I'm starting my RTW tarvel plans, and I need a lot of advice. I want to do a realy RTW trip, taking my time going through NZ, Austrailia, overland through southeast Asia, Russia, Europe, Africa and North America. I plan to go for a year, and hope to keep it under $1000 a month, not counting air fare. I will be leaving from Seattle, USA. I have some hard points I really want to hit, but my overall plan is really flexible. There are three things I need help with at this point. The biggest one is, which way should I go. I will be leaving in October. My tentative plan was to fly from Seattle to Auckland NZ, to Sydney, overland around Australia, fly out of Perth to Singapore, overland to India (most likily Mumbai) then flying to Hong Kong and going over land on the trans-siberian railway to St. Petersburg. From there, I want to explore Europe totally overland. However, I need to somehow get to Tanzania to climb Kilimanjaro. Then get to New York and overland back to Seattle. However, I could go exactly the opposite, and start with North America and then Europe, hitting the same places, just in opposite order. So, question 1 is, which way should I go? East - West, or West - East?
Next, the eternal question, How much!? Is $1000 a month a crazy low price? I plan on camping out as much as possible, or sleeping on trains/buses, but there are a lot of countries I probably don't want to camp out in, and will need at least a hostel. I know places like Africa nad some places in Asia will be cheaper then a lot of places in Europe, but I'm just looking to average it out.
Finally, what should I bring? My trip is going to be a whole year, and will include everything from kayaking, camping, and mountain climbing to going to some university lectures, plays, and parties. I'm trying to balance things out between being cheap/not buying stuff on the road, and travelling light/not carrying the world with me. So, please, what are the absolute things I need to bring, and what would your recommend?
What I really want to do:
See a production in the Sydney Opera House
Visit the Taj Mahal
See Aurora Borealis
Walk through Pompeii
Kayak the Great Ocean Road
Hike the Milford Track
Get to Chomolhari...some how
Attend the Salzburg Festival
See the great sites of the Middle East (Palmyra, Petra, Old Sanaa) before it is bombed to hell.
Volunteer for a month in Nepal
Rio for Carnival.
Australia for the 2012 complete solar eclipse
Run with the bulls in Spain
Ride an Elephant
Run one of the 'Adventure' marathons.
Wow! It sounds like you want to do your entire 'bucket list' in one trip. Why? Are you planning to never travel again? I'd recommend doing just 3 continents (Australia, Asia and Europe) and saving Africa and North and South America for another 'RTW'.
$1,000/month is enough for China and S.E. Asia, but not for Europe (or, I expect, Australia). Remember, that's just $33/day, which will barely cover the cost of a hostel room in Western Europe, leaving you little money for transportation, museum entrance fees, dining or partying. $1,500/month would be more realistic (at a minimum) for Europe.
$1000.00 a month is crazy low for anywhere outside of South East Asia. You will barely get more than a dorm bed in a crummy hostel for that amount of money in most places. Africa is not cheap by any stretch of the imagination for tourism. I agree with madpoet $1500 minimum but ideally more a month. I did a round the world trip a few years ago and I was averaging around $20USD a day to live comfortably in South East Asia, $30USD a day in other areas of Asia except Japan which was $50USD a day, $50USD a day in North America, $40USD a day in South America, 40 Euro a day in Europe except Scandinavian countries which was a bit more. This was a few years ago and prices have only gone up since then. In Australia you would not get by on less than $50USD a day if you want to do anything other than stay in a dorm room and walk around a city.
Note the $ amounts I mentioned per day were when the USD was at $0.76USD for $1AUD, it is now approximately $0.95USD for $1AUD which means it costs more USD for the same amount of things as when the USD was stronger to the Australian dollar.
I was recently in Europe and went through more like 50 Euro a day for a similar amount of stuff.
If you want to get to Africa you have no hope of getting anywhere even close to the "under $1000 a month". You'll use heaps more than your month budget just to get to Kilimanjaro.
One thing you might have some trouble doing is getting to Russia. The visa regulations for Russia are particularly fussy and unless you apply for the Russian visa in the country where your passport is for (unless you have a residency visa for the country you are applying in), you will most likely find you can not get the visa. I have been to Russia twice and got my way around all the rediculous rubbish they put you through to get the visa and it gets to the stage where you'll probably think it better be worth it! You need to put an exact itinerary in with your application including dates, get a visa invitation from some company such as way to russia (that's who I have used both times) and then pay the expensive visa fee and wait and wait and wait more! You don't want to need to rush it or else you'll pay a huge amount of money for the visa. The only way I can see where you could possibly get the Russian visa would be if you have a working holiday visa for Australia. That would mean you have a long term visa for Australia so they would probably let you apply in Sydney or Canberra. If you don't then you'll probably get denied there. At Sydney they let you apply a maximum of 6 months in advance (I got mine about 5.5 months ahead on my first visit and 4 months ahead on my most recent visit). As far as I know every other place around the world only lets you apply a maximum of 90 days from your date of entry.
Another thing where you may encounter problems is going overland from Singapore to India. Unless they have changed the rules in Myanmar you must have a flight in and out unless you have special permits which cost a lot and are only given in acceptional circumstances. Your only other option to get to India without going through Myanmar is to go through Tibet then Nepal or Bhutan. Bhutan has rediculous rules for tourists meaning it is only realistic for tourists to go there who have a lot of money to waste. You need to change a minimum of $200USD a day when you arrive and you can not change any excess money back when leaving. There's a month of your proposed budget gone in just 5 days of Bhutan!
You drive along the Great Ocean Road in a vehicle, you don't kayak it. I don't think it would even be possible unless you thought up some expedition to do it yourself if you were an extremely fit kayaker and went along the coast line.
Do not set off until you have at a very minimum of $1500 a month or else you'll end up holding a sign up in a park begging for money or be changing your flight a few months early to go back home.