing our documents on a trip, so just make sure you have a good place to put them 😉 Happy planning!

    • retirebyforty July 20, 2017, 9:12 am

      I have been to Japan, Korea, Taiwan, China, Cambodia, and Thailand. They were really short side trips, though. We always spent most of our time visiting families when we’re in Asia. It’d be great to visit other Asian countries more.

  • Justin | An Intentional Lifestyle July 20, 2017, 4:37 am

    Good timing! We were just talking about a European trip last night that we want to plan. The biggest thing for us is schooling for the kids as you mentioned. Luckily we homeschool. I don’t think you’ll have any issues “road-schooling” your son.

    Once you find the requirements in Oregon for homeschooling, it’s pretty easy going after that. We find that while you can have a very laid back atmosphere while homeschooling, your child can learn much more and quicker when you sit down with them for 1-2 hours per day. Then you’ll have the rest of the day to explore the city you’re in that day!

    • retirebyforty July 20, 2017, 9:12 am

      Great! Thanks for the tips. We just need to put the time on our schedule everyday. We’re not doing much this summer. 🙂

  • Fromusa July 20, 2017, 4:59 am

    Just an honest opinion here:
    Seems like a whole lot of “work” and hassle, as well as time, energy and cash. I wonder ultimately whether it would be worth it, especially with the internet, communications tools, and virtual reality techs we have nowadays, you can learn so much about a place and culture just from online resources alone. Perhaps somewhere, someone has already done a quantitative analysis of the trade offs involved with something on this. 🙂

    • retirebyforty July 20, 2017, 9:14 am

      Interesting take. 🙂
      One of my brother isn’t into traveling and he’d rather stay home and take short trips. Some of my older relatives are like that too. It’s just a personal choice. We love watching travel shows on TV, but I’d rather visit in real life.

  • Budget on a Stick July 20, 2017, 5:19 am

    Wow that sounds like an epic trip!

    You should check out the fjords of Norway. They are so beautiful. I’m also in love with Great Britain and Ireland. Those two have such an interesting history and amazing landscape.

    • retirebyforty July 20, 2017, 9:15 am

      We’ll make another trip to the UK and Ireland. The Scandinavian countries will be another trip as well. Those are two of our must see destination, but probably not on this trip. We’d love to visit Iceland too.

  • Darren July 20, 2017, 5:22 am

    Joe,

    Looks like a good preliminary plan. I can’t wait to see the financial plan to this.

    I’ve been thinking about a year long trip to Thailand in a few years. Would love to read more about that aspect of your trip.

    • retirebyforty July 20, 2017, 9:16 am

      I read up a bit more and it seems like $55,000 might be a little low. We might need to increase that about 20-30%. Or maybe spend a little less time in expensive locations.

  • insourcelife July 20, 2017, 5:36 am

    What about your rentals? Will you hire a management company or just try to manage it yourself while you travel?

    I would like to do the same “slow travel” but in smaller increments, such as the 3 months in the summer. This way we don’t have to take our kid out of school and it just sounds more manageable than a whole year out of the country. Either way, it’s a great feeling knowing that this is actually an option!

    • retirebyforty July 20, 2017, 9:20 am

      Definitely get a property manager. The place needs maintenance.
      3 months travel sounds like a great plan too.

  • Dads Dollars Debts July 20, 2017, 6:36 am

    Sounds awesome. I live in Argentina for a year. We ended up getting a pay as you go phone for cheap. It was easy to recharge and this took care of our local needs. For US needs, we used a VOIP phone- I think it was Magic Jack. It plugs into your computer and uses internet for your US phone needs. The best part is you have a US phone number and can get voicemail. Are there better services out there? I suppose so. It has been 6 years since we went abroad.

    Health insurance is an issue but most countries provide some free care. You just have to be willing to wait or pay cash.

    No drivers license needed. Take yours. Make sure you know how to drive a stick shift car!

    • retirebyforty July 20, 2017, 9:31 am

      We probably will get a cheap phone in Thailand. I could use our Republic Wireless phone with VOIP in Europe. That might be enough.
      I’ll probably have to research healthcare a bit more for the countries we’ll spend a lot of time in. I know you can just drop by the hospital in Italy. Mrs. RB40 did that last time…

  • Dr. Mo July 20, 2017, 6:40 am

    I don’t think health insurance will be important, you will have access to healthcare at far lower prices anywhere outside of the US. Medications are much easier to obtain.

