I'm planning a long-awaited World Tour for the first time although I have spent some time living and working abroad before so I'm not a complete amateur - I'm sure I'll revise that statement after the first time I get lost and can't speak the language of whichever country I'm in at the time!
Anyway, looking for a few wise suggestions for amazing places to visit - I'm sure everyone will have differing opinions on this so just a bit of info on me might help: I'm 29yrs, female and love different cultures and am quite adventurous not only in visiting unusual places but also a bit of an adrenalin junkie to boot so any tips on things to do as well will be much appreciated!
I live in Scotland so will be leaving from London via the Euro Tunnel across the channel and going to get one of those euro-train tickets to visit a few places in Europe - Athens, Venice, Krakow, Rome - and then maybe headed to South Africa, Hong Kong, Australia and America.
I know what kind of things I need to take with me but not really clue of a budget - obviously the more I have, the more I can do but how much would anyone estimate I'd need for staying in hostels/flights/train/spending for approx 9months?
Any suggestions where to definitely go and where to avoid - weather, safety issues for solo girls, nothing of interest?
I'm aiming for July/Aug 2012. Thanks guys and will no doubt start a blog when I head off into the sunset!x
July and August are when the kids are off so travel, accommodation, everything goes up in price. There are also crowds everywhere. Not a good time to start.
Europe has a number of cheap airlines which is easier than spending days on trains. For example a Ryanair flight from Glasgow or Edinburgh will have you in southern Europe at a number of destinations in around four or five hours.
South Africa is violent. A woman I knew said she stayed with friends, and when they went into town (Johannesburg), all the men were armed.
You need to check weather as places like Asia have distinct rainy seasons when it really floods down at times, and in worse times, you can have floods like in parts of Thailand at present.
Try to get Down Under late in the year when it comes into their summer. I think I would leave September when prices are going down and places are not packed with tourists, spend some time in Europe of which there is quite a lot to see. Maybe look in on India. Then Thailand, maybe some other Asian countries including China. If you have the money, Japan (fairly expensive). Head down to Australia and New Zealand, then come back via South America, making sure you have a look around Peru and maybe some other countries, then hop on a plane to either Central or North America.
As to money, as much as you can. Get yourself some credit cards, even if you do not use them (Take a cheque book so you can make payments while away if you do use them). It also depends on what kind of lifestyle you lead as nights out can be expensive.
Be careful of petty theft wherever you go. And I know it's sad to say it, but be careful of friendly people and in bars, always watch your drink and if you go to the toilet, do not touch any drink you left while you went there. You would not be the first tourist woman to wake up hours later and find an ugly old man having sex with you.
Europe is fairly expensive. Much of Asia is fairly cheap. Down Under is expensive. Of the Americas, North is expensive. Travelling will cost a lot and the later you book it, the more it will cost. The same with accommodation in some places as cheap places fill up. There are cheap flights around Asia but most other places are expensive.
Do buy travel insurance. It's not that expensive. Pick up a copy of the Daily Mail, Saturday or Sunday editions as they have big travel sections and give prices for round the world trips. The companies are very knowledgeable and they can tailor packages to your needs, and answer questions. They also have companies who sell insurance.
When you know more what you want, come back here and ask specific questions.
I would have to say that in addition to just stoping in South africa ( it is beautiffle and for sure go there ) seing as you are on the african contanant anyhow you might consider visiting other countrys.
specifically zambia. It is just an hours flight from Johanusburg and has a wealth of adventure activitys. mycrolight flight over the falls, trip to the devils pool. white water rafting and bungy jumping just to name a few. Africa has a lot to offer and I would suggest you explore it.