Exciting.... 8 months trip around the world

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1. Posted by hsandrs (Budding Member 7 posts) 49w Star this if you like it!

hi guys, :-)

my husband and i (still young :-) 53 years) are planning to travel around the world...starting end of march 2018, we have started to plan this trip 2 years ago and soon it will become reality :-)

We have 8 months in total and will travel to:

1. Chile, 4 weeks
2. Vancouver, 4 weeks
3. Europe 3-4 months
4. Moscow - trans-Siberian express to Vladivostok 10 days
5. Japan 2 weeks
6. Vietnam 2 weeks
7. Samoa/Fiji/??? 2 weeks to relax and reflect
then back to New Zealand.

We are unsure to book tickets around the world, or just each flight separate (we have researched and heard it might be better, more flex and cheaper). Whats your experience? The time we are staying in each country should give us time to explore and getting a glance of an idea of this country, right?

We will stay with some friends in Chile, Europe and Japan, but using also air bnb in most places. We want to buy a camper van in Germany to travel around Europe and doing some woofing in Europe.

We are happy for any advice :-)
cheers
hs

2. Posted by aussirose (Respected Member 252 posts) 49w 1 Star this if you like it!

Hello Hilde and welcome to TP. How exciting! Sounds like this is going to be a winderful holiday :)
We loved Vancouver! And we also drove through Germany. We have done Ho Minh City and the Mekong delta but that was only for 1 fabulous day and a half off our cruise on 2006. We would love to go back and check out the north of Vietnam. That looks amazing. Anyway you are welcome to check out Vancouver in my 2015 travel blog here and Germany in my 2011 blog. Maybe that may help with some ideas. If you get a chance in Vancouver perhaps catch the train to Jasper in Canada. It has stunning scenery.
Cheers
Ann.

3. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 1071 posts) 49w 1 Star this if you like it!

Suggest you don't buy a 'round-the-world ticket as they are not the bargain they used to be and come with restrictions that could reduce your travel options. Plus, flights are fuller these days; and if you have to change dates, it could be problemmatic.

Buying a RTW ticket with one of the alliances -- OneWorld, SkyTeam and Star -- also could reduce your flexibility to use low-cost carriers in Europe, Asia and elsewhere.

Use these tools to help plot your itinerary:

https://www.google.com/flights/

http://www.flightconnections.com/

Airlines add, drop and revise routes. This Web sites tracks them: https://www.routesonline.com/news/38/airlineroute/

As for rail travel, I recommend this Web site: https://www.seat61.com/

Your current itinerary does not make sense, in my opinion. Use the tools above to help construct a better route to save time and money. You'll find that with increased competition the cost of air travel is much more reasonable on some routes. Think outside the box. Play around with the tools; you might discover an itinerary that makes more sense.

As I've suggested to other travelers, keep one, two or three steps ahead of where you are going to forestall problems. So plan ahead, including checking visa requirements, if any.

4. Posted by hsandrs (Budding Member 7 posts) 49w Star this if you like it!

Hi Ann, :-) thank you for your nice welcoming words and your ideas, we will have a look at your Vancouver blog, defiantly! thank you very much.
Hi Bob, thanks for your feedback, and the helpful webpages, and yes we will have another look, and take the tools you have offered to check and rethink :-) !!

Love this forum and these helpful advises, thank you both!
Good night
:-) Hilde

[ Edit: Edited on 02-Jan-2018, at 03:04 by hsandrs ]

5. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 1287 posts) 49w 1 Star this if you like it!

It looks fairly practical to me, just a couple of things to watch out for...

You say 4 weeks Vancouver. I guess you either have family to visit or you mean to use it as a gateway to visit Whistler, Jasper and Banff national parks? Because there's not too much to fill the time in Vancouver itself. Looks like you could arrive at the very start of the season for the national parks - check the dates things open (often mid May) and be prepared for the possibility of late snow or thaw altering your plans. Shoulder season is cheaper though. :-)

Europe through the summer is a good plan but you'll need to keep an eye on dates and visas. The Schengen visa zone allows you to be there (NZ citizenship?) for 90 days in a rolling 180 day period. Not every European country is in Schengen though, so use time in the UK and Ireland or eastern European countries that are outside Schengen if you need to lengthen your stay, because you have 90 days to be in Schengen including partial or transit days. Read up on it and don't get caught out.

Consider entering Russia via St Petersburg en route to Moscow because it's equally impressive. Getting a Russian visa is hassle and expense so may as well maximise what you get from it. Look into the visa rules to figure out if you're required to apply from your home country before travelling or if you can do it from Europe. Consider using a visa agency - I do, and I'm someone who books pretty much everything myself directly.

If the budget is hurting, you could consider trimming some time in Japan in favour of Taiwan - a lot cheaper and still interesting, and perhaps a more comfortable temperature depending on just when you'll get there.

Good luck! :-)

6. Posted by Teoni (Respected Member 613 posts) 49w 1 Star this if you like it!

doing some woofing in Europe.

Check labour laws for foreigners in the countries you plan on working, even volunteer work may require working permits in some countries.

I got to agree with Andy, that getting into Russia is a real hassle and one of the more expensive visas (and every year the price only goes up) For all that work I would consider increaing time in Russia (perhaps reconsider the express Trans Siberian and do the regular one?) and adding St Petersburg.

It would be good to know when you plan on travelling as the season will determine some of the things you can and can't do in certain countries

Personally I would pick Samoa over Fiji, though in saying that those destinations are pretty easy trips from New Zealand, you may want to consider since you are travelling so far already to travel somewhere that isn't so easy to reach from New Zealand but is perhaps best reached from what ever region you are ending in.

7. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 1071 posts) 49w 1 Star this if you like it!

Since you're planning to visit Russia, keep in mind that the FIFA World Cup will be held in 11 host cities from 14 June to 15 July. Transportation and accommodations could be an issue if you are planning to visit around that time.

8. Posted by hsandrs (Budding Member 7 posts) 49w Star this if you like it!

These tips have been very helpful, thank you very much.
We are travelling with a German Passport (born and raised) so we wont have any problems to visit all European countries and also travel with a New Zealand Passport, (were we live) .
The rail travel page is great, thanks. Very good resources. :)
We might consider to shorten our stay in Canada, or just extend the tour to different cities such as Toronto etc. The woofing part will be a bit tricky, yes, as not so many farmers are looking for woofers over summer. Our trip will start in march, and we will be in Europe from May onward until end of August (big part will be visiting family and friends there). Visiting Taiwan is still an option we are looking at, and i am personally would love to finish the trip with Samoa, we will see. We have decided not to book an RTW ticket to have more flexibility, we really like the idea and feel comfortable with.
Thank you all for your great advise, sharing your experience and ideas, very much appreciated, :-)

9. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 1071 posts) 49w 1 Star this if you like it!

Keep your eye out for fare sales, including some of the Pacific routes. You might be surprised. Once tickets go on sale, it's wise to move quickly. Flexibility is an advantage in travel.

10. Posted by ToonSarah (Travel Guru 758 posts) 49w 1 Star this if you like it!

Another idea for your time in Canada would be to go over to Vancouver Island for part of it. We loved the west coast around Tofino, and there's great whale watching there and also the orca further north from Telegraph Cove (though that my depend on your timings I guess). You could also consider going down to Seattle and maybe visiting the San Juan Islands, or the Olympia National Park.

Your four weeks in Chile should be enough to see the main sights. You'll want to get to the Atacama in the north and Torres del Paine in the south, I assume? I also found Chiloe fascinating, and Valparaiso was another highlight. I have a blog about our visit to Chile which may be of interest.