I'm going travelling from March/April next year for at least a year...hopefully longer. I have a list of countries I'd like to go to (almost all of them tropical/warm) but I have no idea where to go first/how long to stay there and where to go next. This will be my first rtw trip and I'll be on my own (less arguing).
Everytime I sit down to plan my route I get a migraine and give up after I've added 25+ countries to my route and am still only half-way there.
I'd love to hear people's opinions and advice on planning a RTW trip with a scheduled itinerary, versus buying one ticket to one place then making it up as you go along. I must admit I'm slowly warming to the idea of not really planning it.
What are the pros and cons of each way?
[ Edit: Edited at Nov 6, 2006 12:01 PM by jonny b ]
I like to plan, because thats one of my favourite parts of the trip the anticipation.
I start by making a list of all the places i want to go. and a list of some of the things id like to achieve while im away (see a tiger, take a cookery course, jump out of a plane etc.)
Then i try to be realistic about what is achievable. its no fun whatsoever spending two days in every place and running around like a blue arsed fly. I prefer to pick the places i think suit me the most, and spend a good amount of time there to really feel like your immersed in the place and not just day tripping!
At the end of the day its a personal choice. But you have to be realistic about what you can reasonabley do in a year!
Well said jenny...
It is a personal choice and deciding where to go and what to see is the biggest pain in the ass. I know i wanted to do and see everything all at the one time but i learned that places are not going anyway so choose destinations and places and things to see. See how far your money will stretch and then put the places that you can't go on your long term list and they will be there for when you decided to travel again. Thats how i'm working it anyway.
I love the planning, but I also never plan and always wing it. That makes no sense, so i'äll try and explain. I love planning travels and looking at ideas/potential routes etc, but I never do it before a trip. I will do it when I am working/slaving away/dreaming. Normally I won't even plan the areas that i'm expecting to visit next. Instead I will read all about and plan areas which I don't plan to visit for a while. It keeps me occupied, inspires dreams etc and future ideas and means i get lots of background reading about place all around teh world.
For my actual trip, I will look at certain things in advance - I will look into visa regs, for example, for anywhere i plan to go or any country even vaguely close. I will also read up on basics of all such countries and areas, so i have a vague idea of its history and culture. I will note down currency /approx rate etc, know the Capital and if there are any major things i should see if i happen to end up there. I also have a tiny hand made print out of the UNESCO list of the world which can be used for ideas if nothing else.
I will look out for specific country festivals/events (i.e. New Year at different times, religious or national festivals) which may affect my trip if I am there - i.e. no shops/restaurants/travel available - or I may want to specifically be there for to experience. I will check for major festivals and sports events/sports seasons (i'm a sports freak, and take any opportunity to go and watch stuff live that i can). I'll also check up on things like Friends birthdays and the like. That gives me a rough framework idea and that all i ever have. There aren't any ties or specifics there I must keep to, but enough kind of vague possibilities that it gives me something to aim for if i decide at the time I want to aim for it. If not, I won't.
I never plan an exact, or even approximate route. To me there is nothing better than deciding that "left" looks interesting and heading that way for a week or so. And then instead of coming back, maybe then going left again. Who knows? Making it up as you go along, and allowing you as much time as you want in a place is teh best thing. Some places you pass through quicker, others you want (or need) to linger for a while.
I`m too whatever to plan. I hate it. Making choices and all. I`m in Austraila now and would like to travel a bit of africa, a bit of the america`s, the middle east, the mediterean and maybe mongolia also. If I by a RTW ticket I probably loose my last flight because I don`t want to end in Australia. On the other hand such a ticket probably isn`t much deerer than a ticket Pert - South-America and I can probably change all my flights with such a ticket so if I make a rough choice and than change all flights. Fuck visa`s, I`m through with travelling countries where I don`t get a visa on arrivel. I`ll just fly to the nearest country where I get one like that and just bordercross at night in the bush. Fuck all fascists. No way I`m going to peking because I want to be in Tibet. Pfff I`m daydreaming again. Bye bye.
I`ll just stay in Australia illegally.
Same here, prefer to take in the country properly instead of running around like a crazy chicken in the Japanese style.
The least you need for most countries is a month so don`t go crazy on the amount you want to visit.
If you want to do different continents it is a good idea to book your flights in advance. You can change you departure dates anyway and if you really want to you can still change your internary. Ofcourse this will make it all much cheaper then if you had to book it seperately. Quantas had some good deals when I went. In some packages they don`t charge you for changing the dates, make sure you have this otherwise you might feal that you are too binded to it....
During your trip you will meet lots of people with great ideas. No point planning it all to exact otherwise you miss out on these.
If you have some questions on se asia, new zealand, feel free to ask....
enjoy your trip