Another "Check my RTW itinerary" post!
Replies: 20 - Last Post: Dec 21, 2012 3:14 AM Last Post By: 80weeks
Nov 30, 2012 7:25 AM
Another "Check my RTW itinerary" post!Hi all. Long time listener, first time caller.
I've seen a lot of great feedback on here regarding RTW itinerary feasibility, so I thought I'd throw my hat in the ring. My fiancee and I are planning a RTW trip, which will be starting in Summer 2016. Yes, we're planning well in advance, but that's the timeline we're looking at in order to have the necessary funds raised to take the true open-ended trip we want. We'll both be 26 when we leave, and we're both American citizens.
I've probably read every post on this forum, as well as countless travel blogs, so I have a pretty good idea of the standard advice. Travel slowly, don't blow through money, but don't be afraid to spend it, get your immunizations, travel insurance, sort out your visas, keep copies of important documents, etc., etc..
That being said, there's only so much to be gleaned from advice directed at others, so I thought I'd put our plans out there and see if there's anything you all can nitpick at. Our plan is to take at least 12-18 months to work our way around the globe, and then see where we go from there, whether that be returning home, finding a new home, or continuing on our travels. We're thinking of traveling until our funds are depleted (not counting a separate nest egg), and then possibly hopping down to Aus/NZ to work for a while so as to build up a bit more travel money. But that part, at least, is still very much up in the air.
The initial 12-18 months are going to be spent (generally) as follows:
South America (Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay)
4 - 5 months
1 month in Ecuador (Banos?) taking Spanish lessons
Machu Picchu trek
Isla de la Plata (Poor Man's Galapagos)
Southeast Asia (Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, maybe Myanmar?)
4 - 5 months
Train pass in Japan (1-2 weeks. Meeting up with a friend there)
Full/Half Moon Party
Significant amount of beach time (Maybe rent a bungalow for a full month to unwind)
Snorkeling (cheaper than SCUBA)
1 - 2 months (depending on our fortitude)
Indian food (not looking forward to Indian bathrooms though)
Eastern Europe (Croatia, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Austria, Greece)
2 - 3 months
Just kinda winging it here. Heard these places are beautiful, but we don't have much of a plan regarding them.
Western Europe (Spain, France, Italy, Germany, England, Ireland, Scotland, Sweden, ...?)
2 - 3 months (or more, or less, depending on when our money runs out)
Looking to rent an apartment in Spain for a month. I studied abroad there and loved it.
Other than that, probably just doing some cheesy tourist stuff.
Our plan is to have $60,000 (USD) saved for the trip, and another $10,000 set aside for startup money either back home or for Aus/NZ if we decided to go for working visas there once we run out of cash.
I have been accumulating frequent flyer miles, so some of the major flight costs won't be quite so bad. We'll be buying flights as we go to maintain flexibility. We've already got enough from various bonuses to cover the South America to SEA leg, which would be the major money sink, and we'll continue to accumulate miles until we leave.
I am a Software Developer, so if there is ever a time when we're starting to run low on money but don't want to quit traveling, I would consider picking up freelancing work. I'm also planning on starting a travel blog, but obviously that is far from a guarantee of any sort of income. It'll be more for friends/family to follow our voyage.
So, travel gurus, is there anything about our plan that needs tweaking? Do you think we are planning on too many places? It does seem like a lot after writing it all out, but we're not setting any dates in stone in terms of rushing around. We're going to stay in one place until we get bored of it and then move on, so I don't think having "stretch goals" is necessarily a bad thing.
Thanks for any advice you can give!
Nov 30, 2012 9:46 AM
1You're very wiser to stay out of Africa. Most people who go there just can't stop themselves going back time and time again. It kind of gets under your skin.
But I'd go to Turkey rather than Greece. Most of the ancient Greek places are in Turkey anyway and it's much better set up for and more welcoming to travellers. (It's cheaper, too.)
Nov 30, 2012 10:52 AM
2Leaving out Turkey was just an oversight on my part. It's definitely on the list. Greece looks nice for beaches, etc., but I don't think we plan on spending a whole lot of time there.
I'd love to do Africa someday, but I think we're planning on carving that off as its own trip so we're not bouncing around so much. We've considered doing a few months in Africa after our (potential) year-or-so pit stop in Aus/NZ doing a working holiday after this RTW adventure. Plus, by then we'll be much more seasoned travelers, and I feel like Africa isn't necessarily the most beginner-friendly destination.
