How to Plan a Trip Around the World


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My presentation from 2010 on how to plan a trip around the world.

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How to Plan a Trip Around the World

  1. 1. Budget Travel:Around the World on a Shoestring Randy Ross, publisher,
  2. 2. Why Am I Here? Publish site for first- time world travelers. Tips/Advice blogger for Circulating novel to agents based on trip around the world. Randy Ross, Publisher,
  3. 3. Why Are You Here? Curiosity? Ready to plan a trip? Reasons to travel: – “Laid off with severance.” – “Cheaper to ride out recession overseas.” – “Relatives bet I wouldn’t last 2 weeks abroad.” – “Fiancé dumped me and parents moved to Spain.” Randy Ross, Publisher,
  4. 4. Format for Tonight 6:00 to 7:20: Presentation. Questions on material I presented welcome. 7:30 to 7:40 break 7:40 to 8:40 Presentation and related questions. 8:40 any remaining questions. Randy Ross, Publisher,
  5. 5. Assumptions “Independent Traveler” Not looking for prepackaged tour. Want to do what you want, when you want. Traveling on a budget. Starting to plan three to four months before trip. Randy Ross, Publisher,
  6. 6. Four Steps for Extended Trips I) Destinations: 3 to 4 months out. II) Transportation: flight 6 to 8 weeks out. III) Accommodations: 6 weeks out. IV) Pre-trip Preparations: 6 weeks out. All urls and resources are on my Web site -- see sign-up sheet. Randy Ross, Publisher,
  7. 7. Step I: Destinations (3 months out) Interests? Length of Trip? Budget? Solo travel? Randy Ross, Publisher,
  8. 8. Interests Sight-seeing. Exotic food, culture. Partying. Beach or mountains. Sports or activities. No idea? Try Rough Guide “First Time Around the World.” Randy Ross, Publisher,
  9. 9. Sight-Seeing World Heritage Sites. Unofficial Web site: Lists 878 lakes, mountains, temples, monuments, etc. Randy Ross, Publisher,
  10. 10. Parties and Festivals Rough Guide sort-able calendar worldparty.rough Druggy raves to wine-tastings to nudity events. Randy Ross, Publisher,
  11. 11. Sports Riverboarding Bungy Windsurfing Randy Ross, Publisher,
  12. 12. Sample pagefrom “First TimeAround the World” Randy Ross, Publisher,
  13. 13. A Word About Guide Books Outdated/InaccurateBest I (Read: “Do Travel Writersfound. Go to Hell”) Heavy (almost 1lb) Expensive. ($11 - $20)A New Too much infoversionFeb 2010 Not tailored to U.S. Borrow them: New – Library, other travelers. 312 pages Randy Ross, Publisher,
  14. 14. My Preliminary Destination List Windsurfing: Google search found (Brazil, Greece, Egypt). Sports: New Zealand. Cousin at game reserve in South Africa. I liked “Apocalypse Now.” (Vietnam, Laos) Asian architecture: Cambodia, Myanmar Partying: Beaches of Thailand. Randy Ross, Publisher,
  15. 15. Destinations: Safety State Department International Herald Tribune BBC News Oriental Expat (Asia, Thailand) Thorn Tree Travel Forum (Lonely Planet) Randy Ross, Publisher,
  16. 16. Randy Ross, Publisher,
  17. 17. Current Warning for Thailand Randy Ross, Publisher,
  18. 18. Country-Specific Info Randy Ross, Publisher,
  19. 19. Length of Trip At least two weeks in a location. Three weeks is better. Don’t cram too much. Randy Ross, Publisher,
  20. 20. Budget: Destination vs Cost Developing World is cheaper. (Asia, Africa,500KVietnamese China, India, evenDong $26 South America)50 S. African Hanoi: dorm, food, beerRand $6 $18/day, $125 week, $6.5k a year. Melbourne: $55/day $385/week, $20k/yr Randy Ross, Publisher,
  21. 21. Budget: Accommodations vs Cost $500 a night (Hoi An beach, Vietnam) Randy Ross, Publisher,
  22. 22. Budget: Accommodations vs Cost $11 a night dorm room, Storms River, South Africa Randy Ross, Publisher,
