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Help needed for our trip!

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Please help us plan for our trip of a lifetime!!!
3 years ago, March 1st 2011 No: 1 Msg: #130167  
Hello everyone,

I\'m new to this site but hopefully you\'ll hear more from me as my husband and I are only at the starting stages of planning our trip. We need to save etc so looks like our big RTW trip will be 2013 but I\'m excited that the journey is beginning!!!

We are hoping to go for between 10-12 months depending really on finances and what we can afford. I have seen rough ideas that it will be 1000 per person per month and we will save for that.

Here is a rough plan for 40 weeks-

Africa - to include, Kenya, Tanzania - possibly Zambia, Madagascar (6 weeks)

Asia - to include Cambodia, Laos, Thailand (10 weeks)

Australia - I\'ve been before and done the East Coast but would like to see other parts as well - recommendations? (8 weeks)

New Zealand - North and South Island (been before but Chris hasn\'t) (5 weeks)

South America - to include Amazon, Galpagos, Inca Trail - any recommendations (11 weeks)

Las Vegas or New York - 4 days, relax before return to UK

If anyone could give recommendations about RTW flights that would cover the main areas we are happy to buy domestic flights to cover smaller trips?

Recommendations about where to visit in those locations?

Ideas about our timelines etc?

I know I\'m asking quite a lot but just want to make the most of our trip

Thanks so much Reply to this

3 years ago, March 1st 2011 No: 2 Msg: #130195  
You mentioned "before return to the UK," so I assume that is your starting point. You also mention 1000/person/month. Is that pounds sterling, euros, dollars, or what? And is that amount for everything including transportation and entertainment? Anyway, your airfare alone for London-Paris-Nairobi-Bangkok-Singapore-Perth-Sydney-Auckland-Fiji-Los Angeles- Lima-New York-London will be about US$4300/person. The price is about the same if you went on an Overland Tour from Nairobi to Cape Town (about 42 days), and then flew from Cape Town to Bangkok, thus allowing you to see more of Africa.

Depending on the currency that 1000 is in, you may have problems making this stretch in Austrailia and New Zealand. I would concentrate on the developing world. Alternatively you could spend less time in the more expensive areas (or work for a few months in either Austrailia or New Zealand).

I have shown just the major stops on each continent. As you mentioned, you can fly within each area on discount airlines, with Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur or Singapore being hubs for some of the major discounters in Asia. This would allow you to visit China and Indonesia cheaply while in Asia. I recommend both countries.

I haven't been able to find discount air packages for Africa or South America, so if other bloggers found some, I would also be interested in knowing about them. But while in Peru you can see not only Machu Pichu, but also the Amazon, and cross into Bolivia and Equador, from where you could find tours to the Galapagos (this tour is quite expensive for a 1000/person/month budget).

As you have plenty of time to plan this trip, I would recommend reading the blogs of other RTW travelers to get an idea of their routes, how long they took, what they found to be their favorite and least favorite destinations, and some provide an idea of costs. You can also find cost information on the forum. Start with bloggers who have gone to the Galapagos (your most unique destination), and then click on their name to see where they were before and after. It has to be on someone's RTW trip. Reply to this

3 years ago, March 3rd 2011 No: 3 Msg: #130280  
Hello Catherine and welcome to Travelblog!!

Sounds like you have begun to plan a wonderful RTW trip.

Some random thoughts on your itinerary.
Yes, I think 8 weeks will be sufficient for Australia.

I've been to New Zealand twice, both for 4 weeks and both times I wish I had stayed longer. I would stay 6 weeks if I had the time.

Looks like you are skipping a lot of Asia-- is that due to lack of interest? Asia will be one of the cheaper places that you travel to and I suspect you will love it there.

The US-- 4 days will be sufficient for Las Vegas but not enough time for New York.

Peru has so much to offer. Please read blogs to get ideas.... visit the Nazca Lines, Lake Titicaca and Colca Canyon.


193 Days International Travel, 13 Countries, 45,000+ air miles, 15,000+ photos and unending memories A summary of our RTW trip.

