First of all I needed to know somehow how much money I have to spend. Even I am not forced to save a lot of money before travelling, because I will have my pension at this time, I have to make a budget. How much I will spend depends on the way to travel, of course, but also on the country I will visit. I have to check if there are special conditions for my age – some can be good, some bad. Will I need 50 EUR/day or can I make it with 30 EUR/day. Have I to buy a visa or is it for free to visit the country? How much is a bus ticket from A to B or is there a bus pass? Can I get discounts because of my age? What will be discounted in that case? What are the costs for food, for eating out and how much do I need to save for unexpected expenses. What will my travel insurance cover? Have I to pay an amount anyway if I am insured, have I to pay first if I am out for an accident and claim it then or will my travel insurance really help me when help is needed? Do I have the travel gear or have I to buy it now? How much will and can I spend on it? What is the best backpack just for me? Do I need hiking shoes? All is depending on my interests, but there are some basic needs and I have to calculate them.
The age is a very important factor for the costs. In most of the countries I only can get a tourist visa because my age. In New Zealand I really have to be a tourist, I am not allowed to volunteer (for accommodation and/or food) with that visa, because in New Zealand they classify volunteering for accommodation and/or food as work. Fortunately in Australia, Canada and the USA as well, people in my age can volunteer on a tourist visa. That means, I have more costs for travelling in New Zealand and I have to ask for couch surfing for a few nights for every place. Otherwise I can rent a bed in a HI-hostel or a backpackers hostel – but that makes a difference from around 20 EUR/day and almost 600 EUR/month. While volunteering I will be at the same place for a little longer time – it just depends on the wishes of the hosts and of course, which hosts I choose. By this I can know the culture and surroundings better, but not go to many places.
How about the health conditions? Do you need some medicine? Maybe you need insulin or just the thyroid hormone? In that case you have to check if it is allowed to bring it into the country you will visit and how much you are allowed to take with you. Here again New Zealand as an example. If you are in need of a medicine on a regular basis and will bring it with you, you need a prescription or a letter of your physician about your need for the medicine and you are only allowed to bring the amount of medicine you need for up to three month. All your medicines you have to declare on the permit card, when you are asking for entering the country (depending where you come from, you may need a visa instead).
When you are booking your FLIGHTS you have different options:
Use skyscanner or similar websites
I actually prefer skyscanner because one can choose a whole month for comparing prices and one can look for all destinations by typing “Everywhere” in the destination field.
Purchase a RTW-ticket
RTW means “Round the World”, but it simply is a multi-trip-ticket, where you have to continue in the same direction e.g.
London –> Bangkok –> Hong Kong –> Colombo –> Maldives –> London
If you will change the route, it will be much more expensive.
Ask a broker to help you purchase a flight
The companies, who sell RTW-tickets usually also are brokers. They help you with the job and they are maybe good to use for people, which are not very good in using the Internet, but the prices can be higher than your own research and purchase. Furthermore you have to pay for the whole trip at the time you agree with them about the route and dates. It can be a travel insurance included, but you usually have to purchase additional cover and that rises the price for the ticket around 10%. I saved around 500 EUR by using skyscanner and purchasing the tickets directly as well as my own insurance without a broker and I could purchase one flight each month as well as I could look for the travel insurance, which suits me best. There were no need to pay for them at the same time.
Think about to:
Start from London
Furthermore you have to think about, that flights from London often are cheaper than from your home country. I will be home in Sweden before I will travel the world. I found an offer for only 45 EUR from Stockholm to London, however I saved more on my trip from London to Auckland compared with a trip from Stockholm to Auckland.
In addition to that you have to check if you maybe will go home from another airport as you planned, because it might have cheaper travels. So it is, if I at least take a flight home from Los Angeles in the USA instead for San Francisco or San Diego. Do not forget to plan your route, so it fits.
Buy your flight tickets in time
They are cheaper when you buy them long time before you will travel and it is a good way to save your money. I also read, that the tickets are cheapest around three weeks before the flight. Just try, what fits you best.
A TRAVEL INSURANCE is essential, but the prices depending on your needs and if you will go to the USA or not. Furthermore there are not many offers for 60+ people, especially not for people 65+.
I found that the World Nomads Insurance is a good one as long as you are not 66 years old. It is recommended by Nomadic Matt as well as the volunteering site www.helpx.net and also by tripadvisor. Anyway you have to calculate around 500 EUR for a cover of six (6) month, depending on where you will go, where you are resident and what you need to cover. Sports like bungy jumping and skiing are only a part of the special cover version. If you have expensive equipment like an expensive digital camera or a laptop, you also need an upgrade for the insurance if you will have it covered.