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Round the World at 50!

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1. Posted by MartianTom (Budding Member, 37 posts) 28 Apr '09 05:12

There don't seem to be many threads by middle-aged travellers, so just thought I'd put in a representation ;) I've done a fair bit of traveling over the years in the US and Canada, and some in Europe, but I haven't thought about anything as big as a RTW before. However, I've now found myself in a common enough situation: recently divorced, house sold, career going nowhere, full-blown mid-life crisis looming! On the positive side, I don't have much to give up. So... I'm planning to leave my job, put my stuff in storage, and set off. I'm giving myself a time-frame of between 4 and 6 months - not long for a RTW, so I need to make the most of it. The ticket I'm looking at takes in North America, South America, Australasia and the Far East - giving me between 4 and 6 weeks for each (yes, I know... not long enough... but still...!) My main question is about budget. I'll be living out of a rucksack, but mainly traveling using a mixture of car rental (especially in the US), motorhome (NZ and Oz) and public transport. As far as accommodation goes, I won't be looking for 5 star comfort - but I will be happy to pay a little extra for something above the average backpacker hostel. The budget I'm allowing for transport, food and accommodation - aside from the initial outlay costs of the flights, insurance and visas - is between £6,000 and £8,000. Can anyone tell me if this is a realistic figure, please? Many thanks, folks.

2. Posted by s96024 (Full Member, 106 posts) 28 Apr '09 10:00

Sounds like plenty to me. They say budgeting a £1000 a month is a good guide. I'm planning on an 11 month trip with £10000.

3. Posted by MartianTom (Budding Member, 37 posts) 28 Apr '09 10:07

Thanks, mate. That's reassuring. If I bump into you en route, I'll buy you a beer ;)

4. Posted by aharrold45 (Travel Guru, 1281 posts) 1 May '09 05:14

you sure plan to cram heaps in to your trip. The only real option in terms of a round the world trip would be to get a one world round the world fare. I know from the US they cost quite a lot of money and are pretty difficult to organise to do exactly what you want especially if you want to travel a fair bit in South America. It is possible to get out of it cheaper if you buy your rtw ticket out of Australia and buy a cheap flight to Australia, but the down side of that is that you greatlt limit what you are able to do in the Australasia/South Pacific region due to the rtw tricket starting there. The bonus is that you could include places in the North American continent like a bit of the carribbean. This is the way to make a rtw trip last more than 12 months which is not normally possible the usual way.

In answer to if the amount of money you plan to take is realistic all of that really depends on the length of time you plan to spend in each place, how well you want to see each place and if when you say not hostels you mean 1-2 star properties or 3-4 star properties. If you don't plan to splurge out each night then the amount you have allocated should be enough seeing the flights are not included in the amount. Given your age you probably are not likely to be going out wasting loads of money every night so that is where a lot of the younger people spend a lot of money.

With your motorhome hire make sure you bring a creditcard with a large limit. I looked in to it the other day with Britz and they were going to charge 7,500AUD as a deposit but it gets totally refunded as long as the van gets returned in normal condition. Otherwise they expected that amount in cash or alternatively pay a large amount extra per day.

Have a great trip.

5. Posted by MartianTom (Budding Member, 37 posts) 2 May '09 09:14

Thanks for the tips, mate. A One World ticket is one option I'm looking at. Trailfinders also do a slightly cheaper ticket that takes in South America, Australasia, the Far East (including Japan), then Mumbai and Dubai on the homeward leg. It misses out North America, but I've traveled quite a bit over there anyway, so that wouldn't be so important.

Given your age you probably are not likely to be going out wasting loads of money every night so that is where a lot of the younger people spend a lot of money.
Ha ha! I'm still quite adept at wasting loads of money every night. Some of us never entirely grow up!

Cheers.

6. Posted by baskaat (Budding Member, 3 posts) 2 May '09 11:35

You're about a year ahead of me. I'm planning on selling everything and travelling the world, but not for 2 years yet. I wish you the best! I think I am going to start out in England or Australia. I figured it would be easier to being in a place where I speak the language. I am making a list of all the places I want to go- at this rate I'll be gone longer than a year. I
Good luck on your adventure. If you ever get to S Florida, I can send you to some good local hangouts.

