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Old 11-16-2016, 07:38 PM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ
23 posts, read 14,184 times
Reputation: 10

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So, I'm heavily considering taking at least a 2 month overseas trip starting in September. I'm currently 26 years old and attending ASU and I'm on the cusp of being a junior. But, I've realized school isn't for me and I plan on not going back, come Fall 2017 semester. So, I thought I'd travel for at least 2 months during that down time, and then possibly come back to school spring of 2018. Depending on if I still feel like going back to school at that point.

Right now, I'm going to be 21k in debt after this upcoming semester, and repayment on my loans doesn't start kicking in until 6 and or 8 months. But, I don't think i'll be traveling for up to 6 months, unless I manage to work as I travel and I've looked heavily into programs like that. So, it seems doable I guess. I'd sell a good portion of my stuff to scrouge up some extra cash and work full time for the holidays and full time throughout the summer until I leave. My goal is to have at least 7k saved up by the time I'd embark on my trip. Now, I know 7k might not seem like a lot in terms of traveling for 2 months minimum. But, I've read people's stories who've managed to do this type of thing with a lot less, and it would depend on where I'd go and how often I'd be moving from place to place and how much it would cost for lodging. Which I would primarily stay in hostels and avoid hotels and tourist spots at all cost, so I could keep my finances and trip afloat.

My current bills would be a $279 month car payment, which I'd pay while I'm traveling abroad, and $25 a month minimum loan payment. Now, since I don't have any family out here in Arizona. I was thinking of leaving my car at a friends house for those few months. Since I don't want to have to put my car in storage and I know my friends would be cool with me leaving it there. I'd also have to quit my 2 jobs that pay $12 an hour and $11 an hour since they're associated with ASU and I can't go away for that amount of time during the school year and have them still hold my job. The reason I'd leave for this trip in September is because traveling in the summer months (June, July, and August) are much more expensive compared to September from what I've researched.

As for the trip, I was looking to starting in Portugal and or Thailand for obvious financial reasons. I'd avoid places like London, Paris etc... I was also thinking of visiting Berlin for maybe a week and possibly Prague. I'd also buy a one way ticket to the destination of my starting. I'd do this because I'd live to give myself flexibility in terms of when I'd return and that it's cheaper to buy a one way than a round trip ticket, it seems like.

The reason I'm posting this is because I need some help in recommendations for destinations for this trip, and opinions on if this is completely doable or not. Along with, if this seems like a stupid idea that's a pipe dream. Any input and help would be greatly appreciated. If anybody has any questions, please ask. I'd like to give as much information as possible in order to making this come to fruition.
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Old 11-16-2016, 07:46 PM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
7,682 posts, read 16,106,514 times
Reputation: 7700
Foreign immigration offices and officers don't like one way plane tickets because there is concern you're planning on illegally staying rather than moving on to the next country on your list. Would have a ticket for outside the Schengen zone on an ultra-low cost carrier in hand if you plan to arrive on one of those Norwegian or Icelandic cheap one way fares inbound to Europe. There are like a bazillion ULCCs in Southeast Asia that will sell you an onward ticket that cheap enough to throw away if your plans change.
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Old 11-16-2016, 08:35 PM
 
Location: On the road
5,951 posts, read 2,895,036 times
Reputation: 11392
I know Portugal is cheaper than most of western Europe, but if you want to maximize what you can do and the time you can spend look at SE Asia or Central America. Both have well-worn backpacker trails where you'll find it easy to find lodging, food, transportation, and some social interaction with other western travelers at a backpacker budget.

Also consider Eastern Europe, there is some amazing stuff to see and good time to be had in Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Macedonia, Albania etc.
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Old 11-16-2016, 08:58 PM
 
Location: Miami-Jax
6,316 posts, read 6,972,968 times
Reputation: 3504
I've never had a problem flying into Europe on a one way/ open jaw (but I guess I've only done it twice lol). For all intents and purposes you could be taking a train onward (which I was doing) but I honestly don't recall having to show them that. And I didnt even have a train ticket yet the first time.

Re: if this is doable, I am not one to trample on dreams so I'm not gonna tell you that you shouldn't go. If you're a level-headed person and you are really committed, go ahead and make the sacrifices and go for it! But if this is a whim and you've had a lot of whims before, I'd think long and hard about what situation you will be returning to.

