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Old 08-26-2008, 12:18 PM
Location: Olympus Mons, Mars
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Anyone here done an around the world itinerary? If so, how many countries did you visit? How did you go about the planning? What was the cost like? How long was it? And finally, what was the purpose for your trip and did it meet all your expectations.
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Old 08-26-2008, 10:53 PM
Location: "The Gorge"
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I did an around the world trip Summer of '06. I planned it in about 3 weeks. I traveled to Prague and Cesky Krumlov in the Crzech Republic, from there I flew to Zagreb, Croatia, from there to the Dalmation coast and took ferries and buses to Dubrovnik. From Dubrovnik I went to Bosnia and saw the cities of Mostar and Sarajevo. After Sarajevo I went back to Zagreb for a night then on to LjubliJana, Slovenia. After Slovenia I flew to Turkey and saw Istanbul, Olympos, Bodrum and took a blue cruise. I flew from Istanbul to Bangkok, there I saw Koh Phi Phi, Koh Samui, Kohphangan, then Chiang Mai. From Thailand I went to Sydney, then Melbourne, and Cairns.

I was gone 91 days, spent about 25-35% more than my budget. It was worth every penny. I reflect back on this trip every day of my life!!! Go for it!!!

I used the Lonely Planet Message board a LOT! Found lots of useful info there. Also a travel book called Rough Guides was excellent they are published in Britain I believe.

Are you planning a trip? where? when?
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Old 08-27-2008, 01:20 AM
Location: Assisi, Italy
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I have not done it since 1991. I did USA to Holland, Germany, France , Switzerland, Italy, Yugoslavia (during war so I zipped through), Turkey, Russia, China and back. Too many kids now. I did it for 6 grand for two for 90 days. I did not buy the around the world ticket and bought as I went looking for different ways to travel. I had the option of flying to Moscow from Lenigrad by paying 40 dollars or pay the equivalent of 2 dollars because of the plummeting Ruble. I did however have the Moscow to Beijing prebooked for the transmongolian train.

I did run into an older woman last year in Hanoi who bought a around the world ticket. She paid 6k and I thought she way over paid.

The purpose was to understand what was going on in the world as opposed to what we "know". Note that things change afterwards too.

Lonely planet is good. Let's Go is good too depending on your budget. Nothing is perfect. I like using both so I can confirm and contrast details and avoid issues.

Not having a set schedule allows you to hook up with seasoned travelers to do some pretty cool stuff. I was in Kashgar in Xinzhang China near the Afghan border back in 2000 where I met this guy telling us a story of how he bought an elephant in India and rode around on it for 9 months and then he sold it for a profit.

If I had to do it today, knowing what I know now, I would probably just buy the cheapest ticket I could find to Bangkok. You should be able to get there for 500 bucks or so. Then do surface travel through SE asia. A train to the border of Cambodia at Poipet is about a buck and then you have to find people to share the cab ride to Ankgor/Siem Reap.

You can probably do 40 dollars or less a day comfortably in this region. But you have to be smart. Mistakes are a lot cheaper over there than here in Europe.

Make your way through to Vietnam and up to China. In China, do more than just the usual Xian, Shanghai, Beijing run. Heck go to Tibet and Everest. I know a guy who just hopped in truck and got to Lhasa. My wife and I took a 33 hour bus ride from Geermu (Golmud). Surface travel allows you to mingle with the people.

Anyways. I am not going to plan it out for you. Have a great trip.

Last edited by Bob The Builder; 08-27-2008 at 01:52 AM..
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Old 08-27-2008, 08:15 AM
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I looked into the ticket aspect of this last year when my daughter was in China and wanting to stop at a few more countries on her way home. She did not end up doing it, but here's a link to the Star Alliance website and information about the tickets: Round the World Fare - Star Alliance BTW, she says the best place to get the most bang for your buck and still have english speakers is Thailand.
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Old 08-27-2008, 02:12 PM
Location: Olympus Mons, Mars
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The economy is getting really bad in the US. If I lose my job then I'm considering taking a break for a year and return to the US when things are a bit saner...travel around the world for 4 months, then live another 4 in a latin american country and 4 more in a latin/central american country so that I can perfect my Spanish. This is the reason I am investigating options. I've been working continuously for 10 yrs and have resources saved up with no obligations (financial or otherwise)..probably the right jucture to consider a solo adventure.

I usually get 3 wks vacation a year but at that rate making any serious headway in seeing the world for a travel buf like me becomes a challenge. I think one really has to take some extended time off to accomplish some travel goals

If I went on a world trip I would want to touch all continents.. my itineraries always end up quite ambitious but as I travel more I realize that packing too much stuff in too little time can backfire... a sample itinerary for a super World tour would be something like this:

LAX to Australia to Japan to China to Thailand to Singapore/Malaysia to India to Mauritius to South Africa to Zambia/Kenya/Tanzania to Egypt/Israel/Syria/Jordan to Greece to Turkey to Madrid/Morrocco to Brazil to Argentina to Chile to Peru to Costa Rica to LAX

The routes in slashes indicates surface travel, between the "to" indicates flights. Of course such a trip has to be optimized for the best routes and available options. Not in this plan is Scandinavia, Russia or Eastern Europe.