Would you like to plan your own journey?

Enjoy the planning and let us know how your plans are progressing.
Reply to this

3 years ago, March 3rd 2011 No: 4 Msg: #130304  
S Posts: 3
Hello Catherine!
My name is Kanuth.I am a Tanzanian.I have seen on your plan that you want to spend some 6 week around Tanzania and Kenya.

So I would like to take this time to welcome you to Tanzania the land of Serengeti,Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar.

Just in Tanzania you can stay for 4 weeks or more and this will give you enough time to visit our beautifully National Parks,Climbing the highest mountain of Africa and so Visiting different cultures of tribes around the country.

And rest at our nice beach in Zanzibar will mall make your trip unforgettable.

I have my small tour company so if you like I will be very happy to organize you tour around Tanzania.Please visit <snip> and for more information just contact me.

You are welcome.

Thank you very much

Kanuth.
Reply to this

3 years ago, March 3rd 2011 No: 5 Msg: #130317  
Hi everyone, thank you so much for all your comments - it helps me figure things out especially with timing and costs. The currency is sterling so we are thinking roughly saving £20,000 for whilst we are travelling - with our main RTW flights being added onto that amount. I think I really need to look up flight companies and see what the best option is with regards to a RTW flight and who offers the best price!

With regards to timing in certain places, I have been to New Zealand before and whilst I agree that 4 weeks isn't really enough time I think we should be able to see everything we want to - and it means we wouldn't be spending so much time in one of the more expensive countries.

If anyone has recommendations regarding Asia that would be great - we are interested to see it but don't have much awareness as to where are the best places/sights that shouldn't be missed.

As for the last four days, it is more of a relaxation - I've been to Las Vegas and New York before but my husband hasn't so if we were going it would just be to stay in a nice hotel and see some of the main sights.

Thanks so much for the info regarding South America and I will update if I find any good airlines that do offer cheaper packages.

Thanks everyone - I look forward to reading other peoples blogs etc and on the forum. Reply to this

3 years ago, March 3rd 2011 No: 6 Msg: #130319  
Other countries you might want to research or consider:

Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Borneo, Bali, Vietnam....just to get you started thinking. Reply to this

3 years ago, March 3rd 2011 No: 7 Msg: #130326  
B Posts: 848
Hi Katherine and welcome to Travelblog - perhaps from your Asian leg if you have already done the east coast why not look at a cheap flight from KL > Perth and then up the northern highway all the way to Darwin and across to QLD where you will get east coast flight rates onto NZ. Cost of living is very high in Aus so I dont think $1000 per month each would really cover it, you might find it a bit of a stretch.

Sounds like an awesome trip Reply to this

3 years ago, March 3rd 2011 No: 8 Msg: #130348  
B Posts: 460
I'm not sure you'll be able to get Madagascar as part of a RTW ticket and, if not, it's expensive to get to. When I went there about 18 months ago, you could only go via Nairobi or Joburg and it cost me US$760 for a return from Joburg. The expense is because there are only a couple of airlines doing that route. I heard anecdotal evidence that it's cheaper if you buy the ticket in conjunction with a flight from Europe, but I don't know the truth of that nor how much it brings down the cost.

Also, Madagascan public transport is slow so, unless you want to fork out for a 4WD plus driver, you'll spend a lot of time travelling within the island. Together with the amazing amount of unique stuff to see there, this means that your visit really needs to be an absolute minimum of 2 weeks, preferably a month - especially given the expense of getting there!

As such, I would recommend you maybe leave Madagascar for a future dedicated trip, unless you're happy to blow the budget as well as scratch some other country from your itinerary.

As mentioned by another poster, visiting the Galapagos is also expensive. I guess that with both Madagascar and the Galapagos, you need to weigh up the chances of your being "in the neighbourhood" again at some point in the future - and also, of course, how interested you are in the wildlife/landscapes that they offer.

