At this moment, thousands of travelers are on extended backpacking journeys or a gap year around the world. Some are trotting for months while others are committed to years on the travel trail. Those adventurers fortunate enough to have the time and ability to scrounge enough dough for a lengthy sojourn would be wise to consider formulating a business plan. A business plan is not just for stale boardrooms filled with starch-collared suits (Their plans aren’t working too well in the last decade anyway). A sound plan can be a foundation for an unforgettable trip. It can also save you if things don’t go as planned once you set off into the unknown.
Why create a travel business plan
If creating a business plan feels like too rigid of a way to start a free-spirited vacation from the norm, then you might be one of those backpackers who are relegated to juggling for change next to traffic in Quito, Ecuador. Some nomads may be too proud to think before they slink to another country. That pride won’t last if you are so broke you need to email-plead to someone at home to wire you some cash. “Uh. Dad sorry I missed your birthday, father’s day, and groundhog’s day. Can I get some money?”
Comparing business plans and travel plans
Let’s tease out the comparison between a business plan and travel plan. Most business strategies start with goals. When you organize for travel you usually have goals as well. Which places will you visit? How long will you spend in each city. How long will you spend in each country? How long will you travel altogether? Will you visit home during your trip or stay away the whole time? Figuring out an idea of your goals will not destroy the spontaneity of your travel because you don’t have to stick to the itinerary. Just like a business plan, a long-term travel plan should be thought out in advance but will evolve naturally.
Your start-up money will be what you can earn and save before you leave home. Capital you acquire once your venture starts is akin to how (and if) you plan on earning money on the road. Just as a business plan can be developed by an individual or a group, you must decide if you will travel alone or with a friend or six. The timeframe used in a business plan can be compared to an itinerary on a trip. Finally, having a backup plan is important in both scenarios.
More considerations for a traveler’s business plan
Ideas- Why are you embarking on your journey? Sometimes you’ve wanted to go somewhere for so long, you can’t even remember why you ever wanted to go. Try to figure out if there is a theme or purpose for your trip. This can help you cutdown on needless stops and expenses before they accrue. By focusing on your ideas and goals for the journey you can eliminate waste and redundancy. Are you going to follow the Mekong River across borders and check out wildlife? Do you want to golf down the east coast of the US? Maybe you intend on volunteering in Peru or tracing your family history in Europe. Go and follow your favorite band around western Canada. Ignore the naysayers who might scoff at your goals because they are probably just jealous anyway. It’s impossible to achieve your dreams if you don’t have any.
Money- Most individuals, companies, and governments have no idea how to budget money. But many long-term travelers seem to have the money game figured out. Don’t spend what you don’t have. When you have expensive weeks or months on the road, follow them up by scrimping and cutting corners to even things out. Decide if you are going to attempt to save money before you leave, earn money on the trail, or do a combination of both. Teaching English overseas is still the easiest way to earn cash while traveling (if you are interested in this option, contact us, because we have extensive experience with working and developing English lesson plans).
Travel insurance- This is something to look up way before you travel. A simple google search will help you find the correct websites to find international traveler’s insurance policies based on needs and circumstances. We always buy them when we travel long term. They are relatively reasonable for the world of insurance and depending on your plan may include deductibles, emergency repatriation, and medicine. Call to speak to a representative and they will usually help you in a pressure free way. Keep in mind that there are different types of insurance out there. Some protect your body while others safeguard your property in case of theft or damage.
Check back on Sunday for more considerations when developing a travel business plan.