RTW - 6 months - 1 yr...
Replies: 23 - Last Post: Jul 15, 2013 7:53 AM Last Post By: howmuch
Mar 11, 2013 1:33 PM
RTW - 6 months - 1 yr...I'm planning my RTW trip that's been postponed for one year too many...!
The general itinerary at the moment is Utila Island for some scuba diving lessons - I've one deaf ear and wear contacts so I'm a little concerned from the medical point of view, anyone with any views on that?
Then on to the Galapagos; Easter Island, round the globe to NZ, got a sis in Oz so may stop off there, Cambodia, Thailand, (would love to do Egypt with a side trip to Jordan to see Petra, but I suspect it might be a little too 'interesting' for comfort there right now!), Turkey, then some Greek Island hopping.
I've two degrees in Ancient History (not to boast, but just to emphasise that half an hour round Angkor Wat, for example, isn't going to do it!) so my big thing is ruins, the older the better :-). Closely followed by wildlife (I'd love to do an elephant trek in Thailand) and landscape. I'm not so interested in getting to know the local culture - to my mind to do that properly would take months in the one place, and that's time I don't have. I'm also up for adrenalin sports - wouldn't class myself as extreme, but like jet-skiing, white water rafting, off-roading...
Does anyone have any thoughts, advice - visas, things to do, places to see? Best times of the year to visit? (Don't like it roasting hot - prefer mid-70's)
Is there anyone who'd be interested in tagging along or meeting up for part of the trip? I'm looking at leaving around this May (yes, about a month away..argh!!)
And any sugestions on a good travel backpack, approx. 80 litres, for a 5'10" female?! Rohan did a great pack but the largest they did it in was 55litres...
Ooo, and is it worth taking a pair of jeans? I had ruled them out as being too heavy, but then thought in some situations they might help me to blend in a bit...?
Mar 11, 2013 3:46 PM
1A few comments.
First nice itinerary. Regarding diving, I don't know whether being deaf in one ear would affect your pressure adjustments? I wouldn't have thought the two related but I have no idea. As for the lenses, not a problem, I had lenses when I learned to dive. You may want to be careful that if your mask is on too tight as you pull it off your face it may suction the lens out (happened to me, lost in the Caribbean sea for ever....).
As you're planning on visiting the Galapagos you may as well check out a bit of Ecuador. Similarly, to get to Easter Island you may as well check out Santiago in Chile. Getting to from S. America to NZ via Easter Island most likely means flying Santiago-Easter Island - Tahiti - NZ (possibly via Cook Islands?).
Regarding elephant trek, I"m not going to get into details here but maybe do a bit of research about elephants and tourism, how elephants are trained when young, how some are treated. It's not a simple subject and at the very least you should be very selective on where you go to to ride an elephant.
Regarding Egypt. All you can do is keep an eye on the situation. Jordan's fine.
Visas will depend on where you're from I guess. Most of the places you mention it should be easy enough to sort out.
Regarding luggage, I carry around a bag which is way too big and I fill it. But that's my choice and I'm happy to deal with the consequences of lugging a bag around which is heavier than necessary. You may be the same but you should be weary of getting an 80L bag. There shouldn't really be any need for you to carry such a big bag around and you want to try and pack as light as possible, it'll make your life much easier on the road. As for Jeans, you're initial thinking is correct, it'll add weight. Also it dries more slowly which can be a hassle. Not the best thing to take travelling. You can take other clothes which won't look out of place in Sydney or Bangkok. Of course, at the end of the day if you're on Santa Cruz island checking out Giant tortoises or in Angkor Wat looking at bas-relief, you'll stand out as a tourist no matter what you wear.
Have a great trip.
Mar 11, 2013 3:51 PM
2As Toad says...you can dive with contacts.the ear thing might be a problem though..not sure how it will work for equalisation.I'd try it before you pay for a full course..you might be in great pain.
That bag is FAR too big.I did two years around the world with 35l and 7 kilos in my bag.You will regret trying to haul 20 kilos of stuff around with you ;-) All you need is a few clothes and frequent washing.
