Wow you've got a popular post going!
I started with the same questions as you almost 2 years ago with my boyfriend, we leave for our RTW in 5 weeks! It's taken a lot of planninng as we wanted to go everywhere, but we're just about ready now.
We started by looking on the sta website (I think it's www.sta.co.uk, or statravel.co.uk, can't remember which, google will have it) If you look in the rtw section it has examples of itineraries that you could do with one of there tickets (that's the one we've got, but there are other options from other companies if it doesn't suit you), so you can have a look at there options to see if anything appeals, and there's a section where you can plan your own route by clicking on the destinations and it gives you an idea of the flight price.
There is so much you can do with 3 months, don't underestimate your options. It just depends if you want to get a feel for a lot of different places or if you'd prefer to see a bit more in depth in less locations.
You'll get there, and have fun researching!
Thank you so much for your reply! WOW, just 5 weeks!!! So exciting!!!
The STA website was the first place I looked. Their ready made packages seem very good value but aren't exactly what we're looking for so I've been playing around with their RWT planner, which is fab.
Can I be very nosey and ask for details of your itinerary? Are you gonna keep a blog/ diary when you're away?
I'd be happy to tell you my itinerary, everyone else is completely fed up with hearing about it!
We set of on 1st March and we're flying to Singapore for 3 days (we had to pick a stopoff and we didn't want to waste the time sitting in an airport, so we decided to take a couple of days for city exploring. We had the choice between Singapore, Bangkok, Hong Kong and Bali)
We then fly to Australia landing in Perth. We're spending a week in Perth, then we've got an internal flight through Virgin Blue to Adelaide. We're spending 3 days in Adelaide (we decided between us that 3 days was about the right time for us to see the main points of interest in a city), then we pick up our rental car (from Europe car, this isn't the cheapest to rent outright being under 25, but because we've used Virgin Blue airline Europe car give a discount) and we're going to ferry over to Kangaroo Island for 3 days. (We originally wanted to go to Ayers Rock, but after working out the pros and cons of air fares or the time spent travelling overland we decided it was just too expensive for us, both in time and money.) So we're going to see the wildlife instead.
We then plan to spend about a week and a half driving the ocean road, hopefully we'll do the Otway treetop walk which looks awesome, and of course the twelve apostles, and we hope to save some money here by camping along the route. We also want to take in Melborne (sounds corny but I'm excited about the idea of seeing the neighbours set! I found it on google earth and it looks exactly the same. If you're sad like me take a look, it's called Pin Oak Court!) And Dave wants to see some cricket ground or something, seems a bit dull to me!
We also want to visit Canberra, although prob only for about 2 days, before getting to Sydney, where we give the car back. We plan to stay in Sydney for 3-4 days, if we have enough money we'd like to do the bridge climb and we also want to include a visit to the Blue Mountains. There are some really cool sounding pony treks up there which are a bit pricey but sound awesome. I've always wanted to pony trek through a river!
If all goes to current plan (we're still deciding the best travel option from here) we're thinking of pre buying a greyhound ticket (apparently you can only get the discount one of you buy it from the UK) with a 30 day hop on hop off allowance and making our way up the coast on the coaches. We want to visit the Whitsundays and do a bit of snorkelling along the way, but we also want to stay flexible here as the style of travel will see us meeting other people and this will give us more ideas of things to do.
We fly to Auckland from Cairns on 23rd April. We have all sorts of ideas of what we want to do in NZ, such as visiting the mountain in Queenstown to do the luge (have a look at that from google if you get chance, it's so cool!) We're still thinking about travel options here, there are buses and things but the open tickets all seem a bit pricey. We're considering renting a car for the duration so we've more flexibility, and it seems a lot cheaper in NZ!
We fly out from Christchurch and into Fiji. We're there for 8 days, and at the moment we're considering doing a Yasawas island tour. Partly because the trouble is on the mainland, but also because we want this week to be our holiday within the journey and Fiji looks like paradise! There are a few options tho, and there's either Feejee experience who do a package or Adventures Fiji. We're still pondering.