On that subject ... what kind of things ARE you interested in (beaches, museums, beer, hiking, wildlife, sunshine, etc)? :-) That will give people some indication of what recommendations might be useful to you. Reply to this

3 years ago, March 3rd 2011 No: 9 Msg: #130349  
Hello everyone thank you so much for your advice.

I have been looking at things today and Jabe you are completely right regarding Galapagos Islands and Madagascar. I was unaware of the pricing and think it is best to keep it off the itinerary. Especially, with regards to timing it really is best to get the most out of travelling to a few places than to rush everything and not really get a feel for the place.

We are interested in going to Africa for a safari, we do really love wildlife and don't want to miss this opportunity. Our other plans would be to take part in scuba diving in various places and also get the chance to see the Amazon.

Our real interests are sightseeing and really getting to see the culture and experience their food etc. We also love adventure activities but are not really interested in going out at night to clubs etc. We would love to be able to travel to most places when the weather is best but that is something that would be a bonus as opposed to necessity.

Littlewing - thank you for the advice regarding Australia. I think we need to focus more on where we want to see - as you said I have already seen the East Coast and whilst I enjoyed it I would prefer to see other parts as I believe the East Coast is very touristy. We have friends in Australia so should be able to stay with them for some part of the trip.

Thanks everyone - I'm starting to refine the places we will go to try and keep costs down and also make sure we aren't rushing around. Reply to this

3 years ago, March 8th 2011 No: 10 Msg: #130622  
Hi! I have travelled in most countries you plan to go to (except South America), worked in some of them. Last year I travelled the opposite way around the world, visiting several of the places you want to go to.

For a RTW flight, shop around, as there are many different options, but probably none that ideally fits your travel plans. I travelled using my accumulated miles with "Star Alliance". The alliance e.g. doesn't have a direct flight from Nairobi to Bangkok, but there is one from Johannesburg to Singapore. I got a maximum of 10 flight segments on my RTW flight, and a maximum of 7 stops-overs. Depending on with whom you book, you have / don't have the option of flying to one place, then travel overland and continuing from another airport. If you do, overland trips are normally counted as a flight segment!

Kenya, Tanzania - I would not necessarily travel in both countries if you want to go on animal safari. Kenya is better for distances (they are often huge in Tanzania). Neither country is cheap if you visit parks! You have to choose the right time to go on animal safaris. In Kenya, July - September (dry season, migration) is usually good.
Unlike e.g. in South-East Asia, not much mid-range accommodation is available in Kenyan towns. Normally you either pay a lot for the night, or you end up at a probably dirty place with security problems, especially for muzungus (white people). Zanzibar is an exception, in my view a great place to visit (there is a high speed boat linking the island to Dar-es-Salaam. Stay somewhere in Zanzibar's old stone town, lose your way in the very narrow alleys, visit the early morning market, pick up well grilled, spicy street food and maybe rent a motorbike to see the island, its spice plantations, rare monkeys in the forest and the beaches.
If you don't go to Madagascar, you don't need 6 weeks in Africa. A one-week safari is usually enough (and tiring enough). One week in Zanzibar should be fine, too. If you also visit Dar-es-Salaam and Mombasa, 4 weeks overall should suffice.
Make sure you take good anti-Malaria tablets (better not "Lariam", as it often has stron side-effects). The East-African coast and Zanzibar are considered high-risk.

