Author Topic: RTW Trip?  (Read 1361 times)

Rdy2Fire

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RTW Trip?
« on: June 27, 2019, 09:23:47 AM »
Hello Mustacians

I did a search and only found 1 thread from years ago on Round The World trips. Just wondering if any of you have done a RTW trip or an extended SE Asia/Australia/NZ type trip and had any advice on places to travel, stay etc. I am starting to plan a trip and have ideas of where/when I am going but would love to hear peoples thoughts/advice if they've done such a trip

utaca

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Re: RTW Trip?
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2019, 10:44:33 AM »
In the mid 2000s, I purchased a one year open "RTW" ticket from Singapore Airlines for absurdly cheap. It wasn't truly around the world but allowed stop-offs in India, Thailand, Singapore, Taipei and Tokyo. I spent a number of months in India/Nepal, a couple of months in SE Asia and then one day in Tokyo. India is amazing but it is extremely poor and the cultural shock is overwhelming (in good and bad ways). SE Asia was nice but somewhat underwhelming after India.

My big regret was spending only one day in Tokyo. My decision was entirely financial and, in retrospect, it was dumb. Sure I can go back to Japan but I was there and decided to miss it because cost was so much higher than India/SE Asia. If I have any advice it would be to be frugal - but don't let $$ detract you from taking advantage of a once in a lifetime opportunity.

cap396

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Re: RTW Trip?
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2019, 11:24:48 AM »
We are long-term travelers, but not really doing a RTW trip.  We're spending about a year traveling on a continent before moving on to the next.

Here is a family that did a RTW trip in 13 months back in 2014/2015, and we have used a lot of their information to help us in our planning: https://www.earthtrekkers.com/how-to-travel-around-the-world/

Rdy2Fire

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Re: RTW Trip?
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2019, 12:01:45 PM »
In the mid 2000s, I purchased a one year open "RTW" ticket from Singapore Airlines for absurdly cheap. It wasn't truly around the world but allowed stop-offs in India, Thailand, Singapore, Taipei and Tokyo. I spent a number of months in India/Nepal, a couple of months in SE Asia and then one day in Tokyo. India is amazing but it is extremely poor and the cultural shock is overwhelming (in good and bad ways). SE Asia was nice but somewhat underwhelming after India.

My big regret was spending only one day in Tokyo. My decision was entirely financial and, in retrospect, it was dumb. Sure I can go back to Japan but I was there and decided to miss it because cost was so much higher than India/SE Asia. If I have any advice it would be to be frugal - but don't let $$ detract you from taking advantage of a once in a lifetime opportunity.

I actually have been to Japan a few times and yes you missed out but go back and yes it is expensive. I am curious about your time or suggestions on India/Nepal as I was thinking of stopping in Kathmandu for a week and then heading to India where I only really cared about seeing the Taj Mahal but have considered spending more time. I do know from a few that it is quite poor and dirty in some places but also hear from others how amazing it is so would consider a couple of weeks maybe.


Rdy2Fire

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Re: RTW Trip?
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2019, 12:03:36 PM »
We are long-term travelers, but not really doing a RTW trip.  We're spending about a year traveling on a continent before moving on to the next.

Here is a family that did a RTW trip in 13 months back in 2014/2015, and we have used a lot of their information to help us in our planning: https://www.earthtrekkers.com/how-to-travel-around-the-world/


I was originally going to buy a RTW ticket but decided not to so I shouldn't have really titled it RTW. I may still go around but the majority of the focus for 3-4 months would be NZ/Australia/Asia. I will check your link for some ideas and suggestions possibly, thanks

Dee18

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Re: RTW Trip?
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2019, 05:27:30 PM »
I did an around the world trip many years ago, just after college.  I visited: New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Philippines, Hong Kong, China, Nepal, India, Kenya, Egypt, Turkey, Switzerland, France, Spain, Portugal, England, Scotland, and Ireland.  I was gone for 12 months and had an amazing adventure. It was back before the internet, so traveling was very different.  If I were to go today, I might visit more Asian countries and save Europe for later years.  My ticket had me scheduled to go on to South America, but I stayed longer than planned most places so I didnít make it there on that trip. The ticket allowed unlimited changes. Is that even possible today?

Annie101

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Re: RTW Trip?
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2019, 11:15:20 PM »
We are planning to do this with our kids in three years.  One year rtw.  I also like earth trekkers.  Like the book "360 degrees longitude"

Freedomin5

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Re: RTW Trip?
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2019, 12:25:47 AM »
I live in Asia, and have met many Australians and New Zealanders. They all say the best way to see Australia / New Zealand is to rent a camper van and drive around the country.

