Sounds like you two are going to have a couple of very fun trips!
To go back to the OP and answer a couple of questions:
The more the better! It's always better to over budget than under budget. You'll want to have as much as you possibly can with you. Assuming the £ doesn't take a nosedive, you should do well with £15k. Two of us made it through 9 months on about £20k and we didn't go out of our way to try and live cheap. So for one person, you should be good on that.
Apart from Antarctica (you'll need an extra £5k+ to get there from Argentina or New Zealand) you could visit all the other continents on your timeline and budget. Whether or not you will do them justice depends on what you're looking for.
From my own travels, I spent 5 months in Africa, 4 months in Asia, 3 YEARS in Europe, 2 YEARS in Australia and I still feel like I barely scratched the surface in any of those places. I'm planning on dedicating 6 months to a year just to South America.
That said, everyone is different, so you may feel you've seen enough in a shorter time. If you think there is a good possibility that you will be able to continue travelling more in the future, than I would slow it down on this trip and see fewer places for longer times.
If you think this is really your one chance to get out and see the world, then you might want to try to fit more in.
You will definitely meet people on the road and find others to do excursions with along the way. There will be times when you may feel lonely, but more often than not there will be plenty of other travellers around. It's normal to feel a bit anxious, but don't let it bother you too much. Loads of people travel solo!
Just because diving was mentioned, I thought I'd tack this one on. Do NOT miss out on diving the Red Sea in Egypt. Head to Dahab or Hurghada. You will not regret it. I spent a week in Dahab and it was some of the best diving I have ever done. Wish I could have stayed longer.
You'll come across so many great dive sites in your travels. That's the one thing I wish I could have done more of while I was away!
The only other advice I have is don't over plan things. Definitely have a route in mind, but don't over schedule yourself. Once you're out there you'll discover you want to stay longer in places you thought would be boring or you'll want to leave earlier from places you thought would be great. You just don't know until you get there, so leave yourself open to change things up as required.
Hi there Jen,
That's a cracking insight into the world of travelling many thanks.
MONEY - In terms of this I'm not setting myself an exact goal I am going with your idea of more is better but I'd hope by JUly 2014 I'd have a the VERY minimum £10k in which I can tour the globe with, ideally £15k depending on my discipline!
Countries - Question, how on earth did you survive so many years travelling, was this all in one hit or over a number of trips and did you have to earn your money out there or did you take a large sum with you in the first place? I'd LOVE nothing more than to spend year son end travelling earning money as I go in reality
Ticket - In terms of booking then what did you do, just book a few flights and hostels before you left and let the rest sort itself out. I'm still very confused as to how much to book so to speak. Do I book every flight to every country with every hostel or is it more 'sensible' to say book a couple of major flights with hostels in certain cities and book the rest out and about. The fact I don't know exactly where I'll end makes me think the latter is more appropriate
Thanks for a cracking response - any more gems/tips are more than welcome to be shared!
My travels were kind of a combination of both. I took several trips over an 8 year period, some short ones, and a couple of longer trips. My first long trip was a 1-year exchange to the UK. On the really big one I spent 4 years overseas!
For that trip, I left Canada on a one-way plane ticket to Glasgow with only £600 to my name and no job lined up. I worked for two years in the UK, did a 9-month trip from London to Brisbane via the Middle East, Africa, India and SE Asia, then worked for two years in Australia before finally coming home. It was an awesome experience
The 9-month leg from London to Brisbane is probably closest to what you're planning. For that stretch I pre-booked 90% my flights (I got a wicked good deal on a multi-destination ticket from AirTreks). The flights were all refundable and open so I could reschedule/cancel them if required. India was never in my original itinerary and was a last minute add-on so I bought the tickets for that along the way.
If you have a general route that you know you want to take, pre-booking the flights will save you money in the long run. Buying last-minute tickets along the way can add up if you're doing a lot of them. So I guess my advice there is to pre-book as much as you're comfortable with, then make up the rest as you go.
As for accommodation, I only pre-booked a couple of hostels at the beginning of my trip. Most of the time you'll have no problem just showing up at a place. The two times I would suggest pre-booking are: 1) if you're arriving very late at night it can sometimes be nice to know you have a place lined up, or 2) if there's a major event or festival going on and you think rooms might be scarce.
For the rooms themselves, in third world countries I highly recommend you look at the room before you pay for it. Not all guest houses are created equal and you'll come across some real dives along the way! On two separate occasions I had rooms where there was an ant colony under the mattress
If you have more questions, feel free to ask
That's an epic adventure - what a life you've lived to date - I'd love to say in a few years time I'll have done the same. Staying in England for the rest of my lifetime doesn't quite appeal as much as it sounds!
