20 Things To Remember When You Quit Your Job And Travel The World

04/03/2014 07:00 am ET

You're gonna do it one day. You know you are. We know you are. But when Reddit user vom1tcom1t did it, he broadcasted his decision to the entire Reddit community: "I finally did it! I'm quitting my job and traveling."

Other users -- some who had traveled for days and others who have been gone for years -- responded with congratulations, suggestions and advice. We've compiled their greatest wisdoms here, along with some of our other favorite tips on how to make the best of it when YOU (yes, YOU) quit your job and travel the world.

1. Start (or stay) in Southeast Asia.
"It's cheap, beautiful and made for backpackers to travel around. You can't ask for a better place to start your first trip... If you're trying to make the most of your money, stay in Asia." --@joefelice

2. Bring a towel and three pairs of socks.
"Dry socks and underwear make a world of difference when you're trekking... one dirty pair that needs to be washed, one dry pair for sleeping/backup, and one to wear during the day." --@spacesteak
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3. Park yourself in an airport town.
"Base yourself in a city with a good low-cost carrier connection. Work a couple days a week, then go to a different destination on your days off. Save big trips for when you accrue annual leave. I've been traveling for two years in Europe and have more money than when I left." --@therethere87

4. Find a buddy for moral support.
When former attorney Katie Aune was doubting her decision to leave it all behind, she chatted online with other people who were planning to do the same. “It really made [traveling] seem possible,” she said.

5. Rent a truck and drive it around Namibia.
These guys did it, and they had a great time. They also brought a tent and camped along the way.

6. Go alone.
"Traveling by yourself is not so scary at all, especially in a hostel environment where every other traveler is a built-in social group. It's just part of the culture: go out as a group, have fun, and explore together." --@in_the_airoplane

7. Get a job while you're in Australia.
"If you get an Australian work visa you may find you have more money than what you left with. Their wages are so high that it's worth buckling down for a few months to fund your trip for another year." --@curlytemple
surf instructor australia

8. Design a route that makes geographic sense.
In Australia, for example, "realize the distances between large cities are generally the same as the distances between EU countries... pick a single city and its surrounds (Melbourne or Sydney for most people) and only hang around longer if you can afford a few hundred to get to the next city." --@joop86au

9. Make money off your empty bedroom.
"Buy a house; rent it out while you travel." --@nojusticenpeace

11. Line up a job before you get back.
"I travelled for a year, came back home to Australia and couldn't believe just how quickly my money dried up, even living with my parents." --@karlosvonawesome

12. Bring a nice camera.
And YOU could bring home photos like THIS.

13. When opportunity presents itself, seize it.
"I had a four-week return flight and only this much time away from work. In the last three days of my trip, a scuba shop in Panama said they saw talent in me and asked me to stay and do an apprenticeship. It was the hardest decision I ever made to call my boss to say I wouldn't be there on Monday, but also the best thing I've ever done." --@curlytemple

14. If you're feeling unsure, take a test trip.
"A good test is to find a city near-ish-by, one with a decent hostel. Go for a weekend... it's pretty much the same as a year, when you get right down to it. Most people only spend three days in a town or city, anyway. You'd meet people who are traveling, hear how they do it, go out and see stuff. It's really only scary the first time." --@lazyjayn

15. If you're gonna have to leave a job before you travel, don't procrastinate.
"Quitting a job is a bit easier when you're younger." --@williamtbash

16. Dig deep into culture.
"We spend more time getting into local cultures instead of partying with other travelers. We also tend to go to more out-of-the-way places." --@newtothisredditbiz
floating market

17. Work odd jobs as you go.
"Most people save money up for a few years and spend until it's gone (or close to gone). There are ways to stretch it, though, through working on the road, doing work exchange at hostels and hotels, and freelancing online." --@lazyjayn

18. Travel NOW, while it's easy to pick up and run.
"Don't get me wrong; you can still travel when you're older. But I'd rather do it before I am tied down with a wife, a house and kids. It's pretty hard to leave once you have things keeping you here." --@williamtbash

19. Hold on to the dream.
"You only have one life; your income won't mean much when you're buried. I'd rather give my kids a great life story over a lavish lifestyle." --@counttess

