I am hoping to travel RTW for a year towards the end of 2014, beginning 2015. I am new to this and don't even know where to begin planning.
What multi trip flight to is best? do I book accommodation in advance or just go with the flow? how much money should I take? what visas are required?
If there are any travelling experts reading this, do you have a list of do's and dont's?
I want to start planning as soon as so any help is greatly appreciated
Decide what places you want to visit and what you want to see and do there.
Plan a realistic route so you don't double back on yourself (which can mean overland sections, and side flights).
Don't book places you can visit on a cheap flight from the UK, like anywhere in Europe. You can visit those places another time.
Decide how much time you want to spend in each place. Some have lots to see and do, and some don't.
Check the weather so you don't go in the middle of the rainy season which can be very bad in some parts of the world. I've been In Beijing in December and Tokyo in January and it was cold but no big deal.
How much money? As much as you can. Some ways to take money:
Some places are cheap. You can spend 30 days in Thailand without a visa for very little money.
Places like America, Japan and Australia are expensive so maybe less time in those.
I would book some immediate accommodation so it's ready when you arrive. It's high season in Asia and Down Under in Britain's winter so maybe book early to get a good room at a good price?
A number of good companies: hostelbookers, hostelworld, asiarooms, travellerspoint, lowcostholidays, etc, etc. Despite the name, hostelbookers has some good hotels at hostel prices.
Visas it's a matter of checking. If you want to work in a country like Australia, you must get a work visa because it is an offence to work on a tourist visa.
Pack fairly lightly as you can buy things you need in most countries, and sometimes lots cheaper than back home.
Go into Boots or whoever and they will tell you what malaria tablets, etc you need as well as any inoculations for the countries you plan to visit.
You can tailor make RTW tickets with overland sections, even open sections (though don't expect to walk into an airport and get a flight out later that day). The only real rule is to travel in one direction so side flights are booked separately. There are lots of budget airlines about as well as trains, buses and such. Flights are sometimes preferable for long journeys which otherwise could mean endless hours on buses.
A year's insurance is not too expensive and gives you peace of mind if the unexpected happens. You must be completely honest with them as if you do something potentially dangerous like white water rafting or bungee jumping and don't tell them and injure yourself, they won't pay out. You pay extra to be covered for such.
I would book a ticket about six months before my first flight. Flying Down Under via South America is a lot more expensive than flying via Asia. The Daily Mail for Saturday and Sunday has travel sections in with ads for RTW tickets and some very knowledgeable people available to help you.
Get a rough idea of what you want then ask some specific questions here.
Thank you I'll be sure to have a look in the Daily mail. Have you travelled all over?
I'll be doing something very similar Laura, 2014 is the year and it's all very new to me also. Share any good links you find as will I - my post was a couple down from this one and I got some great tips from certain posters
Have a read
Happy planning, it's so exciting even if it is 2 years away