5 Tips for Traveling to Every Country in the World

I get asked all the time, “How did you travel to every country in the world?” The answer is a complicated one in reality but if I break it down, it really isn’t that difficult. There are a few caveats of course. You must have time and money-the two great equalizers of travel. Also, you must have the overwhelming desire to sacrifice to actually do it in order to make this incredible dream happen. If you have these things then it can happen; here’s how.

1. Research Research Research
I can’t stress how important it is to know where you are going, what’s around it and how to get between the countries. It sounds simple but some people really don’t have a clue about where they’re going. Memorize a map, do the research and go to whole regions at a clip. This is how you see multiple countries on one trip. Otherwise you will spend a fortune and take a lot of time to go back and forth many times.

This is especially important in Africa, Central Asia and the Pacific. These destinations require careful planning and knowledge of complex and changing geography, transportation options and border crossings. They operate differently than other easy tourist destinations and have many rules and unexpected things that can happen out of nowhere.

2. Visas
Visas can be the single most annoying thing about trying to visit every country in the world. In Africa, the Middle East and much of Asia visas are a necessity. They are varying in how difficult and expensive they are to obtain. But rest assured, they are a pain and will be costly. I could get into an eternal rant about different countries visa policies but to save you the four letter words, I will just say know what countries require and do it. You can get this information online at the individual country’s embassy website.

There is no skirting around visa requirements for most countries. Some countries may require doctors notes, AIDS tests, proof of travel, sponsorship, interviews, bank statements, personal declarations of reason for travel or several hand written copies of the same application; amongst other annoying things.

Unfortunately, there is no getting around these petty requirements and some countries will still make it excessively difficult to get approved or at least take a lot of time. The costs also vary greatly and can run from $20 up to almost $400 for some and that doesn’t even count expediting or shipping fees etc. Just be prepared to be frustrated and angered. It’s all a part of the process. Developing nations love their bureaucracy and processes. Smile and nod!

3. Have a general plan and know your options
I am the first person to say wing it but in many destinations around the world you need to have at least a general plan. This goes back to research in some ways but you must know the flight schedules, train times or bus options. You must know when and where border crossings close so you don’t get stuck in the middle of nowhere.

I never buy flights between countries before I go but I always know approximately which ones I will buy on the ground. I like to remain flexible because you never know what will happen (not everything can be found on the Internet) and long delays/cancellations are inevitable in the developing world. You need flexibility but you need to stay focused on the goal as well.

4. Always carry cash and have access to more money
Many people are scared to carry large amounts of cash on them when they travel, especially in the developing world. To me, this is nonsense. You need cash. Many places do not take anything but cash and US dollars are king. If you don’t believe me, try going to Sub Saharan Africa and try using credit card or travelers checks and tell me how that goes. Also, try finding an ATM in many places; they don’t exist and even if they do, your card may not work.

Cash is the way of the world. I always advise carrying a lot of cash in different denominations of bills because there often isn’t change where you need it and surely not in dollars. (Note: US $100 bills should always be in good condition and issued after 2006) There are costs you can never account for and you will have to pay such as tolls, bribes, shakedowns and just general who knows why or what for-it just happens when you travel in the developing world.

If I do a month long overland trip in Africa, then I will generally carry between $2000 and $3000 at all times in all sorts of bills. I don’t wear one of those money belts or hide in 10 different places. I just keep the cash secure in my pockets at all times. I have never been robbed and always keep my wits about me and am smart about the money. Always project confidence and be street smart. Don’t give anyone a reason to want to rob you.

5. Learn the basics in several languages
Language is a big concern for many people and it should be. Knowing the basics in any country you are in can be a huge boost to your experience and your ability to get things accomplished. While it’s true that many people speak at least some English in major cities and hotels around the world; that doesn’t account for when you’re not in the cities and nobody speaks English.

Learn the basics in French, Spanish and Portuguese. This will help you in the Americas, Africa and much of Europe. Also, teach yourself to read Cyrillic. I can’t tell you how much easier this has made my life. I can’t speak a lick of Russian but I can read the words and this works in much of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Republics including Central Asia and even Mongolia. Trust me it helps!

I wish I spoke more Arabic but learning the basics of Arabic is a big help and endears you to Arab people. Many will not speak any English but they are very nice people so a few basics will better your experience. Don’t be coy; speak to the locals as best you can and they will in turn help you the best they can.

