I was hoping I could get some expert advice and opinions on planing a trip around the world. Myself and my partner are planing to travel for approximately 12 months. (January 2015-January 2016) We have selected a number of countries we would love to visit
We have never travelled before so I am feeling a bit overwhelmed with the planing. I know I need to plan a route that is logical and makes sense, I was hoping some of you more experienced travellers would be able to advise me on the best route and maybe some must see places in the countries I have listed above? If an expect traveler was to for fill the list which order would you travel to each country in and why?
I have also read about around the world flight tickets are these a good idea when you have planed to visit with cover a large amount of countries and cities? Or would buying tickets as you go be a better and more affordable option?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated
Thanks for reading
You have three fairly inexpensive countries and three very expensive countries plus you have no travel experience.
With that combo I would suggest doing Canada/New Zealand/Australia first. You'll have zero language issues, lots of free WiFi, super easy to research, easy to call home, etc. Those countries are simple and straightforward and will be a good starting point for you to learn how to travel.
Next, go to Thailand. It's by far the easiest "foreign" destination for a western backpacker. Its budget traveller infrastructure is superb and it is filled to the brim with first timers just like yourself. I suspect that after being in Thailand you might change your mind and instead of going to China (a huge/complicated place) that you might consider the rest of SE Asia (Laos/Cambodia/Vietnam/etc.) simply because the logistics are so easy from Thailand.
Leave India to the last. You'll need the experience gained in SE Asia.
Do not underestimate how expensive it is to travel in Canada/New Zealand/Australia. You don't want to blow your entire budget before you even reach the cheap travel portion of your trip.
Do not worry about specific places to see at this point. All the countries you listed have excellent guide books available to start your research. Instead of concentrating on specifics in each country get the actual flights figured out.
Have fun with your research.
I'd say January is a great time to start with N Z and enjoy the Austral summer. Nz is a bit cheaper than Aus and in my opinion has more to see, so if you spend longer in nz this helps your budget a bit, before heading on to Aus and then se Asia.
Canada is the easiest to do from the uk as a separate holiday another time so you could leave that till last and possibly skip it if the money runs out. I'm assuming you have a limited budget.
Good point from Andy regarding dropping Canada at the beginning - January can be brutal unless you're into winter sports, then it's perfect...
Thank you so much for your advice Terry and Andy F, it's really helpful .
If we start in Australia which route would you recommend we take? By the way I forgot to mention we're travelling from the UK.
"... If we start in Australia which route would you recommend we take?..."
Whatever is cheapest/easiest.
Well if a rtw ticket works out cheaper it would make sense to go westwards, so a stopover in north america such as San francisco, a couple of months for nz, a few weeks Aus, Thailand, maybe more s.e.Asia, India or can I suggest looking at Sri Lanka as a bit easier than India, and home.
If I were just going out to nz I'd break the journey halfway for a few nights stopover. My choice would be Hong Kong but you could do any of Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Taipei, Bangkok, Jakarta - probably better to choose one your trip doesn't take you back to, to see more.
If you're including China look into visas - I think possibly their visa starts ticking from date of issue? Which could be a pain for you - you may have to hang around a country for weeks while you apply for it while travelling? You could always leave it dangling as a highlight of the next trip.
[ Edit: Edited on 07-Apr-2014, at 14:24 by Andyf ]
Thanks Andy F I really appreciate your solid advice, I hadn't thought of America but it seems like a brilliant idea.
I'll have to look into flights like you suggested, do you know of any sites that maybe of help?
Sorry for all the questions I'm a total beginner!
For standalone flights I use Skyscanner.
For rtw tickets I'd start by talking to trailfinders and travelbag. No, I'd start by going on the airline group websites - oneworld, star alliance and skyteam - to play with their rtw ticket configurators, then I'd talk to the specialist travel agents and see what deals and suggestions they had.
Trailfinders in particular seem to have very well travelled staff who'll probably have useful suggestions if you walk into a store. I'm not saying to necessarily buy from them but they're worth a chat if you're new to all this.
China is easier to get around than it used to be, as there is more English signage, and more people who speak English (but only in tourist-heavy areas). China is also relatively inexpensive to travel around. Train tickets are cheap, and domestic flights have gotten much cheaper in the last few years (but look for deals). Still, it's more of a challenge than SE Asia. Stick to the big cities and tourist areas, you should be ok.