That being said, we probably will end up hitting some of Northern Africa on this trip (Morocco, Egypt, Jordan) if we have the time, but we'll be saving the mainland for a trip all its own :)
Nov 30, 2012 2:15 PM
3"Most of the ancient Greek places are in Turkey anyway" ROTFLMAO
Kind of like saying don't go to Rome, most of the ancient Roman places are in France anyway.
I went to a Greek island planning to be there for perhaps 7 days, see the island and move on. I stayed for 7 years. Why people think that what THEY like is what someone else will like is beyond belief.
I've obviously been to Greece and yes I have also been to Turkey. In fact I went to Turkey with a Turkish friend. So I'd say I have a fair handle on both. I like both, I prefer Greece. What I would not say to you charbse or anyone else is one is preferable to the other for YOU.
It looks like you've done your homework and as it is still years away, who knows what will happen/change in the meantime. I really don't see any need for you to post now about something that might not even happen. Kind of asking us to waste our time if you see my point. Come back in 2015.
Nov 30, 2012 8:27 PM
4"Most of the ancient Greek places are in Turkey anyway"
A classic blooper if ever there was one. RATFLMAO
(I'm rolling around the floor this time for a change of pace.)
Nov 30, 2012 9:10 PM
Dec 1, 2012 3:24 AM
6Just one point I'd like to make - Even though they call Isla de la Plata the poor man's Galapagos this is solely because there are boobies and albatros there. It is NOT a substitute for the real Galapagos.
Dec 1, 2012 5:20 AM
7Oh sweetie, do yourself a favour and check on google first. It stops one looking like an idiot. Turkey is home to approximately 180 sites of ancient Greece. And that's only the ones they've found so far.
Some of them are amazing and not-to-be-missed, like Afrodisias, Ephesus, Antakya (Antioch /Hatay) Bergama, the Chimera with its perpetual flame ... others, like Troy, less so, but people still visit.
Dec 1, 2012 8:28 AM
8Don't dig the hole any deeper go_2. Just gracefully admit it was a rather foolish statement to make.
Greek sites can be found anywhere the Greeks were obviously. As can Roman sites and Venetian sites, Byzantine sites, etc. But it is patently ridiculous to state that 'most Greek sites' are anywhere other than in Greece. Just about every village in Greece is an ancient Greek site.
Dec 1, 2012 10:26 AM
Dec 2, 2012 1:56 AM
10I think some of the posters on here should remember that they should be trying to help the OP and not scoring points against eachother. I think a well written and well researched post (albeit a tad premature) has been hijacked by point scoring.
Trip sounds great - by the time my wife and I go on our trip we will have been planning and researching for about the same amount of time - its all part of the process and part of the fun is making plans, asking questions, changing plans, getting nervous etc....
Dec 2, 2012 8:35 AM
Dec 2, 2012 5:52 PM
Dec 3, 2012 8:45 AM
13Umm, actually my only comments to the OP were as follows:
"It looks like you've done your homework and as it is still years away, who knows what will happen/change in the meantime. I really don't see any need for you to post now about something that might not even happen. Kind of asking us to waste our time if you see my point. Come back in 2015."
I don't see any 'put down' in that. I just think it is too early to post given the timing.
But maybe in your beer induced haze Lincoln, you had difficulty reading what comments were directed at which poster.
Dec 3, 2012 2:14 PM
14Ok, wow, lots of hostility in here! TiS, sorry if you thought I was "wasting your time". It was my understanding that this was a RTW Travel forum, where topics such as these belonged. You didn't have to take the time to read or comment if it was really a big deal. Even if my trip is a ways off from now, other people could find discussions helpful in their research into trips of their own (I know I have).
@ToadofToadHall - We do know that Isla de la Plata isn't going to match the splendor of the real Galapagos, but a trip there would seriously cut into the budget. And I'd take the Poor Man's Galapagos over NO Galapagos any day!
@GigiGriffis - We will definitely keep in mind the Schengen restrictions. We'll probably hop around some of the non-Schengen European/Middle Eastern countries and then squeeze all we can out of our three months inside :)
@Lincoln - Thanks for the words of encouragement. Don't worry, this trip has been a dream of mine for years, and I don't think there's anything anyone could say that would dissuade me from it :)
Thanks to the helpful responses out there. Planning is indeed one of the fun parts of travel (indeed, it's the ONLY part I can participate in right now!), and I'm very appreciative of the experienced travelers out there willing to lend advice to us hopefuls.
Edited by: charbse
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