Planning process

Travel Forums General Talk Planning process

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1. Posted by Megs21 (First Time Poster 1 posts) 6d Star this if you like it!


I’m new to all of this so not too sure how this works but i’m hoping I can find what i’m looking for here.

Me and four of my friends are looking to go travelling around Asia and Australia next year, so far we’ve come up with a very rough budget (£10,000) as we don’t have much knowledge of travelling costs and are able to afford slightly more if need be, as well as picking our destinations (Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand). We’ve also written a (again rough) list of the places we want to visit when there.

However, having never done this before we are stuck on where to go from here. I guess we were just wondering what order we should plan our trip in? From budget, flights, accommodation, itinerary etc.

So if anyone could set out a plan for us to follow or any resources that may be helpful it would be really appreciated! We’ll take any help we can get, including how to use this website.


2. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 3097 posts) 6d Star this if you like it!

Your budget will determine how many places you can visit. Does the 10,000 pounds include the cost of flights from England to Asia, New Zealand and Australia or just day to day spending after arrival overseas? Five of you, do you intend to stuff 5 people in a single room?

On your list of countries some are cheaper to visit than others. NZ, AU and Singapore (at least for me) would be more expensive than the other countries on your wish list.

How many days in total for this trip? My opinion, it is not cost effective to only stay in these countries for only a couple days. (Because of this virus thing, hopefully these countries will be open for general tourism by the time you want to travel.) For some months of the year weather will be a factor if you intend to visit beaches.

  • From Thailand it is not too difficult to get to Cambodia, Laos and maybe Malaysia. Look at a map, when you see a lot of water between countries this means paying for flights.

You have a lot of time to work things out. Figure out how much money you will have per day AFTER paying for all the flights you need. Keep in mind that some flights are also restricted right now because of this pandemic. Before the virus thing hit us you could pull up various airline websites and get a price for airfare between different countries.

Come on back.

3. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 2287 posts) 5d Star this if you like it!

I would do some research into your costs, to then give you an idea of how long your money will last.

Costs break down into flights and transport, accommodation, food and drink, attractions and souvenirs. You'll also have costs beforehand on travel insurance and clothing/gear. The cost of any of these can vary a lot for each individual - eg you may stay in en suite hotel rooms or hostel dorms. This site, and Google Maps and Wikivoyage, or booking engines like can help you research costs.

Then once you have an idea of your cost per day, you can see the duration of your trip. Then figure out a good route. Return flights generally are cheaper, so it may be that you head out to a hub like KL and hop around from there using budget carriers, before returning home on the return leg of your first flight ticket.

My other piece of advice is to travel light. Most things you'll need can be bought out there, often cheaper than at home. I generally travel with just a carry-on backpack, about 35 litres. You see a few miserable travellers hauling 70 litre packs around, anchored down by their stuff.

4. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 2540 posts) 5d Star this if you like it!

>Me and four of my friends are looking to go travelling around ..... Australia next year,

Just a heads-up that my Australian friends think it's likely the ban on them leaving the country will continue until 2023 (or even 2024). If that does happen it's certain that Australia will continue to ban entry for all, or almost all, other citizenships except in very specific circumstances. There is compulsory 14-day hotel quarantine for all those who are allowed in. Some states require payment or part-payment of quarantine costs.

NZ has much the same policy.

Make sure you have a plan B to deal with what, imo, is a very strong possibility that both Australia and NZ will remain inaccessible in 2022.

[ Edit: Edited on 4 May 2021, 11:39 GMT by leics2 ]

5. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 2287 posts) 5d Star this if you like it!

Quoting leics2

my Australian friends think it's likely the ban on them leaving the country will continue until 2023 (or even 2024).


I find that surprising. But then this pandemic keeps on making me revise my views.

Having seen the good impact of vaccines in the UK, I hope that will also become the case in other countries soon and that it thus turns out your Australian friends are being overly pessimistic. I know it can feel never-ending until you've got some vaccine in your arm.

6. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 2540 posts) 5d Star this if you like it!