Finally, with the Asian languages I don’t know anything but the very basics in Mandarin and Japanese. If you’d like to take the time to learn to read and speak those languages; best of luck to you. Hello, please and thank you are always polite and if you can remember those you will always be welcomed and use hotels in those countries for English help.

There are obviously many other things that go into traveling to every country in the world but again if you want to achieve this feat, it is possible. You need time and you need money but you don’t need to be rich. It is doable but you always need access to money just in case something happens. There’s nothing to it but to do it. Set your mind on it and you will be amazed at what you can accomplish.

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  1. Awesome article Lee…wish I had time or money!

  2. You really carry 2-3k cash on you when you go to Africa?

    • I do…never had any issues. I don’t flaunt obviously and plan ahead especially when I know I’ll have to pay for something…perhaps I’ll take out the correct amount so not showing it publicly

  3. I can’t even imagine how much of a pain getting all those visas must be, not to mention expensive

    • And many visas have just gotten more expensive this year.. the US just raised the rate they charge other countries’ citizens for a visa to $160, other countries then will charge US citizens the same rate.

    • Yes that is irritating beyond words

  4. Cristina says

    OMG awesome article Lee

  5. For Indians, getting the visa is the hardest part, even if you have money

    • Yes I know how hard it is for Indians…I actually know a guy who visited every nation with an Indian passport…hardest part was getting all the visas…we are lucky in that we only need like 80 or so

  6. Always a pleasure to read your blog Lee, thanks for the great post.

  7. Without a doubt if I carried $2-3000 dollars on me I’d be robbed within an hour but I would also never go to half the places you’ve been!

  8. Lee, how did you go about geting the visas? Did you always get them beforehand or did you them on the road or a combination of both? Thanks. I have a big African trip coming up next year and was curious as to the best way to go about getting the visas.

    • Hey Roland, I always get them in advance because I hate wasting time. Very seldom do I get them on the road; the exceptions are Myanmar in Bangkok and Sao Tome in Gabon bc there is no embassy in the US…I think that’s it off the top of my head…Oh ya I tried for Guinea-Bissau but it wasn’t open so I ended up going without a visa and arguing my way in basically.

  9. Stephanie says

    Haha, best of luck learning Chinese!

  10. Hey Lee, great advice. One question…Does every country you go to take USD or do you carry Euros, GBP etc?

    • Hi Damien, thanks for the question. USD is definitely the top currency and accepted almost in every developing nation. Euros would be second but Dollars are better. Rarely am I turned down if I want to pay in USD so I always have some but also have Euros albeit a much smaller amount and of course some local-as little as possible, I hate changing money.

  11. What languages do you speak fluently?

    • Hi jeff, Spanish fluently and I speak enough Italian and French to get by relatively comfortably plus a little bit of a lot of languages.

  12. Cool post, wish I had time to travel like you do…keep it up!

  13. How’s your German looking? Be careful with your travel money – Eisenach is known to be rough place….

  14. I know 10 words in German, none of which I can write on my site besides NEIN! Luckily all you people speak English! I am terrified to visit Eisenach but luckily Morroni will be my bodyguard!

  15. What kind of bribes (where and how much) have you had to pay?

    • Hi Jay, I have never actually paid a bribe directly. I often hire drivers (so to speak) to drive from country to country overland in Africa and in the price I include they have to negotiate and pay for all bribes/shakedowns along the way at random road stops-there are a lot in Africa-especially West Africa. There’s only been two times I actually tried to bribe and that was to gain illegal entry into Iran and Somalia. Looking back I am glad I was denied because it was a terribly stupid idea in hindsight but seemed like a brilliant idea at the time. Of course I went back to visit each place but since I was so close I figured I’d give it a whirl!

      By the way, bribes aren’t always money…often times they can be paid in bread and other foods…seriously

  16. Since when is your website kid friendly. You forgot having friends who are strangely excited about the idea of driving 5 hrs or more each way with you to the middle of nowhere to cross or border and see some city/country that no one should really spend a tourist dollar going to or in the case of Swaziland be willing to drive through locusts and be scared off by a man with arrows and and loincloth.

  17. Hey Lee.

    Thanks for this inspiration. A few questions for you:

    On average, how much would you say it costs to travel to every country/island/territory?
    Did you work while you were on the road?
    When you applied for visas on the ground, how long did the process usually take?