    Credit cards will need a little attention, if you are taking them overseas then the banks have a habit of cancelling them – be sure to let them know every few months that you are still traveling.

    If you brokerage or personal bank account thinks you are relocating overseas then they will close on you and they can do so without your agreement. Vanguard has been a bit notorious when it comes to that. It would be good to just let them know that you are coming back.

    Keep a US address or use https://www.sbimailservice.com/ which have a solid reputation and for less than $15/month they will scan your mail and if you don’t want to keep your home, they will even provide you with a florida physical address.

    Hope it’s a fantastic trip.

    • retirebyforty July 20, 2017, 9:33 am

      Thanks for the tips. I’ll make sure the credit card companies know. I think bank should be okay, but I’ll call and talk to them. Thanks for telling us about SBI. That’s a great idea since Florida doesn’t have income tax. Awesome!

      • D.O. July 21, 2017, 8:05 pm

        You should consider a travel friendly credit card. One of my travel cards includes free basic trip insurance and another has 0 commission exchange for Foreign currency.

      • mary w July 22, 2017, 11:17 am

        make sure you understand what it takes to legally be qualified as a Florida resident. Just getting mail drop there won’t do it. Different states have different rules.

  • Sverker Adamsson July 20, 2017, 6:41 am

    Sounds really great.
    I would so much like to be able to do a trip like this, but I’ll have to settle with sporter trips.
    As a Swede, I of course would like to see you visit Sweden and our scandinavian neighbours in Norway and Denmark as well, but it is quite expensive here, and in that respect eastern Europe is probably a better choise.
    Looking forward to updates in the years to come.

    /TE

    • retirebyforty July 20, 2017, 9:34 am

      We’ll have to visit the Scandinavian countries another time. That would be it’s own trip. I am a bit concern about the cost there. 🙂

  • Andrew July 20, 2017, 7:06 am

    Wow this looks like an awesome trip! It’s always better to slow travel rather than rush through it while seeing mainly the touristy areas. It’s also great that you can have an extended stay in Thailand and Jr. can try to learn the language. My wife and I try to speak Chinese to our son but once he went to daycare he only speaks English…though he still understands Chinese.

    • retirebyforty July 20, 2017, 9:37 am

      It’d be a chance for Mrs. RB40 to learn Thai as well. I tried to teach her once and it just didn’t work out. I’m a bad teacher because I’m very impatient. 🙂

  • Helen July 20, 2017, 7:59 am

    Joe,
    It is fantastic to travel the world! Slow travel is a great idea, so you have the time and energy to taste the local culture. I dream about living in Mexico for 5 months sometime down the road: rent an apartment, get fresh veggie and fruit daily, practice my Spanish, and get to know the local people.

    • retirebyforty July 20, 2017, 9:38 am

      That sounds like a great plan. We plan to do that when we’re a bit older. South America is more convenient than many other locations. 🙂

  • Mrs. Picky Pincher July 20, 2017, 7:59 am

    Woohoo!! This is so exciting!

    Can you get stuff like vaccinations taken care of before you hit the road? Might be good to get a TDAP if you’re up for it before you go (nobody likes tetanus!).

    You can get by in many of these locations without driving, but I do recommend getting an international driver’s license just in case. It’s the easiest thing in the damn world. We strolled into AAA, showed them our U.S. driver’s licenses, and walked out with an international driver’s license. It was almost silly how easy it was.

    • retirebyforty July 20, 2017, 9:39 am

      I’ll ask my doctor. My tetanus shot is up to date, but maybe RB40Jr needs one.
      Thanks for letting me know about AAA.

  • Justin July 20, 2017, 9:21 am

    Looks like an ambitious plan. I think you have the big items identified. Schooling for Jr. would be top concern if I were you. Which is why we only travel for a few months during the summer 🙂

    As for route and destinations, they look good but you might want to slow down a bit, particularly in the Eastern European segment. 1 month probably isn’t enough time to do more than dip your feet in the water in each destination, as you’ll likely want to do a lot of day trips. I love the idea about staying in each place 1 week at a time. We’re half way through our 9 weeks in Europe and the first half of the trip was a little hectic since we were typically staying in one place only 2-5 nights at a time. On the last half of the trip we’re spending 1 week in each city, so it’s a lot nicer. Every 3 days or so we’ll have a “do nothing” day where we can veg out, relax, let the kids play games and watch netflix, and generally not worry about sightseeing or getting to the next city.