What were your jobs abroad then and how easy was it to bag a job in Oz? That for me is key to my travels, knowing I can land a job at the end of it to prolong my journey.
Many thanks for your advice once again, some really good points made
Also Natalie - I've been looking at Trans Siberian Rail today and found some good links via Google as always! - this one in particular looks handy
I fancy Moscow to Beijing and then beginning my exploration of Asia
sounds like you have had an amazing time.. i envy you haha.. thanks for all the advice, your answers have been really helpful. i am looking forward to hearing your answers to Max's other questions as they are pretty much the same as mine.
hey max, i checked that link out. looks good. i wanna do st petersburg to beijing then stop in beijing for a bit before going on to Xian india then thailand etc..
i have been trying to look into working in australia but i cant really find anything apart from tours with companies..which look really good and include loads of things but i dont really wanna be ripped off like 500 quid for like a week! lol.
anyway hope youre gettin on ok
also Jen, you said you worked two years in australia.. what did u work as?
check out this link Max
Hey Max and Natalie,
The first time I worked overseas my jobs were many and varied. I worked a fair bit in guest houses and hostels. I also signed up with a couple of temp agencies and did a lot of admin/reception work. I did mail sorting, data entry, worked as a photocopy clerk in a couple of university libraries. I even did a paid medical trial at one point.
If you're interested in bartending or being a restaurant server there's always plenty of work available. That's not something that I enjoy though so I didn't go that route. A lot of guys will often do labourer work on construction sites when they're overseas.
The 4-year trip was a completely different experience because I had finished my tertiary education before I left home. I repair medical equipment in hospitals which is in high demand worldwide (part of the reason I chose that field was so that I could work anywhere and travel more). I've found that looking for professional work is totally different than looking for unskilled jobs. It takes longer to start working because you get mired down in large HR departments. It took me about a month to find work in both the UK and Australia when I was seeking work in my field.
When I was looking for unskilled work, I was usually on the job within a week of landing in a new location. I worked part-time in a department store and a movie theatre in Australia until I found work in my field. Eventually the comapny I worked for in Australia sponsored me for a business visa so I could stay beyond my working holiday visa.
Speaking of the WHV, you two will have it a lot easier than I did when you get to Oz. It used to be that you couldn't work longer than 3 months for any one employer. They have now extended that to 6 months. That makes it easier to find work and save money without always being on the lookout for the next job.
As long as you're willing to take whatever jobs you can get, you'll be fine in Oz. It's when people are picky that they start to run into problems. Be willing to take jobs you wouldn't normally look twice at if you were at home. It's part of the experience to do totally different things. Once you know you have money coming in you can look around for something better.
Your hostel (especially in the bigger cities) will likely have a job board or at least be able to point you in the right direction to get started.
Also, something else to keep in mind. Many hostels will offer a "work for board" arrangement. You put in a couple of hours work cleaning rooms or helping out in exchange for a night's accommodation. If you get really stuck it's an option that keeps a roof over your head.
One more thing that may work for you (I keep remembering things as I go here!) is WWOOFing. You volunteer on an organic farm and get free room and board in exchange for your help.
That's all I've got for now, but I'm sure I'll think of more later
This is some great material both, all helping sort the swirling thoughts in my head out.
Firstly Natalie, a great link you provided there - looks very tempting to myself also - what an adventure it could be. Thinking I'm definitely adding this to my list of things to do on this trip so maybe after a few Euro cities I'll head to St Petersburg or Moscow and travel to Beijing via the Trans Siberian.
Jen those tips/advice are invaluable and all is noted. I'm really not picky on the job so that'll be fine - although in the end I'd really love to get into scuba diving, earn my grades/badges and teach it. Sounds almost beyond a dream in terms of lifestyle for my 20's at least!
I think alongside Machu Picchu, visiting Vegas, the Trans Siberian and suba diving in Oz these traveling books I've owned are giving me all sorts of headaches into where else I want to go! How on earth do you even start!
Suppose I've got 4 choices nailed down there that are 100% musts
Once again, thanks both and continue to help/discuss and advise further
Natalie - if you want to discuss Trans Siberian more give me a shout
Heyy well i would like to do the Trans Siberian in about october or november of 2014. i am goin to be going to st petersburg from krakov or warsaw.
Hooe your travel plans are coming together a bit more?