How to Travel to Every Continent

December 18, 2023 • Lis Larson
Learn how to travel to every continent, from helping to define your timeline to efficiency and money-saving tips. Reach all 7 continents with our advice.
Young woman excitedly standing on a rocky beach in Antarctica with bright yellow jacket and massive icebergs behind her.

Here at AdventureSmith Explorations, many of our travel experts have visited all 7 continents, especially since Antarctica is among our top-selling destinations and areas of expertise. If you are planning to join the 7 continents travel club, read on for all our tips!

IN THIS POST – How to Travel to Every Continent:
First Set a Goal
What Is the Best Order?
Combine Continents into One Trip
Set a Realistic Timeline
Plan Ahead but Be Available Last Minute
Pick Places to Travel for Your Birthday
Use a Travel Advisor
Tales from Travelers Who’ve Reached All 7 Continents

To Travel to Every Continent, First Set a Goal

If you are reading this post, you’ve likely already decided you want to visit all seven continents, so that’s your goal. But think a little deeper. Do you consider just an airport layover enough to achieve your goal of reaching all 7 continents? Do you want to do a particular activity on each continent? Or just simply get there?

These examples can give you an idea of how you can set your 7 continents goal based on your age, an activity or other factors:

  • One of our intrepid alumni travelers reached her goal of visiting all 7 continents before the age of 30 while on an Antarctica cruise with us.
  • Another of our Antarctica clients went to complete his goal of hitting a golf ball on every continent (he was only able to swing his club in Antarctica due to environmental regulations).
  • One of our alumni travelers and authors Kellie McIntyre (pictured above with her family) had the goal to reach all 7 continents with her daughters by the time they graduated college. She then published a memoir, The Passport Project, and an Ultimate Travel Tracker journal to help others accomplish the same.
  • One of our even specialists traveled to Antarctica in 2017 with a woman who was completing all 7 continents in one year as well as a couple who achieved the Guinness World Record of “fastest time to travel to all seven continents”: 92 hours, 4 minutes and 19 seconds. Their record has since been surpassed.

What Is the Best Order to Visit All 7 Continents?

Some travelers intend to visit all seven continents in a special order, but there is no set or best way to reach them all. Below is a sample order (and detail of places visited on each continent) from AdventureSmith alumni traveler Katie Petersen:

  1. North America: USA (all 50 states!), Canada, Guatemala, Jamaica, Mexico, Costa Rica
  2. Europe: England, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark, Switzerland, Austria, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Croatia, Romania, Ukraine, Russia, Poland
  3. Africa: Kenya, Tanzania
  4. South America: Chile, Argentina, Peru
  5. Asia: India, Cambodia, South Korea, Thailand
  6. Australia
  7. Antarctica

Do you have a plan for which continents to visit first? Or last? Ask those in the 7 continents travel club, and you’ll find that the order can be surprising.

For AdventureSmith Specialist Lis Larson, she visited Asia last despite it being considered the best continent to travel to when you’re young and on a budget thanks to its backpacker hotels, warm climate and general affordability. But most do reach Antarctica last. Go on an Antarctica trips and you’ll find it’s the Mecca for final continent seekers!

View All Antarctica Cruises

See the full list of White Continent itineraries.

A man in sunglasses and a tan AdventureSmith hat smiles in from of Galapagos sea lions by the shore


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Combine Continents – the Best Continents to Visit in One Trip

Another tip to plan out your 7 continents goal: Be sure to think about how you can hit multiple continents in a single trip. Depending on where you are in the world will dictate what’s the best continent to visit and when. But examples of common pairs are:

  • Europe & Africa – Spain and Morocco are easy neighbors to visit.  
  • Antarctica & South America – Most Antarctica cruise itineraries embark from Ushuaia, Argentina, so it’s almost a prerequisite to touch down in South America.
  • Australia & Asia – Perth to Bali, anyone? It’s just under a 4-hour flight.
  • Asia, Africa & Europe – Dubai, Cairo & Frankfurt are big flight hubs so can be quick gateways to exploring 3 continents in a single trip.
  • North America & Asia – While very few people will take advantage of this closeness, it’s worth noting that you can travel to two continents (and into the future quickly) by taking a 1-hour flight over the international dateline from Nome, Alaska, to Russia’s closed Chukotka region. Some of our small ship Alaska cruise itineraries even depart from Nome, sailing to Russia.
A man leans on the side of a wooden ship in Indonesia with the blue ocean and green island in the background.
An AdventureSmith traveler on a 7th continent cruise in Indonesia

Set a Realistic Timeline to Visit All Seven Continents

Think about your timeline. People most often get discouraged and abandon goals when they don’t achieve them in the time that they had originally planned. Therefore, one of the most important factors in traveling to every continent is setting a realistic time in which to achieve it. Ask yourself: Is this goal among your ideal things to do before 30? Before age 70? By the time your kids graduate high school? Do you plan to travel to every continent solo, as a family or in a group? To that end, consider the following three things when choosing your timeline:

1) Family Situation

Do you have a partner who will support your goal and timeline? Young children or old parents in your care that make travel to remote destinations impractical right now? Is this something feasible to accomplish with your core family group?

