I'm 21 and planning to go travelling in 2013 (but the planning hasn't yet begun! :s)
Does anyone have any tried and tested advice they can give me regarding beginning to plan my trip? Something tells me a travel agents isn't the best place to start, I don't want to book a package, want to have the freedom of going where I want when I want.
Hoping to go for around a year, give or take depending on what happens, therefore I think rather than plan the whole trip beforehand, in my head ideally I'd like a rough plan, the first few months booked and paid and from there possibly book as I go. Whether this is a good or even possible way to go about it I have no idea.
My travelling experience so far is nil, aside from that of the UK, I haven't left the country but am planning to actually go on holiday this summer on an aeroplane! (Wooo haha)
I'm lucky enough to have my younger brother also joining me on the trip; I have purchased 'The Rough Guide to First Time Around the World' book which so far I think is really good.. but still daunted on where to even start! So yeah, any advice welcome and greatly appreciated!!
You should check out this post:
Some advice on there on how to start planning such a big trip
I did lots of backpacking in the 90's (yes I'm old now). I would suggest to have a rough plan of what countries, in a rough order and that is about it. You are then open to all things that could possibly happen, eg meeting other travellers that suggest places etc. Plan, but don't over plan, be open to new ideas and experiences, that's what backpacking is all about.
Enjoy, Enjoy Enjoy
I still think of my backpacking experiences every day, it has had such a big impact on my life.
I know how you're feeling. Before you head out on your first trip, it all seems a bit daunting and such a trip would be impossible to plan with figuring out where, when, and how to go places. But don't worry, it's really all much easier than you think, and once you're on the road you'll be fine. You still have loads of time to think about it so no need to panic.
The first thing I would do is consider where exactly you want to travel. I know it's easy to say "but I want to go everywhere", but practically speaking, you need to narrow it down to a few countries or regions that you've always dreamed of seeing and are on the top of your list.
Then you need to consider your goals in each country, and your overall goal for the trip. If all you want is to visit a few countries and do some sightseeing and spend a year as a roamer, then it's easy. Find your countries, connect the dots, and head to a travel agent to help you buy a Round-the-World ticket. In a year you can visit all the places you want and arrive back in England with a ton of memories. Accommodation and internal travel, you can worry about that in the days or weeks before you leave, or as I do, once you arrive. Visa's should be considered a few weeks in advance.
However, like a lot of people, you may have other goals for your travels. Do you want to work somewhere? Do you want to stay in one place for a while? Do you want to learn a language? Maybe you want to spend a long time working in Australia, or living in Peru learning Spanish, or teaching English in Japan? If this is the case, then it might make more sense to look at different types of plane tickets. You could always fly down to Australia on a one way ticket, with a stopover in Bangkok for example. Spend a few weeks, or months, traveling around South-East Asia, and then arrive in Australia ready to settle and work for a year. When you're done with Oz you could buy another one way ticket home, with a stopover in another region (India, the Middle East, or Africa for example) where you can explore for some more time before you arrive home. From each region that you land in, you could always look for short cheap flights to other areas that you want to see. In the end, it could all be cheaper than a RTW ticket, and it's not subject to the same restrictions of one direction travel and a 1-year time limit.
So really, RTW tickets may or may not be the best option. Before you buy anything, really consider what you want to get out of this trip, and what kind of itinerary you would like. There are many options out there.