While it might seem like traveling is all about fun and no headache, it might be far from reality. Those who travel a lot know exactly what we’re talking about.
However, if you want to try traveling full time, there are definitely things you should be aware of before you set off on an adventure of a lifetime and want to avoid getting disappointed for a lifetime.
Okay, we’re just kidding. Traveling is and should be fun. But we thought that little knowledge from those who’re already been living this lifestyle wouldn’t hurt. So, we asked quite a few full-time travelers to help us curate a list of tips they’d like to share with those who’ve never traveled full-time and would love to do it without regrets.
Read on if you’re curious about what pro travelers have to say about traveling full time.
Tip #1: Plan Ahead of Time
Here are some of my best tips for full-time travelers/nomads and preparing for the lifestyle:
- Join a chain gym with nationwide locations, or subscribe to ClassPass. If you're in a van or RV, it can sometimes feel cooped up, so staying active will help fight off restlessness. They're also always a reliable place for a working/clean shower.
- Buy a National Parks Pass. It is $80 and gives you access to every National Park in America. It's a great deal and can help plan your itinerary, as well.
- If you need things shipped, but don't have an address, have mail/packages sent to a Post Office you know you'll be passing by via General Delivery. Amazon Lockers are great too.
Tip #2: Stay Realistic
After living a full-time RV life for years with my family, I've experienced firsthand the many challenges and rewards of living this lifestyle. With that, I can definitely offer some useful tips to help others prepare for and navigate the world of full-time travel.
Some key pieces of advice include:
- Stocking up your RV with the right gear and supplies
- Developing a flexible itinerary to allow for unexpected events
- Getting a full-time RV insurance plan
- Setting a realistic budget and sticking to it
After keeping in mind these basic tips, I believe anyone can have an amazing and unforgettable full-time travel experience with no regrets.
Jill Greising-Murschel from Let's Travel Family
Tip #3: Learn to Prioritize and Slow Down
When we started our full-time travels, we quickly learned the importance of balance. Full-time RVing can be an exciting way to live, and getting caught up in the excitement is extremely easy. Trust us, we did, and it wasn't good.
Learning to travel full time with no regrets requires fighting the temptation to embrace the go, go, go mindset. There's constantly going to be something to see, do, or explore. Even if you can afford to do every tourist activity, it can quickly become exhausting and overwhelming. Many of our fellow travelers experience severe burnout from moving too fast on the road.
If you want to travel full time without regrets, you must learn to prioritize and slow down. Create a list of must-see or do attractions and any other activities that you want to participate in and limit your time to those. Remember to account for things like working, resting, or time to do chores. It's a delicate balancing act that takes time to master.
This mindset applies to your driving days as well. You won't have the energy to see the things you want to if you're too tired from driving long days week after week. We spent about a week in each area when we first started and now try to stay at least two weeks. We also don't travel as far now. You'd be surprised how different a state can feel, only 150 miles from your last destination!
Unfortunately, you will not be able to see and do everything during your adventures, especially if your goal for traveling is longevity. It takes time to master the art of balance while traveling. However, the longer you travel, the more you learn the warning signs of burnout for you and your traveling companions. Traveling full time often gives you the flexibility to adjust your schedule quickly so you can travel without regrets.
From The Getaway Couple
Tip #4: Get Comfortable Letting Go of Things
My family and I have been traveling full time all over the world as nomads for almost 6 years now. One of the biggest challenges to beginning this lifestyle was to sell and/or give away almost all of the stuff we'd accumulated during the 10 years we lived in our home before making the leap.
My advice to people who are preparing to become nomadic is to get comfortable letting go of things. Then, once you've pared down to what you think is the bare minimum, let go of even more stuff.
You may not be able to expect to find the same shops and the same products wherever you travel. What you can expect to find is people living, thriving, and enjoying life everywhere. Once you realize that this isn't dependent on how many personal belongings you can drag along behind you from one location to the next, you can truly begin to embrace the excitement of the journey itself.
Karen M. Ricks from Our Kitchen Classroom
Tip #5: Stay Flexible
I have been traveling full time for about 18 months and am just finishing up a three-month tour around Europe.
My top tip would be to stay flexible and factor a degree of flexibility into all of your travel plans. Delays and cancellations happen regularly and are more likely to affect you when you travel full time. This tip can prevent you from getting annoyed and frustrated, ultimately leading to a more negative experience.
Stay flexible by booking a trip in stages as you go rather than planning every step before you begin. Plan an extra night between flights/ferries/trains so that any delays don't lead to missed connections. Be prepared to change plans at the last minute, whether because you have to or just because you want to.
Liz Roams from Snap and Roam
Tip #6: Get Into the Adventurous Mindset
No preparation is enough to be a nomad. However, you can change your mindset before starting your journey, setting up challenges, like eating the food of the country you are visiting at first. Do little challenges to adapt at least 6 months before your trip start. You will learn on the road, adapting your lifestyle to necessity.
Take it slow and never regret staying too long or too short in a particular place; you can catch up with work any time you decide. Sometimes regrets come when you have yet to experience a place fully because you had to jump to the next destination too quickly.
Antonio Maisto from Italian Trip Abroad
Tip #7: Cut Down on Unnecessary Expenses
Nomad living is about simplicity. Embody simplicity in the way you approach finances, and you'll find that you have a lot more freedom on the road. Try to cut down on your fixed costs before
you head off on your nomad journey. The question is whether you really need things like cable TV, ancestry, premium streaming services (or at least pick one instead of 3), phone app subscriptions, or cloud storage.
