How to plan a route for your next big trip

Most of us have our big, international travel plans on hold for now, but that doesn't mean you have to postpone the planning process. Break the tedium by planning for your next big trip.

Given the range of possibilities, planning a dream trip of two months or more can be bewildering.

Whether you’ve got two, six, 12 or 18 months to travel, prevent the journey from becoming a nightmare of forgotten visas, missed flights and inflexible itineraries with this handy guide.


Two months is enough time to explore one continent. That could mean traveling across Africa from Cairo to Cape Town (stopping to see mountain gorillas in Rwanda and camp near Mount Kilimanjaro).

If you have two months…

Or see South America’s greatest hits, from Machu Picchu and the Nazca Lines to the Galápagos Islands.

If you haven’t been to Europe, consider a grand tour of its great cities; excellent transport links everywhere from Amsterdam to Zagreb, making the continent great for the less experienced traveler.

Alternatively, if you're looking to escape the cold of winter at home, consider a trip to steamy Southeast Asia, which is also a great choice for budget travelers.

Two months is also an ideal timeframe for a North American road trip – rent a car and circle the states and eastern Canada in eight weeks.


You can cross a couple of continents on an overland journey. Pioneered in the mid-1950s, the "hippie trail" is a route that crosses Europe to the Middle East and continues to Nepal, India and more.

If you have six months…

Conflict in the Middle East has made the trail more complicated than it used to be, but it’s still possible to cover most of the route safely.

Kick off in London or Paris and head towards Istanbul – tracing the same route as the famed Orient Express.

Zigzagging your way to Turkey, you’ll take in the canals of Amsterdam, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Romania’s Bran Castle and much more. Buy a Eurail pass for a cheap and flexible all-in-one ticket.