Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Planning the Route and the Tickets!

So a couple of weekends ago I went into STA and spoke to a very nice guy called Kim, in the Bath office. He was very happy to listen to everything I wanted to do and plan my trip with me. The main thing I wanted to get sorted that weekend was my route. I had no idea how to do things, how much flights would be, how I'd do flights etc.

So the first thing we did was go through the countries I was sure I wanted to visit. From that we mapped out lots of possible routes on his map, like going to Australia first, or South America first.

But the deciding point was how long I was staying in Australia for. My plan is to work in Australia for a year and because of that, I can't get round the world tickets, because by the time I'd got to Australia and done a years work, any flights after that would have expired. Also for RTW flights - something I didn't realise, is you can only book up to a year in advance, so I could only book my travel in June/July (starting Oct 2012) until June/July next year, then halfway around I would have to book the rest or something along those lines. This was all far too confusing so I decided this wouldn't be the best option!

So Kim kindly said, how about getting 3 separate Tickets. At first I was like, shit, more money, it's going to cost a fortune. But then realised I'll only be paying the first ticket now, the other two tickets won't be paid for until I'm out in Australia and back in the UK in around a year and a half/2 years time.

SCORE! This means that I won't have to fork out a fortune and have time on my Working Holiday Visa in Australia to work up the money for the next flight ticket, and a couple of months in the UK before forking out for the final ticket.

So Kim went away and researched the cheapest routes for the countries I wanted to pass through, and the internal flights I would need to get that would be extra when I'm out there. I came away with a pretty good idea of exactly how much everything will cost and what I'll have to budget for in each country.

After looking at the best prices that's when the route seriously started to take shape, because you realise, for example, a flight out from one airport is more expensive or less convenient than another airport, or that adding a flight to Bali into the schedule will be more expensive than getting a cheap budget return from Singapore or Australia to Bali when you're out there.

It was all a bit confusing but Kim wrote it all in an email so I could look over it later and get my head around it. And so this is how I have decided to plan out my route - some may be subject to change nearer the time if prices increase, but generally I can get good prices for these destinations. The main airports that will be included in the initial ticket are in bold.

Ticket Numero Uno - Budget £1,200:
London, UK --> Delhi, India --> (Overland to Nepal / Internal budget flight to Sri Lanka and back to Mumbai) --> Mumbai, India --> Bangkok, Thailand --> (Overland travel to Laos/Vietnam/Cambodia/Islands/Maylasia) --> (THEN either Singapore, Malaysia --> Darwin/Cairns then return budget flight to Bali, or return budget flight to Bali from Singapore, Malaysia then over to Darwin/Cairns) Travel Australia and work Australia for a year.

Ticket Numero Dos - Budget £700-£1000:
(Cheap internal Budget flight, Melbourne, Australia --> Christchurch, New Zealand), (Return budget flight to Fiji), New Zealand --> Hong Kong OR Beijing, China (Overland travel China) Hong Kong OR Beijing, China --> London, UK

Ticket Numero Tres - Budget £500-£800 (this will be more planned nearer the time):
Open-Jaw Ticket - London, UK --> Rio De Janeiro, Brazil (Overland travel South and Central America) Return flight from whichever country I end up Mexico? --> London, UK.

So now my next thing is BOOKING the first Ticket! And along with that comes planning each countries route in rough. So that I can then plan;
Multiple Entry Visas for India and Thailand, (£100+ each)
Working Holiday Visa for Australia (£219), Visas for other countries,
Premium Insurance for around 24 months (£800+),
Volunteer options (Orphanages or community work in Nepal + Sri Lanka (£300+, Working with Elephants in Thailand £300),
Immunizations (£400),
Backpack (£100+),
errr I'm sure there will be lots more to consider...but getting to do my ultimate trip around the world?


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