    • Hi Kimi, depending on how you travel, like what class, it will cost somewhere between $100,000 and $1,000,000. The general rule of thumb is about $1000 per country. You and I know that isn’t the case but some places are far more expensive than others so it adds up. If you start doing lists like the TCC list then it gets expensive but the 193 UN countries is very doable for $100,000-$150,000 if you stay in cheaper places and live cheaply but transportation still takes a lot of money and visas cost what they cost.

      I never worked on the road other than with my website and other things I do that can be done from the computer or over skype.

      I rarely applied for visas on the ground but Sao Tome I got immediately because I annoyingly paid a lot extra for the visa and Myanmar took 2 days I believe in Bangkok.

      Hope that helps!

  18. How long did you stay in each country you have been to? just a few days?

    • Hi Claudia, it depends which country and how much time I have available. I spend as much time as it takes for me to be satisfied with my visit. In some places it’s a few days, in others it’s a few months or several different visits…there’s no formula

  19. chauncey says

    How many passports have you gone through?

  20. Love this write up! What countries had the most expensive visa fees? I recently went to Russia and thought their visa of $170 was a lot, but you mentioned a range up to $400 (I assume for a non expedited visa). What country was that?!

  21. Hi Diana, there are several that are expensive especially if you expedite them but Congo, Angola and several of the African nations have expensive visas. They’re almost all over $100…I can’t remember which were the most expensive. A Russian expedited one with double entry is like $500 or more I believe.

  22. Hi Lee. Wonderful article, but AIDS test? :O which countries require that? Also which countries require bank statement?

    I would like to travel overland in Africa as well. Is bus unsafe or why did you take taxis? Isn’t that very expensive?

  23. As far as AIDS and other doctors tests, I know UAE requires it for residence/work visas and if I recall correctly Yemen required it from me. A couple other countries said they’d require it but never asked me for it…I can’t offhand remember exactly which other ones but I had to submit it a few times.

    In Africa, I took busses, bush taxis, private cars, taxis and even trains to travel overland. The busses are generally safe-ish but can be very very slow and the driver could be awful or drunk or any number of things. Private cars are much more expensive yes. It depends on your budget and your timeframe…for me it made sense when I did it.

  24. Thanks a lot Lee! You are such an inspiration! But did you travel alone in Africa? Any good contact to drivers between borders? or how to find trustful drivers?

    Many thanks in advance!

  25. greetings from indonesia..beautiful website lee..such an inspiration if you said we can travel with less money…hopefully to do this around the world trip like you. out of 300 countries…what countries that you think MUST VISIT ^_^

  26. Cool post Lee. Quick question – when travelling overland in Africa with a smallish backpack for say a month or so, what do you think is best for keeping in touch with, and maintaining a blog etc… laptop or ipad? I know you can get some pretty lightweight laptops now, but the ipad is mega small but possibly no good for a blog? Any thoughts?

    • I carry a 13″ macbook pro and use that for writing and everything else…I don’t have an iPad or iPhone because I have big hands and can’t deal with touch screen…also the air is also a good option and I opted for the pro because of the cd rom and added memory-that’s all…but yes I think it’d be easier without an iPad

  27. Hey Lee….great article! Quick question….have you ever had your visa expire when you are in that particular country?? If so, what happened? I feel stupid about it but I actually had my Russian visa expire when I was there. I had totally mis-calculated the number of days that I actually needed. So when I was on the train from St. Petersburg to Helsinki…they pointed this out to me at the border…Lol. I thought I was going to get locked up or something! But they made me go all the way back to St. Petersburg and go to the airport to talk with someone there that dealt with visas. He made me write a letter to the Minister of Foreign Affairs apologizing for this and asking to extend my visa for 24 hours so that I can get out of Russia. I had to pay another fee as well. I barely made the last train to Helsinki as well….I dont even want to know what would of happened if my 24 hour extention expired. Anyway…was pretty exciting to say the least!

    • Hi Jared, wow that’s some story. No I’ve never had that happen to me. I always make sure I never get too little time on the visa and obviously make sure not to overstay. The only thing I ever did incorrectly with a visa was enter the day before it became valid which is a problem often times if you’re traveling overland in Africa and they only give you 2 weeks or something. Luckily, the guard at the remote border station didn’t even notice so I was fine. They didn’t have electronic scans or anything and I wasn’t flying out of the main airport where they would and the outgoing guard didn’t notice either. I was a little nervous though.

