im going to peru for 4 weeks, in same boat, however, ive decided to just book my flights, (return to lima) then just wing it. book a hostel for 2 nights when i arrive, gives me time to settle get my head. ive got an idea of where id like to go, what id like to do. and just get buses around, ive just gotta make sure i get back to lima in 4 weeks haha. which shouldnt be too hard, just get back on a bus that takes me there lol
I would advise that if you have never travelled before don't start in China, do it the other way round and start in Australia. Australia and NZ are very backpacker friendly and it is a good way to ease yourself into travelling alone. Or the other option is to start in South East Asia somewhere like Thailand. These places are full of backpackers and therefore you will meet a lot of people along the way who can offer tips or you can travel for a bit with.
I went to China a couple of years ago and I had previously done a lot of backpacking. It was definitely one of the harder places I have been to travel as a lot of people don't speak English and there aren't tons of Backpackers all doing similar routes so you don't meet people as much.
My advice would be don't try to do too much. Nothing is worse than having to rush seeing places as you are trying to cram too much in. In Asian countries booking your onwards travel is very easy - in China some of my hostels booked my flights for me and I only booked them a day before I wanted to go. You can always start off not having booked anything and if it is stressing you out too much just book a few flights online to give you more structure.
Having a vague framework of where you want to go and when will be useful - for example 1 month in China, 1 month in Thailand, 1 month in Austalia etc so that you manage to see everything and it keeps you on track but definitely do not plan every week down to the fine detail.
@mohn - Thanks for your advice, never thought about doing that with putting some money aside for getting home, It would be better to book flights to come home but I dont know what i'll end up doing, i could book flights from 1 airport then end up the completely oppisite end of Oz so would need to travel back which is money i could spend on something else.
I think i'll go to STA see what they can offer me for flights out with either a stop for few days in either NZ or Thailand, I want a few days at least in one of them anyway then just go with the flow when i get to Oz.
Any idea how much spending money i would need for 6 weeks?? Im not really bothered about doing lots of activities..scuba diving, surfing etc, I would love to but i would rather see more cities and explore oz more rather than spending money on those things.
Also, Because i'll only have 6 weeks to see as much as i can of the East Coast do you think I should just scrap the few days in NZ or Thailand as it wont give me much time in Oz?? Don't want to be on buses everyday of the trip..
[ Edit: Edited on 06-May-2011, at 06:22 by lashes26 ]
Thanks very much for the advice. I did consider doing the more westernised countries first to ease myself in but I was swayed a bit by the weather in china-it starts to get colder from october-or maybe you could tell me otherwise.
China was literally just an idea initially. Maybe you could advise other places to visit on Asia? Thailand is definitely on the list!