Rdy2Fire

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Re: RTW Trip?
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2019, 06:31:29 AM »
I live in Asia, and have met many Australians and New Zealanders. They all say the best way to see Australia / New Zealand is to rent a camper van and drive around the country.

I looked at that it was pretty $$$$ especially solo

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: RTW Trip?
« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2019, 02:32:51 PM »
I did a couple RTW tickets during my student years, amazing deals. Iíd love to do that again.

As your real plan is Aus/NZ/Asia, hereís my thoughts:
AUS: massive country but you donít need to see all of it to enjoy it. Sydney, and surroundings, is amazing, expensive to live, but if youíre solo and do the hostel thing, manageable. Melbourne equally as interesting. Tasmania, gorgeous. Cairns and Great Barrier Reef, stunning. Those would be my must dos. Anything else is bonus. Interior flights are relatively cheap. Cairns will be the most expensive. On a tourist visa you can spend 3 months and easily see quite a bit in that time. Note, you can only really enjoy the GBR in the winter time in Australia, which is not generally the best time to visit the other cities, but not the worst. Australia doesnít get freezing winters, so you can enjoy the cities and avoid the crowds.

NZ: absolutely beautiful place. North Island and South Island are completely different. North Island is fine to visit, few places will blow you away and the major cities, Wellington and Auckland, you could spend a week or two in each and see everything youíd want to (a week each would be fine). South Island is another story. Spend a month here at least and take your time and explore the whole Island, itís so stunningly beautiful and diverse, you wonít believe your eyes. You can just rent a car and drive everywhere and stay in hotels or Airbnbís. There are thermal hot springs, stunning mountain towns, glaciers, wine country, Queenstown and Dunedin. Honestly, I spend 2 months and just soak in the beauty and tranquility. Go from Dec to March timeframe, when itís the warmest

Asia: wow, massive area. Iíd go to China, Thailand, and Bali definitely. Vietnam is meant to be amazing. Malaysia too. Theyíre all relatively cheap to get to once youíre in the area. Check visas and entry requirements. You could spend a month in China and Thailand easily. A week or two in Bali, 2-3 weeks in Vietnam. Iíd look up whenever they have their rainy seasons and try to avoid that, otherwise you should be fine.

Have an amazing time!

Rdy2Fire

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Re: RTW Trip?
« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2019, 03:00:59 PM »
I did a couple RTW tickets during my student years, amazing deals. Iíd love to do that again.

As your real plan is Aus/NZ/Asia, hereís my thoughts:
AUS: massive country but you donít need to see all of it to enjoy it. Sydney, and surroundings, is amazing, expensive to live, but if youíre solo and do the hostel thing, manageable. Melbourne equally as interesting. Tasmania, gorgeous. Cairns and Great Barrier Reef, stunning. Those would be my must dos. Anything else is bonus. Interior flights are relatively cheap. Cairns will be the most expensive. On a tourist visa you can spend 3 months and easily see quite a bit in that time. Note, you can only really enjoy the GBR in the winter time in Australia, which is not generally the best time to visit the other cities, but not the worst. Australia doesnít get freezing winters, so you can enjoy the cities and avoid the crowds.

NZ: absolutely beautiful place. North Island and South Island are completely different. North Island is fine to visit, few places will blow you away and the major cities, Wellington and Auckland, you could spend a week or two in each and see everything youíd want to (a week each would be fine). South Island is another story. Spend a month here at least and take your time and explore the whole Island, itís so stunningly beautiful and diverse, you wonít believe your eyes. You can just rent a car and drive everywhere and stay in hotels or Airbnbís. There are thermal hot springs, stunning mountain towns, glaciers, wine country, Queenstown and Dunedin. Honestly, I spend 2 months and just soak in the beauty and tranquility. Go from Dec to March timeframe, when itís the warmest

Asia: wow, massive area. Iíd go to China, Thailand, and Bali definitely. Vietnam is meant to be amazing. Malaysia too. Theyíre all relatively cheap to get to once youíre in the area. Check visas and entry requirements. You could spend a month in China and Thailand easily. A week or two in Bali, 2-3 weeks in Vietnam. Iíd look up whenever they have their rainy seasons and try to avoid that, otherwise you should be fine.

Have an amazing time!