      Oh ya, I also flew to Guinea Bissau without a visa and they weren’t supposed to grant them on arrival. We were nervous but on arrival all I had to do was pay $30 and they stamped me right there. $30 was like $50 cheaper than it would’ve been had I gotten it in advance!

  28. Great tips. Like most travelers, visiting every country is on my list of things to do. We’ll see how that works out but whatever happens, the experience will be both fun and challenging!

  29. Good Article!! I knew about you this morning, reading blogs at my work. I read that u are one of the youngest travellers in the world, so i felt curiosity. I dont know speak english very well, but i suppose its a step try to writing to you in english 🙂 Are u still travelling? where are u now?
    From Argentina, cheers 🙂

    • You write very well! If you have Facebook, find him on there. He is still traveling and you get to read about where he is at the moment. It is fun to get his updates!

    • Guido gracias! Realmente agradezco el comentario y su inglés es muy bueno! Todavía estoy de viaje y actualmente estoy en Bangkok.

  30. Wonderful stories and I love your attitude and sense of adventure. I ‘work to holiday’ as I love travelling and have done some amazing trips but I haven’t even dented your figure.
    Keep up the great work.

  31. Hi Lee,

    As a young traveler and a big fan of yours, I was wondering if you have heard of the “travelers curse”. If yes, what are your thoughts? If no, please read below:

    The more places you see, the more things you see that appeal to you, but no one place has them all. In fact, each place has a smaller and smaller percentage of the things you love, the more things you see. It drives you, even subconsciously, to keep looking, for a place not that’s perfect (we all know there’s no Shangri-La), but just for a place that’s “just right for you.” But the curse is that the odds of finding “just right” get smaller, not larger, the more you experience. So you keep looking even more, but it always gets worse the more you see. This is Part A of the Curse.

    Part B is relationships. The more you travel, the more numerous and profoundly varied the relationships you will have. But the more people you meet, the more diffused your time is with any of them. Since all these people can’t travel with you, it becomes more and more difficult to cultivate long term relationships the more you travel. Yet you keep traveling, and keep meeting amazing people, so it feels fulfilling, but eventually, you miss them all, and many have all but forgotten who you are. And then you make up for it by staying put somewhere long enough to develop roots and cultivate stronger relationships, but these people will never know what you know or see what you’ve seen, and you will always feel a tinge of loneliness, and you will want to tell your stories just a little bit more than they will want to hear them. The reason this is part of the Curse is that it gets worse the more you travel, yet travel seems to be a cure for a while.

    • Hey Mike and thanks for interesting question/comment. I have never heard of this curse and I have read what you wrote a few times to make sure I understand it. My thoughts to basically touch on both points you made are basically that people who travel do so for different reasons and some of those reasons may involve running away from something or looking for a greater something somewhere else.

      I don’t feel that way, I simply love to see the world but at the same time I like to keep my important relationships. I never talk about travel with friends unless they ask me a question and rarely offer stories about it because I know they won’t totally get where I’m coming from but that doesn’t bother me. I don’t want friends that travel a lot. Some of my best friends do and some don’t. It doesn’t matter to me because I have a lot of varied interests. A lot of other big travelers I know don’t have any other interests and that’s a problem.

      I think as long as you keep perspective on things and especially yourself, then you’ll be fine. I don’t think it’s a curse unless you let it become one. I don’t plan on doing it nor do I plan on traveling like this forever!

      The one thing that may be cursed is marriages of some big travelers who didn’t start really traveling to every country etc until they were older, made money, and married with kids etc. These are the people who get divorced, some several times over…won’t happen to me…do it while you’re young!

      Thanks again buddy and be in touch!

      • Thanks Lee, great answer. I agree for the most part, I think it’s an interesting theory but not really a curse unless you let it be one. Thanks for your quick reply and have fun out there!

        • That’s an interesting post, Mike. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts (or Lee’s) on the poem “The Vagabond House” by Don Blanding. It’s one of my favorites and always makes me smile, but it gets pretty sad at the end and leaves me feeling lonely.

  32. Masood Mir says

    Nice tips and inspired with your blog, as you are a good explorer, what is your view about religion?
    Is there any inspiration?

    • Not a big religion guy Masood although I find some religions fascinating to learn about. For me, it’s not an inspiration but more of an intellectual curiosity thing.