What do you think an itinerary like this would cost for travel, accomodation, food and miscellaneous?
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Old 08-27-2008, 11:24 PM
Location: Assisi, Italy
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LAX to Australia to Japan to China to Thailand to Singapore/Malaysia to India to Mauritius to South Africa to Zambia/Kenya/Tanzania to Egypt/Israel/Syria/Jordan to Greece to Turkey to Madrid/Morrocco to Brazil to Argentina to Chile to Peru to Costa Rica to LAX

Some of these border crossings are tricky and so is transport. Don't leave out boats and ferries as transport options. Get a Lonely Planet Middle East and study it or better yet research the forums to confirm how you can travel through these areas and what the visa requirements are. Ohh . Take a digital photo passport size of your mug and print out maybe a hundred photos on photo paper and put them in a zip lock baggy. Also email a copy of it and your passport to yourself just in case.

I don't know if I would cast my itinerary in stone by buying the round the world ticket. What if you meet the person of your dreams and that person is going the opposite direction? So maybe you saved a few bucks. What did it cost you?

Like I said, I took a trip around back in 1991. The transmongolian was the only fixed portion with fixed dates. Visa entry into Russia and Mongolia had to be precise. It was a pain.

The cost will depend on how much time you spend in each place. You can do BKK for 25-400 bucks a day or spend that on a bowl of noodles or Kobe Beef Steak in Japan. Main cost is transport and lodging. You need to learn to travel and perhaps Japan and Australia aren't the places to do that. But if you have 100k to spend on this trip, it does not make too much difference.

Did you go to that Star Alliance site to get a figure on your plane ticket? It used to be cheap to get those. 1000 to 2000. I think it is much more now. I went to the site and the prices were not exactly hopping out at me. You can probably make it to BKK for 700 and on from Madrid to Argentina for another 1000. So if this round the world fare is much more than 2k or so, you may want to consider blowing it off.

I normally budget 100 bucks a day per person including the airfare amortized over the entire trip. But I am old and my trips now are only a month or so and I have a ton of kids. If you stretch it out to a year and get good, you can probably pull it down to 50 a day. You just got to stay out of places like Japan. A simple day in Japan can easily cost you a week or two in Thailand, Cambodia or Vietnam.

Do not miss Cambodia.

From the looks of your proposed itinerary, it seems that you can get away with a RT ticket to HK or BKK. That should cost 1000 tops and more like 700.

(Note that some airlines 1. want you to complete your flight within 90 days 2. you can alter your return date by paying a hundred bucks or so 3. it is better to schedule the return as far out as possible and 4.you might look at your return ticket as just an emergency flight and not even use it. It might be cheaper for you to buy a new ticket from Madrid to Argentina than to make your way back to BKK.

From there, you can make it to ALL the places you mention by bus, boat or car. There was even a boat from Shanghai to Japan. I don't know if this is still true. Then at your leisure, you can make it back to BKK (or not)

Last edited by Bob The Builder; 08-28-2008 at 12:05 AM..
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Old 08-28-2008, 07:06 AM
Location: Sunshine Coast, BC
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We did a 2-month RTW last year - me, hubby, two teens:
Perth (Aus) - Rome - London - NYC - LA - Honolulu - Perth

We took the cheapest option for the RTW ticket, since two of them were frequent flyer tickets and that was the only option. The other two cost $3300 AUD each (taxes included). You'd likely get it cheaper in the US.

We had to make our own way between NYC and LAX, since we could only do two stops in a region (NYC and Honolulu). We made our own way up to Montreal from NYC, and then back to Albany, NY where we took a SouthWest flight to Vegas & San Diego.

I planned it all myself, mostly on the Internet. Also borrowed books from the library, and bought a couple of guidebooks.

It was a great trip. Sort of a last family trip all together before our two kids decided they didn't want to travel with their "old" parents anymore. It started out as just a visit to see the relatives in Montreal, with NYC thrown in for fun, as well as a stopover in LA to visit friends, but grew from there. And strangely enough, it turned out that the RTW airfare was only about $200 more than if we'd done Perth-LA-NYC and return. So why not?

Yes, it met our expectations. Italy amazed us all, as did NYC. I wished we'd have picked Paris instead of London, but that was the kids' choice, and that's okay. I wanted to include everyone in on the planning rather than dictate it all.

Your itinerary sounds great but I wonder if it's over the limit of mileage and stops that most of these RTW tickets have. Like I said, you would likely spend less than we would on something like that, but still, I'd expect it to cost several thousand just for the flights/trains/etc. Our mileage limit was 26k miles and up to 5 stopovers, with no more than 2 in the same region. The most expensive Global Explorer RTW option allows up to 15 stopovers and 39k miles. They include the parts where you make your own way, i.e., they included the NYC to LA part in the mileage even though we made our own way. And I think they insist you travel in one direction and not dog back, but I may be wrong.

You'd have to watch the seasons too. Hard to travel light when you have to pack for too many temperatures.

Hint about Australia: the southern half is hot and dry in our summer, the top half is tropical, therefore it's humid, wet and prone to cyclones, and deadly jellyfish in the sea. May be best to avoid our summer and go for spring, or late summer/early autumn instead.

My husband and I honeymooned in Costa Rica for 3 weeks. It was gorgeous there. So unspoiled and lovely but I hear things have changed. Still, I'd like to go back one day. Maybe for our 25th.

Good luck.
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Old 08-29-2008, 02:49 PM
Location: Olympus Mons, Mars
5,697 posts, read 8,604,752 times
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Hi, thanks for all the data!

I'm estimating for the first 4 mos. of travelling (USD)
Travel - 6k, Hotel/Hostels - 6k, Food - 2k, Misc - 3k: 17k total
for the next 8 mos living somewhere in Latin or Central America:
$1,000 x 8 mos = $8,000

Grand Total: $25k

This is economizing wherever possible!

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