Long Term Travel Q&A with Swim and Staci: Where should I travel first?


One of the challenges I’m having planning a long term travel trip is deciding where I should travel to first. Any advice on a good overseas destination for a travel lifestyle newbie?

3 long term travel destinations for newbie travelers


This is such a great question and one we hear all the time. With so many amazing destinations around the world, it’s hard to pick just one place to visit first. There’s a lot of competing information out there about good locations for long term travel, so it can be hard weeding through the crap and determining what destination has it all: affordability, safety, comfort and adventure.

Is this the same problem you’re having with trying to narrow down your first long term travel destination? You’re not alone! In all honesty, it took us MONTHS to decide where we wanted to travel first, and subsequent trips haven’t really been much easier to decide where to travel. We have so many destinations on our bucket list that it’s hard to choose which ones to check off sooner than others.

To help you narrow down your list of dozens of destinations to just a few to pick from, we’ve gathered a list of 3 countries perfect for your first long term travel adventure. All of these destinations are affordable and you can have a high quality of life for around $1500 or less per month. Read through the list and take note of which destinations get you immediately excited when you read about them. Those destinations should go to the very top of your Long Term Travel Destinations List.

Belize is a great long term travel destination for a first time travelerPlacencia, Belize

Ok, we might be partial to Placencia since it was our first long term travel destination and it holds a very special place in our hearts. But that doesn’t discount the benefits that Plancencia has as a first time long term travel location.

Why Placencia is a great first-time long term travel destination:

  • Belize is an English-speaking country so you won’t have to battle a different language while trying to navigate long term travel for the first time.
  • The Rotary Club offers volunteer opportunities so you can interact with locals while making a difference in the village.
  • It’s a beautiful beach locale so you can finally experience working from the beach.
  • There are enough expats who have brought in Western amenities so you’ll feel comfortable, but it hasn’t been completely overrun with Western culture so you can have a local experience.
  • If you have ever wanted to learn to snorkel or SCUBA dive, Belize has some of the most sought after diving spots in the world. You can have an amazing SCUBA experience with Splash Dive Center for an affordable price.

The Philippines is a great destination for a first time long term travelerPhilippines

Pretty much anywhere outside of Manila is a great long term travel destination. With monthly rents between $250-$400, the Philippines is a beautiful destination with a high percentage of English speakers.

Why the Philippines is a great first-time long term travel destination:

  • The Philippines is known for its abundance of festivals throughout the year, so you will have ample opportunities to experience local culture through native festivals.
  • If one of your passions is to help end Human Trafficking, the Philippines has several short-term volunteer opportunities that you can participate in during your stay.
  • The lush natural landscape include beaches, rain forests and volcanoes if you love to spend quality time exploring nature.

Valencia Spain is a great destination for a first time long term travelerValencia, Spain

This destination is next up on our travel itinerary. If you haven’t noticed, we lean more toward warmer weather, and this Eastern Coastal city has a perfect Mediterranean climate almost year-round.

Why Valencia, Spain is a great first-time long term travel destination:

  • Because of lower taxes, Spain is one of the cheapest Western European countries to fly into and out of. Valencia has it’s own airport, so you can easily and affordably reach your destination.
  • During the low season, rent is insanely, ridiculously cheap. We’re talkin’ $300 for a 3 bedroom house cheap. Compared to other Western European destinations like Paris or London, that’s almost $1000/month cheaper.
  • It’s a great “home base” for travels around Western Europe and North Africa. While in Europe you might as well visit the Eiffel Tower and Big Ben, but there’s no reason to pay high rent prices if you can stay in Valencia and take weekend getaways to your ideal European destination.

Final Thoughts

If you never try, you'll never know if Long Term Travel and the Travel Lifestyle is for you

Unless your doctor gave you only a few months to live and you’re trying to check off every destination on your bucket list in the next 3 months, remember that you have PLENTY of time to travel and explore the world. If you have a list of destinations you want to visit that’s as long as your arm, we recommend just picking one. Close your eyes and just point to one if you have to, but don’t spend too much time thinking about where to go on your first long term travel adventure.

If you’ve been thinking about it for more than a month and it’s holding you back from taking action, you’re just using it as an EXCUSE to not travel….stop making excuses and just get out there!

Finally, don’t try to jam pack your first long term travel trip with tons of destinations because you’ll just end up frustrated and broke. It’s more expensive to jetset from place to place than it is to visit one destination for a month or two. And planning is WAY more complicated and it leaves more room for error which leads to frustration. Travel should be fun, not frustrating.

Still not sure if the Travel Lifestyle is for you? Take our quick Travel Adventure Quiz to find out if you’re cut out for the Travel Lifestyle or if you should simply stick with vacations. Take the quiz at TravelAdventureAcademy.com

Can’t get enough of our travel tips? Enter your name and email below for more amazing travel tips that only Beyond The Diploma can deliver. Get out, go travel, have an adventure.

5 thoughts on “Long Term Travel Q&A with Swim and Staci: Where should I travel first?

  1. Liz says:

    I always thought it cost a TON to travel…hmm I would actually save money by traveling LOL I’m in So Cal so my rent is a lot and I’ve been trying to look to see where I can cut back so I can pay off my student loans…hmmm traveling would be a fun way!

    • Beyond The Diploma says:

      Heck yea Liz. We know what you mean about student loans. For many 20 and 30 somethings out there it’s the one “bill” that follows you everywhere in the world and requires getting handled every month. Versus renting a place that you can break a lease or having a car that you can potentially sell or get out of.

      Here’s a funny video, Liz, we did about not letting student loans be an excuse:

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