Round-the-world (RTW) travel is extremely popular with recent college grads, and may even be the most important thing a person can do after college, regardless of what your bank statement and common sense may tell you.
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If you’re a recent grad and the thought of jumping into a hyper-competitive job market makes you sick, why not get some travel under your belt. Studies show that employers are taking a person’s travel experience into account when hiring, so taking that long-term trip may actually make a difference in your job search later on.
Here are a few other reasons why you should take a RTW trip after graduation:
- Gives you a chance to get volunteer experience
- Builds money management skills
- Maps the brain for language acquisition
- Teaches intercultural and interpersonal skills
- Shows independence and entrepreneurship
- Displays leadership qualities and self-management
- Teaches global awareness
- Lights up a résumé
- Sets the stage for future travel
- Gives you time to decide just what the hell you’re going to do with your life
How to plan your post-graduation RTW trip
Save a nest egg
Because as a grad you’re probably not rolling in dough, so the first step is figuring out how to save money for long-term travel. FYI, it’s possible to save the kind of money you need by way of a minimal paying job. People have done it, you can too.
The trip will require a certain amount of money to get off the ground – take these steps and you’ll be on your way to reaching your savings goal:
- Create a savings plan: write it down, stick to it.
- Reduce you expenditures: drink less alcohol, eat out less, cut back on the spa treatments, maybe?
- Rethink the partying for a while: stay in more than you go out. If you must, hit up house parties, not bars.
- Sell some of your stuff: get rid of the things you don’t use and don’t need.
Here are a ton of other suggestions on how to save money for traveling.
Make your money last while traveling
Think about where you’re going on your trip and choose destinations that are less expensive comparatively, places where your money is going to go farther. Here’s a list of countries where the US dollar goes farther:
A great way to make your money last is to pick one or two great spots and stay there for as long as possible. This works in a couple ways:
- Allows you to take advantage of long-term rental prices, which always work out cheaper than short-term hotel or hostel stays.
- Allows you to find cheaper options for eating and adventuring. If you’ve got a month in one place you’ll naturally stretch the same amount of money out longer.
What to do while you’re out there
There are more than 900 cultural, natural and mixed property site all over the world so it’ll be easy to find one or one hundred you like. Make a list, plot them out on TripPlanner and see how much it’ll be to get there.
Bolster your trip with some extra income and keep it alive and well.
Teaching English is a popular option. Some people give it a go by offering private tutoring to locals if you’re staying in a place for a while. Or else consider a government placed positions from Transitions Abroad. Decent salaries can also be had from the Jet Program in Japan and elsewhere.
Also if you have talents as a web designer or programmer, working remotely is something totally within the scope of reality. (Plus many employers allow it if you already have a job.) Freelance work is becoming easier to come by as clients look toward talented individuals (as opposed to companies) to fulfill their needs. Put your name in the hat at Elance or Odesk, even Craigslist.
Become an au pair
Au pair is a fancy word for nannying. There are bureaus where you can get official certificates to look after children in the host country. And get paid to do it.
- Global Experience
- Your school internship office
Imagine learning how to do one of these things in a foreign country:
- Cooking – Thailand, Mexico, Brazil
- Yoga – India
- Meditation – Laos, Nepal, Japan, Tibet, India
- Tango – Buenos Aires
- Playing an exotic instrument – India, Switzerland
- Language – anywhere
- Scuba diving – Colombia, Costa Rica, Australia, Malaysia
- Rafting – Laos, Peru, China
But above all, make your trip work while you’re on the road by sticking to your initial budget. Don’t let discouragement get the better of you because your funds are dwindling. There are options!
Get it done!
Put all these things together and you’ll end up a new person when you return home (unless you make traveling a full time position!), having had a trip that will become an asset for everything you do for the rest of your life.
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