  23. 23. 4-Month Budget: Lower EndThird World SE Asia, India, China, parts of AfricaAirfare and insurance $3k to 3.5kDorm room $10/night (120 days)Food/ day: 2 meals and $10/day (120 days) ($5/beers from street stall. meal)20 percent contingency for $1500travel, activities, etc.Total About $7,500 Randy Ross, Publisher,
  24. 24. 4-Month Budget: Mid-RangeFirst, Second, Third World New Zealand, Venezuela, SE Asia*Airfare and insurance $3.5k to $5k*Rooms: singles/dorms. Avg: $30/night (120 days)*2 meals and beers from Avg: $15/day (120 days)cheap establishment. ($7/ meal)20 percent contingency for $2000travel, activities, etc.Total: $12,500 Randy Ross, Publisher,
  25. 25. Fine Tune Your Itinerary: Season Europe: July/August crowded/pricey. South East Asia: Monsoons June to Oct. Southern Hemisphere: (South Africa, Australia, New Zealand). Our winter is their summer Randy Ross, Publisher,
  26. 26. Good Deals Right Now Less Developed – Thailand (deals once political climate settles.) More Developed – Euro Countries ($1.23), Ireland, Hungary, U.K., Australian ($.85), NZ.($.67) Randy Ross, Publisher,
  27. 27. Traveling Solo: Do it! Pros: – Do what you want, when you want. – Meet more people; lose fewer friends. – Hard to find someone else with same time off. Randy Ross, Publisher,
  28. 28. Traveling Solo: Do it! Cons: – Will get lonely. – Women need to be a little more careful. – Single supplements. But: – I met plenty of men and women ranging from 20 to 70 who were traveling alone. Randy Ross, Publisher,
  29. 29. Paperwork: Passports ASAP Go to Post Office – First passport, – Old passport was lost, damaged. Issued when under 16. (4 wks $100, 2 wks: $160) Mail to renew (4wks/2wks) For travel in less than877-487-2778, 14 days, passport service. Randy Ross, Publisher,
  30. 30. Paperwork: Visas ASAP Some countries let you order online. (Cambodia, Australia) D.C. consulates may want passport. If time is tight, ask if you can send Xerox. Visa expediting a rip- off. Randy Ross, Publisher,
  31. 31. More on Visas Photos: Fed Ex Kinkos Not cheap: $12.95 for two, $5.99 for extra sets of two. Bring extra photos for visas overseas. Randy Ross, Publisher,
  32. 32. Step II: Transportation (2 Months Out) Have a rough list of destinations. Travel in one continuous direction: Boston across Atlantic or Boston to West Coast across Pacific. Zig-zagging from northern to southern hemispheres can add to fare price. Randy Ross, Publisher,
  33. 33. Transportation Overview Handful of companies specialize in multi-stop., Expedia, difficult for complex, multi-stop tickets. Traveling overland or by local transport to saves money. Randy Ross, Publisher,
  34. 34. Airfare Strategies for Multi-Stops Buy tickets upfront: Low stress, $$$ Find deal that’s close enough: Low Stress, $$ Buy ticket to one city and travel. Not for newbies, $ Get best price and haggle with agent. Randy Ross, Publisher,
  35. 35. Where to Look for Deals (Student? Office in Boston.) Only a few stops?, etc. Randy Ross, Publisher,
  36. 36. Good for 6 months, flexible.Pass vs. RT Taxes? Fees? Kayak: Boston- Bangkok: 8/31-9/30 – Prices about $1200 RT – Check fees and taxes – About 28 hours Randy Ross, Publisher,
  37. 37. Deal #1: Interesting$1399 to $1399- Taxes:$1825 $1825 $500. Any other fees? $2,400 three regions: Asia, Middle East, Europe. Randy Ross, Publisher,
  38. 38. Deal #2: Not So Good Airfare to S.F.?$1599 to$2099Tax:$600 Randy Ross, Publisher,
  39. 39. More Deals: -Note max length of trip. -Add $150 for NYC departure. -Compare to Kayak/Orbitz at $2139- Taxes or fees? (Add $125 for Boston –takeFung Wa bus and train to Kennedy? – plus $500or so for taxes.)- Interesting itinerary: Iceland, Moscow, SouthEast Asia, gateway to China. (Europe, CentralAsia, East Asia.)Randy Bangkok to Boston on Ross, Publisher, $1300(includes taxes and fees). 26 hours, 2 stops.