    • retirebyforty July 20, 2017, 9:00 pm

      Yeah, that’s why I want to go soon. I think 5th grade is still okay. We can teach him 5th grade materials.
      Good idea about slowing down. Maybe 6 weeks in Eastern Europe? Do nothing days sound good to me, but I haven’t been able to stick to that in the past. I always want to go out. 🙂

  • Adam and Jane July 20, 2017, 9:22 am

    That will be a great trip! We would do a world cruise for 2-4 months instead since we hate so much flying. We find cruising very relaxing.

    Check out the Google fi cell plan but you will need a special phone. It works in 135 countries and territories. You keep your number and no switching to new sim cards for each country.

    Adam

    • retirebyforty July 20, 2017, 9:00 pm

      The Google fi cell plan sounds great. I’ll put that on the list. Very cool.

  • Mr. Happy July 20, 2017, 9:36 am

    Hi Joe! I’ve been an avid reader via feedly – great posts always! A few questions and answers:

    I started a series on how to travel the world with less than $50/day a few years ago but I never finished it … however it has some good content: https://ourhappylife.co/how-to-travel-the-world-with-less-than-50day-part-1/

    My wife and I did a 10 month RTWT with $30k for two, which came down to $100/day for two people back in 2011/2012.

    Our map looked something like this: https://ourhappylife.co/the-route/

    We want to do this again but now with our two kids. =)

    So questions and challenges:
    Why only one year? Why not two? Or three? You have financial stability. I would travel and come back when something is needed (an elder parent needs their kids, etc).

    The world is SO large that 1 year won’t cut it, specially for slow travel. In our 10 month trip we did 20 countries but on average we did 1 week minimum but sometimes we would stay 3 weeks in the same city (Ko Phangan!).

    I also started pondering the idea of putting kids in a local school. I did this last x-mas in a 2 week vacation. I put my 2 and 4 year olds in a pre-school in Antigua, Guatemala. It was awesome – they loved it!

    If you want your kid to learn thai, put them in a local Thai school.

    Also – why Bangkok and not Chang Mai!? =)

    We also plan to leave 2020 but unfortunately we won’t have enough passive income yet, so I’ll have to find some consulting/freelance work while we travel – should be fine, but not ideal. For the next three years its a savings mentality for sure!

    • retirebyforty July 20, 2017, 9:05 pm

      I read that RTW tickets are not such great deals now. I’ll have to do more research on the price.
      One year mostly because we want our kid back in school. I moved around a lot when I was young and it wasn’t fun.
      Once he’s out of the house, we’d travel more.
      Bangkok would be easier because we want to travel to other countries. Chiang Mai does not have as many flights.
      Thanks!

  • David Cox July 20, 2017, 9:41 am

    Hi Joe
    I posted a comment earlier but have another one – what type of accommodation do you think you will stay in? For my trip, I was thinking of using something like http://www.hostelworld.com as they seem to have some accommodation that I think my wife will accept (private room with its own bathroom) at a reasonable price. I will probably also look at Air BnB.

    • retirebyforty July 20, 2017, 9:06 pm

      I’m not sure. I think hostels aren’t much cheaper when you have 3 people. I’ll check your link. Private room at a hostel would work pretty well. Airbnb is our other option too.

  • Brad - MaximizeYourMoney.com July 20, 2017, 9:46 am

    Sounds awesome – have a GREAT time! It should be an amazing experience.

  • Angela July 20, 2017, 10:04 am

    My biggest comment is that I would think about upping it to 2 weeks per location instead of just once. Granted, I know you’ll have some flexibility once you get there, but it’s amazing how quickly a week can go by when you’re traveling.

    Our son is 2.5 now and we aren’t looking to FIRE until he’s 18, but your plans sure how me thinking about how we could possibly take a “sabbatical” while he’s still young enough to go with us.

    • retirebyforty July 20, 2017, 9:07 pm

      2 weeks might be too much. We won’t be able to visit as many locations if we do that. Just Europe would take 4+ months.
      🙂

  • Tawcan July 20, 2017, 2:43 pm

    Sounds pretty awesome. I guess while in Thailand you can explore Southeast Asia. What about spending some time in places like Greece?