Mar 12, 2013 12:41 AM
Mar 12, 2013 7:58 AM
4great advice from others so far. il second that it is possible to dive with contacts, i do that myself. or you can get prescripton scuba masks. you can also dive if you are deaf, but that does depend on other clinical factors too such as the cause of the deafness and if there is damage to any other part of your ear. consult you gp or specialist nurse before you go as they will have access to your clinical notes.
the itinerary is good, (im assuming you are going for a year? if you are not i would cull a few countries off the list) but just to make you aware that out of the way places such as easter island will hike the price of an rtw considerably and you may be better off comparing an rtw ticket price with individual tickets to each destination.
travelling to egypt is still fine, even now.. just stay away from tahrir square (a very small part of a very big city) and keep an eye on the news. i have a huge interest in ancient history too so would seriously recommend a month there, and getting over to petra is so easy and well worth it.
elephant trekking etc is easily accessible in thailand in kanchanaburi or chiang mai for example, just research a good conservation camp before you go!
for the bag, id say that is too big for you. get a pack that fits to your frame otherwise you will struggle to lift it. you will find you dont need to carry all that much.
as for the jeans, id leave them at home. comfy, light cargo pants will let you blend in just fine.
any other questions, please feel free to ask!
Mar 13, 2013 8:54 AM
5You appear to know what you want to do and why. Congratulations, you might be suprised how many people post asking 'where should I go and what should I see/do?' It's as if they have no mind of their own. Anyway, you have a plan that suits you so I see no reason to comment on it other than to say, just be prepared to throw your plan out the window if an opportunity comes up. Don't let your 'plan' put blinders on you to opportunities. Try to pre-book as little as possible to maintain flexibility.
The biggest plus of travel is arguably the freedom to do as we please when we get up each morning. No schedule to keep, no on else to please. Why so many people immediately self-impose a schedule on themselves always amazes me.
Regarding the pack. WOAH UP. That is far bigger than you need. The biggest enemy a backpacker has is weight. There is a saying in wilderness backpacking circles which goes like this. The ultimate backpacker is s/he who travels with the least weight and the most comfort. Why travellers who use a backpack don't seem to realize they can learn from wilderness backpackers (where the term backpacker originated) I don't know.
Here's a tip. If you don't know what each item in your pack weighs, I guarantee you are carrying too much weight. It isn't about giving up some item you feel is necessary for your comfort. Each individual has to decide what is a necessity for them. But what you can do is find the lightest answer to that need that is available. So as the saying says, least weight while still maintaining your comfort.
Here is a thread on picking a pack and another on what to pack, that you can compare your packing list too.
Mar 14, 2013 3:15 AM
6Thanks for the replies, I hand't been expecting such prompt advice!
Ok, a smaller pack it is. I think I'll have a look at Osprey, they seem to have a good reputation for being lightweight and durable...
I'm considering taking my Kindle. I consume books like other people drink coffee and it was a boon on the long flights and bus trips round Peru. But it will add weight... I wasn't going to bother with an Ipad or such device as I'd heard that internet was available in most hostels and cafes these days; is that accurate, or would it be worthwhile investing in an Ipad to get an e-reader and internet access in the one pack?
I'm based in the UK by the way.
Mar 14, 2013 8:50 AM
7My wife and I both have KOBO e-readers but now that my wife has an iPad the e-reader has become redundant for her. She does everything on the iPad. The new mini iPad would seem a logical choice for travel being smaller and lighter than the full size iPad. It's a question of whether you find the screen big enough to suit your needs.
If you go with an iPad I would also suggest you get a stylus/pen at the same time. Touching just the right little spot on the screen with your finger can be tricky and frustrating.
Regarding the pack, remember, the most important thing is fit. Here is a good video on fitting a pack. It refers specifically to a backpack rather than a travel pack but the same applies for either.
Mar 14, 2013 9:33 AM
8Ancient history-wise, you should also think about checking out Prambanan and Borobudur in Indonesia (on Java, near Jogyakarta). I spent two days at Borobudur, and a full day at Prambanan. Did four days at Angkor, which was almost enough. Almost. In Thailand, you can check out Ayutthaya, which has a number of ruins as well. It's an easy day-trip from Bangkok.