  40. 40. Interesting but lots of hiddencharges:-Old listing: add $200-Taxes and fees: $400-Baggage fees unknown-Flight leaves from JFK?-New total at least $2000 Randy Ross, Publisher,
  41. 41. Interesting: Middle East, India, SE Asia Site made me a little nervous: No “About Us” page, got voice mail when I called, unclear about taxes and fees. Randy Ross, Publisher,
  42. 42. No Deals? Price Estimation Tools Enter cities/pick from list. Choices appear in itinerary box. Produces vague price range – then click to request quote. They tend to use lower tier carriers. Randy Ross, Publisher,
  43. 43. Another Tool: Click tab in middle of page for “Itinerary Planner. Click “Create New Round-the-world…” Price by number of continents. Expensive but uses big name airlines. Randy Ross, Publisher,
  44. 44. Now Contact Travel Agents Get quotes from:,, STA Travel agents. (Star Alliance, OneWorld.) Play agent prices against each other. Randy Ross, Publisher,
  45. 45. Questions to Ask Travel Agents Overnights in pricey What if airline cancels a countries I can avoid? flight? (Bangkok, India) Pre-book travel dates? Can I have 4 - 5 hours Penalties for change? between connections? Names of airlines? Can I get estimate in (United vs. Air writing with all fees? Afghanistan?) Replace flights w/ Pay by credit card? overland/open jaw? Randy Ross, Publisher,
  46. 46. Cost-Cutting: Airfare Open jaw: fly to one country and out other. Local transport/easy to book. Common routes: into Bangkok out of Singapore. Randy Ross, Publisher,
  47. 47. Open JawFly into BangkokFly out ofSingapore 5weeks later. Randy Ross, Publisher,
  48. 48. Local Flights Web sites,, work from overseas. Ask hostels, guest houses for best fares. For SE Asia, – One way Bangkok to Hanoi: $13 – Best fare on $204 Greece, Venez. – countries have local air. Vietnam Air only option and not cheap. Randy Ross, Publisher,
  49. 49. Buses: Hop on, Hop Off Get on/off, like T-pass (Baz 2wks = $271) Stop at hostels, guest houses. Easy way to see S. Africa, New Zealand. Hanoi to Saigon: $32 by bus, $464 by plane. Randy Ross, Publisher,
  50. 50. Sample Hop On, Off BusesAustralia Oz Bus 20-day $461 Bruce PassNew Zealand Magic Bus 20-day min. $587 Wayward WandererVietnam TNK-An $32 Hanoi to http://www.tnktravelvi(very rough!) Phu “open Saigon bus” (3 months) tour.htmVietnam “sleeper n/a n/a bus”S. Africa Baz Bus 21-day $376 Randy Ross, Publisher,
  51. 51. Local Travel: Boats, Ferries Comfortable. I took ferries in Greece, Vietnam, Cambodia. 3-day, 2-night boat from Saigon to Phnom Penh for $47. (TSK Travel) 2-day to Halong Bay Keep receipts handy! Randy Ross, Publisher,
  52. 52. Cambodian-Style Tuk-Tuk Randy Ross, Publisher,
  53. 53. Quick and Dirty Recommendations S. Africa: Baz Bus up and down the coast. SE Asia: Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia by land, boat, air. New Zealand: Magic Bus N. and S. Islands. Randy Ross, Publisher,
  54. 54. Travel Insurance Big name insurer – Get health – does yours cover overseas? Evacuation? Get trip interruption, trip cancellation. Make sure covered for whole trip. Randy Ross, Publisher,
  55. 55. Step III: Accommodations Hostel: Not just for kids. Guest House: Not a quaint Vermont B&B! Homestay: with a family. (Nice, France) Multi-night discount? Online booking: often Lungile, Port Elizabeth, S. Africa. per person! Randy Ross, Publisher,
  56. 56. More on Accommodations A/C: usually extra, not always available. Quality: tough to tell from books, travelers. See room before signing in. Lie down on bed, check a/c and reading lamp. Inn Longstreet, S. Africa Randy Ross, Publisher,
