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To Plan or to be Spontaenous

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1. Posted by chang2n (Full Member 3 posts) 5y

Hey Everyone!

What a wonderful gathering of common interest & friendly people! I've finally come out of my shell & decided to be a participant. I'm planning my first RTW trip and most destinations if not all of it will be kept between the Tropic of Cancer & Tropic of Capricorn (what can I say, Winter & I don't get along). I wanted to know how many of you out there planned your trips meticulously (my first gut instinct) and how many of you decided what tickled your fancy once at the destination (what I'm leaning towards now)?

I've left my job of 10 years (yesterday!), and am aiming to take the next 12-18 month off. I decided this about a month ago, and am aiming to take off for November 1st. Thankfully I've been great at saving the past decade, so having the funds wasn't a true concern, but now I feel I'm scrambling to get all the destinations, accommodations, visas, flights,... and the growing list of To-Do's finalized. Help me de-stress & recompose! What have you all done in the past to get prepared?

So far this is a fairly set list of countries in my itinerary:
Taiwan
Hong Kong
Vietnam
Cambodia
Thailand
Indonesia
India
Kenya
Mexico
Guatemala
Costa Rica
Panama
Columbia
Peru
Bolivia
Argentina

I have only 1 absolute goal & that is to learn Spanish! I'm dedicating the latter half of my trip to realizing this.

Huge thanks in advance for those who will take the time & enlighten me!
2n :)

2. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru 2422 posts) 5y

I know that as a first time traveller and naturally being nervous the first instinct is to have everything lined up, but honestly, that sucks the life out of travelling for me. Some of the very best travel experiences are the ones that you discover as you putzing along somewhere with no definite plans. In my opinion there's only a few issues that require advance planning:

1.) Visa requirements so there's no surprises at the border.

2.) If there's something very special at a certain destination like a trip/tour that's very restricted and it has to be reserved well in advance.

3.) A once-a-year event like a Carnival, etc. which requires accommodation well in advance.

Other than those few things then it's usually not a big deal to arrange local accommodation, transport and everything else as you go.

Lastly, your country list looks good. I'd only suggest that you research Kenya before you go so far out of your way to visit, and that you add Cuba as a side trip when you're in Mexico, Guatemala or Panama.

Have fun.

Cheers,
Terry

3. Posted by Daawgon (Travel Guru 1993 posts) 5y

I would try to fit in Laos if you can - Luang Prabang was pretty special

Another one is Sri Lanka - this one is on my "to do" list

Spontaneous is so much more rewarding!

[ Edit: Edited on 10-Sep-2011, at 10:24 by Daawgon ]