9 Steps I Took to Travel for 9 Months

tips for long-term travelWe all dream of taking off for somewhere fabulous and staying there for ... well, more than a week or two.

But how many of us actually do it? I'm excited to say that I did.

In 2009, my husband and I took a nine-month trip through Asia. But we didn’t stop there—in 2011, we headed south to explore Central and South America for an entire year.

In those two trips alone, we traveled for 84 weeks through 15 countries—learning how to save money and becoming better travelers along the way. It may seem like traveling for more than an entire school year would be prohibitively expensive, but along the way, we learned to prepare appropriately to keep our costs down.

How exactly did we do it? We followed these nine steps.


To view the slides in one long list, click into the slide show and select "list view."

Darcie Connell is the founder and CEO of Trekity.com, a daily newsletter for women who love travel. She has been featured on LearnVest, Forbes, The Huffington Post and LifeHacker.

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  • Janet

    Just a note, on Step 3 where it says “In addition to visiting the travel clinic, I also visit my doctor and ask for a general antibiotic prescription in case I get any viruses while traveling.” Antibiotics do not work on viruses, only bacterial infections.

    • Maggie

      True, Janet. I had lots of difficulty booking with a travel clinic, too. It may be different in larger cities but I live in Maine, so often they only operate 1 or 2 days a week and they suggest seeing them within 1-2 months of your departure. Too early, you’re not going with the most recent CDC guidelines. Too late, you don’t have enough time to do certain series of vaccines. The nurse practitioner also suggested probiotics and antibacterial handwipes. Her words, “Their germs are bad, just unfamiliar”

      • Maggie

        sorry “aren’t bad”

  • Colleen Oczkowski

    I’d love to do this but I’d want to know how to I prepare to come back. Would I factor in extra months to find a job again at home or should I look while traveling? If you rent your house you would need to hire someone to collect the rent and manage maintenance. And if you choose to sell your house where would stay when you get back before you start looking for a place? Getting a Visas and booking flights can be complicated but they are pretty obvious steps. I feel like this is missing all the tricky logistical details.

  • Name

    I don’t think I saw anything on how to AFFORD not to work and just travel for 9-months. Must be nice to be independently wealthy. Most people would not be able to just jet off for almost a year.

    • Naomi Cruz

      I don’t think this person is necessarily independently wealthy but I agree there needs to be at least one or two slides regarding what she did to save up enough money to take 9 months off.

  • Julie Feuerborn

    Great article that appeals to the traveler in me! As a financial coach, I will say it can be done, if you make it your goal!

  • Jean

    I’m not an attorney, but this issue just came up for a friend….you must be very careful renting or loaning your car to a friend. Even if they have insurance, you are ultimately liable as the registered owner of the car. There is a limit, but they can still sue you and go after you over and above for different causes of action.

  • Alysia Dugan

    I’m confused…does she just up and leave her job for 9+ months and find a new one when she get’s back, or is she some sort of independent contractor/self employed? There are also no tips on how to save up for the trip or on how much to save. Like someone else mentioned, do you need to save for a time period longer than your trip to support yourself as you find a new job? What about buying new furniture when you get back because you sold all of yours? I think the title of the article should have been more along the lines of “Tips for Smart Travel,” as she didn’t talk at all about how to afford it.

    • BD

      Like you I was looking for monetary tips. I would love to do something like this but learning about the career break issue, saving up enough, and actual costs would have been more helpful. I turn to bootsnall.com for inspiration.