Thailand is an easy place to travel, with a lot of culture to see (and a lot of offers of prostitution). Avoid places like Pattaya and Phuket; they are tourist traps. For beaches you can also go to islands like Ko Samui, Ko Samet or more remote places. If you like mountainous areas you could visit the hill tribe area in the very North. Rent a car in Chiang Mai and do the so-called Mae Hong Son loop, (including the spectacular, and not undangerous dirt-track road leading West from Doi Inthanon National Park). Leave early on the day you drive it, so you have daylight all along.
Laos is cheaper than Thailand, but also a bit more difficult to travel. The next (mostly good humoured) rip-off is usually just around the next corner. If you are told there are no buses to where you want to go, that you'll have to rent a van instead, you better verify. Luang Prabang, the former Lao capital in the middle of the jungle, is a great place to visit (World Heritage), reachable by bus from Vientiane and by boat (2 days on the Mekong) from Thailand (I would not use speedboats, there are many instances of bad accidents), and of course by plane.
I expect you'd like to see Angkor Wat in Cambodia. You can get a Cambodian Visa in Bangkok. Most package tours are pricy. Overland travel takes time on the Cambodian side (and may be impossible during the rainy season). When Thais and Khmer have another go of shooting at each other, the border is usually closed for a while.
If you can, avoid crossing the land border between Cambodia and Vietnam.
In SE Asia you don't need to preventatively take anti-Malaria tablets. But if you go to remote places, you should have emergency treatment for Asian malaria with you. These days, the main risk in SE Asia is Dengue fever; never take Asprins if you suspect you caught it, use Paracetamol against the fever and a.s.a.p. go to the best hospital there is).

If you want to see parts of Australia other than the East coast, the outback is sure the place to go. You'll need a car there, as buses just cruise on the few main roads from town to town, or rather from tiny village to tiny village (except the one going from Darwin to Kakadu Park, a place I definitely recommend). If you decide to travel from Darwin to Perth (Karijini Park inland is fantastic, Kalbarri I'd recommend too), 8 weeks should be just enough. Of course you could also go to Alice Springs to see Ayers Rock, but it's a long drive, with less to see than in the West. If you have a couple of days in Perth, see Freemantle and if you like wines, visit Swan Valley for some tasting.
Car rental is expensive in Australia. Buying and selling a car will take time and won't be cheap either.
In the outback you should be prepared to sleep outdoors, so either have a car in which you can bunk or take a tent (close it at night, to keep poisonous visitors out). And of course don't ever lose your way; it would likely be the last time.
Avoid the rainy season; I was stuck for three days at a remote camp-site once, as the road back was under high water.

I am going to New Zealand again this December. I wish I had more than 4 weeks. Not enough time to do hiking.

If you just want to relax in the US before returning to the USA, I think Las Vegas would be more suitable than hectic New York (and cheaper, if you manage not to gamble).

Good luck and have fun!
Walter
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3 years ago, March 9th 2011 No: 11 Msg: #130720  
Walter!!! You are amazing - thank you so much for all the details!

I think I'm going to print off what you've wrote and use it to plan

Thank you so much for all the information it really will be useful, I will def take into account pricing for s.africa especially as the main thing really is to go on safari so need to place it into the budget.

thank you again!!! Reply to this

3 years ago, April 23rd 2011 No: 12 Msg: #134436  
I just finished my third RTW trip, and I wanted to comment about your flight plans. First of all I am surprised by all the people who go in for the package RTW tickets - it is nearly always at least double what I spend when I just buy individual legs as I go! And you don't get that ultimate luxury of arriving in a place and having the option to stay as long as you like or change your plan for the next place if you feel like it.

On my last trip I flew from NY to Cairo for US$520. Cairo is a great hub for African destinations, on a previous trip I flew RT from Cairo to Nairobi for $500. Plus Egypt is one of my favorite countries but that is another topic. I flew from Cairo to Jakarta for $425, lots of the Arabian budget airlines connect Cairo to Asia. Around Asia it is cheap enough to get anywhere on the myriad budget airlines there. I got back to NY from Manila via China for another $615. So that RTW cost $1560 for the big legs.

Last year I found a great deal RT NY to Manila for $670. From there I flew Air Asia to Singapore then KL to Calcutta for another $70. After a month and a half in India and Nepal I flew back to the Philippines for another $150. Ok technically it was 3/4 of the way around the world and back but still all the flights cost less than $1000.

The year before I flew from NY to KL for $700, traveled around SE Asia for 6 months, KL to Cairo for $550, that $500 RT to Nairobi where I spent a couple of months in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda (awesome), then Cairo to Guatemala for $1300 (pricey) and back to NY from Cancun for $100. So thats Asia, N Africa, E Africa and Central America for about 3K.

