Unplanned / transport bookings / general 'round the world' advice
Replies: 6 - Last Post: Apr 9, 2012 1:22 PM Last Post By: dominic77
Apr 9, 2012 6:52 AM
Unplanned / transport bookings / general 'round the world' adviceHi all,
From the start of June, I'm planning to go away for pretty much as long as my budget carries me (I'm guessing I can carry myself for at least 6-9 months; after 2-years of saving). I'm first of all planning to hit some parts of Southern Europe, then on to North America, South America, Japan and parts of Asia. So, I have a rough 'continent plan', but am willing to let this change, or extend, or add (e.g. perhaps I'll even decide to hit North Africa after Southern Europe).
Is it ludicrous to leave this unplanned, and to just book transport tickets as-and-when? Or, should I plan the whole thing with an itinerary and get a 'round the world ticket', or something?
Basically, what I want to know is: how feasible is travelling 'unplanned' these days? Is it just a big money burner, or is it still totally do-able? I'm willing to skimp and save where possible (e.g. couch-surfing rough n' tumble transport etc.).
Any feedback really will be much appreciated.
Apr 9, 2012 8:27 AM
1You might want to check immigration rules for the countries you want to visit. Two years ago I wanted to do the same as you, but as it turned out it was in some cases impossible to fly into a country on a one way ticket. Immigration wants to know that you leave the country when your visa expires, so you need to be able to proof that (e.g. a ticket out of the country).
In the end I had to plan the whole trip (headache!) and bought a round the world ticket. Dates are easily changed (for a fee sometimes), but changing a destination is more expensive, and you cannot back track on a RTW ticket.
Good luck with the planning and have a great trip!
Apr 9, 2012 8:52 AM
Apr 9, 2012 8:57 AM
3For example...you need to look at what visas you will need (depends on your nationality)...and which ones have to be got in advance.
You should have a look at the weather in the places you want to visit,unless you don't mind monsoons or baking heat.
On the 'ticket out'---there is always a way around this requrement.Often it only exists on paper and immigration don't say anything.Usually its the airlines that care about this,so if you travel overland its rarely a problem.At worst you may have to buy a bus ticket or budget flight out of a country and throw it away.......or buy a full price flight and then refund it.
Its occasionally a pain,but not a great obstacle.
Apr 9, 2012 9:00 AM
4Financially it may cost you more,or may cost you less.Depends where you are going and how you travel....
For example if you do Asia and Europe by budget airline and the Americas overland,the transport should cost considerably less than a RTW ticket.
Of course,the major advantage is that its more flexible and free...even if this ends up costing you a bit more,IMHO its well worth it.
Apr 9, 2012 9:14 AM
Apr 9, 2012 1:22 PM
6With an open-ended trip like yours, unplanned is the way to go. I am 5 months into an "unplanned" trip right now, currently in Central America. I have been to Thailand, Malaysia, USA, Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, and now El Salvador.
The only (very minor) obstacles I have faced were having to buy 2 onward tickets: one ticket out of Thailand, to Malaysia (which I used anyway), and another ticket out of the USA back to the UK. For the latter, I bought a full-priced refundable ticket (flying with Icelandair, booked on Expedia.com). Once I was safely in the USA, I cancelled the ticket and got my money back. Very straightforward to do, but obviously a (very little) bit of planning and forethought is required for this.
The advantages of traveling unplanned GREATLY outweigh the latter, in my opinion. When you meet people you can travel with them if you want, and if you like somewhere you can stay longer, without having to move on because you already have a ticket to go somewhere else. It doesn't sound like such a big deal to be able to do this, but when you're on the road it can really make a difference to the kind of travel experience you have.
It's not necessarily more expensive to do it this way, either: for example, I managed to buy a sub-$200 one-way ticket from New York to Cancun in Mexico only a few days before I wanted to fly.
Don't obsess about going absolutely everywhere on your list, you've got a list of places you want to visit, but you might not get to visit all of them this time. It's no big deal, just hit them up on your next trip. I originally planned to finish this trip in South America but I might not make it all the way there on this trip, but it will still be there next time.
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