We are planning to leave the UK in September 2010. We are a couple in our 20's looking for a year out.
After a few weeks research we have come up with the following itinerary, which is wide-open to change.
Fly - UK to Bahrain
Overland Bahrain to Oman (3 weeks with friends/family there)
Fly - Oman to Mumbai
Overland - Mumbai to Sri Lanka ( 2-3 months)
Fly - Sri Lanka to Beijing
Overland - Beijing to Indonesia (looking to include China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia) (2-3 months)
Fly - Indonesia to Australia (possibly Darwin then travel down East Coast) (1-2 months)
Fly - Australia to NZ (1 month)
Fly - NZ to Fiji (looking at purchasing Pacific Islands travel pass) (3 weeks)
Fly - Fiji to LA
Overland - LA to Mexico (3 weeks)
Fly - Mexico to Ecuador
Overland - Ecuador to Brazil (looking to include Peru, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil) (2 to 3 months)
Fly - Brazil to UK
We have both been working for 5 years and want to have a year out. We want to ensure that we get it right because when we come back it will be back to work! The above lists the countries we are really interested in.
The stage we are unsure of is the Overland section from Beijing to Indonesia. We intend spending 2 to 3 months doing this so time isn't an issue, it's whether or not it will be too much. Should we be looking at popping a flight in the middle somewhere.
Have we missed anything?
We would really appreciate any advice you have to offer! & thanks in advance.
I know I've said this to many others before, but try and consider a little of Africa on your trip. It's not really a RTW unless you put in all 5 continents, but I guess around 99% of all RTW's seem to hover around Thai, Laos, Camb. etc. etc. If I could suggest,, Oman - Nairobi - Sri Lanka. Just a suggestion.
I really like the feel of your itinery as a trip overall though.
Personally, I don't go a bundle on too much of Asia. I've done a lot of it several times and much prefer Africa and South America (which you are hoping to include.. Hooray !).
The S. America part of your plans will send your camera into meltdown if you're not careful. I visited Ecuador and just didn't want to leave. I now have a caique as a result of one of my river trips there. I bought him when I got home and what a talent he is.
Fiji is a little corner of paradise that isn't choking in tourists (yet !). Some of the best unspoilt beaches on the planet and not busting at the seams with car fumes and overcrowded trains.
Again for me (as you're asking) Mexico.. 100% yes, L.A.. 100% no. If L.A. is your thing, then it doesn't come any better. It isn't my thing at all though and after Mexico I would go to Phoenix and do loads in Arizona. Just an opinion.
So it's all down to choice, isn't it. I just see so many people asking opinions on their itinery and it's nearly always Asia and Oz. Lucky those that can do it, but there's so much more and in my opinion that's better out there.
Gotta say though regardless of our differences of choice, your trip looks just so incredibly good.
Thanks for your help BedouinLeo.
We are very happy with our itinerary but am worried about our overland trips.
After doing some research on South America, we can not wait!!
I agree that Africa is a great continent. We have been to Kenya and South Africa and loved both countries. Unfortunately we can not afford to include it in our trip.
We might fly from Mexico City to Ecuador via a couple of nights in Bogota, Colombia.
How do you recommend travelling around South America? We hope to go from Ecuador to Peru, then to Bolivia, then to Chile, then to Argentina and finally Brazil.... I'm so excited just writing this!! Which countries can we get a bus or train to? Or are the all flights?
We've done just about every mode of transport around S. America.. Trains, car hire, internal and international flights and it was just a means to an end of how we all got around. There are endless boat trips too, that are cheap and wonderfully surprising if you're into wildlife.
If there is a train station close by, regardless of which country you are in, then take it. It's a great way of relaxing and seeing the incredible surrounding areas without getting continuously stopped at police roadblocks where they insist on having something off you whatever it is, before you drive on. There aren't any police 'train track blocks' that I recall !
I certainly wouldn't recommend parts of Bogota unless you're in an armoured tank though. It is quite a scary place, especially after dark. If you find yourself lost there, you can be in a lot of trouble.
We want to see some of California and Mexico before heading to South America. Ideally we want to go straight to Ecuador but I can only find a flight from Mexico to Bogota and Bogota to either Guayaquil or Quito.
With your experience, how do you suggest we travel between -
Ecuador to Peru?
Peru to Boliva?
Boliva to Chile?
Chile to Argentina?
Argentina to Brazil? (maybe via Uruguay?)
Thank you once again for your help!