2) Financial Situation

Completing travel to every continent isn’t cheap. It’s important to understand how much your goal will cost, and make sure you can afford that. At the same time, if it’s really important to you, you can absolutely make it happen! Cutting down the number of times you eat out per week by 1 or 2 can easily allow you to afford an international trip every year, and setting aside just $20-30/week for a few years will usually get you enough for that really big trip you’ve been wanting to take.

3) Employment Situation

How much time off do you need for your goal, and will your place of employment support that? Do you only get a few weeks’ vacation each year? If so, can you work towards your goal by taking a sabbatical, or by taking a long break between jobs?

If you are honest with yourself when you set your goal and your timeline, the sky is the limit!

A male traveler in a green jacket with arms outstretched on a mountain top with green lakes a blue ford and snowcapped mountains.


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Plan Ahead but Also Be Available to Travel Last Minute

You’ll need some savings to visit all 7 continents, and the best way to save money varies on your own financial situation. But some solid advice we can give as travel advisors is to plan ahead yet be very flexible if you are seeking to reach every continent. This combination of efforts can lead to big savings and surprisingly fast goal reaching! What do we mean by this?

This combination of efforts can lead to big savings and surprisingly fast goal reaching! 

Well, if you wait to plan everything last minute, then you might not go anywhere. Life can get in the way with excuses. Planning ahead and booking early allows you to do big trips “right” in having your choice of dates, cabins/rooms, early-booking deals and add-ons, as well as planning to have others join you with enough advance notice. For instance, in Antarctica, if your goal includes doing a particular activity, booking early is key since activity space can sell out.

All that said, you need to be flexible to take advantage of last-minute opportunities. Be sure to follow our adventure travel deals as well as flight consolidators and advisors like Exito Travel and Scott’s Cheap Flights to clue into last-minute savings and even “mistake” airfares. Sometimes you can’t afford NOT to go if it’s a good enough deal!

Pick Places to Travel for Your Birthday

Birthday travel is among our clients’ top reasons for going places. And everyone is keen to come along to celebrate you and might even pitch in to help you plan your birthday trips if they become annual events. We recommend achieving your travel to every continent goal by aiming to celebrate milestones on each continent. This will give you a timeline and a reason to hit your goal. Afterall, how can your boss say no to giving you some time off around your birthday?! Read more about celebration cruises, including planning a birthday cruise, on our blog.

Use a Travel Advisor

Our final tip for traveling to all 7 continents is to consult a travel advisor. Whether you talk with our team at AdventureSmith Explorations or another resource, it’s essential to have a sounding board and someone who can help with logistics, the best timing for each destination and making your travel to every continent as efficient as possible. As you’ve read above, we have quite a few tips from booking travelers on their 7th continent trips and traveling ourselves. Read on below for some tales from our travelers and team, then get planning and packing to reach your goal to visit all seven continents!

Two female travelers in AdventureSmith branded hats stand arm over shoulder of another on a beach in front of a glacier


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Tales from Travelers Who’ve Reached All 7 Continents

“I officially set the goal of getting to all 7 continents before 30 when I was 23, at which point I had been to only 3/7 (North America, Europe and Africa). The 2015 trip to Antarctica I booked with AdventureSmith Explorations allowed me to reach my 7th continent at the age of 29. Making landfall on Antarctica was an exciting and emotional moment!”
-AdventureSmith traveler Katie P.

“My last continent was Australia in 2016. I actually hadn’t stepped foot on Antarctica until 2023, even though I had previously visited it 4 times and crossed the Drake 8!”
-AdventureSmith Specialist Lauren P.

adventuresmith explorations specialist lauren pilholski leaning against a fence smiling with snow in the background

A woman in black ski overalls jumps in joy on Antarctica having reached her 7th continent in one year.

“Antarctica completed my 7 continent trip for 2017. The other passengers said ‘I heard about you, you’re the lady who did all 7 continents in one year.’ As amazing as it was, other people’s adventures and stories were also incredible. I’ve talked to people who travelled to 30, 70, or 120 countries. One couple shared their travels to all but 4 countries in South America, a feat of conquering language barriers, stories of misadventures and the beauty of all the places they have seen. All these already make me want to book my next travel adventure.”
-AdventureSmith traveler Crystalyn T.

