Critique my Itinerary
Replies: 20 - Last Post: Apr 12, 2012 11:28 AM Last Post By: thaysmancini
Mar 16, 2012 7:22 AM
Critique my ItineraryHi everyone
Ive been using this forum as a travel resource for years and figured it was about time i registered and hopefully benefit from your feedback.
Im a 24 year old nurse/midwife based in Manchester currently. Ive traveled extensively around America, Canada, Mexico and Europe with a friend and im hoping to travel further afar solo.
I have developed a rough itinerary for a 12 month long trip, whilst it does seem pretty fast paced, thats the type of traveler that i am. However i recognise that could change during my trip due to the sheer duration overall, so i will maybe try and allow for mid-trip change of pace if needed.
So here is the rough outline. Would really appreciate advice regarding budgets and duration :)
India 4 Weeks £500
China 4 Weeks £800
S.Korea 2 Weeks £500
Japan 2 Weeks £1000
Thailand 3 Weeks £486
Laos 2 Weeks £325
Vietnam 3 Weeks £486
Cambodia 2 Weeks £325
Thai Islands 2 Weeks £325
Australia 4 Weeks £2000
New Zealand 4 Weeks £2000
Peru 3 Weeks £675
Bolivia 2 Weeks £450
Argentina 4 Weeks £900
Brazil 4 Weeks £900
Also contemplating adding 2 weeks in the pacific islands, possibly Fiji, Tahiti or Cook Islands. Any advice regarding a rough budget for this would be a great help!
Edited by: KateH4141
Edited by: KateH4141
Mar 16, 2012 9:15 AM
1Ok.....welcome to the TT.
Duration....obviously depends on what you want to do in these places.I guess you have a reason for choosing them?Specific things you want to see and do?
Without knowing this its difficult to say if the time is enough...most people would probably agree that on that timetable you will 'miss' a lot of things in India,China,Australia and Brazil...the biggest countries with a huge amount of things to do.Other places like Bolivia could also use a lot more time.....slow travel and lots of variety.
You will have to pick and choose carefully...don't try to see the whole country in that time ;-)
Mar 16, 2012 9:19 AM
2Cool itinerary, I'm jealous. If you're a fast traveler you could even cut time off Korea because the country is ridiculously small.
I would add Indonesia between Thailand and Australia, or at least Bali. For cheap semi-pacific islands consider Eastern Indonesia, however if money is not an issue it would make more sense to stop in the actual Pacific.
Mar 16, 2012 9:20 AM
3No im definitely not planning on trying to fit the whole country in during those times. India for example, with only having a month i will choose to see the highlights of either the north or south as opposed to both!
Mar 16, 2012 9:24 AM
4Budget...depends even more!
Hotels or hostel dorms? Restaurants or street food stalls? Internal flights or all by bus? Lots of activities (diving,trekking,mountain climbing etc)or none? etc etc.
Your budget seems to work out overall at about $50US a day (£30)...which is on the low side for me.
in particular your Brazil and Argentina numbers are bare-bones minimum.
Mar 16, 2012 9:36 AM
Mar 16, 2012 12:49 PM
Mar 16, 2012 7:36 PM
7Yeah i think your trip sounds great, budget is all pretty good for "low end" budget travel except Brazil and Argentina... save a bit more for those 2 and i think your doing pretty well. Have you thought about how you are getting from NZ to SA? You can get "free stop over" flights on air pacific from NZ to fiji to Honolulu to USA for a pretty good price.
Mar 16, 2012 8:28 PM
8Yes, you've got an affordable budget if you're willing to stay in shared room hostels a lot of the time. But I think your budget allows for some private rooms when hostels aren't availlable, or if you just want a privacy break.
And your itinerary is awesome. So maybe the only concern I have is, when do you plan to leave, and have you considered the climate/weather for the various places you want to go? The weather can make all the difference.
For instance, April would be a wonderful time for Japan, but probably the worst month for Thailand.
Mar 17, 2012 1:17 AM
9Advice on Asia..
India: 4 weeks is not a lot of time in India. I just spent 4 1/2 months and still left with unfinished business.
Its just enough to do a Highlights of Rajasthan plus Delhi, Agra, Varanasi. It takes a couple days just to adjust to being in India and there is a fair chance that you will get sick at some point. Id sacrifice Korea for time extra time in India. Budget $15 per day.
China: Another big one although i haven't been.
Korea: If your already going to Japan i would cut Korea for time spent elsewhere.
Japan: Well worth the time and money, a 1 week JR rail pass is essential it costs around $350 and you have to organise it before you arrive in Japan, it will be your single biggest expense. The rest of your budget will cover your time there.
