Thursday, August 19, 2010

Inspired to travel by Eat Pray Love? Start planning your RTW trip with this step by step guide

Has the movie Eat Pray Love got you thinking about quitting your job and traveling the world?

Before you cash in your 401K and jump on the next flight to Bali, check out this round the world (RTW) travel guide.

These tips are based on my own experience as a RTW traveler. I set out in 2008 on a year-long journey with my fiance, starting in Fiji and ending in Toronto. We brought only our backpacks and round-the-world airline tickets.

We camped in the Outback, hiked through the Colombian jungle and relaxed on the beautiful beaches of Thailand and Brazil.

We had an amazing time and hope RTW trips catch on in the US!

How to backpack on a budget: The insider's guide to traveling around the world
by Leslie Koch
Originally published in the NY Destinations column on

Have you ever wanted to get away from it all? Have you sat in your drab cubicle on a Monday afternoon, watched the minutes tick by and wished you were on an exotic beach in the South Pacific?

This doesn't have to be a fantasy.

You can travel around the world for a year-- and visit dozens of countries-- for the same cost as living in New York City. This is a great time to escape from the economic recession in the United States by visiting countries where the dollar is relatively strong.

Read on for practical advice on traveling independently throughout the globe.

Why travel?
Laid off? Can't find a job? It's a great time to travel the world

Most people think round-the-world trips are only for the super rich, or contestants on Amazing Race. In fact, many Americans can afford an extended... Keep Reading »

How do I get started?

Find cheap flights to exotic destinations

Americans are discovering the benefits of round-the-world travel. Round-the-world trips are common among Australians and Europeans, who often take a... Keep Reading »

Where should I go?

Discover your dream destinations

Is there somewhere in the world you have always wanted to visit, but you never thought you had the time or money to realize your dream? Perhaps you... Keep Reading »

What gear do I need?

Picking the right luggage for your vacation: Backpack or Suitcase?

Picking the right luggage is an important step in vacation planning. When selecting luggage, consider your itinerary and needs. Will you be... Keep Reading »

Where can I find adventure?

The world's most interesting hikes

Whether you are a seasoned outdoorsman or a weekend warrior, hiking is a fun way to get up close with nature. It is also an inexpensive pursuit; you... Keep Reading »

What sanitary conditions can I expect?

The dirtiest toilets on Earth

You may wince when entering a grimy gas station bathroom, but, chances are, you haven't come across a truly filthy toilet until you have traveled in a...
Keep Reading »

What will the food be like?

Strange foods from around the world: Crocodiles, dogs, worms and more

Dogs, crocodiles, ants and even raw chicken are popular dishes from around the world that seem outright bizarre to most Americans. The next time you... Keep Reading »

Are there any side benefits to travel?

The travel diet: Lose 15 to 30 pounds by backpacking

Forget fad diets and cancel that costly gym membership. There is a simple way to lose weight without even trying: travel to rural Southeast Asia (Laos, Cambodia and Thailand). Keep Reading »

Remember: you don't need a trust fund to travel around the world-- just a sense of adventure and a willingness to venture outside of your comfort zone!

>> For more information on our RTW trip (including per country costs), visit the Jake & Leslie Travel Blog


  1. EPL didn't really inspire my trip, but I certainly did enjoy reading it. Well, 2/3s of it. I thought the India section was pretty boring.

    Love all the resources on this blog post. Well done.

    Here are some more trips for people's RTW trips:

  2. @Solo Traveler- thanks for the comment! I agree, EPL didn't personally inspire me to launch my RTW adventure, but I think it will increase interest in long-term travel in the US. We're lagging way behind the rest of the developed world. During my year long journey in 2008/2009, I didn't meet a single American taking a year off to travel. Most were on short trips.

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