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1. Posted by Xxlozzag (First Time Poster 1 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

Hey everybody

I'm Lauren, I'm 22 from the UK and I'm plotting my great escape (well, for about 4/5 months anyway) and was wondering if anyone can give me any pearls of wisdom. I'm hoping to leave in mid-November this year. Literally anything you know, I'd love to hear! Whether it's about cheap hostels, visas, ways to get around for cheap, budgeting advice etc...anything! I am travelling alone and am a bit daunted because I've never even got on a plane by myself let alone gone to the other side of the world....

By the time I've finished saving I should have about £5000 to spend (hopefully after flights) on my trip. I have been into a branch of the STA and they advised me to save about £1000 per month I want to travel, obviously I'd need less than that in Asia but I know Australia can be quite expensive as can New Zealand and North America.

I want to see culture and landmarks especially in Asia (specifically Thailand and surrounding areas...) and New Zealand, whereas in Oz I'd just like to soak up the lifestyle and see the Great Barrier Reef and some other popular landmarks, I'm sure you're all familiar with! I've recently thought about the option of working in Oz and New Zealand for a couple of months and if that's the case I'd be happy to extend my trip. I don't mind the thought of staying in dorms in hostels and cooking for myself rather than eating out all the time..anything to keep costs down! I'd like to do some excursions as ways of meeting people as I go but probably nothing as expensive as skydiving or bungee jumping - I'm thinking more snorkelling in the reefs, going to see temples, learning how to cook local cuisine etc. I am still in two minds as to whether to include north America in this trip, mainly because of my budget's mainly because I've seen an offer on STA for a 6/7/8 stop RTW for between £949-£1069 depending on the amount of stops. I don't know when my next opportunity will be to do a trip like this so I have the mentality that I'd like to see as much as possible with the time and money I possess...

Thanks for reading....hope to hear back from you all :)

2. Posted by Cyberia (Travel Guru 1855 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

RTW tickets mean you travel in one direction only. Side and backward trips you book yourself. You can do sections overland as in arrive in one place in Australia and leave in an other. Some cheapish airlines like AirAsia for flights around Asia.

Decide exactly where you want to go. Much of Asia is very cheap so you can spend a long time there for little money. Places like Japan and Singapore are expensive. And of course Australia and America are expensive and your money will soon go there. Winter in much of America, when you would be there, can be very cold. Maybe another time, one summer?

Much of China is still good in the winter months. I've had brilliant sunshine and weather near zero in northern China in December and January.

Lots and lots to see in India but it can be hard going.

Do invest in a year insurance. You MUST tell them if you are planning to do things like bungee jumping or sky diving. If you are injured doing these and you have not told them, they will not pay out.

Do check out at a local chemist to see what pills you might need, and your doctor's for injections.

Can you come back via South America as in Peru and maybe other places?

There are a number of sites that do hostels, budget accommodation, etc like hostelbookers, hostelworld, travellerspoint, lowcostholidays, etc.

3. Posted by Henry Columna (Budding Member 5 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

Hi Lauren,

It's more fun in the Philippines!

This is Henry, from Travel Saver (Phils.) Inc., I wish you consider our country your next destination. You might be of interest about the Filipino culture, foods, hotels (I would say low cost not cheap), landmarks, dive sites and even warm and friendly people. There are plenty of Brits who have chosen to spend their vacation and stay for good here in the Philippines.

Airlines flying to/from Manila offer promotional fares, such as Etihad Airways, Royal Brunei, Malaysian Airlines &/or Vietnam Airlines. I would suggest to take Vietnam Airlines say from London to Ho Chi Minh City; spend a few days then you may wish to go via bus from Ho Chi Minh City to Phom Penh , Cambodia [distance: 130.55Miles / 210.10Kilometers] both cities have temples and dive sites too then go back to Ho Chi Minh City and get board a plane for Manila and spend the rest of your vacation or exploration. If this kind of routes entice you; so I suggest to get this routes and make your booking [thru STA perhaps or other travel agents you may provide you the best deal]: London - Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) - London via Vietnam Airlines (VN) and book on-line Ho Chi Minh City - Manila - Ho Chi Minh via Cebu Pacific Air (5J).

Costs of living here in South East Asia are vastly lower than in the UK, and you can have a great lifestyle for not a lot of money. In other words it is worth to spend your savings here and indeed enjoy staying here for s short period of time.

If you need further information please advise.