    For photos, it might be worthwhile to look into storing photos on the cloud somehow so you don’t put everything on the computer in case you lose the computer. Files & photos backup is an important thing to consider.

    • retirebyforty July 20, 2017, 9:08 pm

      Greece sounds nice. I will check with the missus. Google photo should work for storage. Thanks for the reminder.

  • Christy July 20, 2017, 6:37 pm

    Joe,
    I’m so excited for your family.. Your RTW trip sounds wonderful. My husband and I are planning an around the world cruise in 3 years…it will be great to follow along with your plans. Yes I do recommend a nice camera with a 50mm lens and also an underwater camera or go pro.. To capture your magical year.

    • retirebyforty July 20, 2017, 9:08 pm

      Wow, that should be a great cruise. What camera do you have? I don’t want to lug around a big camera.

  • Tim Kim @ TubofCash.com July 20, 2017, 7:23 pm

    Sounds awesome Joe! Although when you’re in Italy, you may want to go back to Florence and Italy when you get to Rome. Personally Florence is my favorite. Rome was like any other big European city, didn’t really “feel” any different. Sounds like you guys have plenty of time to plan this out and take photography classes or whatever else you need to feel prepared to go on this extended trip. It’ll be such a great experience! Especially for RB40JR!

    • retirebyforty July 20, 2017, 9:09 pm

      I didn’t appreciate Florence that much when we were there. Venice was magical, though. I’ll read up on Rome more. There are so many sights there.

  • Anil July 21, 2017, 9:39 am

    Joe – nice plan. For phone, I think T-mobile allows you to use it across the world. For schools, I think RB40Jr can study regularly and take the final exam to qualify for the next year, so it might be some sort of home schooling. US passport should work in most of the countries, so the visa concern should be very limited. But it does take time to get them.

    Good plan. I will be watching how this shapes up and how much fun you will have organizing and executing it.

    • retirebyforty July 21, 2017, 3:07 pm

      I will check out T-mobile. Thanks!
      Schooling sounds tough, but I’m sure we can make it work somehow. He’ll learn a ton.

  • Duncan's Dividends July 21, 2017, 12:58 pm

    Wow that looks awesome, I am slightly envious of you for such an amazing upcoming trip. It’s awesome you have planned it out so much already that you can basically have one thing to really look forward to and a goal that is a few years out over and above the early retirement. Can’t wait to read about your travels!

    • retirebyforty July 21, 2017, 3:08 pm

      Thanks! I’ve been thinking about it a lot so I might as well write it down. I’m really looking forward to it.

  • Martin July 21, 2017, 2:03 pm

    Great trip!

    Our plan starting in a year or two is to spend 3-4 months in one part of the world and then move to another location, using the base to explore local countries and cities. Keep repeating until we get bored or find somewhere we really really like to stay. That also includes different areas in the USA.

    As for your son’s education, as long as you make him read high quality books that are grade appropriate (or one or two above), write in his blog and as an engineer you teach him mathematics, he will be fine to return to school.

    Maybe on your itinerary you should plan to spend a little longer with a base in Europe. Flights within Europe are very cheap and you could find a low cost area to rent for a few months.

    Good luck with your plans!

    • retirebyforty July 21, 2017, 3:09 pm

      I love your plan. That’s what I want to do when we’re older. Right now, we want to give our son some stability.
      Italy would be our base for a month. It should be great.

  • Jason July 22, 2017, 10:04 am

    I think your itinerary is great, but just out of curiosity why skip Africa? (e.g. South Africa) India? South America? I mean why not hit all 7 continents (ha, ha). That would be two years. But seriously why not Africa, India, or even parts of Central and South America?

    • retirebyforty July 22, 2017, 10:19 am

      Those will have to be their own trips. We might add India this time, but probably not more than that.
      We will save South America and Central America for when we’re retired full time. I want to retire there part time. It’s much closer than Asia. As for Africa, maybe someday…

  • Mr. Smart Money July 22, 2017, 11:39 am

    This is sweet!

    I’m hoping to ‘retire’ within the next 7 years, and traveling is no doubt the first thing I’ll do to celebrate 🙂

    Can’t wait to read more about your travels.

