My name's Ryan and my wife and I have decided we want to take the plunge, throw in the jobs (sort of) and go travelling.
So here is our plan.
Firstly we're going to do some driving around europe. We live near Plymouth so our thought was take my car and a ferry down to Santander in Spain and work our way around. We're talking 5 weeks or so, going from Spain through the South of France, Italy, Switzerland, then working north through Germany and Austria and stuff.
First bit of advice required. Do you think it'll be best to take our own car for this and just find motels each night, and perhaps take our tent etc for camping? Or is renting a motor home or similar going to be a better choice? I guess the cost of the first one will depend on how often we find a motel instead of camping. But if you have experience of either I'd like to hear your thoughts.
Once we've done that we'll return home and drop off the car, recover for a short while and then we plan to fly off to New York. Our intention is to drive coast to coast. We plan on giving this around 6 weeks. A quote we had for an RV made this very expensive so again we'd be looking at a car/tent/motel option. Lots of people have suggested buying a car, then selling it once you get to the other side. Has anyone done this and was it a fairly painless process. My thoughts are that perhaps a rental maybe better as it gives you the safety net of breakdown cover and replacement car should something go wrong, but again I'd love to know peoples thoughts. Also if you have one thing in the US you think we HAVE to do, please let me know.
From the west coast we'd intend to fly to a Pacific Island. We have been to Hawaii before and loved it, but wouldn't mind something a little less American. Maybe Fiji depending on the political situation when we go
From there we plan on a long stay in New Zealand. Around 5 or 6 months. I believe as UK citizens we don't need to worry about Visa's provided we leave before 6 months is up, can someone confirm??? Now we obviously want to see as much as we can of the country, but without feeling like we're living out of a suitcase the whole while. My thoughts were to choose 4 bases and rent an apartment/studio for around a month or 2 in each spot. Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown would be obvious. For this of course, we'd need money for the accom as well as transport, so again, I'd ask, do you think this is the best way to go about it (we're not on an endless budget) so all alternatives appreciated. I'm guessing buying a car for this long period of time would be better than renting, unless you can get some sort of long term rental agreement which makes it a lot cheaper.
From there, we plan to go to Australia and Tasmania for a month or two and then head to Asia, most likely Thailand. My big goal is to trek to Everest base camp so a trip to Kathmandu is also on the cards. If anyone has any experience of doing this then I'd love to hear about it and what you suggest is the best way of doing it (porter, UK company etc etc).
So that's our trip.
Sorry for the extensive detail but I suppose the 2 main areas of advice we need is our transport and accomodation in the US and NZ.
Thanks for your time and advice in advance.
First of all this sounds like a great trip, but it sounds like you will only be visiting mostly western countries (besides Thailandand Nepal). Have you thought of visiting places that are out of your comfort zone like India, Morocco, Cambodia, Laos or the Middle East?
If you are driving through the US you have to go to San Francisco then drive down highway 101 to Los Angeles. When you are driving through Kansas you can stop in Cawker City and see the worlds largest ball of twine. Now that is a cultural marvel!
You can also see it here http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/8543
[ Edit: Edited on 12-Jun-2009, at 09:43 by erike16 ]
sounds great, sounds expensive too.
Italy is very nice and i've only heard good things from bulgaria and croatia.
eastern europe has opened up so i think it would be good to experience those.
you may need a permit for base camp so look into that.
travel in asia is the easiest so when you go to thailand dont miss out on laos, cambodia, malaysia, vietnam, even burma.
you'll only do it once so try as much as possible.
main advice would be to slum it and watch the pennies, and dont miss out on anything
3 years ago I drove from Miami to San francisco using a company called Auto Driveaway. I delivered a car for them so only had to pay for gas which saved me a fortune on any rental costs. The only down side was that you are given a limited time to get there so if you want to take your time its not an option. But we did get to do route 66, visit the grand canon and gracelands. My fav place was beal street in memphis at night.
Hope people don't mind me digging up my old post rather than creating a new one!
We have refined our trip a bit now, albeit way in advance still, one of those things which I'm going to spend a lot of time thinking about over the next 24 months I bet!
Anyway, our trip is planned as follows.
We are going to take our own car from our home in Plymouth and take the Ferry to Santander, Spain and then do all our driving around europe before heading home. Stage 1 complete time roughly 6 weeks!
Then it's off to the US, where we plan on hiring a car for 2 months and rather than do coast to coast and zig zagging all over the place to see the things we want to, we're gonna land in San Francisco or LA and do a loop to the east coast and back, saves a bundle on the drop off charge and about the same in mileage. We'll be doing this for about 2 months. As far as I can tell the normal tourist visa for the US is valid for 90 days, and so is our UK driving license.
Then we'll move on to New Zealand for 4 months, we've opted to buy a camper van, although I'm a little worried about staying in a camper for this long, it may be that we buy one and if we get fed up of living in it for this length of time we'll sell it and rent a place if possible.
Then Australia for 2 months.
We then head to Malaysia, Thailand, Nepal, Japan and then to China where we plan on taking the Trans-Mongolian/Siberian express to Moscow.
My main questions are about Visa's especially for Asian countries. We're not going to be in our country of residence for around 8 months or so before we get to these places and I know China is quite strict on visa's. Anybody got a clue how we can obtain visa's for these countries? Will we be able to get them in NZ or Aus or on arrival in Malaysia. We will probably be in these countries for around 2 months in total.
Also, anyone with advice experience of the "Vodka Express"? Had a read of www.seat61.com which is pretty useful, but looking for experiences, good places to book (cheap but efficient, can this be done in China or one of the other countries due to the fact that we won't be able to sort it out with a UK tour operator so far in advance etc etc), good stop offs in Mongolia and Siberia etc.
Sorry for yet another overload, but I've got so many questions, I guess I'm one of lifes worriers. If you need more info about something just ask!