Post Trip: Advice, Tips, Etc...
Replies: 12 - Last Post: Jan 9, 2012 5:07 PM Last Post By: oreoucky1
Jan 6, 2012 8:21 PM
Post Trip: Advice, Tips, Etc...Been back from my trip for about 2 months. I didnt really post much on the GAP YR forum but I did constantly read threads before I was leaving. This wasnt my first trip. I'd taken several trips down to central america during college and after graduation I did 3 months through part of south america before starting my career. However, after 2.5 years of working I need a break, saved up some cash, and quit my job as a CPA.
I didnt take much with me. Two (2) pairs of zip off pants/short. Two (2) pairs of shorts/bathing suit. Five (shirts). Four (4) pairs of underwear and socks. I also took a super light pair of rain pants and a rain jacket. The rain jacket doubled with a fleece prepared me for any range of temps. I took a pair of hiking boots as I planned to do a lot of hiking and a pair of flip-flops. The flip flops were worn majority of the time. With that being said majority of the people I met along the way or travelled with my pack was always the smallest. Pack light you really dont need much, especially if you are in warm environment. I could of gone less really you tend to end up wearing the same 2-3 pairs of shirts/short most of the time.
My weight was in camera equipment as it is a huge hobby of mine. I carried a DSLR plus a wide-angle lens, zoom lens, small HD for back-up, filters, and extra batterys (for hiking). The results were worth the effort. Sometime I did want to send it home but the results offset the struggle. Plus its easy to leave in a locker or room. I also brought a small point-n-shoot for walking around at night or going out.
I had no real plan. I had a friend that was going to India so I set off for India. Spent all of April and May in India. From there I took a 36 hr bus ride to Nepal. Spent a month in Nepal (hiking for 18 days in the everest region) before meeting a friend in Indonesia. Ended up loving it so much I renewed my visa and stayed for the max of two (2) months. From Indo I went to Malaysia to reapply for an India visa but I was rejected, which sucked as my flights were already purchased. With that said they cheapest flight was to Vietnam. Spent an entire month in Vietnam before heading to Thailand. I was in Thailand for three (3) weeks. Was supposed to head to Laos for a few weeks before heading home to work a ski season out in Colorado, but had an accident. All in all I was just shy of 7 months away. I did majority of my travel overland. I had the time. Like to see the scenery and enjoy the experience. I can explain or give further detail as need. I know some people tend to fly through place but I prefer to really get to know a place and country. Hence why I spent 1-2 months each place. Could of easily spent more in most places.
I never really had a plan ever. Lived each day as it came. I ate amazing food, surfed, dove amazing reefs, hiked the himalayas, and learned and saw amazing cultures. I bought a one-way ticket to India and winged everything else from there. Most of my trip was solo except for India and a few weeks in Indo. Dont worry though as you will meet plenty of people to travel with if you want.
Now for some logistic which I think will help a lot of you in your planning.
909.50 Airfare Total (one way ticket to NYC and then to India)
109.97 Clothing Total
703.04 Electronics Total (netbook, batteries, HD, etc)
299.00 Insurance Total
174.72 Medical & Vaccination Total
50.47 Misc Items Total
14.59 Mobil Phone Total
250.58 Passport & Visa Total
25.00 Volunteer Total (WOOFING)
2,536.87 Grand Total
Airfare during trip and getting back to Florida:
1,944.52 Airfare Total
510.10 Unused Airfare Total (due to visa rejection)
1,434.42 Grand Total
The rest: (this includes all cash spent on housing, food, visas, and any activities done. EVERYTHING)
5,403.18 Cash (see above) Total
81.30 Gifts Total
60.58 Medical & Vaccination Total
109.99 Passport & Visa Total
105.74 Rinjani Hike Total
1,216.92 Scuba Cert. & Dive Total
6,977.71 Adjusted Grand Total
With that being said I spent the following for 7 months:
However, as stated above that includes a lot of money in electronics ($703) and diving ($1,216) plus my 18 day hike through the Everest region of Nepal was approx. $1,100. So as you can see it was a really affordable trip. Plus you could of done it for a lot less. Hope this helps from a little bit of a budgeting stand point.
Here is what I averaged on a country basis (daily rate). Includes everything you can think of (travel, food, lodging, visas, activities, etc).
47.88 Nepal (includes a guide for 18 days through Everest region)
43.31 Indonesia (includes a lot of diving)
Now hears the clincher. If your insurance expires RENEW it!!!! I didnt renew mine as I was going home in 3 weeks from when it expired. Sure enough I needed it. I was driving through the back roads of Koh Lanta and out of nowhere a monkey jumps about a foot in front of my motorbike. I hit it as it was too quick to turn. Bike flipped and I flew off. Shattered my radius on my left hand. Went and got X-rays and needed to have surgery. Without health insurance in the US I decided to go to the international hospital and see my options. Surgery went well and after a metal plate, 5 screws, and 3 days in the hospital I was on my way. Spent an extra week relaxing in Thailand before heading home. Its been 2 months and I am healing and having been doing PT. But have had a lot of trouble getting health insurance. I've been declined coverage and am appealing it now thanks to our US system. Moral of the story is get insurance so you dont spend $7000 on surgery in Thailand. Estimated cost in the US was $30,000. Its just a pain in the ass.
