- 5 July 2010
- Filed under
Jane NethercoteLonely Planet author
If you’ve got 6 months to travel, chances are you’ll be thinking about a Round the World trip (and fending off the jealousy of your friends).
But it’s not as simple as jumping on a plane. There’s an art to the Round the World trip — or RTW travel to those in the know — and Thorn Tree is chock-full of great advice. Here are some great tips from Lonely Planet members:
Stay longer in fewer places (unless you’re on The Amazing Race): Time and again, the Lonely Planet forum implores travellers not to succumb to the temptation of trying to see too much: ‘Please please please, in that amount of time (6 months), just pick 4 countries and explore each one thoroughly. Your experience will be infinitely richer as a result, you will enjoy your trip more and you will have a much better trip!’ – mikehuxley
Slow down, you move too fast: ‘Traveling fast is extremely exhausting and expensive … a bus/train/boat every few days $30/$200/$50 adds a significant amount to your daily expenses.’ – nomad_jenny
Get money when you can: ‘When going to a smaller city make sure you have enough money to get there, do your activities, and have enough left to leave.’ – nomad_jenny
Start networking now: ‘Before you go do a lot of networking and let as many people as possible know about your plans. Maybe start a travel blog and have as many people back home following along as possible. The point is to have as many contacts as possible who are interested in your adventure.’ – mstep
Check the weather: Don’t get caught out by rainy season in Thailand or the scorching heat in Spain. ‘Look at the weather conditions for the specific times you’ll be in various places.’ – gardyloo2
Don’t stress about pre-booking everything: ‘I know a lot of people pre-trip worry about booking things etc, but at the end of the day people are more than happy to help you give them money. It’s not an issue.’ – Andromeda321
But do sort out your visa situation.
Less is more: ‘Pack light, pack light, pack light.’ – csdcsmith
Be smart about where you buy a RTW ticket: ‘RTW tickets are cheaper (in US$ terms) if bought in some other countries besides the USA. This is especially the case today when the USD is quite strong compared to some other currencies, notably the Euro.’ – gardyloo2
Choose the right shoes: From sneakers to CROCS, the forum suggests what footwear to wear where.
Adapt your destinations to match your budget: ‘You can easily travel on $25-35 per person per day in places like Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Laos, Vietnam, South Africa, India, most of Central America, and many parts of South America. Some countries in Africa would also fit the bill. If you’re going to Australia, NZ, Singapore, Japan, etc, you’d need about 3-4 times that.’ – smartcookie
Beware: it could change your life: Who knew that ‘it would be so addictive and you’d end up wanting to change your life to include more time travelling, if not a permanent move overseas. That can throw a spanner in your pre-trip, organised life.’ – looseleaf
Oh and check out Lonely Planet’s RTW forum: If you’ve got a question, chances are it’ll have been raised before. How do you go RTW without flying? What backpack should you take? What do people wish they’d known before embarking on RTW travel? It’s all there.
Lonely Planet’s Best Ever Travel Tips is also a handy tome of invaluable advice – and currently 30% off. Makes an ideal gift for anyone hitting the road for the first time.