We keep in touch with several Aussie VT-ers via FB and regular Zoom meetings. They live in various parts of the country, are all keen, experienced travellers and yes, they're all very pessimistic indeed about being allowed to leave the country before 2023, let alone non-citizens being allowed to enter. I can't really speak for NZ because our VT-ers there aren't in such regular contact but NZ has much the same policy as Australia.

There are still lots of Australian citizens stranded abroad because flights are only allowed to the maximum of quarantine spaces available and they've just made entry from India 'temporarily unavailable' for all Australian citizens, with huge fines and/or imprisonment for those who try to enter.

I think it's pretty much unheard of for a democratic country to refuse entry to its own citizens. :-/

Their vaccination programme is moving forward ok but I'm not sure how much effect, if any, that will have on their policy given the fear of variants and the (as yet) lack of definite evidence that vaccination prevents or substantially reduces spread.

(I should add that polls suggest the majority of Australians are very happy with the current restrictions. There's little or no pressure to open the borders.)

[ Edit: Edited on 4 May 2021, 13:54 GMT by leics2 ]

7. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 1490 posts) 5d 1 Star this if you like it!

With your limited budget, suggest you focus on Southeast Asia and visit Australia and New Zealand another time. Most of your budget will be consumed by the cost of accommodations and transportation. You can get a rough idea on costs by looking online. There is a wealth of information. But know that in the wake of the pandemic prices may well rise, such as for flights. Some fares already have increased in the United States as more travel. Fares aren't as bargain-priced as they once were. Even so, airlines continue to adjust their routes and schedules. Most earlier had trimmed the size of their fleets. Adding capacity isn't likely to be quick for a variety of reasons. Demand could outstrip supply. But there's a new crop of start-up carriers waiting to fill the gaps.

Now would be a good time to discuss with your friends the timing and length of your trip. Consider, for example, the weather. There are significant climate variations in Southeast Asia, with some months drier than others, depending on location. Then consider what you want to see and experience.

I find Google Maps, Rome2Rio and the Travellerspoint mapping feature helpful in plotting a route. For flights, is a good resource, as is

Finally, consult this:

8. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 1490 posts) 5d Star this if you like it!

Since you plan to travel with friends, it's wise to consult each other about any and all plans, including cost sharing. This will help reduce surprises, disagreements and disappointment. We're all different and those differences will become more apparent once you're on the road. I've traveled solo most of my life, but since 2015 often have traveled with a friend that I met in Papua, New Guinea. For the most part, we share the same interests. We discuss our plans thoroughly before and during travel. We have our disagreements, but they don't linger. We share costs equally, particularly for accommodations. We have an informal agreement that I'll pay for meals one day, and she'll pay for meals the next. Even so, we frequently treat each other. We believe in caring and sharing. You'll want to travel with friends who are trustworthy, who will watch your back. Traveling with those who are selfish and self-absorbed, who constantly say "no," who gossip and who are skinflints can potentially make travel a less than pleasurable experience.

9. Posted by Peter (Admin 7010 posts) 4d Star this if you like it!

I'm a little less pessimistic about Australia opening up to travel in 2022. The vaccine rollout is certainly going slower than planned here, but the expectation from most is that sometime early 2022 it should have covered most everyone who is going to get it at which point there will be a lot of pressure to open up.

There will also be increasing pressure from universities, the agriculture sector and airlines to open up and I don't see the government being able to resist that pressure once vaccinations are done.

Opening up almost certainly will happen in stages and be loaded with caveats though - ie.. vaccine certificates required, certain source countries blocked, etc.

All this to say that I think it's possible you will be able to come to Australia in 2022, but be cautious because it probably will be one of the trickier places to organise travel to. And there is definitely a chance that flights will get cancelled at short notice.

10. Posted by UliS (Travel Guru 139 posts) 3d Star this if you like it!

I was travelling last year and this winter and soon again, but many countries are closed for tourists since some time. And because regulations change now somtimes on very short notice you need to be prepared for all sorts of surprises (like airlines not flying and not returning the money or insurances not paying...).
Before Covid i did need in most SE Asian countries about €100 per week (basic accomodation and food), a bit more in Singapore and €300 per week in Australia. How prices will be in the future is only a guess.