From East to West, The first part of a major adventure!
Replies: 48 - Last Post: Dec 5, 2012 10:35 AM Last Post By: Zeyhn
Jul 11, 2012 10:21 PM
30IMO, Nutra's food price list is on the high end of the scale. Most US market chains have weekly specials that discount certain items significantly. IF you have the means to shop around, you can find milk for $1.50 a gallon, and eggs at 12 for 1$, etc. Still, your $3~4 a day will be tough, particularly since you will be traveling (this makes buying a cheap 20 kg bag of rice a bit difficult!)
As mentioned, one amusement park will blow a week's food budget. Also, the simple act of traveling from one location to the next will consume LOTS of $. Better to stay at one place (like a big National Park) for 4~5 days. You'll have time to fully explore and appreciate the scenery, and will save $ in the meantime.
Jul 12, 2012 6:39 AM
31I tend to agree with Max. For the 6-10 days in Florida, at least, I'd rent a car. Summer is "offseason" there. This will allow you to get to budget motels in outlying areas. Some can be dodgy, but most are perfectly clean and fine. For food, all you need is a cooler ($10), a butterfly grill ($10-optional, but preferred as it will be clean), maybe a saucepan and a bag of charcoal. Buy food in the grocery store and just find a public picnic area to fire up a grill and cook there (plenty of them). Many motels will even have them. You can easily do this on the budget you mentioned and with fresh vegetable for things like kebabs on skewers. Of course, this will take an hour or so each time to fire up the coals and cook, etc, so it will take away from "doing things" time, but can easily be done. Between the 2 of you per day, $60 motel, $25 car, $15 food + some gas for the car. Maybe $50-60 each per day, give or take, eating well and sleeping in A/C with your own room and shower. If this is too much, there's no reason to go.
Jul 12, 2012 7:20 AM
32And this does not include any money for booze, for clothing or cleaning, for any seasonal clothing you'd need, for toiletries.......... It's easily over $70 a day and then you have the Disneyworld admission, the skydiving, the fees, the parking costs. Make it $100 a day.
Jul 12, 2012 7:22 AM
33We were initially thinking 180-200 USD per day everything included (flight in and out also) for a 40 day trip to the US. With travel/food/accommodation on the budget side but with activities on the more expensive side.
I believe we hyped up the american amusement parks more than what they are worth. I'd love to visit a few but we are going to skip many more then what was originally thought after consideration. We will also skip Niagara Falls and Cedar Point as that is way out of our way. Read quite a few threads on this forum about it. :)
As tiltedflipcurves says, it might be smarter to spend more cash in the other countries we plan to visit. The rest of the itinerary goes something like this:
Los Angeles to Guatemala
Guatemala to El Salvador
El Salvador to Nicaragua (through Honduras)
Nicaragua to Costa Rica
Exploring Costa Rica
Costa Rica to Los Angeles
Los Angeles to New Zealand
New Zealand to Indonesia
Indonesia to Malaysia
Malaysia to Thailand
Thailand to Vietnam
Vietnam to Cambodia
Cambodia to Laos
Laos to Thailand
Thailand to South Korea
South Korea to Japan
Japan to Sweden
The route might change, we might go east first to Asia, we can also skip pretty much any country (or add some), even the US if that makes it a more enjoyable trip. After all your tips it seems the US will cost a good deal more then what I had thought. Our overall budget for the trip is 35000-55000 USD and we want to go on for as long as the money lets us.
It seems like you are trying to find a single best approach/rule for planning your entire U.S. trip.
Yes, I had that mindset which I now realize was not very smart. :)
Jul 12, 2012 8:40 AM
Jul 12, 2012 8:56 AM
35Thailand to Vietnam
Vietnam to Cambodia
Cambodia to Laos
Laos to Thailand
Should be Thailand to Laos>Cambodia>Vietnam>Thailand or onward to China from Hanoi.
