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Alfred Argentina road sign pic.jpg

Where should I go?

How to plan a route?

What are the entry requirements?

Where to go on your long-term travels is obviously a personal matter. But hopefully the below questions and things to consider will help prompt the right thoughts to help you decide!

Where should I go?


  • Already decided where to go?  Great! Make a budget OR start Packing!

  • Still need to decide whether to backpack or join the vanlife? Head here to figure it out!

  • Keep scrolling to see  entry requirements for where you're headed


  • Make a list of everywhere you've always wanted to go

  • Prioritize your top choices

  • Decide on vanlife vs backpacking (if you want to move continents a lot and quickly, you'll likely have to backpack)

  • Keep in mind, the more you move around, the more expensive it can be


  • Want to learn a certain language? Want to work somewhere specifically? Want to go to a certain festival or national park?

  • Make a few high level goals for your travels and it will help guide your route and decisions

  • Plus, making goals gives you purpose!

How to plan a route?


  • What's the weather like where you want to go at different times of the year? When is rainy season there? Are the parks open?

  • Are there any places that friends or family might visit ? When are those people free to meet up?

  • Are there any travel warnings or political or social reasons you should avoid a place?


  • Based on the prior questions, what order of countries/places makes sense?

  • Keep in mind, the more and faster you move the faster costs add up.

  • Get a map!  Physically draw out a route of where you're going and whether you can drive, bus, fly, or boat between places.


  • Based on your map route, does vanlife or backpacking make the most sense?

  • What time of year should you leave based on weather patterns, who you're meeting up with, and what's happening there.

  • Decide how long you can stay in each place to meet your goals based on your overall timeline  and budget (see  Make a Budget)

What are the entry requirements?


  • Take your route map and add each country to a list or google sheet and add entry reqs

  • See here for all Visa terminology

  • Comprehensive  info on visa requirements for US citizens: Visa Requirements by Country

  • For non-US Citizens google  "what countries do BLANK citizens need visas for"

  • *Note: govt sites often lag behind private sites


  • Backpackers usually only need passport valid for 6 months + visas (where required)

  • For an exhaustive list of documents you will need visit Documents Needed

  • Vanlifers: for help on how to cross most borders and for real time updates on current events affecting border crossings download iOverlander  and join FB groups in Apps to Use


  • From personal experience, do NOT count on your embassies to have power to help you in a given country. Be prepared to only count on yourself!

  • Do NOT overstay the time allowed in a country because you "heard" the penalties are not bad. It can be a VERY timely and costly mistake! (Speaking from experience)

Entry reqs

Need Advice?

This map was our original plan for driving the van from Canada to Argentina.


Things changed a bit in Chile/Argentina, but was great to have the overall route mapped out.

If you need help planning your route, or if you have any other questions, I'd love to help!

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