I'm 24 and have just returned from a two week trip to Bali and Australia. Coming home, I've decided that I want to do a round the world trip and am looking at planning it. I'm relatively well travelled as I've always holidayed since I was younger - I've seen a lot of the USA, SE Asia and Europe. I've got a lot of questions regarding booking a trip but my first are in regards to where to go and for how long. I'd have up to a year to travel and want to go West to East as I'll be going in May and so want to get to Australia towards the second half of my trip (summer).
My basic idea at the moment is a month in Canada, 6-8 weeks in South America (I originally thought 4 but forums suggest you need far longer), a few weeks in Japan, a month in China, a month through Thailand/Vietnam/Cambodia, some time through Malaysia (I have seen a lot of it though), a month in NZ and the remaining time in Australia. I'd also like to try and see Fiji.
I know it may appear like a lot to fit in but I'm happy to keep busy. I'd appreciate any advice possible though as I'm completely new to booking a RTW trip and am considering mainly countries that I haven't seen before. Thanks in advance.
Sounds a good plan.
You may want to leave yourself the flexibility for longer than 4 weeks in NZ. I travel pretty quickly but two trips (4 and 6 weeks) have still left me making difficult choices as there is a lot of variety to see. Personally I'd say to have double the time in NZ as Australia - oz looks bigger but it's largely empty in comparison.
Japan will be great but painfully expensive. Taiwan may be worth looking at - time spent there will be relatively cheap but interesting.
To be honest I'm not even sure what's in NZ so that's why I don't know how much time to set aside there. I'm sure once I research some more, I'll find out but it's useful to have advice. My intention is to try and end in Australia and spend the most time there as, hopefully, I'll manage to get a job and can extend or leave as fits.
I think two weeks in Japan is all I'll be able to afford! I'll definitely consider Taiwan, thank you.
Suggest you rethink your basic itinerary, as you will find it costly to fly from Canada to South America; and from South America to Japan. Flights from Canada tend to be expensive. That's one reason why many Canadians use U.S. airports to get where they want to go.
It will be less expensive to travel from the U.K. to Asia, then on to Australia and New Zealand. From the latter, you can fly to Fiji, then to Honolulu, Seattle (to get to Vancouver to travel across Canada), then from Montreal travel overland to New York to fly to South America. Fly from Sao Paolo back to the U.K., or as an alternative, fly to South Africa, then back to the U.K. There are relatively inexpensive one-way fares from Australia to Honolulu, either with Hawaiian Airlines or Jetstar.
Check Kayak.com or Skyscanner.com for flights from cities or airports (Bangkok, for example, has two airports). Look at all the possibilities. For example, many Chinese like to visit the Angkor temples, so there are direct flights to Siem Reap from China. Fares to some Japanese cities, such as Fukuoka, might be cheaper than to Tokyo. It might be cheaper to fly from Macau, a gambling destination, than Hong Kong. So check it all out.
Or with a complex itinerary you may find Round The World tickets better as they can include free or cheap date changes, letting you go with the flow and not plan your year exactly.
If the plan is to work in Australia you'll need a working holiday visa, they're for a year max and normally you only get one of these per lifetime hence people tend to go there for the full year. NZ also offer them.
Yes, Andyf has an excellent suggestion. Look at the proposed prices for an around-the-world itinerary with the airline alliances, such as SkyTeam, Star Alliance and OneWorld. Then compare the cost if you prepared an itinerary with a mix of airlines, such as discounters Air Asia, Jetstar, Cebu Pacific; and the airlines that aren't part of any alliance, including some in the Middle East that are growing rapidly. I usually find the cost tends to be lower, with greater flexibility, if I use a mix of airlines, both members of an alliance and nonmembers. This is over many years of travel for which I keep meticulous records. I prepare a budget for every trip; and I usually finish under budget or right on.
You still need to have some idea of when you want to fly from point to point. The reason is that flights nowadays are fuller. If you don't plan ahead, you might find the flights you want to take aren't available on the dates you want. Plus, airlines continue to make changes to flight schedules and destinations. So you'll have to pay attention to that, too.
One more thing. While I was traveling in Australia last month, the government announced a proposal related to the WHV. Here is a link to a story about it: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-05-15/backpackers-worried-about-working-holiday-visa-tax-change/6472118
[ Edit: Edited on 22-Jun-2015, at 14:00 by berner256 ]