So me and my best friend decided we're going to take a RTW trip when he gets out of the service. But we don't even know where to begin!!!!!
I was just curious to see how everyone went about their trips and if they had any advice. (thing's you would have done differently, what we should research before we go, best ways to travel, etc.)
We have a lot of points we want to hit from Kata Tjuta in australia to Christ the Redeemer in brazil - Bagan in mayanmar - Banteay Srei cambodia, the Leshan Giant Buddha, the Tombs of the Kings in cyprus through to the pyramids and karnak and a number of things in egypt, guatamala, greece, india, jordan, lebenon. All the way down to smaller things like the green canyon in indonesiea.
So far the best we could come up with (planning wise) is make a giant list of the things we want to see, organize them by distance, and we were thinking about back packing it really and just flying when we need to. (cant back pack across the Mediterranean sea ) But like i said i was just looking for some insight on how everyone else did it. Did you map out which busses and trains to take ahead of time or did you just kind of wing it?
Thanks you guys!
My advice would be don't fall into the trap of fanatically following a Bucket List of every major tourist attraction in every country. If you're simply ticking off conquests then you're missing out on the most important/interesting/fulfilling aspects of travel... and when you're all done in hindsight your trip will have been very, very boring.
You know, we thought about that. The monotony of just mindlessly going from place to place on a big check off list. But we figured the journey to actually get to the places would be the best part. Just being involved in all the different cultures that we'd witness i think would be the best part!!
Its good to start off with a list of places and things you want to see. You'll probably find as you look into different transport options and routes that you discover other things you can go and see and then, once you are actually on the road, you will probably meet other travellers who point out things you'd never heard of. Thats pretty much the best bit of back packing - the freedom to change your plans as you go!
I think you've started out with a good base plan - get down all the places you like the sound of or really always wanted to see, look into your transport options between places (trains in Europe could be useful, internal flights or hire cars in big expansive countries like America, buses for cheapness) and create a bit of a frame work.
Look into refundable tickets for various forms of transport just to know where you can totally overhaul your plan and where you may have to make a few financial sacrifices.
Its well worth thumbing through a few rough guides or lonely planets in book shops just to get a feel for places you aren't too familiar with.
I'm not a big fan of winging it having fallen on the rough side a few too many times. Knowing that you have at least the first nights accomm sorted in a destination area usually takes the pressure off when you first wind up in a new place. However it does mean you have to go through a few hoops if you do change your plans so I'd suggest, to keep things fluid, that you perhaps look into accomm for each destination just before you leave the one before (assuming you aren't going to blitz through places but take a couple of days or more in most) so you can change your plans but still have things sorted for your arrival in each new place.
For safety update the folks back home regularly on your plans, look into best and safest ways to carry currency (ie don't wander about places with masses of dosh visible in your wallet or it wont be there for long) and read up on any warnings your home office has issued about any of your destinations. The rough guides and lonely planets also give warnings for destinations which are worth looking into - they usually team the warning up with a way to avoid the danger.
Hope that helps and you have a lot of fun!
My advice would be to take as may boat/ship/ferries as you can. You tend to meet the most interesting people when you travel on the waterways. This mode of transportation is very relaxing when compared to cars, trains or airplanes.
My ATW was on a very small ship that took eleven months to circle the planet. It was the very best experience of my life.
Thanks you guys, these are some really good points!! Cara, i like the plan of just being fluid and booking accommodations to one place before you leave the last. You think it would be best to look up the travel routes to the next destination while we're on the road too rather than fumbling through pages and pages of possibilities before we leave?
Also, whats the "lonely planet" and "Rough Guide"'s you were talking about? Books specifically scoped towards travel i presume?
In one sense Lonely Planet basically invested backpacking. Their guide books are regarded as bibles by many backpackers, especially ones who are just starting to develop their travel experience.
Rough Guide is another company that publishes generally excellent guide books for many countries around the world.
invested = invented, haha...