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Long trip loads or help needed.

Travel Forums Round the World Travel Long trip loads or help needed.

1. Posted by Wildsea (Budding Member 2 posts) 7y

Hi all. I am new to this forum, and am hoping for a bit of advice.

I have never booked a flight or anything before, but want to plan a big trip for late 2010 (I need some time to save up first and want to see a couple of Ashes tests in Aus.)

I take it I should start thinking about where/ when to go as early as poss, so I can get the best deals on flights?
I definatly want to go to Australia and New Zealand. After that i'm not to sure.

I would love to go on a safari, I was thinking about Tanzania so I can try and tackle Kilimanjaro. Any info would be appreciated. In regards to flights, how much cheaper are one of the round the world tickets, or would you suggest getting individual tickets, and dates and destinations alter?

I'm going alone, hoping to meet people out there. I will be staying in hostels, spending as little as possible on accom and food. I have never stayed in a hostel before. Do you have to pre-book, or just rock up? What is the average price per night, and are hostels easy to find? What about tour operators such as Contiki to start with to build my confidence in travelling in a foreign country, would anyone reccomend this?

Thanks, i appreciate all thoughts, and will probably have 2 more questions for every answer given.

Cheers in advance
Sarah

2. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4835 posts) 7y

Quoting Wildsea

I take it I should start thinking about where/ when to go as early as poss, so I can get the best deals on flights?
I definatly want to go to Australia and New Zealand. After that i'm not to sure.

No one can say for certain how flight costs will develop, but booking more than 6-9 months in advance is unlikely to get you the best prices. And if you want to visit a number of destinations on more than two continents, Round the World (RTW) tickets almost always work out as the best option.

I will be staying in hostels, spending as little as possible on accom and food. I have never stayed in a hostel before. Do you have to pre-book, or just rock up? What is the average price per night, and are hostels easy to find?

"It depends". The average price of a bed in a small (4 or 6 bed) dorm room in a good quality big city hostel in Australia is $25-$30 (Australian dollars); in smaller towns it can be $20 or less. Hostels in Europe or North America cost a lot more; those in SE Asia are generally much cheaper. Generally speaking it's a good idea to book a few days ahead, but most of the time you can also just show up and expect to find a bed without too much searching. During specific times of the year you should book a week or two ahead (South Island New Zealand from late December through early March, or during the weekend in any European capital between June and September), and sometimes even 6 months or more (New Years in Sydney).
For information about all such things, I highly recommend getting yourself Lonely Planet travel guides to the countries you want to visit, and then just reading them. They'll tell you which hostels exist (or make a selection out of them for the larger cities with dozens of hotels), what they cost per night for the different room types, and if booking ahead is recommended. There's also always a general accommodation section which will tell you about peak season during which you should always book ahead.
You can also find and book a lot of hostels here at travellerspoint, or just call the hostels directly.

What about tour operators such as Contiki to start with to build my confidence in travelling in a foreign country, would anyone reccomend this?

I would not. The basics of travelling are really easy to get the hang off, and tours definitely aren't designed to help you build confidence in being able to do things on your own, otherwise they'd quickly lose all their customers.

3. Posted by Wildsea (Budding Member 2 posts) 7y

Cool. Thanks for the reply.
So, for Aus during the Ashes I will need to book pretty early, as I assume they get seriously packed. Otherwise a couple of days in advance should cover it.

With the RTW tickets how easy are these to change dates on, as I may want to stay less in some countries, and longer in others. Do they have specific routings for you to choose from? Can you change destinations mid way through the trip.

Thanks, and sorry for all the questions. As you can tell i'm a complete novice, and prefer to get info from other people, rather than companies, who would just you to book their product.

Cheers

4. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4835 posts) 7y

Quoting Wildsea

With the RTW tickets how easy are these to change dates on, as I may want to stay less in some countries, and longer in others. Do they have specific routings for you to choose from? Can you change destinations mid way through the trip.

Date changes are free with the RTW tickets I'm familiar with (obviously you should check this when booking), although the number of spaces in the RTW ticket class is frequently limited, which means you might have trouble getting the exact date change you want if you leave it to the last minute. You can assemble the route yourself, insofar as the airlines in the alliance with which you're booking with fly to the specified destinations; there's a couple of basic routes to the main destinations which travel agencies advertise with, and which you can use for guidance to get you started, but any travel agency specializing in RTW tickets should be able to make whatever alterations you want to such an itinerary. There is really tremendous freedom here, and this gives you the option of going places where you'd otherwise never end up at because single tickets to those destinations are really expensive. (For example, on the RTW I took last year, I flew from Santiago de Chile to Auckland on a ticket from the OneWorld alliance. I could've taken a direct flight, but they also had stopover locations in Easter Island and Tahiti, and so I could visit those at no extra cost. (Took up a few miles and a stop each for the South America respectively Oceania continent limit, but I wasn't using those stops anyway, and had plenty of miles.)) Route changes aren't permitted once you've booked the ticket though (other than for some hefty cost at which it's often cheaper to just buy a separate ticket), so it's best to plan on using the RTW ticket simply to get from one area of the world to another, and then be prepared to use local transport (whether short hop flights or train or bus) to get between different locations in that part of the world. (Although of course, if your RTW flight got you exactly where you wanted to be, so much the better.)

[ Edit: Edited on 24-May-2009, at 11:41 by Sander ]