  33. Hi Lee, just wondering what you’re top 5 countries and/or cities are that you’ve ever visited are? 🙂

  34. Hi Lee,
    Such great info you have provided here! This question has kind of already been asked but due to being a little naive in this area, I’d like to ask it more in depth…. I have a plans to travel next year (starting March) for roughly 6 months. 3 months in Asia, and 3 months in Europe. Europe I’m not so worried about as I believe there are not many visa requirements and a fair few of my friends have visited there so I can get info off them. But, Asia is a tiny bit more concerning. I’m going to Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and China. I see you wrote that you always get visas in advanced as you hate waiting (fair enough) but what do you really mean by in advanced because are you not always travelling or ‘on the road’ anyway? Also, do some have a time limit for entry on them? For example, if I got a visa for China before I left Australia but I wasn’t visiting there until 2 or 3 months time, do they expire?

    • Good question Beth. Yes visas have an expiration date and you need to enter by a certain time. For the countries you mentioned, those visas are easy to obtain. The ones you’ll need visas in advance for are China and Vietnam and cambodia you can get in advance if you want or you can easily get it and generally cheaper at the border or airport.

      China visas you can get in as little as same day if you pay a little extra and Vietnam takes a few days. You should look into how long they’re valid for and when the first entry needs to be made by. It’s simple even if it sounds relatively complicated. Trust me, you’ll be fine with those countries.

      • Thanks for the quick reply Lee. You have been so helpful and reassuring! =) So I take it from what you say, you can get a visa for another country while you are not in your own country? I am doing my own research too but I just didn’t want to get over to say, Thailand and then realise that I needed something from home to get me into Vietnam. I’m a bit of an organisational freak which is another reason why I am going travelling relatively ‘plan free’ so I learn to chill out and go with the flow. ha ha!

        • Yes you can get a visa via a third country. Bangkok is actually the most popular place and cheapest to get visas for neighboring countries. It just may take a day or five depending what country and how fast you need it etc…ya just relax, it’ll all come together for you and don’t plan too much or you’ll miss the fun!

  35. How did you get a visa to Saudi Arabia as an American? From what I vaguely recall upon wanting to stop by there once, there was no tourist visa: I could only get a business one (but I have no business contacts) or a $500 religious pilgrimage one (of which I’m not Muslim).

  36. Ces Jesyl Anas says

    hi Lee!

    you’re amazing! i can’t believe that there really is someone who have been literally around the world! wow. i wish i could do the same…im in college now and i’ll be graduating soon…then i’ll have to work, and save up a lot of money to travel the world (which has been my childhood dream) and fulfill my other dreams… i wonder, what age did you start to travel? im 19 now and i wonder if i will have enough time to experience and explore the world in the future…

    • Thank you very much for that very nice complement and I was just over 20 when I first left the US and went to study abroad in the UK….so you’ve got plenty of time!

  37. I am super encouraged by your story Lee…Itsy dream to cover the world too n i have started but yet to get out of Africa…saving up. If I may ask…how many countries did u manage to visit in Central Asia n at a go? Working around doing a trip there for so far 4 countries in like 24 days….

    • I did all the Central Asian countries in one trip, well it depends what you consider Central Asia..I started in Kazakhstan then went overland to Krygyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan to Iran and then Turkey…I went back another time and went to Pakistan and Afghanistan. Total time was a few weeks, I don’t remember the exact amount of time but you could spend weeks alone in the Pamirs, Iran or in Uzbekistan so you must pick what you want to see and go at your own pace.

  38. hi lee!

    Just saw this link from a friend and was totally amaze about your travel. I do love to travel and I guess this is one of my passion. and I do agree you need the time and money. Travel for me is a way to de-stress and just get away from the craziness of the corporate world. But even business travel, i really enjoyed. Its the excitement of being in a new place, meeting new people and learning from their culture. I hope you get to inspire more people to travel..

    I’m just curious though, among the places you’ve been, whats the most memorable for you? what are the places you want to come back and what places you still wish to go?…

    cheers and have a great day!


    • Hi Ruby and thanks for the comment. There are so many memorable places that it’s hard to pick on but my trip to Libya is very memorable because of the circumstances surrounding it. There are so many places I want to go back to, I don’t even know where to begin!

  39. Hey Lee, 1st world countries require visa as well to the citizens of 3rd world countries. So what you said, “Developing nations love their bureaucracy and processes.”, it also goes the other way around. And as a member of a developing country, we are required to apply for visas in more countries than 1st world citizens are. 😛

    • You are very correct Karen! Thank you for mentioning that, it is very difficult for citizens of developing nations to travel easily.