The final leg is the USA. We fly into LA. We plan to rent a car and drive into the Grand Canyon, through Bryce Canyon, Vegas and into San Francisco. We'd also like to do the coast drive between San Fran and LA, so we might make our way back down to see Big Sur. We either want to fly or catch the train (flying being cheaper, but train seeing more) to Chicago, then on to Niagra Falls, moving on to Washington and eventually New York where our tour ends.
There you go! Well done if you managed to read it all!
There are a few bits we've not completely decided upon, and we hope to plan things like train/flight in America along the way, like when we're in NZ. As this is our first trip we wanted to stay flexible, at first we weren't going to plan anything and just go with the plane tickets. As we researched activities more we found certain things we really wanted to do, and as a result we've made a plan, but it is still flexible.
Everyone we've spoken to has a different idea on planning, some people say plan nothing and just go, others say plan everything so nothing is missed out. I like to think we've found a happy medium.
I plan to write a journal while I'm away but I was just going to hand write it rather than on the internet. I hadn't considered a blog, I might think of starting one from this site, but as you can see I write too much, and I prob won't remember to keep up with it while I'm away!!!
I hope this was interesting and has helped in some way. We found when we went into STA to talk about tickets that they had the power to do things with flights that the web wouldn't allow!
Have great fun with your planning, there's so much world out there to see, and you can always go back to places on holiday in the future (that's my reasoning anyway!) We originally wanted 3 months and then changed to 4 to give more time, and we were going to go in Feb and put the date back to give oursleves more time to earn.
Anyway, I've said too much most probably!!
Feel free to ask me anything else, if you dare! I can only help with planning, but I've lots to say!
almost every big Aireline offers rtw tickets,
but I still think that you can get cheaper around if you have time ,then you can take last minit offers, you would be more free,not tied up to leafe a place you would like to stay longer ore the other way around.
Ok Nina, I'll prob not be the biggest help in the world, cos i'm actually at the same stage as you, but thought i'd note down what me and my girlfriend have just planned and see what you think (and see what everyone else thinks too.)
Basically, been planning this the past fortnight, and came up with the following route, which we booked the first half of today with STA travel.
FLIGHT London to Singapore
Singapore overland to Bangkok, and from there we do a bit of a circle of SE asia, mostly just seeing Thailand and S/SE vietname
FLIGHT Bangkok to perth
perth overland to sydney, including stops at Ayers Rock and all round the NE/E coast.
FLIGHT Sydney to Christchurch NZ,
Christchurch overland to Auckland
FLIGHT Auckland to Fiji
FLIGHT Fiji to San Francisco (via LA airport)
FLIGHT San Fran to New York
FLIGHT New York to home!
Thats the general picture, as for timescales:
SE asia 4-6 wks
Oz 2 months
NZ 1 month
Fiji/San Fran/NY 6 weeks (not sure yet on how long spending in each, apart from San fran&NY will be the shortest stays as they're the most expensive!)
THIS IS WHERE WE NEED HELP if any of you could spare a few secs:
We're paying £1300 each for our RTW ticket, including taxes (which were around £400) - DOES THAT SOUND OK? HAVE WE BEEN RIPPED OFF?
I'd suggest London to Bangkok too, or if there are cheap flights to Hanoi - then start your trip in Vietnam - it is the cheapest of all. Then you can do some overlanding thru SE Asia, maybe make your way to Singapore, get a cheap flight to Austrailia. After all, you want a culture change, right? US, Europe and Aus have too similar of cultures. Why not explore something different? Your money will get chewed up fast in the US - I live here and it's wicked. I can't imagine what it would be like for a traveler?
Or, you can fly cheaply from London to Hong Kong, then do overland thru southern China, SE Asia and on to Aus...
If you haven't traveled before, a place like HK or Bangkok is good to get your feet wet with the culture clash.
all I can say is: GO SLOW!! best way to really enjoy the place you're in is to go slow and just explore, I spent 2 months in cambodia last year. and I still wanna go back and see the things i didn't have time to see.