7. Posted by MartianTom (Budding Member, 37 posts) 2 May '09 12:40

Hi Baskaat.
Thanks for the response. A year ahead of you? I'm not so sure. I'm beginning to think I ought to give myself a little more time for both planning and traveling.... or maybe I should lower my sights a bit and try not to do too much in one go. Have you done much traveling before? How do you plan on doing it (apart from the flights)? Your time frame sounds more realistic, I think - a year gives you a lot more scope. Problem is, never having visited many of these countries (NZ, Oz, the Far East), I really won't know how I'm going to feel until I get there. I might, for instance, give myself a month in NZ - and then find I want to spend a lot longer there than first anticipated. I certainly don't want to travel just for the sake of travel - so that I can say to people 'Been there, done that'. I want it to be more meaningful than that. I've spoken to a few people who've 'done a round-the-world' and who don't seem to have gained very much out of the experience - like they've done it because they had to, because their peers were doing it, because it's just something you need to get out of the way before you get on with the rest of your life. One friend traveled the world for 5 months and made it sound quite onerous - like she got bored of all the flying and beaches and hours spent in rental cars. I'd hate it to be like that. I want to do it for the right reasons. So... maybe a bit more time and planning would be good.
Good luck with your own preparations. Florida is one part of the US I haven't been to, so I may have to rectify that...

8. Posted by Dodger (Respected Member, 860 posts) 2 May '09 15:10

I'm somewhat in the same boat. Sold up everything last year and left the US with an around the world ticket of sorts. But I have no plan of anything much, just keep traveling. After 14 months I haven't got bored or wanted to settle down at all.

We're all different, so who knows how you'll react to travel. But 6 months definitely doesn't sound like long enough, for the distance your looking at covering. At our age, this certainly might be a once in life time trip, so make the most of it this time round!

You mentioned a month in NZ. If you get here in the right season, you can spend 3 months here and still want more. I seem to have got stuck in a loop of Asia and Australasia. Pretty much doing the same countries this year that I did last year, but this time different parts that I didn't see before. For me, the more you see, the more you want to see.

9. Posted by MartianTom (Budding Member, 37 posts) 2 May '09 15:58

Hi Dodger,
Yeah... I'm pretty much beginning to think that this sort of thing will happen. I don't HAVE to give myself this time limit - it's just that I thought it might be long enough to take time out of work without making too big a hole in my savings. I don't want to spend it all on traveling. I need to have something to come back to as I'll have no job and nowhere to live - though that sounds about the same with you. There's a big part of me that feels that once I start, I'll just carry on. I think I may end up just sticking to the original time frame and seeing how things go... using it to do something a little less ambitious, like a tour of Europe or another trip around the US and Canada. There's another member who's looking for a partner to accompany her on a cycle trip across Canada, taking around 3 months... so that might be a more reasonable option in terms of getting the most out of it. I like the idea of combining travel with an activity like cycling, as I'm a seasoned cyclist, and cover a few thousand miles per year on my bike just traveling to work. Lowering my sights for now might provide the insight I need to see if I'd be up to making a bigger, longer trip a bit later on.

Just out of interest, and if you don't mind me asking, how is it panning out for you moneywise? Are you hosteling? Have you found it easy to get work to keep you going?

Thanks again.

10. Posted by Dodger (Respected Member, 860 posts) 2 May '09 17:06

Quoting MartianTom

Hi Dodger,
Yeah... I'm pretty much beginning to think that this sort of thing will happen. I don't HAVE to give myself this time limit - it's just that I thought it might be long enough to take time out of work without making too big a hole in my savings. I don't want to spend it all on traveling. I need to have something to come back to as I'll have no job and nowhere to live - though that sounds about the same with you. There's a big part of me that feels that once I start, I'll just carry on. I think I may end up just sticking to the original time frame and seeing how things go... using it to do something a little less ambitious, like a tour of Europe or another trip around the US and Canada. There's another member who's looking for a partner to accompany her on a cycle trip across Canada, taking around 3 months... so that might be a more reasonable option in terms of getting the most out of it. I like the idea of combining travel with an activity like cycling, as I'm a seasoned cyclist, and cover a few thousand miles per year on my bike just traveling to work. Lowering my sights for now might provide the insight I need to see if I'd be up to making a bigger, longer trip a bit later on.

Just out of interest, and if you don't mind me asking, how is it panning out for you moneywise? Are you hosteling? Have you found it easy to get work to keep you going?

Thanks again.

Your really not approaching this with the true gusto of a mid life crisis! you have to throw all caution to the wind and just go for it!

I was lucky enough that I sold a couple of houses before the major implosion in the US, so I have money to last a while. I travel cheap as i can, but don't sweat too much about what i spend, although I might have to address that pretty soon! I was building houses in the US, so not much chance of that opening too many doors for me anywhere in the world at the moment. So I'm just riding it and see where it takes me. Accommodation is cheap in Asia, so that's not a problem. In western countries. I bought a campervan in New Zealand, and in Australia I tried Couchsurfing which was awesome, but I think I just got really lucky. And also did HelpXchange, which as a builder, people love me to come stay and I have to fight them to leave!

Im also a keen biker. i sent my bikes over to New Zealand with the intention of traveling with them..ha yeah right. I stored them in NZ last year, so it was nice to get back here and have them waiting for me to help burn off the extra pounds I put on eating too many mo mo's.