  40. Rashid Minan says

    Hi, I’m 17 and I have wanted to travel the world since last year. I was wondering, if you visit a number of countries similar to one another, such as all the islands in Australia, does it eventually get boring going to similar countries or does each country have something unique to offer. For example, is there a large diff between Fiji and American Samoa or are they the same.

    Also, does one’s race affect the way they are treated in a certain country? I’m half Russian and half pakistani, will my race affect my future travels. I have a hit list of 90 countries btw, ending off with Antartica.

    • Hi Rashid and good for you and good luck! There are differences in the Pacific Islands yes; mainly cultural and scenery wise. Fiji and American Samoa are not in the same ballpark and the Aussie islands are all very different-obviously depending which islands you’re referring to. One’s race will always affect certain things, whether we like it or not, but when traveling, it’s hard for me to speak of anything but a white American but I don’t think it’s bad. If you’re a Russian/Pakistani then I’d imagine you can fit in a lot of places without being noticed too much so you’ll be fine-I wouldn’t worry about that factor too much.

  41. You said it correctly in the beginning…. time and money. Those are the big ones. The rest can be figured out while on the road.

    I’m about to turn 36 and have been to 50 countries (although 4 more coming up over the next month), and am completely jealous of your travels. Keep it up! I’m enjoying your blog and photos.

    Got any advice on how to get a visa to Nauru?

  42. Hi Lee, just saw this article, amazing! I too am a ‘traveller’ been to about 110 countries so just over halfway but as you say its the time+ the money! Just lost my job so time is not now an issue, so wondering whether to blow some of my savings and do some trips that I wouldn’t get leave from work to do if I ever find another job! Usually during my travels I meet lots of like minded interesting people, a few who have done all or nearly all the 193 countries, including one chap who was starting for the second time! So having literally been everywhere, what is your future goals ( I mean travel wise)!? Because what keeps me going is that there is always somewhere else to see that I have not yet been!

    • Hi Gillian! Thanks for the note and my goals are basically to go everywhere and see all the things in the countries I really liked that I missed the other times I was there. I may decide to do them all again but we shall see. The visas in Africa are a detractor but a challenge at the same time. I have been to 135 multiple times as well!

  43. Incredible story Lee. That must be really exciting to have visited so many places. I definitely agree with your point number 5. I think that learning the basics in as many major languages as you can is not only important for respecting local culture, but makes a huge difference in your trip. The ability to communicate is one of the most fundamental everyday needs of life and traveling to foreign lands is no exception to this rule. It is interesting what you say though about carrying so much cash. I have never had to do that yet, but that is mainly because I have only been to a few areas where there was no access to ATMs or the like. Cheers for travels man, I hope to get up to your level of exploration one day.

  44. That is a really great post and amazing accomplishment! I was curious- how long did you wait to visit South Sudan after they became independent?

    When I’ve been asked where I want to go, my answer has always been everywhere. These days I do not see it as a realistic goal for myself so now I’d say visiting 100+ countries would be amazing.

  45. Mikey Stoj says

    Hi Lee, I have read through a fair bit of your blog and its pretty interesting and an inspiration for my travels. I moved to Germany from Australia for the year and am trying to visit close to all the countries if not all in Europe this year and some in North Africa. Do you think it is possible to do this in the year? Around about 30-40 countries.

  46. Great tips Lee. I always travel with quite a bit of cash and a cheat sheet on languages.

  47. Hi Lee,
    I was just curious. I am 22 and I will do anything to see as much of the world as i can before I die one day. So far I have been to Afghanistan, United States, Germany, France and Switzerland. I know that isn’t anywhere close to you. But my question is how much money would you say you needed to complete your world wide journey?. I have no problem doing a job to earn cash along the way…but how much will I need to put away before really committing to a quest of your magnitude!?

  48. Great post Lee. It is not my goal to visit every country, only to keep going. Your comments are so accurate and on target. Learning a few basic words of different languages helps and so does having a cheat cheat. Please and thank you goes so far and remembering that you are a guest in their country. Like you, I’ve been frustrated by bureaucratic requirements in some places, but it goes with the territory. The people I’ve met along the way make it all worth while.

