Must-Read Books for Your RTW Trip Prep

Must Read Books for RTW Trip Prep

Planning and saving for a long-term travel adventure takes months, or even years. Lots of research goes into deciding where you’ll go, how you’ll get there and how much money to bring, not to mention what to pack.

And while travel blogs and websites (like Her Packing List!) can be helpful for specific and up-to-date knowledge, there are also some great books that stand the test of time and focus on other parts of your travel experience not listed in your guidebook.

Here are a few that I recommend for travelers getting ready for their first big rtw adventure.

Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel by Rolf Potts

Vagabonding by Rolf Potts
Vagabonding by Rolf Potts

I bought my sister this book for Christmas one year and she returned the favor by buying me a copy before I left for my year in Australia. It’s the ultimate guide to long term travel and my copy has been dogeared to death. Vagabonding differs from traditional guides that prepare you for your destination, as it prepares you for your experiences. In it you’ll find tips on how to quit, or take a sabbatical, from your job, how to find work overseas and advice from travelers who have been there.

>> Grab a copy of “Vagabonding” on Amazon.

How to Travel the World on $50 a Day: Travel Cheaper, Longer, Smarter by Matt Kepnes

How to Travel the World on $50 a Day by Matt Kepnes
How to Travel the World on $50 a Day by Matt Kepnes

Now in its second edition, this book by “Nomadic Matt” Kepnes teaches travelers how to keep travel affordable for nearly everyone, starting with cutting down on expenses, selling some of the excess and changing your living situation. Other sections prepare you for life on the road, no matter how short the trip, and offer advice on how to save money on accommodation, food and drinks, activities and transportation. He even goes into what’s worth seeing in nearly every part of the world and has appendices on your frequently asked travel questions on vaccinations, recommended tour operators and the almighty packing list.

>> Grab a copy of “How to Travel the World on $50 a Day” on Amazon.

The Art of Non-Conformity: Set Your Own Rules, Live the Life You Want and Change the World by Chris Guillebeau

The Art of Non-Conformity by Chris Guillebeau
The Art of Non-Conformity by Chris Guillebeau

This book is more of a guide to nontraditional living, but has plenty of wisdom to be applied to travel by an author who has visited 192 countries. Guillebeau notes that most people are living their lives on autopilot, not stopping to think that things could be different. From there, he goes onto discuss going after the crazy dream of yours, whether it be starting your own business or quitting your job, selling your house and traveling the world indefinitely. You can go from thinking, “I wish I could do that” to actually doing it by making it a priority.

>> Grab a copy of “The Art of Non-Conformity” on Amazon.

If those weren’t enough, you can also check out The Rough Guide to First-Time Around the World.

Written by Caroline

Caroline Eubanks is a native of Atlanta, Georgia, but has also called Charleston, South Carolina and Sydney, Australia home. After college graduation and a series of useless part-time jobs, she went to Australia for a working holiday. In that time, she worked as a bartender, bungee jumped, scuba dived, pet kangaroos, held koalas and drank hundreds of cups of tea. You can find Caroline at Caroline in the City.

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Gear We Use


Packing Cubes – Organize your luggage with the lightweight, durable and compressible Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Compression Cubes.

Backpacks + Daypacks

Pacsafe – Since they come with extra theft-resisting features, Pacsafe bags make you a more confident traveler. We especially love this bag.

Sea to Summit – Of all the Sea to Summit products, our most recommended is the fits-in-your-palm, super packable Ultra-Sil Daypack.

Personal Care

Nalgene Toiletry Bottles – These leak-free toiletry bottles and tubs come in all sizes – even super tiny, helping minimalists pack it all without bulk.

Turkish Towels – They’re thinner than most travel towels, and they actually cover your body! We can’t get enough of Turkish towels for travel.


Speakeasy Supply Co. – They make the awesome hidden pocket infinity scarves that are perfect for stashing secret cash, lip balms, and passports.

Anatomie – Anatomie travel pants come with luxury prices, but they offer many benefits for travelers. See our review of the famous Skyler pants.

Travel Resources

Booking Airfare

Dollar Flight Club – Get flight deal alerts for your preferred departure airport. There is both a free and premium version (recommended for more sweet deals). Members save on average $500 USD per flight!

Skyscanner – Skyscanner is our preferred site for searching flights. They offer unbiased search results and are free from hidden fees. You can also book your hotels and rental cars.


Airbnb – Airbnb is the best place to book out apartments around the world. Sign up using this link to get $37 USD off your first stay booking + $14 USD towards an experience booking! – Search for hotels, hostels, and apartments using this one resource. Use it for flights, car rentals, and airport taxis as well.

Hostelworld – For hostels, Hostelworld remains our number one source for booking stays. Choose from straight up hostels, budget hotels and bed and breakfasts.

Trusted Housesitters – Save money on travel accommodation by becoming a housesitter. Housesitters often have extra duties, like caring for pets and gardens.

Reader Interactions


  1. Elena Edwards says

    I just finished “The Art of Non-Conformity” upon your recommendation. Great read in anticipation of my RTW trip with my husband (we have been saving and just quit our jobs to pursue long-term travel, volunteer work, and work exchange opportunities abroad) and I’ll be taking a career change leap upon our return. I’ll be checking out your other book recommendations posted in your article, too!

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