I'm sure it's the same story... or maybe not, ha ha!
Job sucks, the commute kills a part of my spirit each day. I've had enough. I'm 28 and stuck in a rut. No real friends in London who understand me...they're all fashion and celebrity obsessed. I want more meaning in my life and want to verge away from materialism.
WHERE DO I START? How Long will it take me to save and what would be a popular route? I'd be alone but would it be likel i'd meet other travellers and go on with them?
Ok, i'd like to go as soooon as possible and don't mind staying in and not having a life in order to get the funds together. After rent, bills and travelcard etc i'm left with about £700 a month. How much could/should I be saving from this.
I've only been entertaining this idea for a week or so. Are there any bookd I could buy?
Thanks - any advice would be fantabulous :-D
There's basically two ways you can go:
1) Do a real Round-The-World trip, spending 3-12 months flying from country to country, spending a few weeks to a few months in each one. This'll cost you 2-3k for a ticket, and then a very rough average of £20/day for SE Asia, £25/day for South America, £40/day for Australia/New Zealand, and £55/day for North America. Depending on how you divide your time, you'll probably want to have a £10k minimum for such a trip. The most common route (with the cheapest tickets) will probably be variations of London-(Bangkok/Singapore/Hong Kong)-Sydney-LA-London, but you can be really creative within the confines of most RTW tickets, as the main 'limitation' is the route network of the alliance you're buying the ticket from, together with some artificial constraints of a maximum number of miles, or a maximum number of stops per continent. Last I looked, One World was the only alliance with good options for South America (particularly South America to Australia/New Zealand is very limited in options, though on a RTW ticket you do get to throw in Easter Island and French Polynesia for "free"), but with any alliance, you can basically hop around like crazy in Asia and North America, and so if you're going that route, I'd go browse through some travel guides and see what strikes your fancy, rather than limiting yourself to what's "popular".
2) Get a Working Holiday Visa for Australia or New Zealand, and spend 9-12 months in just that one country, working in casual jobs to earn back most of what you spend and get a better feel for this other country, and spend a few weeks in one or two other countries on the way there and on the way back. If you have an in demand skill (IT, healthcare, construction), you can expect to break even relative easily (though will actually have to work hard for a few months, really settling down in one place) - otherwise look at the work you'll be doing here as a good way to come closer to the local culture, and only expect to stretch your money with it. Either way, you'll want to have at least £5k as a buffer when going there (plus ~£1k for a return flight with some time spent in SE Asia), though the minimum required by the WHV is ~£3500. (As an alternative, a WHV also exists for Canada.)
You could combine the two ideas, of course, but true RTW tickets are always limited to 12 months, which will cut into the time you have for working.
Many people get to the same point as you. It's the same old, same old every day.
Decide what countries you want to visit. RTW tickets must be done in one direction. You can travel overland or take side trips separately. You can have open dates on flights but remember you can't always walk into a travel agent and get a flight next day.
Look at the weather in those countries.
Southern Europe is good into November. Dry weather starts in Asia late November. Then head Down Under taking advantage of their summer in our winter months and back up through South America, then North America.
Much of Europe can be done in short, cheap trips and long weekends using budget airlines.
India, Thailand and the like are cheap so spending a lot of time there is cheap. Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore are expensive.
Down Under is expensive as is North America. South America is generally fairly cheap.
How much to take? As much as possible.
Maybe all you need is just some time away. 3 months in Thailand with some travelling and some beach may be all you need. The most expensive bit is getting there and back. Last year in Bangkok I paid £160 a month for an apartment. Food and drink is similarly cheap too. In 90 days I had one day heavy rain and one day light rain. But always hot.
I'd definitely go the route of getting your WHV for Australia or New Zealand. Since you are 28 you only have a couple of years to be able to apply for them, and they are such a great deal you'd kick yourself to miss out on such an opportunity. It could be just what you want in a whole new life. Plus it's the cheapest way to get going. Get your $5,000 together and your plane ticket and hit the road.
There's no reason to limit yourself with this plan. You can still visit as many countries as you like on the way to Aus and even more so during your time there and after you finish your WHV. In theory you can do two years in Australia and still be able to apply for a WHV in New Zealand for another 2 years. I believe the WHV can be applied for up to 35 in NZ but only 30 in Aus.
Go for it!