  49. Bravo, finally someone who expresses my views exactly. Cash is the name of the game and plenty of it. I carry it like you, in inside pockets and some in a pouch around my neck hidden under shirts. Equally essential is to learn the basics in several languages. A simple ¨thank you¨ in the local lingo and a smile make all the difference.

  50. Have you been to Nigeria?

  51. Giovanni Morales says

    i have a question do you suggest to travel in group tours or is it much better to make it on your own?, i feel safer to travel in groups and i have noticed that i can save more money than traveling by myself, what is your opinion lee?

    • Depends on the person, I prefer independent or private travel

      • Harold Serrano says

        Hey lee, I am planning to become the youngest person to visit every country without a plane. I have been calculating costs. What to pack and other imperative question and was wondering if you had any advice?

        • Hey Harold and good luck but that sounds miserable!

          This is a much longer answer than a quick one but it costs much more than you think or expect, especially visas, and pack basics based on where you go…are you planning on doing it in one trip? Then you’ll need all weather gear obviously but you can always pick up on road etc. How old are you?

  52. I’m curious how you got a visa to Saudi? Any advice for a non Muslim?

    • Hi Stefan, you have a few options. Transit visa, business visa or apply for a tourist visa-you can get them if you do a tour. Also, different embassies and consulates have different levels of cooperation so if you get denied, try a few different avenues. Additionally, you can actually stay in Saudi for 18 hours or less without a visa.

  53. Hi Lee, I just read an article of a guy who keeps underware, t-shirts, socks, etc. which are getting worn off and saves them for upcoming travel and then just throws them away to open up some space in his luggage 🙂 love reading your posts!

  54. Hi Lee,
    I like your great posts. Quite true, I have experienced in a little way.
    Thanks !

  55. YES! Lee 🙂

    You are truly a Living Legend!

    I am planning a similar trip and am looking for some specific advice…

    I just had a few questions for you, could you please email me?

    Thanks Brotha!

  56. Hi lee,
    I’ve been following your website for awhile now and was wondering wat’s the shortest time you have stayed in a country when it was the first time you visited it. Why did you decide to stay a short time in that country ad have you returned to it. Lots of questions but very interested to know.

  57. Jordan Gartner says

    This is awesome! Much respect for your travels and I agree with all your tips. I am leaving in 16 days to start in Turkey in an attempt to go to every country in Europe. I quit my job, sold everything I own on craigslist (which isn’t much) and plan on super low budget travel. I’m going with a buddy and we going to couchsurfing, hitchhiking and working while we’re there.

  58. Hi, Lee. Thanks for this informative article and 5 Tips. The Questions and your Answer are also very informative. Travelling is my Passion. I follow you on Facebook and i liked most of your posts. Your article gave me required boost to start planning. I am 55+ and planning to take my wife along. I may not be able to cover all the Countries, however my initial plan is to travel for three months at a stretch. I am thinking of buying Round the World trip Airline ticket. Congretulations and Good Luck to you. Not many people can realise their dream. Thanks.

  59. Giovanni Morales says

    Im wondering are you picky to eat when you travel? Do you try to eat all typical food from the countries you visit? What do you recommend to avoid getting sick with food in the new countries, in my case i have search good restaurants and hotels in tripadvisor how about you?

  60. Thanx Lee!!!
    Its awesome article which is very useful for newer travellers.
    I wish I had time and money…!!!

  61. mick pearson says

    hi lee great website
    question I’m sure you’ve been asked
    Saudi Arabia
    how did you get your visa etc?

    any pointers would be great

  62. Allan Trinidad says

    As a Filipino, I hate the fact that I can only visit 27 countries without getting a Visa.

  63. Lee,
    just reading your replies can make any person rich in experience

  64. Hi Lee, Great post but one question how long did it take for u to travel the world ???

  65. Travelled overland cape to Cairo, in west Africa and all round South America in the past three years. Before that had been to Central Asia, Russia and Kamchatka, the States, Zcentral America, Mexico and Europe. Been shot at in Ethiopia, fought back in Salvador when threatened with a machete anstoned in Senegal, but Mostly have Never had anything other than amazing experiences, from going up the Niger to Timbuktu, along the Amazon, Iguazu, Vic Falls, Angel Falls. You name it….never thought I could do it, started when I was 48, now 68 and still looking ahead to more adventures. Caucasus and Iran, maybe Turkmenistan next year. Roll on life….

  66. BTW, having cash has never caused us problems whereas having cards often has. 68 countries, still counting, all from Australia….

