Ok quick overview. actually, lemme post my current travel plan (which has evolved over the past 2months) and then i'll give a quick overview.
##TICKET 1. LA—BEIJING##*1*
CHINA *7* >> Coincides w/Beijing Olympics<<
##TICKET 2. BEIJING—INDIA## *1*
(Angkor Wat ?or? Potala Palace) add a flight and few days if you add this in.
##TICKET 3. INDIA—DUBAI## *1*
Suadi Arabia *7*
(Jump a Boat to) CYPRUS *2*
(Jump a Boat to) Turkey *4*
(Bulgaria, or Macedonia, or Albania) *2* <have not decided>
(Romania, or Belgrade, or Montenegro, or Boznia&Herzegovina) *2* <have not decided>
(Croatia or Hungary or Slovenia) *1* <have not decided>
AUSTRIA *2* (german)
Czech Republic *2*
(Boat to Saint Petersburg from Swedish Coast) RUSSIA *5*
##TICKET 4. MOSCOW— AUSSIE WORLD ## *1*
##TICKET 5. AUSSIE WORLD—JAPAN## *1*
##TICKET 6. JAPAN—Los Angeles## *1*
^^^That is about a year take a few days. Now i know a bunch of you will say i am squeezing to much in but i would much rather look upon 10 different countries and their culture than spend an extra 15 days in Italy. And if i do find Holland to be a heaven on earth i am more than flexible to switch a few days here and there or completely cancel the rest of the trip to live there and start a family lol j/k. I am going to try and find people and go with friends on this trip so i won't be alone. Money is a problem because i don't plan on spending any besides food and the occasional unexpected cost. I am very accustomed to sleeping on anything (grass, sand, the floor) and know a lot of family and friends that know people that i can stay with at many points on my travel to shower or chill out or cook. I will be bringing a guitar and maybe a flute to play music and hopefully make some money doing that to buy dinner with. I plan on leaving in July so that leaves me time from now to then to train, get my shots, so on.
Ok so questions.. I have lotttttts of em so lets start out with a few. I have till July so i don't need them all answered now. 1st i guess, what are all of your opinions on my overall travel plan?? 2nd , I have a word document with some websites ranging from the shots i need from what country to sites where i can hookup with people to travel, what sites do you recommend for finding other travelers to go/join up with?? (besides this great one lol). and for now 3rd , i was thinking about going through Syria or checking out Iran. I read that someone 'disappeared' in Syria recently and so on. Do you think its not worth going to right now and try later or is one of them safer than the other? hmm 4th are my financial plans sound? I have medical insurance, i have money to pay for my shots/equipment, i have about 7,000 for tickets, and 1,000 to bring with me. I am pretty much counting on playing acoustic music and having passerbys give me money to buy food or people i am staying with to cook or meet up/make some friends to grab a bite to eat.
Ok well thats all for now, i grrrrrrrreatly appreciate any comments ya'all have and i will now be surfing the rest of these forums
also if i missed anything please tell me! like how i just learned today i need Visa's for each country and they last for 90 day??? Im still looking this up lol! thanks again for reading!
[ Edit: Edited on Nov 12, 2007, at 4:20 AM by Panell ]
Well, I think I can make a few suggestions for this trip.
First - Flights. Try looking at a map, and you'll find that this route back tracks on itself and will waste alot of money flying. Wouldn't it make more sense to go in one direction and pick your destinations in order? If you do that than you can take advantage of Round the World tickets, which I can assure you will be cheaper than $7000. If you haven't heard of them, they basically work as a single tickets with several stops around the world. So you could fly from the US-Europe-Middle East-India-Asia-Australia-US all on the same ticket over the course of a year. It would be a whole lot cheaper and easier than buying a whole bunch of one way tickets zigzagging across the planet. One option is also to buy a one way ticket to England were you can purchase a RTW ticket for much much cheaper than in the States.
Another possibly cheaper option is to do a semi overland trip. Fly to England, go overland through Europe to the Middle East, fly to India, go overland up through Nepal and China, through Southeast Asia and fly to Australia.