Thailand: 4 weeks. Islands first then central and northern Thailand then take the slow boat into Laos.
Laos: 3/4 weeks is better than 2. Enter from the north, travel to the south, cross into Cambodia.
Cambodia: 2 weeks is ok, you can organise your Vietnam visa in Phenom Pehn or Sihanoukville.
Vietnam: 4 weeks is perfect. Enter from Cambodia to Ho Chi Mihn City travel north.
Budget $25-30 per day for SEast Asia more if partying/drinking.
Check out Air Asia for all flights around Asia and Oz/NZ.
India, China, Vietnam, Australia, require visas organised in advance.
Australia is a stupidly vast and expensive country. Have you considered a working holiday in Oz/Nz and making it a open ended 2 year trip?
Mar 17, 2012 2:12 AM
10It's great if you can build some flexibility into your trip so you can decide as you are travelling how long you feel like staying in each place but could be difficult if you need to book your flights in advance (get tickets you can change if at all possible). I found that the longer I travel the longer I wanted to spend in each place but other people might feel differently (eg speeding up because you can't be bothered with yet another temple). I spent 3 months in India and 4 months in China and barely scratched the surface of each but someone else I met who spent 1 month in China thought that was more than enough since he didn't enjoy some of the more fustrating aspects of travel in China.
I would also try to build some downtime into your trip - a week relaxing on a beach with nothing to do but read and swim as it can get tiring constanting travelling from place to place and adjusting to a new culture.
Also pay attention to what #8 says about weather as it's really important for some places. This can be really difficult for a long term trip if you are trying to travel in the most logical order. I managed to have mainly good weather for the first half of my trip but ended up mid-winter in China (freezing in the North!) and then in India in the hot season, definately not ideal. Even places with less extreme weather can be a problem at certain times of year eg South Island of New Zealand is not too nice in winter unless you want to ski.
Your budget for the Thai islands should be quite a bit higher than your budget for Northern Thailand as accommodation is more expensive and cheap local price food is not available on some of the smaller islands. Most people also want to do some snorkelling trips (or even diving) which also adds a bit to the budget. If your route involves the speed boat ferries these can be extremely expensive compared to say a typical bus trip in Northern Thailand. If course i you go to one island and do nothing but lie on the beach it could still be cheap.
Mar 18, 2012 5:51 PM
11As has been pointed out above, you definitely need to bump up the figures for Brazil & Argentina. Hostels aren't cheap by any stretch... Especially if you're travelling up the Brazilian coast & hitting islands etc - you're looking at €10/night minimum. Also, bus travel in Brazil is expensive. The distances between main towns are large (often 20+ hours) and journeys can cost €100-150 so flights can be a similar price if booked several weeks in advance. Eating out can be cheap(ish) & groceries/alcohol are often home prices. No Tesco value I'm afraid :-) I didn't travel Argentina on this trip but from what I've heard, it's not far behind Brazil price-wise whereas Bolivia is still cheap. Activities like Machu Picchu are also a large lump sum but I'm guessing you've included things like that into your budget?
Australia, again, super expensive. Cheapest dorms are from AUS$20 & the more popular hostels are $30+ and decimate your budget. I found groceries/alcohol on par or even more expensive than home which again blasts the budget!
Also, Fiji is beautiful but of course, the nicest islands are also the more expensive & you're looking at upwards of €20/night. You probably weren't looking for exact financial details but guidebooks can sometimes be inaccurate so I just wanted to give you some specifics
Mar 19, 2012 1:22 AM
12Thanks for the feedback everyone. Some really useful information here! I have bumped up my time in India to 8 weeks as opposed to 4. I do plan on including relaxing weeks into my itinerary. For example, i have planned a week of relaxation on the beaches of Goa half way through my 8 weeks in India as im away India can be a bit full on. Ill also schedule some down time in SE Asia and S.America.
What budget would you recommend for Argentina and Brazil? Aswell as Fiji?
Mar 19, 2012 2:24 AM
Mar 19, 2012 7:39 AM
14#13 JimBurns is spot on. I was averaging €2,000/month for Brazil/Argentina. That only included one flight & usually taking the cheapest option with regards hostels/food. Naturally boozing bumps up your price! Plus, I'd already been to B.A/Rio/Iguassu etc so didn't have the added costs of sightseeing expenditures in these places
Ko ChangBook now
(3 star Hotel)
From US$41.04 per night
Ko Pha-NganBook now
(3 star Hotel)
From US$39.68 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$62.91 per night