  57. 57. Lonely Planet Pick: The King “Elvis lives on in Phnom Penh, in name at least! The range of rooms is as wide as the kings girth in the later years of his life, and there is a huge restaurant and a travel centre downstairs. Check out the handouts, with a handy ticklist of what all the rooms include.” Randy Ross, Publisher,
  58. 58. price for price for cheapest City Hostel Room my rating books travel? 10/8/08 dorm bed Dumpy, but in nice part of town.Sample hostels and prices Athens Dioskouros double $60 $25 Mid-construction during my visit (hopefully). Note on toilet: dont ? flush toilet paper -- a little Athens, South Africa, But manager said it was ok. Breakfast included. A Lonely Planet authors pick,South East Asia, Australia, Cape Town Inn Longstreet double $37 $12 but I thought it was a dump, noisy (my room across from the yesand New Zealand. bars. Noisy till 4:00 a.m.), somewhat social. Web access. Social, nice accommodations, *Oudtshoorn Backpackers Paradise double, priv bath $42 $8 yes bar. Personal favorite. Set deep in the woods, nice room with *Storms River Dijembe queen, priv bath $35 $11 yes queen bed, like a little bungalo, bar, very social. Nice room, dumpy part of town, near sad aquarium. I had a cold the whole time, which didnt *Port Elizabeth Lungile Backpackers queen, priv bath $40 $13 yes help. Good social scene, but early 20s and younger (locals would stop by to play pool.) Nice location deep in the woods, room had decent bed, shared *Wilderness Fairy Knowe double $33 $11 bathroom and shower were yes sketchy, not much social scene when I was there. Most were booked *Plettenburg Bay Albergo double <two $32 $11 Double room had two single beds, instead of one large one; a waste of money. Good social yes single beds> with scene, bonfire every night, long, but do-able walk to beach. Dumpy, somewhat social; not Bangkok HI-Sukhumvit single $21 $8 ? near legendary Khaosan Road. Very nice!, great social scene, bar happy hour. Includes Web Hanoi Hanoi Backpackers double $18 $8 yes access, but it was almost always in use. Very nice, had a small pool. I negotiated and got "Superior" Dorm rooms in Asia, Hoi An An Phu (budget hotel) single, priv bath $30 n/a (midrange) room for $20. But advertising is misleading: claims hotel is .5 miles from beach. Its yes S. Africa about $10 a actually 2.4 miles. I believe hotel is owned by same company that ran bus company, which made it night. Cheap room in easy to arrange bus transport. Little flies in the room, checked Red Sun Hotel (budget Australia $20-$35. Saigon hotel) single, priv bath $16 $9 out after one night. Includes breakfast and Web access. Lonely Planet pick, one of my ? favorites. Great location near $20 river, great staff, travel desk. My (online ** Phnom Penh Indochine II (budget hotel) single, priv bath n/a room had no windows. Window yes price: add $5. Hotel fills up fast. Rated $27) as a two star hotel, but it was brand new and clean. No a/c, checked out. Little yes, but not great -- Melbourne City Centre Budget Hotel single NO A/C $71 $35 social activity. Includes Web never mentioned OZ access. bus. Dumpy, room had no window; Auckland The Nomads Fat Camel double $55 $19 yes great bar. Randy Ross, Publisher,
  59. 59. Accommodation Strategies Check options: guest houses, hostels See, Once you have flights, book at least first night, I prefer two. (Can leave after one.) Pre-book cheap hotel with travel agent and cancel if you find something cheaper. Randy Ross, Publisher,
  60. 60. Ways to Cut Room/Board Costs Stick to Third World countries. If traveling in First World, buy groceries. Sleep in dorms instead of single (or rotate). Work/barter – read fine print and fees, Randy Ross, Publisher,