Second - Money. I think attempting to head out with only 1000US for a year is ridiculous. That's like $3 a day which won't even buy you lunch in Europe, nor will it buy you a place to sleep in most places in the world. You will pretty much have to hitch-hike everywhere because you won't even be able to afford to move to the next town on $3. And seriously, playing guitar for money might work in Europe (in cities where you don't need a liscence to do so), but asking for money from locals in a place like India when you would be playing guitar next to a row of seriously impoverished homeless beggars will not gain you any respect from local nor fellow travelers. You can do your trip easy enough without spending too much money, but take enough for lodging and food at least. This means at least $30-40/ day in Europe, Japan, and Australia, $10/day for India, and $15 for the rest of Asia. I don't know about the Middle East. Consider anything you make busking a bonus and maybe money to get to the next town.
Visas - Yup, many of the countries you've listed require visas, sometimes arranged before showing up at the border. Some are free, some cost as little as 15 or 20 bucks, and some are $50, 75 or more. Sometimes the Aussie going through immigration beside you won't even need a visa and you'll be slammed for 80 bucks as an American, or sometimes it's vise versa. Some are only good for a month or less, and some (like India) are good for half a year. These are things you have to find out before going, and you have to have the money to pay them. There is no way around it. You may also want to double check exactly how you are going to get into places like Saudi Arabia and Iran. Though SA is ever so slowly opening their doors to foreigners, last time I checked it was still considered one of the hardest countries in the world to get into and rocking up to the border expecting to enter as a solo tourist probably isn't going to happen. Same with Iran - I've never really looked into it so I could be way off on this one, but I'm pretty sure they aren't in the habit of dealing out tourist visas to the average American.
And as a final note, what are the asterisked numbers after each place? Is that days in the country? If so then I can pick this plan a part even further...
thanks for the input Degalosse!! oo and yes the #'s in the astericks ARE the days that i plan to be there. Good call
Yes, I have been mapped out different versions of this before seeing if it was faster going through Antarctica from Moscow to Aussie or down through Asia from Moscow to Aussie. i don't think that matters but i have mapped lol The thing is that this whole trip originated from me wanting to go to Beijing to see the Olympic Stadiums in action. So from the 19-25 of August are the only dates locked in because that is when the Olympics are going on. I had thought of going from Beijing to Japan then Japan to Aussie then Aussie to India but i do not know anyone that has family in japan and i do know some people i could stay with at times in India so that i could get acclimated to this whole experience. I don't really know what to do there... hmm.. i actually wanted to go to India during the Diwali holiday but it doesn't look like that is possible. I'm going to be looking into each country specifically over the next few months to see what events are going on. Like Beijing has the olympics, i'm going to try to be @ The Vatican for Christmas so on, so on.
About the money, yeah i wouldn't want to be disrespectful i was actually thinking of playing in malls and i guess subways or places like that where people really aren't dirt poor. But maybe i could get some sponsorship from local organizations or the local tv station if i do a report for them or something to move some money from the tickets to buying food. I guess i'm hoping to much on people i stay with (that i know from friends or family or just met) or meet would give me a buck or two lol. I'll start saving more again
Thanks for the input and yeh those visas look a little annoying but hey, so are shots (and i hattttte getting shots ) but still its all quite the experience
[ Edit: Edited on Nov 12, 2007, at 6:32 AM by Panell ]
I like my trips to cram loads in, but that is crazy without having barely enough funds to live a month in places like the US if if you barely ate, drank anything but tap water and never stayed in a place that allowed you a bed and shower! Maybe if you had $20,000 for the spending money side of things it may be a realistic option. Have you looked in to visas, because I know for a fact that if you stick with your current plan you are going to have many difficulties with visas and getting in to future countries due to visiting Israel.
Are you not even wanting to see the Great Wall of China when you go to China? 7 days is hardly enough time to see the Greater Beijing area when the olympics aren't on let alone when they are!
Saudi Arabia is still nigh on impossible for any non muslim to get in without it being for work purposes. You need a certificate from an authorised islamic society to say you are a muslim before you will even be considered for anything other than a transit visa which is also extremely hard to get at best.
Once you get a visa/stamp from Israel in your passport many countries will not allow you entry or a visa. Some people try to get them to stamp it on a seperate piece of paper but unless you fly from Israel to another country, they are able to tell you have been there simply by the fact the border your entry stamp for the next country has been stamped at is the border shared with Israel.