On all those trips I changed plans frequently, from how long I wanted to stay to where I felt like going next. You can't put a price tag on having a world map in front of you and being able to decide freely what you want to do next! And anyway it is far cheaper than any of these RTW package tickets!

South America is expensive to get to from other places, as was Central America for me. If I were to do it again I would have done CA on an individual trip rather than incorporate it into a big trip. Really I think Africa, Asia and Aus/NZ sounds like a great itinerary for 10 months. Getting a RT to South America from the US is probably your cheapest bet if you are set on going there on this trip...why not give yourself the option by just buying the legs as you go?

Almost all these flights I mentioned I found through Expedia or Orbitz by making a two week matrix of origin to destination flights on different days, trying all the major cities in a region I wanted to get to from all the cities I could potentially fly out of. Once I found the cheapest option I see if someone like ASAP Tickets can do it even cheaper (which did happen one time, by about 20%) If you have the flexibility you can find a good deal. Of course try to avoid holiday seasons.

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3 years ago, April 27th 2011 No: 13 Msg: #134733  
Sounds like an awsome trip.. For Australia head West and North to see some amazing nature.. Just check the times if you go North as the wet season can be a nightmare (Nov to Feb I think) . For Aus and NZ like others have said 1000 a month may be hard but possible. Give Couchsurfing a go.. I wrote a blog on it recently if you like to check it out..

I am having the same trouble getting to South America at the moment, trying to find cheap flight can be hard and since we also are going one way is a night mare. we are going from Africa to South America and then either to Europe or Australia but not to sure yet.

For South America I think most people say Cambodia and Argintina are great places but I am sure all of the countries have something special. Reply to this

3 years ago, May 16th 2011 No: 14 Msg: #136337  
Everyone thank you so much for all your comments -its so helpful hearing from people who have been before and have experience. We are actually increasingly interested in Australia and the possibility of moving there so it seems that we are going to head out July 2012 (have to wait for my husbands brothers wedding) and we will live/work in Australia to get a feel for it and whether we would want to move there!!! I'm excited!!!

From Australia - we will travel - I'm going to take into account all that has been said to make sure the travelling plans aren't too rushed. We will go to NZ, Asia,S.America and Africa.

I know it was said that S.America could be anoter trip but we really want this to be the trip of a lifetime, not saying we wont travel again but we want this one to be us going to the places we've been dreaming of seeing! As for Africa - it really is only to see the Safari so I think we can shorten our time there which gves more time and money for elsewhere.

Sorry for taking so long to get back to everyone - I'm going to write a rough itinerary today and use wht everyone has said.

Oh and also with regard to RTW flihts I think we will just book as we go - simply because for our route it seems to be quoting around £4000 each and I'm sure we can get cheaper by booking individual routes.

Thanks again!!! Reply to this

3 years ago, July 22nd 2011 No: 15 Msg: #140766  
Hey you two! When you are in Tanzania, you should definitely not miss Zanzibar! It´s beautiful and there is loads to see! I live here since one year and still have not seen/done everything. Check out my profile for more information

Have an awesome trip! Reply to this

3 years ago, July 23rd 2011 No: 16 Msg: #140821  
B Posts: 848
Catherine I just had a thought, if you do fly into the east coast and not from KL or SE ASIA have you thought about catching the train across the nullabor? awesome way to give you an idea of the scale of the country and much cheaper than driving across. Depending on the time of the year and weather you may get a huge bonus - the desert is just about to come into flower after heavy rains for months - not something that happens every year though.

Or - If you headed west from say Indonesia there are flights from Bali to Darwin you could pick up a hire car (just had a quick look prices for one month car rental pickup Darwin return in Perth incl 100km per day which you probably would go over start at $1150 for a small sedan for one month to $1400 for a 4WD) Or..to save accomodation costs you may pick up a campervan for a month for 2,428.80 with unlimited kilometerage. That would give you time to check out places like Kakadu in the NT before heading down the west coast checking out places like Broome, The Kimberleys, The Bungle Bungles, Karajini and Ningaloo......can I come? LOL! Reply to this

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