I'm hoping you can help me, I'm 25 I'm determined to take my first RTW trip later this year... I have an idea of the route that I would like to do but it would be great to get your thoughts on whether this may be a bit too ambitious for a first time traveller, any hints or tips for planning the trip... particularly on booking flights (flexible tickets - are they really far more expensive? Should I book myself or use a single co to book my flights), accommodation (Better to book ahead or sort when I get there?) and volunteering in Nepal (any recommendations). Time isn't a constraint as I'll be handing in my notice at work but finances are, my budget for the full trip cannot exceed GBP 10,000.
At the start of September, fly on the new Easyjet route to Moscow (Great that this starts in September, it's so much cheaper than any other carrier)
Stay a couple of days in Moscow - bit nervous about being a solo female traveller here and not knowing the language, I have heard quite a few stories of corruption, dodgy taxis ripping off tourists so any tips would be helpful.
Join the Trans-mongolian route to Beijing non stop (6 nights)
Meet a friend who lives in Beijing and stay a couple of days
Travel overland to Shanghai, X'ian, the three gorges heading to Hong Kong (I'd quite like to visit Macau too - does anyone have any other suggestions that fit in with this route?)
Fly from Hong Kong to Katmandu in Nepal in October
Volunteer in Nepal for 4-6 weeks and do some trekking (I'm looking at GVI, Frontier or RCDP Nepal - has anyone volunteered with these?)
Fly back from Katmandu to Bangkok
Travel Southeast Asia and Malaysia for 2 months
Fly from Kuala Lupur in to Auckland
Visit friends in North Island and travel down to Christchurch
Fly from Christchurch to Sydney
Travel from Sydney to Cairns overland and get back to Sydney
I'd like to have a flexible ticket back as I want to try and get work in Sydney... is this an unrealistic goal? I'm a qualified accountant but wouldn't mind what I did really as long as it would pay for a roof over my head and further exploration.
Eventually head back to the UK...
Any tips/advice/thoughts on this would be much appreciated
That's an incredibly similar start to how mine is turning out.
I was planning on Europe then Russia bt I've been a to a number of Euro cities for weekend breaks and this will eat into my budget so I'm also planning on heading straight to Russia (St Petersburg) via Kiev and then also doing the Trans-Mongolian which looks surreal!
Asia then allows far cheaper prices.
I'm planning on going in March/May time next year though. I've purchased a few travelling books and read countless articles online - I recommend doing the same. I've learnt loads already!
As you've got some time before you travel, a big help for Russia is learning the Cyrillic alphabet. Plenty of websites to help you, and once you've cracked that the Russosphere is a lot easier. It's simpler than you'd think and brings a lot of the gobbledegook straight into focus.
Trans-Siberian - always seems a shame to me to zip through all those places without taking a break to see them. At least break for Lake Baikal? You're going to need Russian, Mongolian, and Chinese visas if you're travelling on a British passport. You shouldn't have a problem with this - the Russian one needs to be set for the exact date of entry but as this is the start of your trip no problem; the Mongolian and Chinese ones say you need to enter within 90 days from the date of issue of the visa and then are valid for 30 days.
Macau is an easy daytrip to do from HK - just hop on a ferry and it's an hour across the bay, then Macau is small enough to stroll round on foot. No visa issues for a British passport holder - except you'll end up with a passport full of stamps and visas-on-arrival with all the in-out-in-out.
Steph, not quite sure from your description how long you're spending in NZ? Sounds brief - I'd want at least a month.
Yes, it sounds ambitious, but not crazy. You've got a balance of having some objectives without being bogged down in too much detail.
check out these sites
I use a spread sheet
List all the towns and countries not forgetting to add in travel days
and work a daily rate for accommodation meals etc
add on flights expensive travel like trains and ferries
add on visas costs and where to get the visas as you travel
check out with the online embassies for the current rules for Brits
add on medical insurance costs
vaccinations, Best of luck Jeanie