Hello everyone, I am in dire need of some planning help! I am at a complete loss as to how to go about planning this trip.
Leaving: Approx May 25, 2011
Duration: Approx 11 weeks
Interests: nature, culture, the local (not too touristy) experience, food and drink
I am traveling from Montreal (Canada) or Philadelphia (USA) and trying to plan a tour of the Pacific, to include:
Papua New Guinea
These are some of the questions I can think of:
1. Purchase a round the world ticket or just one ways?
2. Any recommendations on where to go/what to see in the above places?
3. Essentials to take along with me?
Anything that can help with the planning (which I need to do within the next week (ack!) would be great!
Thanks in advance for any and every piece of info!
[ Edit: Edited on 28-Apr-2011, at 22:57 by nachna ]
You could purchase a ticket to your starting destination and a return ticket from where you will end up (probably NZ). However compare prices as you will probably have some flights in between and may be able to buy them as part of a round the world package, with overland parts.
Rainy season in some of these places will be June to October and while not as bad as it sounds, take a small umbrella.
Tastes vary but I don't think there is a lot in Malaysia other than maybe Penang and Kuala Lumpur. If you have not been there before, I would have picked Thailand instead. If you don't mind a lot of time on crowded buses (coaches), a trip from Medan to Bali helps you see a lot of local culture in Indonesia.
Australia is a very big country and the sights are wide spread so maybe some internal flights (cheaper if booked before arrival). Tasmania is a short hop from Melbourne (I was in Hobart at 9am one morning after such a flight).
New Zealand is best seen by car, with plenty of B&B's about. Travelling between islands is easy as you drop your car off one side and pick up another car from the same company the other side, so go on the ferry as a (cheap) foot passenger.
Weather will be a problem there (more so than in Australia) as you will be entering their winter times. The best time for an 11 week holiday would have been starting November or December, so getting the best weather all around. There are a number of cheap airlines about, so check all options before booking flights.
The islands are fairly isolated and maybe expensive to get there, and to stay there and 11 weeks will go very quickly so do you really want to visit them? Remember visas where needed, notably Australia.
Be careful of petty theft while away, notably pick pockets. If you are taking credit cards, have a chat with your bank manager and card companies once you have an itinerary and give them a copy of it, emphasising that you will be using your cards while away. I take a cheque book (with addresses) so I can pay money on my cards if I use them.
Do check with a local pharmacy on what injections, malaria pills etc that you might need. They will normally have a telephone directory sized book with all the details needed. Malaria pills should be taken as proscribed before and after, and especially after since malaria parasites can linger in your blood stream.
Thank you so much for taking the time to respond in such detail