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Beginner @ RTW Trip

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I am starting a round the world trip in August 04 with my Girlfriend and I feel completely overwhelmed by it all. We are taking in Europe, Asia, Australia , South and North America. Any advice, tips, must see places and suggested itineraries would be very helpful.

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    If you're looking for places to see, may I ask why you are doing a RTW if you have no idea why you're stopping on the continents that you indicate?

    I have to believe you have some idea why you picked these continents before booking a RTW ticket! Yes? No????

    Besides, you make no indication of what your interests are, kind of budget, backpacking or hotels, length of time of this trip, and with the areas listed you have very diverse climates; the southern hemisphere is in Winter, in August. Each of these Continents are very large, and each has plenty of interests for some that would be a bore to someone else.

    Are you even aware of the rules as regards a RTW? Whose RTW are you doing this under? Did you pay for this or are you going on FF miles?

    Seriously, you have much work to do to decide yourself what you're going to do with this overwhelming adventure. If you would provide some information as to what you would like, or places you definitely want to visit, then there could be responses.

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    Sorry for being so vague before, please; allow me to elaborate.

    Doing a RTW trip because it is a once in a lifetime experience. I hope to see a lot of the world, experiencing vastly different cultures and 'ways of living'.
    I have chosen these mentioned continents because the RTW ticket most suits visits them and besides, I have only left out Africa (not that one day I don't want to see Africa).
    My interests are art, food, malaysing, meeting people, sight seeing etc.
    I have chosen to visit Europe, Asia, Australia, S America and N America in that order so as to hopefully avoid the rain, as rain can be very depressing and can slow you down.
    The RTW ticket is with STA travel and I think that I understand the rules, but would welcome some enlightenment.
    I do know my route roughly, but interesting tales and advice would help me make it better; however I do understand that it will alter along the way.
    One of my major concerns is what to pack.

    Please advise
    Andy Mc

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    You still have not mentioned from where you are departing (country), how much time for the entire trip, and if you already have an idea of where you want to visit, give a hint, then we can input. You can find art, history, food and people all over the world.

    It's apparent you will be traveling east, then north from So.Amer to No.Amer.

    As to clothing, it's all going to come down to where you plan to be. While it is winter in southern hemisphere the temperatures can vary widely depending on where on each continent. The more information you provide, gives us an idea of what you have in mind and countries you have specifically selected.

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    Hi Andy, followed you here from Australia forum.

    You gave your budget range in £, so I'm guessing you're a Brit and will be departing from the UK.

    Here's a good website for generating a packing list:

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    Thanks for the interset Sandi.

    I am English and therefore, I will be leaving from the UK. I hope to travel for at least 9 months, but this can be extended upto 1 year depending upon how quickly I use-up the budget.

    I have saved £26,000 for the trip, all of which could be spent, but, it would be nice to come back to the UK with some cash as I am giving up my job before I leave and there is no guarantee of a job when I get back.

    Europe is easy for me to plan, because I live in it, and therefore know more about it than all of the other continents.

    As for the other continents I think that I want to see a mixture of major cities to small communities, beautiful beaches and hopefully some nice countryside also. Hisotorical places, religous places and wonders of the world are a must.

    I would also like some adventures e.g. treks through rain forrests/mountains, snorkelling and anything else that comes along, hopefully, however, not getting kidnapped by Guerillas in out-of-the way places. I shouldn't joke really, my route will strongly consider political and domestic unrest, and I will undoubtedly avoid these place at all costs.

    I hope this gives you some ideas. I really do appreciate your efforts and look forward to reading your next comments.


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    Are you restricted to specific air carriers? A consideration depending on how your ticket is written!

    I gather you've taken out a world map, and that there are specific places that interest you? For those, have you figured out which air carriers fly in/out?

    Off the top of my head I can think of countries in the Middle East (yes) - they're still safe (as safe as anywhere in the world these days). There is such a wealth of history here. I kind of look at the area between Egypt (which is in Africa and not part of your ticket) thru Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Turkey as one big "archeological dig".

    Then in Asia there are the "stan" countries; Russia, and of course China and Japan; also SE Asia (Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand, Singapore); some Malaysian countries (but pick these carefully). And India!

    Then Australia where you can probably go from West to East and get in lots of that continent.

    You don't mention much regarding the Pacific Islands, but some can be interesting.

