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RTW - Itinery, Budget, Which way to go...

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1. Posted by jsimmo (Budding Member 20 posts) 9y

Okay, well I am planning my RTW trip which I expect to take more than a year. Here is my itinery so far:

- London
- Denmark
- Sweden
- Finland
- Russia
- Mongolia
- Lhasa ??
- Nepal
- Melbourne (home)

I don't know if I should start by going to London first and working my way back 'down' to home or working my way going up towards London and then flying back home..

I also don't know how I can get from Lhasa to Nepal OVERLAND??

I will also be taking the Trans-Siberia from Moscow to Mongolia and then to Beijing - Anyone have any experience??

I will be going through Europe overland and then taking my first flight from Athens to Denmark and then overland to Sweden - Finland - Russia - Mongolia - China ect..

- What do you think???

I really would just like to know my DAILY budget in Europe, Scandinavia, Russia, Mongolia and China.

Any reply is much appreciated.
Cheers, Simmo. :)

2. Posted by jsimmo (Budding Member 20 posts) 9y

I have changed my route a little.. here is the new route:

Melbourne - London - EUROPE - Athens - Copenhagen - Stockholm - Helsinki - Moscow - Ulan Bator - Beijing - Shanghai - Tokyo - Shanghai - Hong Kong - Melbourne

There are approx. 5 flights flights in there (Melb - Lon, Athens to Copenhagen, Shanghai - Tokyo, Tokyo - Shanghai, Hong Kong - Melb). And the rest is overland!!! (A huge one from Copenhagen to Beijing) :)

The reason why I have a return ticket to Shanghai from Tokyo and not one direct from Tokyo to Hong Kong is that I want to book all of this on STA Travel but when I use the route planner it only has a connecting flight to MALAYSIA from Tokyo to Hong Kong, this would be extremely annoying.. any other suggestions? Can you get from Beijing/Shanghai to Japan, overland??

Japan and ICELAND are the two countries that I have always wanted to go to but I haven't been able to fit Iceland in, however, I might think about it booking a flight to Reykajavk while I am in London, any suggestions??? :rolleyes:

The quote I have been given for my new route is: AUD $2,934 which I think is quite reasonable.

Please.. if anyone has any suggestions on how to help with getting to Iceland or Japan an easier way (possibly overland?)... I would be extremely happy!


3. Posted by aharrold45 (Travel Guru 1281 posts) 9y

Iceland is VERY VERY expensive by most places in the world standards. About the cheapest way to get there would be by booking as far in advance as possible with Iceland Express. They have a website which you.

Also I don't know if you are planning on missing it or you have just forgotten to list it, but in Russia you must go to St Petersburg. It'd be a terrible mistake if you did not spend a very minimum of 5 days but probably 7 in St Petersburg preferably in June/July when the weather is warmer and the fountains at Peterhof are working.

I've heard that they have a ferry to Shanghai from Japan and vice versa.

You may also want to reconsider the 2nd visit to Shanghai, because if you hold an Australian passport you need a visa for China and unless you got a multiple entry visa which would be considerably more expensive, you will need to get a visa twice for China. If you instead went from Tokyo-Hong Kong instead of going via Shanghai, that would be better as you will not need a visa for going to Hong Kong.

As for your daily budget that is always very hard to judge because what you do and like may be completely different to what I do and like while away or anyone else who may reply to your post. If you live it cheap in Europe (not including Scandinavian countries ie Sweden, Denmark, Finland etc) as a general thing you could just scrape by on 40 Euro a day but that would be tight. If you go to Iceland, forget about the 40 Euro a day and at least double it and you may be getting somewhere closer to the mark if you do anything but walk around freezing cold Reykjavik. "Budget" accommodation if you miss out on the hostel cost $99US a night! I found a really nice couple who let me stay with them while I was there and even without paying for accommodation I went through close to $1000US in a week. If I hadn't of done a few day tours and also had of discovered at the beginning of my time there that "Bonus" supermarket is 50% cheaper than almost everywhere else for food and non alcoholic drinks, then it would have been far cheaper. If you are going to have alcohol there, buy it when you arrive at the airport on arrival because it is extremely expensive in town (it still is at the airport but was heaps cheaper than anywhere in town). In Russia you should budget something like 60 Euro a day (not sure what that equates to in Roubles/Russian currency). Also if you are travelling to Russia in July, August sort of time prebook your accommodation as far in advance as possible (preferably many months). I booked in March last year for a trip in July last year and got the last bed in the hostel for every day I was there in Russia! Tourist entrance fees are really pricey and you then get an added charge for the priveledge of taking photos even when you go to the top of a lookout tower!

