Just wondered if anyone can offer any advice.
Im 21 and am looking to travel around August time. Plan was to go to New Zealand, Fiji and Australia. Then on to meet a mate in SOuth America. Well scared!!
Would be really grateful if anyone could offer any pointers on how to start planning the beginning of my trip and where to head to first?
Ideally Id like to be in Australia last.
Welcome to TP!
That's always a hard (as so big) question to answer. It's in no way an exact science, and will be different for different people, but for some rough ideas:
Basically, start by working out the stuff you can't really control:
- How long do you have
- Is there anywhere you HAVE to be at a certain time which has no flexibility (i.e. back to school at a wedding, whatever - also, when your friend will be in Sth Am)
- How much cash do you have/will you have - And more importantly, is that total, or after all your tickets/visa's if any, travel docs, luggage etc? That could easily eat a huge chunk of your cash.
- Other factors which may be importnant/relevant to you i.e. friends/family along the way, do you have a birthday in your time frame which you'd like to have somewhere specific, etc.
- Check out unavoidable costs/issues - visa's, injections etc
Then start with a small(ish) list of places/things, which to you are MUST see's/do's. Probably no more than 5 or so, but fairly specific places/things and not something vague like "i'd like to see SE Asia" or Australia. Then research those places and find out if there is a particularly good or bad time to go. I.e. you don't want to miss a huge festival / celebration there by a couple of days/weeks because you didn't know it was happening. Also, what sort of person are you? Do you want to be in areas with lots of other tourists/backpackers, or do you prefer less touristed and remote (and often cheaper) places. Do you want to spend most of your time on beaches / clubs / drinking in bars with other backpackers, or avoid them like the plague?
Then do a list of other things/places which you either don't want to go, or aren't hugely bothered about.
Then a third list of places /things you'd like to see/do if possible - this can be as long or short as you'd like, but will tend to be affected allot by time/money/other circumstances.
work out approx a daily budget based on your money/time frame and see what that leaves you with, and what's viable, and then start with a map and websearches. Chuck in flight/train itineraries on RTW tickets, but also as buy as you go. If it's 200pounds cheaper to go to Fiji before New Zealand for example, try that, but also see why (you could end up in storm or out of season where not much is open, for example).
Start connecting the dots of your must see's using a good map and flight schedules and see whats going to be easy for you to add or hard to do of your other places of interest, and in the time frame you have. If your not going until August, you have plenty of time, so you don't need to set anything in stone yet, so try experiementing with different possibilities and rourtes to see what you can do. Look at airport hubs for teh different airlines and connecting flights. It might be that you could have 2 weeks in Delhi, for example, for the same price - ignoring accom/living of course - as a flight straight down to Bangkok/Sydney/Auckland
Is a true RTW ticket going to be best for you?
Do you want to see any of Asia on the way through, or get straight to Oceania?
Do you want to have everything planned exactly, have a good idea, a vague idea, or make it up as you go along?
Where is the best (or even only) place that gives decent flight connections from Oz/NZ to South America which are helpful for you? And will you actually get somewhere helpful? A cheap flight from Melbourne to Rio may be great, but if your meeting your friend in Santiago, or coming from Cairns, the extra flights could be hugely expensive, and also involve back tracking.
Hopefully theres some sort of help/ideas/starting points for you in there somewhere!!
When you have a basic idea or thought, chuck it up as a query on here somewhere and see what people say. You don't have to use the comments, but maybe there will suggest something a bit different / an addition / removal etc which would give you a lot more. Then go away and look again, and do the same thing. There's lots of very knowelegeable people on here (scarily so), so chances are you will get lots of useful feedback when you start asking more specific questions etc.
I think Nic will be able to get well on the way now with his planning after your post Gelli!!!!!! That is a very complete list you did there!
Thanks sooo much for the info you gave me. Lots to take in and think about. I will try and piece together more what I want to do. Im sure Ill be back soon with some more q's!
A great way to get a trip planned is to use holiday accommodation websites with a concierge service email -snip- for advice and even a bespoke package. I used it last year and she did a detailed itinerary at a reasonable price (I am a student so limited budget) i did New Zealand, Samoa and Fiji so well worth sending an email to see if she can help.
[ Edit: sorry, no email addresses in the forum please. ]