  61. 61. Recap: 6 to 8 Weeks Before Trip Once plane tix purchased – Buy travel insurance. – Pre-book hostel for first night or two after red-eye. – Passport all set? – Visas? SE Asia: get them in Bangkok? (don’t need for Thailand) S. America: Venezuela (no), Brazil (yes). Western countries: Generally, no. Randy Ross, Publisher,
  62. 62. Step IV: Pre-Trip Prep Travel clinic. Gear and clothes. Money and security. Care for your Boston apartment/home. Randy Ross, Publisher,
  63. 63. The Travel Clinic Vaccines and visit usually covered. Clinics all around: Mt. Auburn, Deaconess. Primary care will refer you. No fear! Randy Ross, Publisher,
  64. 64. More on Travel Clinic What to expect: – Shots (I got 7 and had to go back 3 times). – Blood drawing – Prescriptions for anti- malarial pills. – Map of malarial zones. – Pamphlet that says not to eat, drink, or leave your hotel. Randy Ross, Publisher,
  65. 65. What I Did in Dodgy Countries Drank only bottled water and beer. (No ice). Brushed teeth with bottled water. Kept mouth shut in shower. Didn’t swim in fresh water or walk barefoot. (Wore Tevas even on beach) Ate anything and everything that was cooked and hot. Bought food from street vendors. Randy Ross, Publisher,
  66. 66. Results Never got food poisoning. Didn’t meet anyone who did. Caught three colds, two in Western countries, one in Cambodia. Tip: be careful on mopeds. Randy Ross, Publisher,
  67. 67. Luggage: The Back Pack – 40 to 60 liters (2400 to 3700 cubic inches). – Prices: $200+. – Test Drive: 30 lbs/15 mins – Pack at home to check fit. Randy Ross, Publisher,
  68. 68. The Day Pack Need a second small bag, or day pack. For long trips, use it for items that you may need immediately, such as reading material, a toothbrush, snacks. On short sight-seeing forays, pack water, maps, snacks, and the like instead of lugging your back pack. Randy Ross, Publisher,
  69. 69. Clothes Bring few as possible (multipurpose). Quick-dry for hand washing. (camping). Zip pockets for securing valuables. Shop at camping stores: – EMS – REI Randy Ross, Publisher,
  70. 70. Clothes: Best Things I Bought - REI Sahara Tech Long- Sleeve ($50) - Ex Officio Amphi Pant (couldn’t find women’s version) - Coolibar swim tights ( - Wide-brim hat Randy Ross, Publisher,
  71. 71. Packing Tips Like items in trash bags. Airlines with strict weight policies, splitinto two bags. Use backpack cover Put heavy, bulky items at bottom of pack. Leave guidebooks, jewelry, items you can buy overseas Randy Ross, Publisher,
  72. 72. Carry-On Weight Restrictions American/BA: 40 lbs + Cathay/Qantas: 15 lbs Randy Ross, Publisher,
  73. 73. Dress Code: Conservative No expensive jewelry, watches. Wear swim shorts or the like for beach. When visiting religious sites and temples: – no bare skin,tight clothes. – No singlets, shorts, dresses, skirts, tops with low neck lines. Randy Ross, Publisher,
  74. 74. Money Local cash for cab to first hotel. Stash $100 bill in pack. Money belt on plane and airports. Zip pockets. Out and about: small amounts of cash. ATMs in most countries Randy Ross, Publisher,
  75. 75. Top Travel Tips Long flights: 5 hours been transfers. Bring bags on-board. Split a big bag in two. Center overhead bins are larger. Late arrival? Ask hostel for airport pickup. Pre-book first night in a new city. Miss flight? Check monitors not ticket agents. Randy Ross, Publisher,
  76. 76. Misc: Laundry Most hostels have laundry – long lines. Wear clothes in shower, soap, rinse, hang to dry. Handwash in sink, dry outside. Southeast Asia: cheap to send out. Randy Ross, Publisher,
  77. 77. Sign-Up Sheet List of urls E-mail newsletter Randy Ross, Publisher,
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