    Once you get to So.America, realize if you want to go to Easter Island, you first have to get to Chile and then fly back to Easter Island. There is Peru, Argentina, Brazil (thru the Amazon), get to Machu Picchu and even Columbia (it's a beautiful country and not all involved in drugs).

    If allowed, all the countries in Central America are a delight with great resorts in Panama, even a resort on one of the Pearl Islands where the last Survivor show took place. Then work your way up thru Mexico and into the States.

    Once in the States, take your pick - a total adventure from North to South from East to West; finally heading into Canada, another beautiful country.

    Besides the map you need guidebooks, lots of them and you and your girlfriend have to decide what countries/cities are to both your likings/interests.
    And again, what you can do as to flights both between destinations/countries/continents and within countries. You'll also need rail and bus information/schedules.

    Understand before you head out, that while things work relatively well in Western countries - not necessarily in other places. Buses and trains don't always keep to schedule; strikes are common. More than anything you're going to have to be very flexible and patient. Know that distances are long and tiring, lots of people won't understand a word of what you are saying unless you speak their language or a similar language.

    Have a pad and pencil or pen with you always - if for nothing but to draw pictures or take notes. Be prepared for no hot water or heat or air conditioning, and foreign squat toiletes especially for your girlfriend.

    Be sure you get some type of insurance for medical and evacuation in case of illness or accident; that you are current on all inoculations and preventative meds that might be required (malaria, yellow fever [a special booklet for this which you must have with you at all times], thyphoid, Hep A & B, polio) check this for each and every country. Definitely know each other's blood-type.
    You'll need your own first aid kit with "everything"; also your own personal meds and over-the-counter meds including pain killers and sleeping pills (those flights and long local transport will knock you out).

    Be certain that someone knows what your itinerary is and wherever possible hotel names, phone numbers. You should also check in with the British Embassy is all countries so they know you are there.
    Check on which countries require visas and get them ahead of time if possible and/or be certain you can obtain upon arrival in a particular country.
    Ascertain whether you can get local currency thru ATMs or have to use Exchange Bureaus or Banks. Will all countries accept travellers checks? Are there fees associated with cashing them. Check with your bank re fees for banking outside the UK. Keep abreast of the exchange rate between Pounds and other currencies - if not favorable you might want to skip some country/ies.

    Make sure you have enough clean pages in your passports - if not get a new passport with as many pages that the UK provides (the US has regular with about 25 pages and larger ones with twice that number). Always have extra passport photos as they may be required for in-country Visa applications. Leave photocopies of all pertinent documents with someone at home; keep a set with you but separate from the originals.

    No doubt I've left out something - I've done this off the top of my head, so do think of any possible contingency. Mostly your safety and healthwise. I won't even get into the clothing, as that will have to be decided once you have a better idea of where you're going and when (season).

    Andy - you've got lots of work ahead of you before you get going, so you had better start preparing. This is a big undertaking and I agree that it is overwhelming, but with good planning for every possible anything, you can do it.

    Let us know how you're proceeding and don't hesitate asking questions about specific countries as you start firming up your plans. I'm sure they'll more more input once you provide specifics. Nine months you said? Nice! Real Nice!

    Happy planning!

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    Just a suggestion, for a North American stop that might interest a Brit try the Manteo area of North Carolina in the US. Being a North Carolinian I found it very interesting to see blurbs about Sir Walter Raleigh while in London, it might be interesting for you to see how the view of Raleigh is in North Carolina than in the UK. The area has a nice museum/park for the Lost Colony as well has the Elizabethan Gardens and a replica of the ship used by the colonists. Additionally the area is full of small towns/cities that are very nice quiet places to take in small town American culture. Plus there are some of the nicest beaches on the East Coast of the US (Try to get there in the summer!)

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    If you haven't already, I would suggest also posting on Thorn Tree, the travel BB at & Break your questions down into smaller parts for best results. There are lots of travelers there (typically more than on Fodors) who do long-haul adventure travel, as I'd call a RTW trip.

    Have you and your girlfriend traveled before? Alone or together? To places other than Europe? Just curious. Because this is such a huge undertaking, if it's your first.

    I'd also humbly suggest run don't walk to a library or bookstore & get stacks of guidebooks - series like Lonely Planet, Rough Guides, Lets Go, to get you started.

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