Was still an amazing trip and there is not a day that goes by that I dont think about it. Hope this is helpful. Questions are welcomed. Let me know.
Jan 7, 2012 2:28 AM
Jan 7, 2012 2:39 AM
Jan 7, 2012 1:47 PM
3nice post. questions for you
1) you say you left your photo gear in a room or locker. can you be more specific about that. i'm leary of leaving my gear behind and so this trip i'm debating whether to bring it at all
2) were your intl airfares one way? i don't want to buy round trips since i want to leave my travels open ended. just curious how you dealt with some of the restrictions to have a return tix before boarding plane
3) which travel insurance did you use?
Jan 7, 2012 4:11 PM
Jan 7, 2012 4:14 PM
5Same as a chartered accountant in a lot of the world.
I do agree check both return and one-way. In my case it didnt matter. Research a lot of combos. Find major hubs and major routes for your destinations.
1) for dorms with lockers I used my own combo lock and locked my stuff up in the locker. in asia and in india a lot of the places I stayed at werent dorms. more of guest rooms for 2 people. simply lock the door behind you. sure its a gable with the equipment but I never had any trouble. just be smart about it. some places i was also able to lock the door with my own lock.
2) i only bought a plane ticket one when i left the US. i bought the rest as I went along. i know some people say this is a problem but i never had an issue. the only country were it might of been a slight issue was Indonesia as they require proof of onward entry. i bought a cheap $36 ticket on airasia as proof but no one ever actually asked me for it.
3) coming from the US I used World Nomads. never actually used to though. if i renewed it when it expired it would of come in great with my visit to the hospital.
hope that helps,
Edited by: oreoucky1
Jan 7, 2012 7:36 PM
Jan 8, 2012 9:07 AM
7..Thanks oreoucky1....your summary has been a great help.
I was originally booking a rtw ticket, by reasearching and coming across this post, has finalised for me that buying as i go will be the better option, and just going wherever the wind takes me.
I will be leaving in roughly 9 months, therefore will no doubt be in contact for advice.
Jan 8, 2012 3:44 PM
8Interesting reading, thank you. Good to hear you managed to wing it all the way and stay where you wanted, when you wanted, without being pinned down to an exact itinerary. I'm on a long trip right now, and doing exactly that, it's very liberating and in my opinion the only way to travel for longer periods.
Sorry to hear about your motorbike accident in Thailand. I wonder if your travel insurance would even have covered you. Every policy I found required you to have a full motorcycle licence in your home country in order to be covered by the insurance. And many/most travelers renting motorbikes in Thailand don't have a bike licence.
Jan 8, 2012 4:00 PM
Jan 9, 2012 7:38 AM
10Sounds like a great trip, thanks for the feedback! I have a couple quick questions for you. Have you found returning home after this trip to be a bit stressful? Especially with respect to interacting with friends/family, getting a job, etc? I am planning a trip where I'll be traveling for 8-10 months in South America, then 8-10 months in Asia (with a couple months back home for the holidays in between). I've never traveled for more than a month before and I'm a little worried about getting burned out. How did you feel about being away 7 months? Would the prospect of another long trip right away be too much? Thanks a lot.
Jan 9, 2012 1:04 PM
Jan 9, 2012 5:07 PM
12#8 --- I am not too sure on the answer to that.It does raise a valid point. I researched the World Nomad documents I have on file and it doesnt mention anything about a required valid motor license.
#10 --- First off I'd go in a heartbeat. Ah I wouldnt say it was stressful. It has been a bit weird as I experienced so many amazing things and then I come home and no one is even on the same level as me. There is so many things that jog my memory of things that happened and I have no one to discuss it with. I do miss the food. I would also say it hasnt been too stressful for me as instead of going back to a real job I am out in Vail, CO working at a ski resort for the season. 40 hrs a week but I get 3 days off a week to ride. It made for an easier transition I am sure. I would say it made me also realize how busy all my friends were and how hard it was to meet up with some people. I wouldnt say it would be that difficult to get back to another long trip. Just dont stay home too long as friends/family will get on your case about jobs/life/etc. Visit for just a short enough time to keep it fresh and then leave again. Its just easier to keep on traveling. If you get tired or burnt out relax for a few days and try and keep a positive attitude. I did at one point for a few days and then everything just clicked and it was all positive vibes from then on out. Having a friend or family member meet you for a few weeks is also a good way to get it fresh. Hope this helps.
#11 --- I think it depends on the condition. I didnt have insurance at home as I quite my job and its too pricey. With World Nomads I think it depends on the case and severity of the accident. If it can be handled abroad I think you are good. If not I beleive they pay for you to get coverage at home. I good question to ask them via email or phone. Eitherway get insurance and renew it when it expires so you dont get stuck paying $7K for surgery like I did. Now I've been home 2 months and havent been able to get insurance. They've declined me coverage, even though I am only 25. They say my arm is too new and high risk. So ive had to pay for follow-up x-rays out of pocket. Silly and stupid healthcare system. Its rubbish. I have fully use of my arm, been doing PT, and the scar is healed.
Hope that helps a bit. Keep the questions coming if you got them.
(4 star Hotel)
From US$149.00 per night
Rio de Janeiro CityBook now
(0 star Hotel)
From US$18.63 per night
(1 star Hotel)
From US$8.67 per night