Jordan should be fine to go to! Petra is worth a few days, and if you like Roman ruins, Jerash in the north is a wonderfully preserved site. There are also a number of smaller 'desert castles' that are really cool. If you go into Israel, there are plenty of fascinating places to see (Jericho in the West Bank has a archeological site that's interesting, though not as impressive as some).
I did SEA in June-July, when it was roasting and humid, so you may want to pick a different season to be there. The heat in the middle east isn't humid, so it's not as torturous.
Don't know when you'll be in NZ, but I'll be there around July this year, so feel free to hit me up.
Last piece of advice... bring a smaller backpack. 80 litres is huge. You don't need that much stuff, and it'll be a pain to have the weight and bulk when you're trying to stay mobile. Having my whole pack at my feet on a shady bus makes me feel a lot more safe.
Mar 17, 2013 3:33 AM
9A Kindle is great, yes it takes up a little space/weight, but hey, a couple of paperbacks takes up a LOT more! Many people do travel with Ipads now (whether that is a good or bad thing is a matter of debate!) and there is a lot of free wifi access almost everywhere, but I certainly would not buy one just for travelling! Save your money for your travels instead! Internet cafe's and access is still widespread!
Mar 17, 2013 8:50 AM
10Whether to buy an iPad before a trip is of course a question of finances. If it is an insignifigant amount in your mind then fine. Or if your laptop is near the end of its lifespan anyway and you will want to replace it in any case, fine. Obviously mikehuxley, the decision has to make sense financially to the OP.
My wife's laptop died a death and rather than replacing it with another laptop, we opted for an iPad which then made her e-reader redundant. She would have travelled with her e-reader and used internet cafes for the odd check on e-mail etc. but going to the iPad means she carries no more than she did with the e-reader but also has wifi access to the internet. So obviously, it is a better choice if it makes finacial sense to go that way.
I still have to carry my KOBO e-reader as we can't both read from her iPad at the same time. I struggle over the decision of whether to take my e-reader or do without. When my laptop bites the dust I will probably buy another laptop. I can't stand the fiddly little keyboard on her iPad and the small screen. There is no one size fits all answer unfortunately.
Mar 18, 2013 5:00 AM
Mar 18, 2013 9:22 AM
12I don't think we disagree mike. Generally, I am opposed to taking technology of any kind when travelling but my opinion has started changing with the advent of the iPad (and other tablets).
It replaces a phone, a computer, a camera (including 1080p video), an e-reader, a GPS and various other apps are available that can be of use to a traveller. That adds up to a lot of savings in both money and weight.
If I were in the market for any one of those functions I would consider covering them all with an iPad. Just look at the number of threads that are posted regarding phones. With an iPad, wi-fi access and VOIP you can make all your calls for free or pennies. NO cellphone can match that.
Again, I personally am not a fan of making phone calls home etc. while travelling but I also accept that what I prefer is not what everyone prefers. No one under age 40 these days seems to realize that a phone is not an extension of their arm. LOL
Mar 18, 2013 10:17 AM
13I think the fact that you have internet access on your Ipad is actually a disadvantage, as it makes it way too easy to be surfing the internet all the time. Internet cafes are everywhere and because they don't tend the most entertaining places to be, you are motivated to spend more time outside enjoying the country, rather than checking facebook or reading the news from back home. Also, the Ipad uses up a lot more battery than an e-reader and is more interesting for thieves around the world.
Osprey is definitely a great brand for backpacks, and agree with others that 80L is too much. I'd aim for perhaps 50-55L.
Mar 18, 2013 1:33 PM
14Taking any technology does require a measure of self discipline devino, I'd agree. I don't have a problem with that personally.
One of my major reasons for being against taking a cellphone or laptop has always been just what you mention. People can spend too much time on them. More importantly I think, they can use them as a 'crutch' to isolate themselves from their environment. It's easy to sit in a hostel Skypeing or messaging friends and family instead of getting out and meeting local people. I think it becomes a crutch in the sense that they don't actually 'leave home' so much as take a link to home with them.
As for packs, yes Osprey is a good brand, I'd suggest the Osprey Farpoint 40 or Osprey Porter 46 though as being big enough. Even 55L is more than needed for 3 season travel without camping gear. I manage with a 29L (second link in post #5) including room for an iPad if you want. ;-)
Check out all our reviewed and recommended accommodation and book online.