I haven't been to Nepal, Mongolia or Lhasa. From what I have heard if you don't include climbing to Base camp and other expensive tourist activities then Nepal can be very cheap. I have no idea at all about Lhasa or even where it is for that matter. China $30US a day should get you by in most places if you stay in hostels and you'd probably have some change left from that. When there you must go and do the 18km hike from Jinshaling-Simatai sections of the Great Wall of China. That is a very nice walk and is far better than the Badaling section where a large amount of tourist tours go.

Have a great trip.

[ Edit: Edited on Jun 12, 2007, at 12:08 AM by aharrold45 ]

4. Posted by jsimmo (Budding Member 20 posts) 9y


Thankyou for your reply and warning about Iceland! I had an idea that Iceland would be expensive but I had no idea that it could cost $1000 USD a week!! Won't be going there now! :(

Hm, so you think 40EURO a day for Europe would just get me by, I am thinking about 50EURO a day.. this would be more than enough?.. Right?

Yes, I just checked and there is a ferry from Shanghai to Kobe/Osaka that costs $180USD for a 2nd class ticket.

And no, I haven't forgoten about St. Petersburg, I will be going there just after Finland and just before Moscow :)

I had planned to budget around the 65 EURO per day in Moscow, which I guess is more than enough after hearing your response. Thankyou for the advice about the accommodation.. as soon as I have the dates noted I will book the Russian accommodation.

I have decided to scrap the Lhasa (Tibet) and Nepal route instead focusing on Japan, which I heard is very expensive but hopefully no where near as expensive as Iceland!!??


5. Posted by jsimmo (Budding Member 20 posts) 9y

I have put a rough/ESTIMATE figure for my budget in each 'leg of the route'..

Here is the estimated budget:

EUROPE - 60 euro per day - 120 days = 7,200euro
SCANDINAVIA - 75 euro per day - 30 days = 2,250 euro
RUSSIA - 60 euro per day - 20 days = 1,200 euro
MONGOLIA - 20 euro per day - 7 days = 140 euro
CHINA - 35 euro per day - 80 days = 2,800 euro

I really hope most of this is too much, but it is just a rough estimate!! :)

What would guys change! Any help is appreciated.


6. Posted by aharrold45 (Travel Guru 1281 posts) 9y

Japan is expensive, but not as expensive as Iceland. If you plan on seeing about Japan rather than just Tokyo (which you should), well getting the JR Pass is a must. It seems expensive when you first fork out a few hundred dollars for it, but when you compare the price per ticket to the travel you can do on it, it is good value. It has to be purchased from a JR office in another country. I got my pass from an office in Sydney before I went.

Iceland was really good, but the expense factor was a big dent. For the non Scandinavian parts of Europe most the time I was able to get by on 40 Euros, but that was without hardly any luxuries at all. 50Euros would probably allow for the occasional luxury, but not enough to go over the top ie getting drunk every couple of nights, but given the age you have in your profile I don't think you are likely to be having that happen unless you look old for your age or have a fake ID.

Another really important money saving thing is in Russia bring an ISIC Student card if you are eligible for one or if not get an IYTC for under 26 also from STA Travel. Those will give you big discounts on all the tourist attractions. It is only meant to be the student card that gives the discount, but if you show the youth card almost always they'd say "student" and when you reply yes they gave the discount of 50% which added to about $110US just in St Petersburg. That student card will save you heaps throughout most of Europe but not much in Asia. You budget seems to look good (not sure about Mongolia) and you should have money spare in most of that sections as long as you don't go over the top and you are entitled to a student discount. The youth card is a lot less of use except in places like Russia where hardly a single person can speak a word of English.

Have a great trip.

7. Posted by jsimmo (Budding Member 20 posts) 9y

Once again, thank you for your reply..

"For the non Scandinavian parts of Europe most the time I was able to get by on 40 Euros, but that was without hardly any luxuries at all."

- Wow, as you can see I allocated 75 euro per day, which I could narrow down to 55 euro (hoping for minor luxurious).. I will be drinking because I am 19 and not 16 (as stated in my profile).. ;)

Thankyou for letting me know about the JR pass in Japan. Japan is the leg that I have done hardly any (if any) research on so I still need to look at which places I am going to take a look at but it will most likely be more than just Tokyo.

I have already applied for the ISIC Student Card which will hopefully help with my budget. In regards to my budget, I was hoping that my trip wouldn't cost more than $11,000 (not including airfares). So, to keep in line with my budget I have lowered my time from 1 year to 7-8 months.