Russia is a major pain in the bottom to get a visa for as well (and is rather expensive). It is not a visa that you could even consider getting on a trip as rushed as yours unless you feel like spending a major fortune for priority processing. Mine took 4 weeks to process and cost $85+$30 for the visa support, for it to be spend up to next day processing it would have been $400 and for only 5 days in the country that could not be justified. It is even harder and more expensive for American passport holders to get a Russian visa.
Is this trip just for the "I've been to ... countries" factor? Really you are spending 5 days in Russia which has two of the most interesting and beautiful cities in the world (Moscow deserves 5 days and St Petersburg 7 days alone), you are spending 1, 2 or 3 days in many countries so you may as well not bother going to them because you'll barely see anything and couldn't tell people about much in the country.
In countries like Australia I can almost guarentee you that if you rocked up to the border with the amount of cash you say (but probably less given it is at the end of your trip), you would be denied entry and be sent packing on the next plane out. Locally we have a TV show called border security and occasionally it will have people travelling to Australia in a similar way to what your trip is. I am yet to see one of them where the guy talked the officers in to getting entry in to the country and they don't care weather it is a UK citizen, US Citizen, Canadian Citizen, Japanese citizen (countries that are considered rich) or Indian, Sudanise, Israeli or any other nationality. I've seen people on that show come in claimng to have $2000 and only going to be here for a week. They get turned back because the officers suspect they are not coming for the purpose of what they claim due to them believing $2000 isn't enough money for how long they want to be here. I know as a person who has travelled a lot on a budget that it is a load of rubbish that $2000 can't last 2 weeks because I could make it last a month or more even in Australia whilst still seeing things but immigrations officers in Australia don't think like budget minded travellers they think like richer travellers. If you do come you would want to make claim to having a lot more than you do (but not more than $10,000). If you choose Iran that is also very hard to get a visa in most situations. I have heard of the occasional case where it wasn't difficult, but apart from Saudi Arabia and North Korea Iran is meant to be the next hardest to get a visa for.
I know that for Australian's the UK is pretty much a similar situation to what Australia is for many foreign tourists and also how the US is for any non US/Canadian citizen. I'd imagine the same sort of situation would apply for other countries that have more richer people like US Citizens.
[ Edit: Edited on Nov 16, 2007, at 3:47 AM by aharrold45 ]
A few thoughts:
If you're going to spend the time and money getting somewhere you might as well give it the time it deserves, aka narrow things down and do each place "right".
The value of the US Dollar right now is crap. If you're in pretty much any other developed country it's not going to get you far. And at least as far as Ireland and the UK go, things are exspensive.
While I love the US and respect the massive variety of things to do and places to see you might want to scrap it for now and devote that time to some of the places that you are flying to.
You may want to do some reading up on conflicts around the world to know what to expect in certain places you go and to understand the difficulties you may encounter.
Just a few thoughts. Good luck with your plans
Wonk: Darn U.S. dollar, hopefully it'll still get me through the dollar menu in european mcdonalds lol. Also thanks for the insight. I love reading up on the situation in places so my current resources for that are the news, wikitravel, and tripadvisor.com ;] those are working out for me at the moment but if u have any other ones that be great 2!
aharrold: I'm working on more money i know its tight lol. but i do know people that will let me stay with them for a night or two for a hot shower in the least. I am re-working on the Isreal problem, maybe i won't go there? Do you think it's better to go to Isreal and lose the other countries or vice versa?? And i only have tickets to 1 event at the olympics so i have 6 days to see it lol. I might try and get another ticket while i'm there cuz i'd love to go in the National Stadium and the National Aquatics Center. Thanks for the info on Russia and Saudi, the fact that i mite not even b able to get into Saudi and that the Russian one costs more than i should pay for 5days does give me something to think about/factor into the plans. The reason i have some countries at 2-3 days is because i read somewhere that you can get a much cheaper visa for that country than the 30ish day one which is the 3ish day one. Also thats great about the Australia/U.K. having those restraints. If i didn't know and didn't raise anymore money then that would have been quit the suprise lol!! I am definitely, definitely going to save more money, it can only help