First off I'd like to say Hi, I'm new to the site but it looks like an awesome place. I'm in my first of two years becomeing a Petroleum Engineering Technologist in Canada and after I finish I am planning on going on an epic adventure. The problem is I am an extremely inexperienced traveller, I've spent 20 days in Thailand and thats all. I'm thinking about 3 or 4 months should be enough. First off I have a couple questions,with your wealth of knowledge where would you go if you could plan one trip to see alot of the world. I want to see alot of different places but I realize it might not be realistic to do it all in one 4 month trip. I'm a bit of an adrenaline junky so I think New Zealand and Australia will be involved but other than that I'm fairly open to anywhere. I'm also into SCUBA so anywhere that I can dive is a bonus as well. I don't want to focus on one area of the world, I would like to include some European, some African, some Asian and maybe some South American. Basically I want to see the most amazing spectacles all around the world and I'm wondering what places you would suggest. The other big question I have is how much money do you think I need to save? I dont want to be sleeping in the gutter but I also dont need 5 star hotels, something with A/C would be nice. It looks like I may be going this alone so any comments on that would be appreciated as well. Thanks in advance for any advice you can give me.
I'm in the same boat as you, i also waiting to finish school to do some traveling. I will do some this summer, and then some more in 2 years.
As to the cost, since you only have 4 month, and you are trying to visit as many places as possible i'm assuming you will do most of your long distances by plane.
Check out airtreks.com, you can click on all the places you want to visit in order and they give you a round about price for all the tickets to get to the various places. It is a lot cheaper then buying your tickets individually. Plus its fun you just sit there and plan possible trips.
Ya, I'm starting to realize that this whole thing may not be doable in 4 months. I think I would rather see fewer countries and really experince the ones I am in than the other way around. Like atleast 2-3 weeks a country. The other thing I may do is just wing it. Show up at the airport and buy a ticket wherever seems fun. I think this may be the cheapest way to go. I dont like the idea of prebuying all the tickets becuase I always end up changing my mind. I would like the freedom to change my plan at the drop of a hat, perhaps if I meet some people I like just go where they are headed. I'm really not sure what I'm going to do yet, I'm just starting to explore the possibilities.
You definelty don't have enough time to see that much stuff in 4 months. It would be a mad dash to see the sights and you would get nothing out of it. It would also prove to be very expensive because you would spend more time in transport than actually seeing anything. Also, if you plan to see a whole lot of places, the buying tickets as you go probably won't be the cheapest way at all. A round-the-world ticket is usually the most economical way to get to alot of places on one trip. You also have to consider that alot of places require visas in advance and so you can't just hop on a plane to alot of places. On top of that, you often need an onward ticket out of a country to get in, and sometimes they just won't let you on the plane if they think you won't be allowed into the country you are heading.
I would say your best bet is to stick on one single area and visit it well. Head to either South American, Africa, or Southeast Asia, and just visit the countries that you can travel to overland. I don't know about Africa, but you can easily spend 4 months doing a trip through South America or Southeast Asia. Australia and NZ are also good, and on a return ticket from Canada you usually will have the option to stop over in Asia or a some Pacific Islands on the way.
How much you spend will depend on where you go. Since you have been to Thailand I'm sure you are aware of how cheap it is there, and the rest of the region is similar. South America is a little more expensive and it depends on what countries you go to. If you choose Australasia you are looking at twice the money. I have no idea about Africa. Europe will cost you three times what Asia will cost you. If you choose to fly to many different areas in your 4 months, then you will spend a whole lot more.
You could get a RTW ticket, and do a 4 month trip, but just have a few stops in it in various countries. I don't know about Canada, but in Australia a cheap RTW is not much more than a return long haul flight somewhere especially if it involves going to South America. Doing what you say would let you do what you've mentioned in your 2nd post to a certain degree depending on where you made the stop. For example, if you went US-New Zealand-Australia-Bangkok, well you could get a cheap Air Asia flight to Hanoi, make your way overland through Vietnam, Cambodia and Maybe Laos before making your way back to Bangkok to fly to Europe. Then to make a lot out of a little amount of stops, you could say go to Kiev/Ukraine, then you could go overland through Russia, Latvia Estonia and finally get to Finland (as an example). That would allow one stop to let you see 5 different countries all which are very beautiful in one stop. You could do something similar if you say got a ticket to Berlin, then make you way overland through Germany,Netherlands, Belgium, France, Spain and return to Canada. Doing something like that would give you a taste of a few countries. I did something kind of similar in my first trip to Europe, and then I saw which places I liked and disliked and then the last trip I went and revisited the places that I really loved and wanted to spend more time in. That sort of thing would miss Africa and South America, but would still let you see Australia/NZ, Europe and Asia which are three really nice continents to visit. It'd give you enough travel to get yourself a bad case of the travel bug. It would allow you some flexibility by putting a date of say 19th June on Kiev and then 30 July on Helsinki, and if you found you liked a place and wanted to stay longer you can change your dates for free on the RTW ticket. On the other hand if you found you disliked say Latvia, you could go to another country near by and continue on your way up towards Helsinki where your ticket recommences from.
That would allow you to set 1 month Australia/NZ, 1 and a 1/2 months Asia and 1 and a 1/2 months Europe. That'd give you a taste.
I did a trip for 4 months covering a lot of countries in Europe, a bit of Asia, United Arab Emirates, Egypt and both Canada and America. Every day was up very early and bed late to try and see as much as I could in daylight hours. Instead of using trains I most the time got cheap flights in Europe using the budget airlines to save many hours on trains so as to arrive very early or very late to have the arrival day as a full day. It took away from the experience a bit in some places by flying instead of getting trains, but in other places it didn't as I have found out in my RTW trip since then.
Anyway whatever you decide on have a great trip.
[ Edit: Edited on Jan 14, 2007, at 6:32 PM by aharrold45 ]
Ya, I'm starting to realize that a RTW trip may not be realistic on my budget or in the time I have. That will have to wait until I have a career... I'm thinking I may limit my time to Southeast Asia and Australia and Nex Zealnd. I know Australia and New Zealand are more expensive but I think it should be worth it if I spend 3 or 4 weeks between the two. Then fly to Thailand as it's a bit of a comfort zone already then overland to all the other countries I want to see. Now I'm wondering is there enough to keep me busy for 3 months in SE Asia without breaking the bank? I dont think it will be an issue as I'm very much interested in the temples and such that I experienced in Thailand. I'm thinking I will have about $8000CAD for the trip. Is this a realistic budget or am I being niave?
Trust me after 2-3 days you will be templed out.... seen a couple dozen seen them all, ya know what i mean. You could make a list of what and where you want to see and do in asia, Indonesia is supposed to be excellent, i never made it there but i will someday. We spent alot of time on the islands of ko samui etc and then on phuket etc. You better watch your spending in NZ and OZ, the adrenaline adventures cost a fair amount, not bad scuba in thailand aswell. either way have fun
Hey, thanks to everyone for the advice. I've been looking around and I think the only way to go is do a few things in NZ and Oz, maybe a bungee jump or two and a little SCUBA but keep most of the diving for SEA. Ya, I too have heard amazing things about Indonesia so hopefully I can make it there. My next question is how much do I have to plan ahead if I just want to travel overland in SEA. I'm hopeing its possible to just go where I want when I want and not have to book too many things in advance.
No problem. I've never booked a single thing in advance in Southeast Asia. The most advanced I've ever gotten is buying a bus/train ticket the night before I want to leave. Ive always looked for accomidation when I arrived in a town. Its a great place to just go with the flow.