  • 1 10. Botswana
    Heinrich van den Berg via Getty Images
  • If you dream of seeing wildlife up close, but you fancy breaking the mould and skipping Kenya, Botswana is the place for you. You can find some of the world's most diverse ecosystems, varied wildlife and remarkable landscapes here. From the floodplains of the Okavango Delta to the arid Kalahari desert, a trip to Botswana guarantees any gap year traveller an extraordinary safari.
  • 2 9. The mountains of East China
    View Stock via Getty Images
  • Learning Kung Fu in the beautiful mountains of East China will make for a truly unforgettable experience, and one to make you stand out from the crowd. The martial arts academy is situated next to the tranquil sacred mountains of eastern China, the birthplace of Taoism (Quan Zhen Religion), which gives you a picturesque and peaceful landscape for training your mind and body. You'll be taught by Shaolin monks- can you think of a better way to learn Kung Fu?
  • 3 8. Swaziland
    www.bush-fire.com
  • Swaziland is one of the the smallest countries in Africa and has a well-earned reputation for friendliness, civility and peacefulness. In Swaziland you'll get an experience of South Africa, untarnished by the tense undercurrents elsewhere in the region. Check out when there are traditional festivals happening, and make sure you're there to experience one. And from 30th May onwards theres a fantastic internationally acclaimed three day MTN BUSHFIRE festival, featuring music, dance, art, theatre, poetry, circus performers and more. Tickets are selling fast.... Lonely planet tip: Don't whiz through the valley on the MR3, but instead take the old MR103, and see the sights and lush countryside. You'll see some beautiful woodland scenery, with brilliant orange flame trees, flowering jacarandas and views over the surrounding mountains. The area boasts an excellent selection of places to stay and wonderful craft shopping.
  • 4 7. Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu
    Mikel Oibar / Nervio Foto via Getty Images
  • Machu Picchu, nestling high in the Andean Mountains, is known as the ‘Lost City of the Incas’ and for centuries it was hidden from the outside world. It is now the most famous city of the Incan Empire and has been designated a world heritage site by UNESCO. Although we know this is the most visited sacred site in the world, it's certainly not your typical gap-year destination. There are a number of Inca Trails running through the Urubamba Valley, but we think that the unique 'Community Inca Trek' sounds great. You get the chance to hike unspoiled trails used only by local villagers and Dragoman passengers, avoiding the crowds of the Classic route. And you'll camp as guests of the local communities. See here: dragoman.com.
  • 5 6. Canada Bear Rainforest
    Daisy Gilardini via Getty Images
  • If you want to visit a rainforest on your gap year, this one should top your list. This 21-million-acre Great Bear Rainforest is the largest coastal temperate rainforest on Earth. Amazingly this nature reserve is still host to every single one of the wildlife species present when Captain Vancouver sailed up the coast back in 1793. If grizzlies aren't your thing, perhaps wolves, eagles, or Humpback whales are more up your street? Check out greatbeartours.com to find out when is the best time to visit.
  • 6 5. Mozambique
    www.visitmozambique.net
  • Not many of your gap-year buddies will have been to Mozambique. Not yet, anyway. It's an incredible country in many respects, and is quickly taking off as a popular holiday hot-spot for a reason. This country has some outstanding beaches, and is a dream destination for those of you who just can't wait to hit that beach, and go snorkelling and scuba diving.
  • 7 4. Japan
    Flickr: lestaylorphoto, www.japan-guide.com
  • These are the bamboo groves of Arashiyama in Kyoto. You can rent a bicycle for around 1000 yen (from near the train stations), and cycle through rural residential areas and fields whilst temple-hopping. There's also an attractive preserved town area near the Adashino Nenbutsuji Temple that's well worth a look. As is the general rule for visiting Japan, it's most beautiful in April, because that's when the cherry blossom is out. However as you might guess, it's also very busy at that time of year. During the summer months, traditional cormorant fishing is practiced on the Hozu River for tourists to watch. Another good time to visit is during December's Hanatoro illumination, when hundreds of lanterns line the streets and bamboo groves.
  • 8 3. India
    en.wikimedia.org
  • ....and more specifically, the 'Harmandir Sahib', or as travellers call it, the Golden Temple. It's located in the city of Amritsar, Punjab, India. Its architecture represents a unique harmony between the Muslims and the Hindus way of construction work and this is considered one of the best architectural specimens in the world. It's stunning and well worth a visit. India is an incredible country, the people, customs, food, and hospitality is superb. Even better still, a trip to India won't burst the bank. Make sure it's on your gap year 'must visit' list.
  • 9 2. Iran
    picalm.com
  • Predictions are that Iran will be rocketing to the top of the “must-visit” lists for 2014, helped by the President' promise to ease visa requirements. Iran is a top gap-year destination; it's got everything. Ski resorts, beaches, stunning Islamic architecture, ancient archaeological sites (remember Persepolis the movie?), friendly people, and some of the most delicious food known to man. The colourful mosque in the photo (above) is called Nasir al-Mulk Mosque, or easier to pronounce, 'Pink Mosque'. It might be worth mentioning that Iran's currently not got an English embassy... but that needn't stop you if you're mind's made up!
  • 10 1. Bolivia
    Juergen Ritterbach via Getty Images
  • Bolivia is our Top 10 unusual gap-year destinations winner. It is a stunning, geographically diverse, culturally fantastic country. To give you a taste of what to expect here is a spectacular photo. This blindingly white landscape is made entirely of salt. Known as Salar de Uyuni, the area is said to have been created about tens of thousands of years ago when Lago Minchin dried up, leaving the salt behind. Today, 10 billion tons of salt remain spread across around 4,000 square miles, where it cracks in naturally occurring hexagonal designs (have you seen them in the naughty boy lala video?). In the rainy season (January to March) water spreads over the flats and creates the illusion of an infinite mirror! The salt flats are located outside Uyuni, a mining town, just half an hour's flight from La Paz. 'Natour' do a two-day tour which includes hikes for the best views of the flats and an overnight stay at the Tayka Salt Hotel, which is also made of...salt. See www.uyuni.com.bo for more info.

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