Planning a World Trip

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11. Posted by greatgrandmaR (Travel Guru 2079 posts) 4y Star this if you like it!

Given your location I don't think you will have an altitude problem. But I don't think that you will be able to get around in the Pacific by boat or train. You more or less have to fly to Australia/New Zealand. You might be able to do the trip on a round-the-world cruise of some kind but a lot of the time will be crossing oceans. You'd better resign yourself to flying after you leave Europe

12. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 1527 posts) 4y Star this if you like it!

With at least four years before you travel, you'll have plenty of time to plan. Suggest you discuss with family your top priorities, then look at the feasibilities. Are you pulling your sons out of school? If not, then summer likely will the time you''ll be spending your 60 days overseas. Weather in the northern hemisphere will be different than in the southern. Some regions have wet and dry seasons; and microclimates as well. Some countries also require visas; and in the case of Russia and China, they can be costly for a family of four. Health also is a consideration. Do you plan to travel in areas where there are mosquito-born illnesses? if so, you might want to consult your family physician about protective measures. I've traveled around the world and witnessed many young families traveling, even in remote places. You're to be commended for wanting to do this.

13. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 2445 posts) 4y 1 Star this if you like it!

Hi Kim

You've had some good advice so far. I strongly agree with the suggestions to slim it down - your pace would be fine for a quick citybreak but after a week or two of it you'll not be enjoying it.

Jetlag affects some people more than others, and the hours of lying awake during the night can lead to exhaustion. The rule is one day of adaptation per time zone crossed, so in a RTW trip that's 24 days to adapt - about half your trip.

I like your plan to experience different cultures. There are two different spins on this: Europe is packed with cultural sights but the actual living culture is still Western and so largely the same as home. Or you can spend time in a more alien culture, in which case the picks from your list are Japan, China, and Russia.

Yes the Chinese and Russian visas are expensive and a pain for such a short period. You could avoid the Chinese one by just visiting Hong Kong, which should be visa-free for you. The only way to work around the Russian one is, if you're touring Europe, to take a short cruise from Helsinki with a couple of nights stop in St Petersburg, which lets you see about one half of the Russian sights (the other half being Moscow).

From what you've said I'd try to do any of these 3 trips:

1) Europe - maybe with Russia.

2) Asia - it'll be alien.

3) New Zealand - easy travel, plenty to see, a top notch destination. With two months you've time to do it properly, or could even zip over and see some of the cities of East coast Australia too.

14. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 1527 posts) 4y Star this if you like it!

Since you're U.S. citizens, know that it might not be necessary to obtain a tourist visa for China if you're transiting at certain airports, such as Beijing.

See this from the U.S. State Department:

"When transiting certain international airports, you may stay in mainland China without a Chinese visa. The duration of allowed stay and how broadly you may travel varies by region. Transiting without a visa requires a valid passport, a visa for your onward destination (if necessary), and an onward ticket from the same location. You must inform your airline upon check-in, and get an endorsement stamp at the immigration desk before leaving the airport. Consult the Chinese Embassy/consulate for a current list of eligible airports and more detailed guidance."

According to the China Daily it's anticipated the visa-free transit period will be expanded to 144 hours from the current 72 hours by the end of this year.

A friend made use of the 72 hours to visit the Great Wall this past April.

It would be wise to consult the State Department's travel Web site in your planning:

15. Posted by hasbeen (Travel Guru 1260 posts) 4y Star this if you like it!

It will be tricky to choose things to do exploring culture that will not bore the youngsters to sleep.

Living museums might be an idea. Here's a site for the UK

or Harry Potter stuff

Castles might be fun for the boys & you can actually stay overnight in Dover Castle

NZ has Hobbit stuff.

Perhaps visit to your families roots .. show the boys where they came from.

Kids usually like animals & the Galapagos would be amazing for that I am sure & Farm-stays would be great.

Get them National Geographic for Kids .. see what takes their interest.

[ Edit: Edited on 31-Jul-2017, at 05:47 by hasbeen ]

16. Posted by hasbeen (Travel Guru 1260 posts) 4y Star this if you like it!

I know it is not on your list but I think you should consider a stopover in Iceland .. ICELANDAIR has flights from Denver to the UK or elsewhere in Europe with a 'free' stopover in Iceland .. by free, I mean they do not add to the flight cost but you still have lodging to pay for.
I did a 4 day stopover & it was great .. Different but not so different.


17. Posted by akh42010 (Budding Member 11 posts) 4y Star this if you like it!

All great advice, thank you. I'm beginning to think I may post up at a few different places and take trips from them as suggested a couple of times. Maybe a main hub in Europe and take day or weekend trips and then one in Asia, probably Hong Kong, and then New Zealand and Peru on the last leg. Will probably make it easier as well as less expensive. I hadn't really been taking into account the drastic time change and needing to adjust so many different times, will be easier on the body if we don't keep on the move the entire time. Also good to know about free stop off in Iceland, that would be a cool place to visit!

18. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 1785 posts) 4y 1 Star this if you like it!

Another thing you might consider is to let your boys be involved in the planning. We always had our kids make a list of 7 things they really wanted to see. Then we put all our lists (my husband's and mine too) on a map to see where they all landed. Then we figured out an itinerary from that. It sort of falls into place when you see something way out of any line on a map. It usually worked out so that everyone got to visit at least three places on their list and there were no complaints about choices because everyone was treated equally . . . even Mom and Dad. It also got the kids involved in planning and thinking about where they were going and why. That is education about culture in itself.

Just a thought. Enjoy your trip.

19. Posted by greatgrandmaR (Travel Guru 2079 posts) 4y Star this if you like it!

I wrote a long post and then failed to submit it and it disappeared. But the bottom line was:

Of the trips I have taken either as a child or with children, three to five weeks is about the maximum after which travel becomes a chore. Also I do not think that it will be cheaper to do it all at once. So I'd advise you to break the trip up into segments - maybe three separate trips. One to Europe, one to the Pacific and one to South/central America.

My parents took us to Europe (me 12, sister 10) and we left on June 9th and arrived home on August 1st. That was about the maximum - we visited Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark, Switzerland, and then we went to stay with a friend of my mother's who was stationed in Germany - living in army quarters over there, toured around Germany and Austria in their car, went to Paris for a week, went to England, were in Oxford for a week and then rented a car to drive to Scotland. The time in Germany allowed us to decompress but by the time we got to England, we were a little tired of traveling. Plus we traveled over and back by ship - a week each way. Before we left, my mother also arranged for us to have lessons in French, which she also spoke and my father spoke German. So we could understand some of what was going on.

My mother took trips with her grandchildren - 1-Australia, NZ and Tahiti 2-Europe and the UK 3-China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan 4- Italy 5-London and Kenya. The longest one was #2 and it was six weeks and was too long even though the trip was enjoyable and their relationship did not suffer (as it did with #6 where the grandchild made the whole tour late for a ferry when she went shopping after my mother told her not to and left in disgrace).

I've taken my grandchildren on trips, and my sister has also. Her trips are rarely longer than 2.5 weeks. Mine are more usually 3 weeks.

The suggestion to allow the boys to pick things they want to see is good. My mother also made us learn the subway system (she pretended that she could not remember what trains to take to get back to our hotel) and she also asked us what anything that was for sale was in US$ thus giving us math practice. (She really did not need our help with this as she was quite good with math).

[ Edit: Edited on 31-Jul-2017, at 13:27 by greatgrandmaR ]

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