  67. Hi Lee, Would you recommend an organized trip to get an understanding of travelling overseas for the first time? We keep debating whether to go to New York or England, but I’d like to try somewhere safe so that I don’t get put off the thought of travelling.

  68. Lori Ketterer says

    Hi Lee! You are such an inspiration. Can you renew your passport and still keep it? Friends of mine turned theirs in for renewal and got clean, unused ones back instead. Lost all their stamps. What do you do?

  69. Thanks for your post!!
    Do you Reunion Island in Indian Ocean?

  70. How many countries can i visit in 10-14 days?

  71. Thank God for this post! I thought I was the only one who carried large amounts of cash on me when traveling but this makes it clear and concise and why you need to and more often than not getting robbed or haggled up is more so because you put yourself in that situation or make yourself look like a target. Common sense goes a long way in foreign countries.

  72. Time+money+energy (fitness)+passion=YOLOMoments+caption #aLee\’slife

  73. Andrew & Arnaud says

    Hello Lee,

    Me and my bestfriend are seriously considering and planning a trip around the world. As i read in the opening lines of your article, you said that you travelled in every country in the world. First of all I would like to congratulate you and to thank you for proving that it is in fact possible to travel in each country. Secondly, i have a question, concerning the planning of Africa and Central Asia. My friend and I are stuck/having trouble with the planning of Africa and central asia, the places where you did in fact mention about complication in organizing. Could you please have the kindness to explain to us or to show us the route you took for these places and show us a practical way of traveling through those countries?

    Many thanks,

    Andrew & Arnaud

  74. I have heard about the $100 bills needing to be printed after 2006. Why is this exactly?

  75. hey Lee,
    My wife and I are fans of your site and your travels! We are avid travelers, and just hit country#35 this week! We have both wondered what your passport looks like…we would love to see some pictures (and we would drool over them, for sure). Thanks for posting your opinions and info that we use to travel more efficiently…
    Chad and Rachel Rice

  76. I appreciate your work and time in your post.wow. amazing pictures. thanks for sharing with us.

  77. Wyatt Woloshyn says

    Hello Lee,
    After reading your article, I feel inspired to try to complete this challenging task. I just need to save up the time and money! One question though, how did you get into North Korea, Syria, and/or Iraq!! Keep up the good work!

  78. Wow, that’s so amazing tips, now I’m really inspired to travel around the world.
    I’m working as a freelance writer, so i think that it would be really easy for me.
    All what i need that’s only find hotels with wi-fi in this trip to do my work.
    And could someone advice me a good camera, because I have it only on my phone 🙁
    I agree with words – “You only live once”.
    Guys just don’t waste your time, spend all you free time for your family and traveling!
    Thank you again for this inspiring article!

  79. traveling is my dream but I know it requires looots of money, really. Especially if you want to visit a whole world.

    • Many people are scared to carry large amounts of cash on them when they travel, especially in the developing world. To me, this is nonsense. You need cash.

  80. Many people are scared to carry large amounts of cash on them when they travel, especially in the developing world. To me, this is nonsense. You need cash.

  81. hi, i am Sam Lau from Malaysia . now i am going to be 60 very soon. my child dream was to travel all countries in this world before the end. or maybe First Asian/ Malaysian to travel all countries.
    as for my records of travel, i just covered 81 countries so far.
    basically, i wish to find out more information and the best route to cover African countries in realistic.
    as for Malaysian passport, it is visa free for 181 countries. it doesn\’t even need visa for any African country.
    would be very much appreciated for advices and shares.

  82. David Foulis says

    Hi Lee
    I want to go to Iraq and I know from Drew Binsky that if I fly to Erbil in Kurdistan I can get a visa on arrival, and as long as I travel within Kurdistan I can visit places freely, but as you know Kurdistan encompasses Turkey, Syria, Iran and Iraq. Does this mean I can go to Kurdistan Iran or Kurdistan Syria from Kurdistan Iraq without an official Syrian or Iranian visa
    Technically I am still in Kurdistan?

  83. Backpacking is one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences that opens you up to the world and allows you to experience new things no matter who or where you are. It can be challenging for every type of traveler, but as an LGBT traveler, there are a handful of unique challenges. I don’t share this as a way to scare off gay travelers from backpacking because it’s truly a rewarding experience, but as a helpful guide for how to best enjoy (gay) backpacking in a safe and fun way.

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