I noticed in one of your posts in another 'topic/post', you stated your RTW acouple of years back cost around 13,000AUD, may I ask where exactly you went and the budget for each place? (I hope I am not being too annoying).

When in Europe what would be the reaonable amount you could get by on per day (Aussie dollars, please). Would 50euro be enough or more than enough?

One LAST question... when you were in Japan how much did you budget per day??

Once again, thankyou for replying.

- J Simmo

[ Edit: Edited on Jun 13, 2007, at 5:57 AM by jsimmo ]

8. Posted by chemgal (Respected Member 149 posts) 9y

The STA Travel route planner is only a guide. If you visit or email and STA Travel in Melbourne, they will be able to give you all of the options for flights - I work for STA Travel in NZ :)

9. Posted by jsimmo (Budding Member 20 posts) 9y


Thank you I will email them for all the available options between China and Japan and if it works out to be cheaper than the ferry I will book it with STA.

- J Simmo

10. Posted by aharrold45 (Travel Guru 1281 posts) 9y

Quoting jsimmo

I noticed in one of your posts in another 'topic/post', you stated your RTW acouple of years back cost around 13,000AUD, may I ask where exactly you went and the budget for each place? (I hope I am not being too annoying).

When in Europe what would be the reaonable amount you could get by on per day (Aussie dollars, please). Would 50euro be enough or more than enough?

One LAST question... when you were in Japan how much did you budget per day??

In that RTW trip (which was last year), I covered Japan, South East Asia, India, UK, Italy, Iceland, Eastern Europe, Finland, Spain, Portugal, Brazil, Paraguay (just a few days), Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Jamaica, many main cities in US and back to Australia. Without going in to details for every single country which is probably going to be a bit hard to remember, if you exclude Japan (or South Korea if you were to go there), in Asia as a general thing I was setting myself a budget of $20-$25US a day so at current rate that'd probably be something like $30AUD. Most the time I was comfortably able to get by one that with plenty of luxuries ie lots of day tours and even some extended tours in Vietnam. Without hardly any luxuries you could get by on $15US (probably about $19AUD) a day in most cases. Like a bus ticket allowing a lot of stop overs from Hanoi-Saigon in Vietnam cost about $27AUD ($20US) when I did it about late April-early may last year (it may have gone up a little but not sure). In Europe 40-50Euro except Iceland, Russia, Finland and in a previous trip other Scandinavian countries especially Norway (they even charge you to use the toilet at one particular McDonalds in Oslo!)

Despite the fact I live in Australia, my mind when thinking of travel works in $US for everywhere outside of Europe where it then works to Euro because they are more universally recognised than AUD where only Australian people know.

For my trip to Japan, before I left Australia, I got 800 Yen and that last for a while, but I'd budgeted about $100AUD a day not including the JR Pass. When in Japan if it is at all possible, you should try and be there when the Cherry Blossoms are on (mid-late March) because it is so nice then and you may be lucky and be there in time to see the sumo wrestling (I was a week late for it). Definitely see Tokyo, Kyoto and Nara if you don't see any of the other really nice places.

For the places you have got down as going to in Europe, 50 Euro would be on the lower end of the budget and certainly would not allow hardly any luxuries at all (certainly not much drinking of alcohol). Basically Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark are in the most expensive countries in Europe. I think for London 50 Euro would be fine if you lived it cheap, but for the others you'd really struggle to get by on only 50Euro a day if you went to many of the tourist attractions. In Russia don't be cheap. In all the other European places especially Denmark, Sweden and Finland, be as cheap as possible, but in Russia don't miss going to some attraction because it is a bit pricey, because it is an amazing country with so many great sites to see.

When you apply for your visa to Russia, make sure you add a few days on to the front (dates before you plan on entering) and also a few more on the end after your scheduled departure date. If you arrive after your scheduled dates and depart before it is fine, but if you should want to enter before or leave after the dates you have told them you are entering and leaving, you wont be allowed. So allowing for those few days at the beginning (incase Finland bores you like it did me, and few days at the end incase of train delay or you want to spend a day or two more in a place) you then will be able to with no problems assuming you can get the accommodation required. The visa for Russia is a nightmarish experience and if it is at all possible to apply before you leave Australia, it'd be worth doing so because unless you are spending 4 weeks in a place which is highly unlikely, you'll pay a small fortune for the visa. You can apply a maximum of 6 months in advance if you do so through Sydney, but anywhere else in the world you apply it can only be a maximum of 3 months prior to your scheduled entry date. Also be careful to put on your visa application form the same hotels as your visa invitation says (even if they are not the places you have booked), because otherwise you may well be refused a visa.

Have fun!