You may want to turn that around, as its best to go from Northern Thailand down the Mekong to Luang Prabang Laos, then work you way to Siem Reap/Angkor Wat Cambodia, then on to Saigon, work your way north up Vietnams coast, then fly from Hanoi to BKK cheap on Air Asia, or even possibly Hanoi to Shanghai and onto S Korea, you can transit China without a Visa with a connecting flight of less 24 hours. For a quickie China trip, train from Hanoi to Nanning China, fast train to Shenzen, can hit Hong Kong and Macau via train bus or ferry but would need multi entry Visa for China, if not fly or overnight fast train to Shanghai 3 days, fast train to Beijing 5 days, then on to Korea...I would see China and Japan before Korea. South China/Yunnan is lot of nature and nice scenery too.
Also, the gem of the region is Burma, outside of the Khmer empire, all things Buddha is at the mecca, Bagan Myanmar is not to be missed. Fly in/out from BKK on Air Asia.
Chang Mai Thailand
Luang Prabang Laos
Angkor Wat Cambodia
So, BKK>Burma>BKK>South Islands/Fly to North Thailand Chang Mai then to Chang Rai>Mekong>LPG>VV>Capitol>Pakse>Bolevan>4000 Islands>Cambodia border>SR/AWT> Skip PP fly to Saigon>Nha Trang>Hoi An, focus on Hue> Danang>Fly Hanoi, Ha Long Bay>Sapa>Ninh Binh>Hanoi fly BKK.
Thailand 10 days
Burma 2 weeks
Laos 10 days 2 weeks
Cambodia 3 days to 7 days
Vietnam 3 weeks
Central America consider getting cheap flight to Cancun, work way down Yucatan via Tulum/Tikal Ruins, Belize side trip if into scuba diving, but Honduras has great diving and cheaper in Bay Islands.
From Tikal Ruins you really need a good 3 weeks in Guatemala for the cultural highlights, though its cheap and easy to get around compared to rest of CA.
Guatemala highlights- Antigua, Lake Atitlan, Xela, Nebaj, Languin/Semuc/Coban, Livingston/Rio Dulce
You can take a boat from the cayes in Belize to near Livingston Guat, of go from Antigua/Guat City to Copan ruins Honduras, then from there to San Pedro Sula and bus to La Cieba and ferry to Bay Islands/Roatan/Utila and you can sail between them on a catamaran. You can also go from Livingston to Honduras via boat, then inland to San Pedro, but you would be skipping the cultural highlight of Copan. you also have the miskito coast to explore but its not easy or cheap, allow extra week for that.
Tica Bus and King Quality run between all the capitals in CA, cant comment on El Salvador but the surf scene is at El Tunco not far from bus route. Nicaragua has a lot to offer from culture to adventure, the gems are Leon, Granada and Ometepe, Corn Islands are best to fly. Traveling the Rio San Juan is great and a new area to explore as of late with refuges, reserves and the indigenous river life, you can cross to Costa Rica between El Castillo and Los Chiles via boat, instead of traditional Pan Am Hwy.
Costa Rica I have been going to over a decade for adventure, nature and surf, endless options but a huge variety of national parks, eco systems and antural wonders, focus should Tortuguero on the caribe, and Rincon, Tenerio/Celeste, and Cano Negro in the north, and in the Osa, the most bio diverse park on the planet, Corcovado near the Panama pacific border, you can do a loop from here via David/PC and Bocas Del Toro and back up caribe coast to CR via Pt Viejo and Tortuguero. Darien Gap and Kuna/Yula as well as San Blas islands are all great in Panama I am told, have not been.
MOON, LP is best for CA region, and the FAQ at top of Branch for CA.
Overall time needed:
Guatemala 3 weeks
El Salvador 1 week
Nicaragua 10 days to two weeks
Costa Rica 2-3 weeks
Panama 2 weeks
3 months is a rush, 4 months is nice, not including Yucatan/Belize.
Jul 12, 2012 9:05 AM
Our itinerary for Asia is not detailed at all yet, so that is very useful information!
And thanks for that site 55vineyard!
Jul 12, 2012 9:28 AM
37Oh, add Honduras 3 days to 10 days depending of diving Bay Islands or not. Also, if you dont dive yet, Utila/Roatan is the pace to get PADI Certified for $300 including lodging, fun place and great time, 2nd longest reef in the world...
