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RTW overland .. can it be done?

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Planning a 18 month RTW trip, using over land transport as much as possible, is it possible for $22,000 USD for 2 people?
14 years ago, December 20th 2006 No: 1 Msg: #9296  
N Posts: 3
HI All,

My GF 23 and myself 27 are planning a 18 month RTW trip, sounds pretty normal but here is the thing. I want to try to use over land transport as much as possible i.e. Cars, trucks, buses, trains and boats even hitchhiking in the right places. I don't like flying in general and prefer to take my time and enjoy the countries im traveling in. This being said i realize that inevitably there will be times where i will be forced to take the plane and thats fine.

we will be flying from Toronto, Canada to London and then making our way overland to Sisely where we will take a boat to Tunisia and continue overland from there to egypt, fly to or if a boat is available, sail to Yemen make our way north into Iran and then follow the silk road through the Stans and end up in China from there we want to visit Tibet and go south into India and then from India into south east Asia making our way south and then flying to NZ before we fly back home. Now the question that i have is this:
A. has anyone done this before?
B. is it feasible and will there be some kind of land/boat transit for all of the land stretches?
C. what kind of budget should we be thinking about for this kind of trip. We are thinking of $25,000 CAD or roughly $22,000 USD for 2 people this would have to cover pretty much everything excluding equipment. Is this a realistic budget? any type of feedback is welcome.

Thanks in advance Sal and Mary Reply to this

14 years ago, December 20th 2006 No: 2 Msg: #9303  
B Posts: 138
Hey fellow canadian! Trying to escape from the frigid temperatures of Canada?


Hmm. perhaps browse through the travelblogs. There are at least a few bloggers who have tried to do their journey overland sans airplane. I think a couple have gone on cargo ships.

One thing to consider about your budget is how long you estimate to stay in western europe + new zealand vs. the rest of the world. If you're monthly budget is approximately $694 per person it won't last long in Europe even if you're camping and self-catering. Though you may be able to make up the shortfall travelling in cheaper countries. I think the general consensus (check through the SE Asia and S America travel forums for budget threads) is that $30 USD is where you want to be aiming in terms of budget per day (in SE Asia and S America... not sure about Africa).

Also, does your budget include the RTW air ticket or exclude? Also another thing to consider is visas. They don't cost all that much on their own but add it all up it can get pricy. to find out where you need a pre-arranged visa for... google up Travel Advisory Government of Canada and scroll down to find the appropriate countries.
Further, google up travel advisory World Health Organization and figure out what vaccines you need. You probably will need to get Hep A + B (if you don't have it already. yellow fever, typhoid and most likely malaria. These will most likely run you at least $300 before you go. Some you can get prescribed by your local doctor. Others (yellow fever) you will need to go to a traveller's health clinic, pay the consult fee and pay their marked up rates.
Reply to this

14 years ago, December 20th 2006 No: 3 Msg: #9314  
N Posts: 3
Thanks for the input. This is all great information. Regarding the budget i think we will have to re-consider that as being too low. Maybe $15,000 CAD per person is a more realistic budget for a 12-14 months trip. I also appreciated the border information. Any more of that kind of information relating to border crossings and visa's would be appreciated . we are both Canadians. What about a boat from India to Thailand? Reply to this

14 years ago, December 20th 2006 No: 4 Msg: #9328  
B Posts: 25
Boats are hard to find and generally expansive. It doesn't mean that you can't find a cargo ship that goes your way and might take you, but it is generally rare and you might have to wait a few weeks somewhere for that boat to come.

As for Iran, unless you have another passport than canadian, forget it. No canadian (except one those that worked for the UN) has been able to get visa for that country since that canadian journalist was killed in iran's secret service custody. So you'll have to find your way around it.

Going overland is easy except for the boat part.

V Reply to this

14 years ago, December 20th 2006 No: 5 Msg: #9331  
I suspect even cargo ships will prove expensive. We looked at this as a possibility for returning to the UK from the States, and prices were comparable with cruise ships.

I know you're flying to Europe so this is not relevant for you, but I have so far been singularly unsuccessful finding a non-flying option that permits crossing of the Atlantic whilst also taking in the North Atlantic islands. I can get as far as Iceland from the UK, but that's about it. There are cruise ship options I suppose, but seems a shame to miss the opportunity to see Faroes, Iceland and Greenland.

I have also come across a similar lack of options getting across the north Pacific, hoping for Alaska to Kamchatka, but the only way here is to fly. I do believe however there are more cargo ship options taking in the south Pacific islands. Reply to this

14 years ago, January 5th 2007 No: 6 Msg: #9659  
About visa and overland crossing.
I read you are travelling south to Sicily, then a boat to Tunisia (no problem) and then overland to the east. That would mean crossing Libya which I guess is for a tourist one of the hardest visas to get in the world. Check well in advance but I'm pretty sure you'll need at least to buy some full package tour and even then I wouldn't be so sure they would let you in overland.
Marco Reply to this

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