Planning an overland expedition, and adventure travel in general, is a bit of an art. I’ve always loved planning trips. But it’s taken years to learn how to plan adventures efficiently and effectively. Here’s a few recommendations:
1. THINK ABOUT YOUR GOALS
In my opinion, it’s always good to have a goal or goals for your trip. These could be as simple as “pursue some of the best adventures in the world” or “relax and recharge”. Use your goals to guide your itinerary.
2. PICK YOUR TRAVEL COMPANIONS CAREFULLY
I’m fortunate to be married to an amazing woman who shares many of my interests and goals and supports the goals and interests that I have that she doesn’t share. Try to find a travel companion who will make your trip better. And if you can’t find one, consider going solo like I did for many years until I met Leah!
3. DEVELOP A HIGH-LEVEL ITINERARY
Pick a guidebook that you like and use to develop a high level itinerary. I like the Lonely Planet Guides. Although they are targeted towards backpackers who don’t have the ability to get off the beaten path or resources to pursue more expensive adventures as much as we do, I like the fact that they offer consistent advice and do identify some off the beaten path adventures and locations. Improve and refine your itinerary using advice from locals and fellow travelers and websites, including blogs. Don’t overdo it. Part of the fun of adventure vacations is making just in time modifications to your itinerary!
4. TRUST YOUR GUT
The more adventures you plan, the better you will get at it. If you are good at it you will develop an initiation about potential adventures. Trust your gut and don’t shy away from adventures that you think could be some of the best adventures in the world, even if they are a bit challenging and/or risky.
5. LEVERAGE LOCALS
Try to find an expat in, frequent traveler to or local from each country you are traveling to who shares some of your interests and review your itinerary with them. Also, try to identify a few locals in each country that you are going to be traveling to that you can visit or, at a minimum, can call if you run into trouble.