Then you can dive in CR and Panama, though not as good, but in Thailand is excellent, besides the Thai Islands, the Liveboard off Simillian Islands from Phuket/Ko Loh is outstanding not that $$ for a Liveboard. Season and weather permitting, some messy months on the coast of Thaialand. Peak monsoon season is July to Oct/Nov in SE Asia, and in CA, May to Dec is green/rainy season, with Oct the worst generally, and into Nov, though east coast varies greatly, Honduras Bay Island December is worse, go figure. I would avoid CR/Panama in Oct, key areas are closed or too yucky.
You may want to consider flying to Cuba from any capitol in CA as well as from Cancun.
Jul 12, 2012 9:34 AM
38I favor you doing your trip going east from Sweden, through Europe, then Asia
Or maybe Sweden-Central America, etc then return Japan-USA-Sweden
After touring the world, you'll have a much better idea what you DO want and DON'T want out of expensive countries like Japan and USA. You'll also have a much better idea of how to travel and budget.
Maybe Disneyworld, skydiving, won't be so important and other things will be. If you start in the US and splash out on all these high-expense activities, you'll find yourself months later wondering why you thought Disneyworld was so important, when you've seen and experienced the real parts of the world.
Jul 13, 2012 6:42 AM
39Starting with USA has several advantages:
Easing into travel mode via a first-world ammenities, English-speaking country
USA is a big-budget, big-time-commitment country that might be tougher to get back to as a stand-alone trip later in life. If you run out of money during RTW, you can more easily visit those later on your planned list during a shorter vacation.
Diversity of population, in contrast to single-culture countries you'll experience later.
Jul 14, 2012 1:39 PM
40After reading this thread over and over and scanning all the great replies. We have decided to do the US last. After we have had time to get some more travel experience and re-evaluate our goals with the US trip. Perhaps then we will want to see whole other parts of the US and not only blaze through the amusement parks and famous cities.
We will most likely go to Central America first, in Nov-Dec 2013 and then go to SE Asia when we've had enough, perhaps just stay during the dry season and then move on. I think instead of a planned itinerary we will have some kind of goals for the trip and some routes that we could go but nothing set.
As we are not experienced travellers I think it wise to start with the cheap continents first as you guys have pointed out. I will make another thread in the RTW forum or perhaps SE Asia/Central America forums in the future. When I have properly researched these places. :)
I am very grateful for all of your tips. I can't thank you guys enough.
Kahua said "Maybe Disneyworld, skydiving, won't be so important and other things will be."
I am starting to realize that this is very close to the truth. I do want to try skydiving at least once tho! But kayaking down a river in the jungle might be just as awesome.
Jul 15, 2012 10:16 AM
41Only thing is from a cost perspective, it doesn't make sense to fly to central america (connecting in the US possibly) then to Asia, then other destinations, then back to the US again before flying home. If you wanted to save money on flights and have the US last, you probably have to start with Asia.
Btw, Japan is very expensive too, possibly you'll spend more there than the US. New Zealand not cheap either. Not going to Australia?? I'd at least stop by in Sydney or Melbourne once you go all the way down there, it's kind of on the way to/from NZ.
Jul 15, 2012 10:33 AM
42I skydived in Taupo, New Zealand. Memorable and cool. I recommend skydiving where there's great scenery.
Jul 15, 2012 1:51 PM
43Yeah I know max, but for now we have kind of cut those destinations and focusing only on CA/SE Asia, both NZ and Japan are real expensive as you've said. I am gonna check what our budget for CA/SE Asia will be and then add destinations if I feel there is enough cash.
The issue is that if we do choose to go to Japan, NZ or USA we would probably want to stay there for quite a while to justify going there. If we do that we would have to spend money there that we could spend in CA/SE Asia. Thus lowering the duration of the trip.
It's a tough call. :)
Jul 15, 2012 5:12 PM
San FranciscoBook now
(0 star Hotel)
From US$25.40 per night
San FranciscoBook now
(3 star Hotel)
From US$229.00 per night
Los AngelesBook now
(3 star Hotel)
From US$199.50 per night