Some other thoughts...

buying one ways usually isn't cheaper than a roundtrip or multi city, but it depends on your overall plans and how you're hacking your flights. If you have something into Europe for under $300 I guess it's worthwhile. Without any effort, here is the most recent deal on theflightdeal.com which was the first place I looked. Took me 5 seconds and I see that there are roundtrips from Phoenix to most parts of Europe "in the $400s." With some searching and understanding of your goals you can probably find something even cheaper. However, if you're planning to hit multiple continents during your trip then it is probably easiest to get the cheapest OW you can.

2 months will go by quickly for a journey like this. Probably should try to focus on specific regions before leaving. Eastern Europe is obviously cheaper than Western, but you can make Western Europe work if you're just hanging out and meeting people, staying in hostels, etc. Southeast Asia is generally the cheaper part of Asia. Flights within Europe and Asia can be had very cheap. If it were me and the 2 month window is fairly concrete, I'd roughly expect to hit 10-12 big cities with a few side trips to towns/historical sites off the beaten path. I could move on faster from a place that sucked and linger longer in a place I like.

There are a lot of recs for places to go on this forum. Take a look. For me personally (and my experience is a little limited in Europe) I liked Prague, Bratislava and Budapest for cheaper parts of Europe. Also would recommend visiting Munich and avoiding Switzerland altogether. In Asia which I know much better, you are pretty good anywhere in SE Asia. I'd avoid Singapore (expensive) unless you just pass through briefly and Brunei (not much to see). Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar and China require a VISA from US citizens so consider that (and also double check for european countries as well) but some are not too expensive and most can be obtained at the border if absolutely necessary. Hong Kong, Macao, and Seoul are fairly expensive, while most of Japan is extremely expensive. I am a big fan of Taiwan. It's cheap, beautiful, Taipei is very urban with lots of amenities, and I feel quite welcoming to Americans.

All the advice above comes from a guy who has traveled Asia, and I guess Europe too, very extensively, but never on an open-ended backpacking trip so I'm just trying to imagine what it would be like. I've "backpacked" and stayed in hostels, but it was always pre-planned beforehand.

Good luck!
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Old 11-16-2016, 11:39 PM
 
Location: On the road
5,951 posts, read 2,895,036 times
Reputation: 11392
Some of those require some planning you can't get a visa to China, Vietnam, or Myanmar at the border. Often the easiest/cheapest visa can be obtained in neighboring countries, but leave yourself a few days.

Cambodia and Laos can get visa at the border but there is a visa fee about $30 or so.

Thailand, Malaysia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, Korea, Philippines are all are free with visa waiver for US citizens so just step off the plane and you're good. If you need burner tickets to solve proof of inward travel check with Air Asia we've bought throw-aways for $30 and once you're crossing overland no longer needed.

Good luck, have fun.
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Old 11-17-2016, 08:23 AM
 
9,197 posts, read 9,275,870 times
Reputation: 28813
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daave829 View Post
So, I'm heavily considering taking at least a 2 month overseas trip starting in September. I'm currently 26 years old and attending ASU and I'm on the cusp of being a junior. But, I've realized school isn't for me and I plan on not going back, come Fall 2017 semester. So, I thought I'd travel for at least 2 months during that down time, and then possibly come back to school spring of 2018. Depending on if I still feel like going back to school at that point.

Right now, I'm going to be 21k in debt after this upcoming semester, and repayment on my loans doesn't start kicking in until 6 and or 8 months. But, I don't think i'll be traveling for up to 6 months, unless I manage to work as I travel and I've looked heavily into programs like that. So, it seems doable I guess. I'd sell a good portion of my stuff to scrouge up some extra cash and work full time for the holidays and full time throughout the summer until I leave. My goal is to have at least 7k saved up by the time I'd embark on my trip. Now, I know 7k might not seem like a lot in terms of traveling for 2 months minimum. But, I've read people's stories who've managed to do this type of thing with a lot less, and it would depend on where I'd go and how often I'd be moving from place to place and how much it would cost for lodging. Which I would primarily stay in hostels and avoid hotels and tourist spots at all cost, so I could keep my finances and trip afloat.