  • Dividend Diplomats July 22, 2017, 12:26 pm

    Looks like a sound itinerary/plan. At first when I saw the time in Thailand, I thought it was odd that your stay there was that much longer – but it made sense once you started explaining that you are planning on taking a lot of short trips from there. Is that a much cheaper place to live out there? Or have you been more interested in Thailand ? Was also thinking that it may be nice to have a place to stay for an extended period of time after several shorter stops.

    I’m looking forward to seeing the plan unfold and what answers you find to your questions!

    Bert

  • John - LoD July 22, 2017, 5:26 pm

    This is exactly the kind of thing I will be doing when I (early) retire. I can’t wait to hear how your trip goes. I want to go to Australia more than any other place in the world, so needless to say, I’m extremely jealous!!

  • Sam July 23, 2017, 6:00 am

    My husband and I made a similar journey last year through Central Europe and Southeast Asia and it was very easy to enjoy a high quality of life on around $100 dollars a day. A little more in Europe and a little less in Asia. I tracked all the costs carefully. We are in our 40s/50s, and weren’t interested in super-budget travel.
    Vaccinations – our US insurance covered Hepatitis A and B before we left…the series takes at least 6 months. For the others (rabies, yellow fever, typhoid, and Japanese encephalitis) we got those in Bangkok for about 10% of the US cost and were very pleased with the quality of medical care. My husband was able to get his prescriptions from his US doctor and filled them inexpensively along the way.
    Lodging- We used AirBNB and Booking.com and found midrange apartments and hotels that were consistently nice for an average of $30 a night.
    Money – A Charles Schwab account reimburses all ATM fees worldwide- a big savings. We have a couple of travel credit cards with no international transaction fees. The points can be used for airfare…bonus!
    We based out of Bangkok, but took long trips (months) to all the countries you mentioned. Don’t miss Cambodia, it was a highlight. Vietnam was our favorite country, and also the least expensive.
    Enjoy it! We find we miss it so much we plan to go again soon for a few more years and travel even more slowly.

    • retirebyforty July 23, 2017, 10:54 pm

      Thank you for your hrelpful input. I really appreciate it.
      We went to Cambodia last year and probably will skip it this trip. Vietnam should be a lot of fun.

  • David D July 23, 2017, 2:46 pm

    Sounds awesome! If not already mentioned, there are many subscription companies that will collect your mail for you. They will send you a list of items and you can request them to open it if you think it is needed.

  • Smart Money MD July 23, 2017, 5:14 pm

    Looking good! It’s great that you’re carving out travel time while RB40 Jr is still young and school commitments aren’t getting in the way as much. Looking forward to reading about the planning process and travels!

  • Lazy Man and Money July 23, 2017, 8:20 pm

    In 2009 my wife and I went from San Fran to Hawaii (a couple of days) to Australia (2 weeks) to Thailand (1 week) and back in a month. Given the time we had and our budget, it was great for us.

    I mention it, because the travel wasn’t bad. It was nice to focus on that area with what little time we had. I understand why you’d want to spend a lot more time in Thailand.

    When I look at your Europe travel plans, it seems like you could do them over a summer vacation or two. I have a friend who plans a 4-6 week family trip every summer because it won’t interfere with school.

    Theoretically you could get most of a full year of school in and do the Thailand trip from March vacation until the September start of the next school year. The next summer you could do a couple of months in Europe. It would give you some time to build up some reward miles through credit card stuff and things like that.

    Maybe I think differently, because I’ve lived on the east and west coast. When I lived on the west coast, I thought, “Go west.” Now that we live on the east coast, I think, “Go east.”

  • Able was I ERE July 24, 2017, 6:10 am

    Let me know when you plan to come to Austria. Love to meet you and/or arrange a FIRE meet-up in Vienna or Graz. See here for the upcoming meet-up: https://www.reddit.com/r/EuropeFIRE/comments/6o6mlu/vienna_fire_meetup_august_6th/

    • retirebyforty July 24, 2017, 12:11 pm

      Sure! I’ll make sure to let you know. It will be a few years off, though. Have a great meet up.

  • Mr Crazy Kicks July 25, 2017, 9:52 am

    This sounds like an incredible plan! We keep thinking about a similar adventure. Maybe if we decide to leave CT, we would just sell everything and hit the road for a year or two. I’ll be excited to see how your plans unfold!