“Now I have visited all seven continents; I have completed my mission, and my dream came true. Thank you to AdventureSmith Explorations and your staff for making this happen!!!”
-AdventureSmith traveler Binod T.

A man swings a golf club on Antarctica, celebrating having completed travel to every continent.

“We set a family goal when my daughters were in elementary school to visit six continents before they finished high school. Which we did. Antarctica was the college graduation trip. Exploring the world as a family (approx 40 countries as a family) is the greatest gift we ever gave our daughters.”
-AdventureSmith traveler Kellie M.

Have you reached all 7 continents? Need help getting there? What was the best continent to visit? Let us know in the comments, start browsing our trips, find more inspiration on the AdventureSmith Travel Blog or contact our Adventure Specialists to help match you with the best trip for your interests, budget and timeline.

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  • john Ackert says:

    I am from Canada eh, and I would like to step foot on all 7 continents too….

    • AdventureSmith Explorations says:

      An exciting goal to set, John! Let us know if we can help get you there.

  • Febin francis says:

    I am from india i would like to travel seven continent’s

    • AdventureSmith Explorations says:

      That’s great Febin! Get the wheels turning. Do you have a plan for which continents to visit first? Or last? We’d love to help you realize your goal. Please get in touch if you’re interested in booking a trip.

  • Tess Cheng says:

    How wonderful to come across this post, I had the good fortune to join the 7 continents club when I was 35, one of my closest friends who also happened to be my favourite travel companion and I decided to go to Antarctica for Christmas. We stayed on the ship for three weeks and it was truly an amazing trip. On our last day, 10 humpbacks were swimming along side us. Although I have been to over 40 countries so far, it was the most memorable expedition that I have had.

    Leslie at AdventureSmith Explorations has helped me to arrange for my cruise to the Galapagos in February next year, I’m so excited and thank you, Leslie, for all your help and useful advice.

    • AdventureSmith Explorations says:

      Hi Tess,
      Travel’s ultimate achievement—congratulations! We love hearing travel stories from our guests; memories like those never seem to fade and it’s truly why we are so passionate about what we do. We are so pleased Leslie and AdventureSmith could help plan your Galapagos Islands trip, you’re in for another unforgettable experience surrounded by wildlife found nowhere else on the planet.

  • Niki Wisniewski says:

    I just reached my goal of all 50 states by age 50 (soon turning 47) and have set my next goal to visit all the continents. Thanks for the inspiring dialogue, and I will read more about your company!

    • AdventureSmith Explorations says:

      Hello Niki,
      Wow! Congratulations!!! We would love to help you reach your goal of reaching seven continents, as we have excellent options in every continent! Keep in touch and we will be here when you are ready for your next adventure. In the meantime learn more about us and perhaps sign up for our newsletter to receive special offers, travel ideas and tips and more.

  • Eric Men says:

    Great and inspiring post. I am 22 and am currently working my way thru the US with the goal of seeing all fifty states by the time I turn 30. Seeing every continent is my next goal! Already been to two (Asia and North America). I was actually just with my family about an Antarctica trip yesterday. How much do those usually cost? Thanks!

    • AdventureSmith Explorations says:

      Hi Eric,
      Excellent goals! Visiting Antarctica offers various choices (fly vs sail, quad/triple/double cabins, type of ship, activities, etc…) and therefore many price levels. To see all of our options and to learn more about this destination please look through our Antarctica page. If you are planning on reaching Antarctica before a certain time frame, then we recommend booking early to get the cabin, departure and ship you want. People often book their Antarctica trips 9-12 months in advance. Sign up to our e-news, which will keep you up to date with what’s new (and on sale) in Antarctica travel.

  • Michelle S says:

    I need help getting to Antarctica (my last continent)! So many options, but just not sure which is the most reasonable, while being the most active. Thanks in advance!

    • AdventureSmith Explorations says:

      Hello Michelle,
      Wow, your final continent! Exciting! You have come to the right place to complete your goal, we specialize in not only getting people to Antarctica but also giving them the best experience possible on the White Continent. All of our itineraries offer hiking and Zodiac excursions and some offer kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, mountaineering, camping and even polar diving. One of our Antarctica Specialists will be in touch to help you find the best active Antarctica trip for you. In the meantime, read through our How to Choose Your Antarctica Cruise guide if you haven’t already for some tips and guidelines for Antarctica travel.

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