Oliver Gaspar from We Seek Travel
Tip #8: Ensure You Have a Source of Income
If you want to travel full time, you'll want to consider your income. In order to be a full-time traveler, you'll need a source of income to support yourself. This could be from a full-time job that allows you to work remotely or from a part-time job or freelance work that you can do while
on the road. You might also consider other income sources, like savings, investments, or retirement income.
Nick Mueller from The Hawaiian Islands
Tip #9: Have a Safety First Approach
When you're traveling full time, there are a lot more opportunities for things to go wrong. In my years of travel, I've been lucky to have nothing major go wrong, but I've had a lot of small
things. For the big things, ensure you have comprehensive travel insurance that can cover any health emergencies or damage to property. For the small things, my best advice is to prepare a list and create mitigation actions.
For example, if someone was to mug you, you could mitigate this by keeping some cash in a secret place to help you get back to your accommodation. A big one is also always to have someone else know where you are at all times. My location is always shared with a family member when I am traveling.
Delilah Hart from Our Travel Mix
Tip #10: Embrace Minimalism
Living nomadically and embracing minimalism are effective strategies for avoiding regrets. Embracing a nomadic lifestyle involves traveling often and not settling into one location permanently, instead striving to explore the world and take advantage of new experiences.
To live minimalistically means simplifying one’s life and paring down possessions to those that would be easily transported. Doing either of these helps us focus on experiences rather than material items and creates a meaningful legacy of stringed memories, leading to a life free from regret.
Ryan Rottman from OSDB Sports
Tip #11: Stay Connected
Although you’ll have a blast on your travels, you’ll probably face a few unexpected days (or weeks) of homesickness. For those moments, it can be really comforting to reach out to your friends and family back home.
Bring along your laptop, cell phone, and other necessary tech gear so you can stay plugged in no matter where you are. Investing in a good travel SIM card or international plan can also help you stay connected while on the go.
Madelyn Driver from That Getaway Girl
Tip #12: Take Each Day as It Comes
The most important thing to know when traveling full time and living in an RV is that the reality is very different from what you see on social media. Van Life can be challenging and time-consuming, and not all days are great.
However, if you limit your expectations and take each day as it comes, the whole experience becomes much more enjoyable. Acknowledge that there are no rules or a perfect trip, but it is all about having unique experiences.
Tip #13: Focus on Experiences That Add Value to Your Life
I have been traveling full time for the past year, and as such, I have learned a lot of tips throughout my journey. The most important thing to remember when you're living a nomadic life is that time is precious – so make sure you indulge in memorable cultural experiences!
That being said, don't overspend on things like little souvenirs; instead, find ways to save money and use those funds to really explore a place. Focus on experiences that add value to your life.
Look for ways to indulge in cultural activities such as attending a festival or class while substituting spending on frivolous things by sleeping in hostels or with friends and looking for discounts on transportation whenever possible. Splurges will come and cook an adventure, but it’s important to find the balance between budget-friendly places and attractions you won’t find anywhere else.
Jamie Irwin from Tutor Cruncher
Tip #14: Take Care of Your Physical and Mental Health
Traveling on my own was, by far, one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Having the freedom and flexibility to discover the world on your own terms can be incredibly liberating. Still, traveling full-time also brings unique challenges you don't have when hopping between cities on short trips. To have no regrets on your journey, it's essential to look after yourself physically and mentally.
This means taking care of your nutrition and well-being while respecting yourself enough to step away from any scenarios that don't feel right. Trust your intuition. If it feels unsafe, find an alternate way; if something doesn't come together as planned, breathe through it; if everyone is heading in one direction, and you want to go the other way, then take the risk – at least for today!
By owning your decisions and making choices that honor your needs and values, you'll never be left feeling like you wish you'd done something differently.
Jamie Miller from Treadmill Review Site
Tip #15: Make Lifelong Connections
Make lifelong connections with locals and other nomads. The secret to a successful and pleasant traveling life is having long-term friends. Engaging in conversation with locals and fellow nomads while traveling is one approach to do this. After that, you can interact with one another to plan meetups and share parts of your journeys.
Adam Heurtault from Holyfins
Tip #16: Leave Behind a Place Without Regrets
One of the best pieces of advice which are useful to go after your dreams without regrets is to leave behind a place without regrets. All those open gaps situations in life that you left on hold have to be solved. Helping you to leave all behind in peace and without carrying all that weigh with you. These things could be unsolved conversations with friends, family problems, and so much more!
We are all different, and we live different situations in life, but what I've learned from my travel experience is that it is quite an easy escape from them. But once again, be honest, be open, and let all that weight get off your chest before jumping to the fullest for your new experiences!
Giorgy, aka the Goofball, from G-Extreme Travel
Tip #17: Give Yourself Time to Find Your Own Pace
I'm traveling on a sailboat I bought two years ago. If I had to give one tip to people who want to travel full time it's this:
Give yourself time to find your own pace!
Just because you see pictures on Instagram of full-time travelers who are in a new country every week doesn't mean that's the best way to travel for you.
It takes time to get into a rhythm and find a travel pace that works for you. But finding your pace and figuring out your best way to travel is part of the adventure!
Sanne Wesselman from Spend Life Traveling
And what are some of your best tips when it comes to traveling? Let us know!At Nomad, we’re on a mission to connect the unconnected. Discover more about our unlimited, high-speed 5G LTE mobile hotspot data and packages.