    As far as cell phones, I’ve done both republic wireless and Google FI abroad. They both work on wifi fine, but Google FI has a huge advantage with the $10 a gig wireless data worldwide. I’ve also found it has better coverage.

    Good luck with the plans 🙂

    • retirebyforty July 25, 2017, 11:24 am

      That sounds like a great plan too. I just hope everything comes together for us. The biggest issue is probably the parents. Hopefully, they are healthy for five more years. We’d need to stay if they need help.
      Google FI sounds good. We will check it out.

  • Sam @ Financial Samurai July 26, 2017, 8:15 pm

    Wow, huge trip! I say you got to go to ANGKOR WAT and the Galapagos!

    Angkor Wat was amazing. Top 3 destination.

    Maybe Jordan?

    • retirebyforty July 27, 2017, 7:56 am

      We went to Angkor Wat last year. Maybe somewhere else in Laos. It was way too hot for the kid.
      Galapagos sounds interesting, but probably will be lumped in with South America in the future.

  • Jon July 28, 2017, 2:33 pm

    We are not retired, but did take 2016 off to travel the world and do something a bit similar (married couple, late 20s, early 30s).

    Our itinerary was roughly:
    Central and South America (3 months) – Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Argentina
    Europe (3 months) – UK, Ireland, France, Switzerland, Italy, Croatia, Czech, Poland
    USA/Canada (6 months) – Roadtripped around to many national parks, visited a lot of friends and family and generally explored places in the USA that we always wanted to see but hadn’t had the chance to yet! We had planned to go to Thailand/Cambodia in November, but scrapped that plan when we got pregnant (a good problem to have)

    A few thoughts:
    – It always seemed best when we were far less ambitious with what we wanted to see and do, which came with time. For example, our first travel plans included a lot more countries visited than what we wound up doing 🙂
    – To that end, your Eastern Europe plan seems quite ambitious if your aim is slower travel. I think you’d find yourself on a lot of train rides there.
    – Having said, I would definitely consider Eastern Europe a must for sure! We spent some time in Croatia (amazing), then flew up to Prague and hung out there a few days before taking the train/bus to Poland. All were great and we wished we had a lot more time to spend in Eastern Europe. Much better for the wallet too! 🙂
    – We have Republic Wireless phones as well. We just put an emphasis on staying places with internet so we could hook our phones up, and then would download the offline maps to help get around when we were out and about.

    Good luck with all of the planning! Likely by the time you visit, your itinerary will look completely different, that’s just how these things go 🙂

    • retirebyforty July 31, 2017, 12:05 am

      Thank you for sharing!
      We probably have to give a little more time to Eastern Europe. Maybe we’ll remove Spain because we’ve been there before.
      I think we’ll alternate fast and slow travel. We should be rested up after Italy.

  • Mike H July 30, 2017, 2:08 am

    Drop me a note when you get to Bangkok- it would be great to meet up for a beer or something.

    -Mike

  • Mrs.Wow July 31, 2017, 6:31 pm

    Sounds like a great plan and love that you are starting in Portugal, Spain and Morocco. You could honestly spend a month in each of those places they are that amazing. I recommend spending some time in the Algarve and the Alentejo in Portugal. I’ve also heard great things about Porto, but haven’t been yet. When in Spain, head to Cordoba and Rhonda. As for Morocco, check out Essaouira. You will have such a great time! Can’t wait to hear how the plans progress

  • arlen horst August 4, 2017, 9:27 am

    even if you skip Spain, please, please visit Morocco! it was the most interesting place I’ve ever traveled to… it’s NOT all sand and camels, either. Metropolitan cities Rabat and Casablanca on the Atlantic coast – smaller historic/ancient cities Fez & others, Mediterranean coastal towns, too. From mid and high desert to dry inland and fertile river valleys with lush date palms; it’s considered one of the most “liberal” Muslim countries in the world. And, very friendly to Americans & tourists in general, I’ve found

    • retirebyforty August 4, 2017, 9:12 pm

      Morocco is definitely on our list. Maybe we’ll spend more time there and cut back on Spain.

  • Jeff Wang August 13, 2017, 12:35 am

    Great blog! Would be a good post-retirement job/hobby.

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