Alright folks, new to the forum. Hope you all are well! :-)
So I would say that both me and my better half are quite well travelled but we tend to go with tour operators for your generic two weeks here, city break there...
Next year though we are looking to see a bit of the world and considering going on a bit of a venture, considering the following countries:
Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, New Zealand, Australia, Fiji and USA.
Main question: is it better to use a travel service like RTE, Sta Travel or better to go alone?
Second question: for anyone who has done a similar trip... whats the budget like? We will probably be looking at around £7-10k between us, is that a reasonable amount or are we looking at much more/less?
We are both British so thats our sort of start/end point.
Cheers in advance for any help!
Hi Gee! Welcome to Travellerspoint
In terms of travel service, strictly for the flight ticket, I'd say your best bet is to shop around a little. This is by far going to be the single largest expense you have and it should pay off to compare a little. You might find for example that dropping Fiji cuts 500 pound off your ticket price, which might change your priorities. Especially travel agents where you can chat to an actual person can help with finding the best route. I'd definitely talk to STA or for example RTW Flights.com. Bootsnall also launched an online system which you could check out.
You don't really mention how long you are travelling for, so hard to say if your budget is enough. The longer you are in SE Asia, the longer your money will stretch for example. Then again, if you are planning to work while in Oz/NZ those don't necessarily need break the bank either. One of the bigger expenses you will have is accommodation. You could use something like the average pricing charts in the Travellerspoint budget accommodation area to figure out what you roughly are going to be spending per night in the months you are there. For example the Sydney page shows that prices jump up dramatically in December (hover over the green/grey bars to see prices per night versus per room). These charts are built up based on actual pricing and searches, so should be very reliable.
Hope that helps!!
Hi..guys..new to the forum.I hope you guys help me to give me some ideas on what other places that is interesting.
Cheers for the tips Sam!
Ideally, we are just looking to see as much as possible for as long as possible. I think the bulk of our time would be spent in SE Asia. I have a mate out there right now who is with RTW Experts but he said if he was to go back he would recommend just getting a flight to Thailand and just using it as a base?
One option was the TEFL courses but what advice could you give for working in NZ/Aus - are there certain channels you need to follow?
As you are first time traveler, better to use travel service. They guide you, during your travel. Hope it reduces the tension during your travel and you can enjoy the trip.
My wife and I are in a similar position. I think ticket wise you can't beat the value of going to someone like STA for tickets. Their suggested routes are:
Theres a few routes there that hit your wish list. Maybe the ultimate hitlist of the mighty mighty. The best thing is the staff at STA are really happy to build in some other stops if you want them.
We have booked in Americano and Wild at heart. Unfortunately the trip prices are mainly for students/under 26's but the cost didn't come in much higher for not being one of those.
We also looked at round the world tickets via airline groups such as one world which have very good travel plans.
If you book the main flights then the internal flights in asia or trains are cheap and easy to use and you can build in your own bits from there. Good Luck!
If you're into backpacking, Australia & New Zealand is backpackers' heaven! It's more affordable than checking into a cheap hotel and the backpacker hostels are always in prime locations. We bought a flexipass and toured New Zealand that way. Australia on the whole, is very expensive.
I just completed a 1 year RTW trip - well... round the northern hemisphere. Europe to Asia via Russia. I spent about roughly 18k USD. I'm in the 30-35 age bracket and my travel style is backpacker mostly, staying in hostels and I did spend a bit too much on beer (If you're not a drinker or partier, you'll spend significantly less). I took part in several work-exchanges in Europe which did lower my travel costs (5 placements for a total of about 12 weeks where i didn't pay for food or accommodation).
I would recommend NOT using a travel agency beyond the first ticket. You meet people who tell you things, where to go, where not to go, what to see, etc. that might be off the tourist path that you suddenly want to go see/do and if you've booked too far in advance, you can't change it. Also, if you're loving one place, you'll want to stay longer. If you hate a place, you'll want to leave ASAP. I think flexibility is the key to rewarding travel. I went it alone and ended up going to places I had never even thought of while dreaming at home that enhanced my trip so much.
oh - if you're under 30, you can get a one year working holiday visa for NZ and Oz so you can get some paid work. If you go through the BUNAC agency, you can get one for NZ up to the age of 35!!!
oh oh yeah. when working out your budget, take into account any fees your bank/credit card will charge you for withdrawing cash, foreign transaction fees, etc. I didn't and learned the hard way that I hadn't budgeted correctly because of it.
I agree with what others have said here, just use a travel service for the ticket. You really don’t need to use STA/RTE to plan a trip for you, that you can do yourself, especially as there are two of you. I am from England and did exactly the same route as you, leaving 3 and a half years ago when I was 30, having previously never travelled outside of Europe. I was considering using a travel agency, but I didn’t and I am very glad I didn’t as I met so many people and ended up travelling with them, and I wasn’t constrained by having a pre-planned trip set out.
Cheers for all the good advice folks.
So... the general consensus seems to be 'wing it'.
Steve... how long you reckon £10k could last for us?