My current bills would be a $279 month car payment, which I'd pay while I'm traveling abroad, and $25 a month minimum loan payment. Now, since I don't have any family out here in Arizona. I was thinking of leaving my car at a friends house for those few months. Since I don't want to have to put my car in storage and I know my friends would be cool with me leaving it there. I'd also have to quit my 2 jobs that pay $12 an hour and $11 an hour since they're associated with ASU and I can't go away for that amount of time during the school year and have them still hold my job. The reason I'd leave for this trip in September is because traveling in the summer months (June, July, and August) are much more expensive compared to September from what I've researched.

As for the trip, I was looking to starting in Portugal and or Thailand for obvious financial reasons. I'd avoid places like London, Paris etc... I was also thinking of visiting Berlin for maybe a week and possibly Prague. I'd also buy a one way ticket to the destination of my starting. I'd do this because I'd live to give myself flexibility in terms of when I'd return and that it's cheaper to buy a one way than a round trip ticket, it seems like.

The reason I'm posting this is because I need some help in recommendations for destinations for this trip, and opinions on if this is completely doable or not. Along with, if this seems like a stupid idea that's a pipe dream. Any input and help would be greatly appreciated. If anybody has any questions, please ask. I'd like to give as much information as possible in order to making this come to fruition.
So, you are 26 years old and have an outstanding loan for a car and $21,000 in other debt? You have decided college isn't for you and you want to go travel abroad, I presume, to escape?

I wish I could support you in this, but I can't.

I think you ought to stay here and continue to work. Try to increase your hours By 26, you really ought to have at least a good idea what you want to do and how to get there.

I think rather than taking a trip you can't afford, you ought to stay here in the USA and get your act together. Try to incur as little additional debt as you can. Decide what you want to do for a career. Perhaps, a technical college with a six month program that would allow you to learn a trade is your best bet.
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Old 11-17-2016, 09:01 AM
 
12,292 posts, read 18,413,572 times
Reputation: 19169
Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
So, you are 26 years old and have an outstanding loan for a car and $21,000 in other debt? You have decided college isn't for you and you want to go travel abroad, I presume, to escape?

I wish I could support you in this, but I can't.

I think you ought to stay here and continue to work. Try to increase your hours By 26, you really ought to have at least a good idea what you want to do and how to get there.

I think rather than taking a trip you can't afford, you ought to stay here in the USA and get your act together. Try to incur as little additional debt as you can. Decide what you want to do for a career. Perhaps, a technical college with a six month program that would allow you to learn a trade is your best bet.
Yeah I didn't get that - I don't like college ("school is not for me"), I don't have a job, I'm in massive debt in my late 20s, think I will travel for two months....must be a millennial thing...

I'm all for young people traveling before they get on with life and settling down (and continuing to travel). But dude you are 26, not a kid anymore, still in college, and that money has to be paid back. I am not sure of the ethics of using money intended for college loans for recreational travel.
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Old 11-17-2016, 12:00 PM
 
Location: NoVa
2,126 posts, read 2,911,538 times
Reputation: 2929
Sorry OP, since you asked for our opinions, I will tell you that this is not a good idea. As previous posters above me had said, you are already in debt, and you'll be going into more debt by the time you come back with no clear plan for your future, and no job. I get that you want to see the world, trying to find yourself, etc, etc, but 26 is not that young anymore where you can afford to make mistakes that will cost you years of payback. If college is not for you then it's time to get serious and get a job that can help you pay for your travel dream.

Obviously this is your life and you can do what you want with it. I just think that you should get your act together first, the world will still be there by the time you have the money and time to visit.

I personally don't understand some people who need to go through extreme ala 'Eat, Pray, Love' to get life changing experience.
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Old 11-17-2016, 01:51 PM
 
2,658 posts, read 1,551,482 times
Reputation: 3207
You CAN do it but you SHOULD grow up and get a job to support yourself. If school isn't your thing you need to figure out what is and pursue that. Or what can help you make ends meet and travel. Sales may be a direction to consider as you'd likely travel and acquire miles to use on vacation travel...or flight attendant.
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Old 11-17-2016, 08:42 PM
 
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
7,316 posts, read 4,162,308 times
Reputation: 18323
One point that hasn't been raised yet: will you still be 26 during the ENTIRE period of this proposed trip? Because if not, you're gong to have to purchase health insurance (in addition to travel insurance).
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