A quick rundown on the countries we plan to visit...
02.02.2010 8 °C
Let me get straight to the point today then, here is the proposed itinerary that we chalked out for this trip of ours. It spans 3 continents over 3 months. We're looking at jumping ship from South America ---> Australasia ---> Asia. Ready or not, here it comes!
Proposed Schedule and Itinerary:
* Stage 1: South America
* Stage 2: Australasia
* Stage 3: East and South East Asia
Stage 1 - South America (4-5 weeks here)
* Costa Rica
Stage 2 - Australasia (3 weeks here)
* New Zealand
Stage 3 – Asia (4-5 weeks here)
We started out with a lot more countries in each continent but then tried to "trim the fat", if I may. Malaysia, Japan and South Korea were part of Stage 3 and Fiji was part of Stage 2. After some careful consideration, we decided that for several reasons (financially and time wise) we would not be able to do justice to countries like South Korea and Japan by running through them in such quick fashion. Pretty soon you will see why Japan and South Korea were some of the countries that got the axe, cost being the major consideration. Lots of people may disagree with our country selection, but we decided that our main purpose would be to try and enjoy the trip while also seeing as many countries as possible without getting burnt out. I'd like to think of it as wolfing down all that grease at a buffet when you're quite hungry but walking out feeling sick at the end - It happens to me all the time.
Anyhow, Finances! Let's give this topic a quick once over shall we? Our budget for the trip at the moment is a whopping USD 10,000. That's a lot of money in anyone's books and we really hope to be able to stretch our dollars as much as we can. How do we each plan to pay for this? Personally, I plan to sell my car and salvage what I can from it, I figure the memories you get from seeing places far outweigh the ones you get from driving around the your neighbourhood. The major cost we foresee off the top of our heads is definitely transportation. Almost 50% of the 10 grand might have to be allocated to travel by air, sea or land. 25% might be Accomodation and 25% food and drink...and more drinks of course. These percentages will shift based on the kind of deals we get for airfare. Basically,
1) USD 5000 = Transportation (This includes flights from North America - South America - Australia - Asia, local travel via buses, cabs, bullock carts etc. This might not be enough but lets assume that it is for now)
2) USD 2500 = Accomodation (Hostels, hotels, sleeping at friend's houses, sleeping by the roadside. To make things less expensive, we might book night trains/buses so we can kill two birds with one stone.)
3) USD 2500 = Food and drink... not much else to say here.
We plan to book all our major plane tickets while we're still at home and find cheap tickets to travel from country to country once we get there. After searching through multiple travel blogs, we came across this wikipedia entry http://wikitravel.org/en/Round_the_world_flights
What this basically told us was that we had the option of booking "Around the World" flights from various airlines and their partners (The big three include Star Alliance, Oneworld and Skyteam). This sounded quite sweet given that we might be able to do it all in one go without the help of travel agents and such. We're definitely keeping that as an option before we explore several others. The same wiki link also lead us to some travel agents who apparently are the best in the business when it comes to booking RTW (Round The World) trips.
I'll post these links here as well for your reference:
Given that Airtreks is the only one based in the USA, we might use them as our first option should we decide to use travel agents. So...this is where we are at today and we hope to surge ahead and get some concretes out of what seems like information overload at the moment.
I could go on and on but I'll stop here and give you (and myself) a breather. Before I go, I'll leave you with a quote from a book called "The Geography of Bliss - Eric Weiner" that I found interesting.
“Money matters, but less than we think and not in the way that we think. Family is important. So are friends. Envy is toxic. So is excessive thinking. Beaches are optional. Trust is not. Neither is gratitude.”
Thanks for reading...
P.S: A group of us recently visited Sri Lanka and I thought I'd post a few pics from that trip here.
A pic of a few more members of our gang.
Unawatuna, Sri Lanka
(L-R: Arun, Ram, Varun, Sesh, Sandeep and Sharad.)
A view of the beach in Unawatuna, Sri Lanka