Thanks I was planning NZ or trying to today.. I am thinking of spending about 15 days in the south and 9 in the north mid oct-nov then heading to Australia and spending about 4-5 days in and around each Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and a trip to Ayers before heading for a quick stop in Singapore i've been, a few days in Korea and a week in Shanghai before heading to Thailand for a month, Vietnam for 2 weeks then Malaysia for a week. I've been to Japan, Bali, Jakarta (surroundings) Cambodia, Hong Kong, Macau, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpar, Beijing, South China, and some other places before. NZ/Aus seem to be the budget killers

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: RTW Trip?
« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2019, 03:34:17 PM »
I did a couple RTW tickets during my student years, amazing deals. Iíd love to do that again.

As your real plan is Aus/NZ/Asia, hereís my thoughts:
AUS: massive country but you donít need to see all of it to enjoy it. Sydney, and surroundings, is amazing, expensive to live, but if youíre solo and do the hostel thing, manageable. Melbourne equally as interesting. Tasmania, gorgeous. Cairns and Great Barrier Reef, stunning. Those would be my must dos. Anything else is bonus. Interior flights are relatively cheap. Cairns will be the most expensive. On a tourist visa you can spend 3 months and easily see quite a bit in that time. Note, you can only really enjoy the GBR in the winter time in Australia, which is not generally the best time to visit the other cities, but not the worst. Australia doesnít get freezing winters, so you can enjoy the cities and avoid the crowds.

NZ: absolutely beautiful place. North Island and South Island are completely different. North Island is fine to visit, few places will blow you away and the major cities, Wellington and Auckland, you could spend a week or two in each and see everything youíd want to (a week each would be fine). South Island is another story. Spend a month here at least and take your time and explore the whole Island, itís so stunningly beautiful and diverse, you wonít believe your eyes. You can just rent a car and drive everywhere and stay in hotels or Airbnbís. There are thermal hot springs, stunning mountain towns, glaciers, wine country, Queenstown and Dunedin. Honestly, I spend 2 months and just soak in the beauty and tranquility. Go from Dec to March timeframe, when itís the warmest

Asia: wow, massive area. Iíd go to China, Thailand, and Bali definitely. Vietnam is meant to be amazing. Malaysia too. Theyíre all relatively cheap to get to once youíre in the area. Check visas and entry requirements. You could spend a month in China and Thailand easily. A week or two in Bali, 2-3 weeks in Vietnam. Iíd look up whenever they have their rainy seasons and try to avoid that, otherwise you should be fine.

Have an amazing time!

Thanks I was planning NZ or trying to today.. I am thinking of spending about 15 days in the south and 9 in the north mid oct-nov then heading to Australia and spending about 4-5 days in and around each Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and a trip to Ayers before heading for a quick stop in Singapore i've been, a few days in Korea and a week in Shanghai before heading to Thailand for a month, Vietnam for 2 weeks then Malaysia for a week. I've been to Japan, Bali, Jakarta (surroundings) Cambodia, Hong Kong, Macau, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpar, Beijing, South China, and some other places before. NZ/Aus seem to be the budget killers

Good planning, sounds near perfect. I loved Uluru and the area around it, itís quite beautiful. However, if Budget was my concern, Iíd skip it. Iíd give yourself a full week in Sydney and Melbourne, spend 4 days in Brisbane, then go to the Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast and Byron Bay with extra 3 days. Personally, Iíd only use Singapore as a transit hub (love getting a massage at the airport there), but the rest of the SE Asia part seems great. Your timing for NZ is dead on.

Radagast

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Re: RTW Trip?
« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2019, 04:40:47 PM »
I did something like that in 2009-2010, literally around the globe. Lived in China for about 1.5 years interspersed with travel in the greater China area, then I headed back the long way. Not any particular recommendations, the world is a big place and it is all good. I only flew across the Pacific Ocean and the annoying nation of Belarus (I was pretty far into the trip then, and didn't want the hassle and expense of a visa just to ride a train through). If I did it again I would attempt surface transport the entire way.

Rdy2Fire

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Re: RTW Trip?
« Reply #13 on: June 30, 2019, 08:59:21 PM »
I did a couple RTW tickets during my student years, amazing deals. Iíd love to do that again.

As your real plan is Aus/NZ/Asia, hereís my thoughts:
AUS: massive country but you donít need to see all of it to enjoy it. Sydney, and surroundings, is amazing, expensive to live, but if youíre solo and do the hostel thing, manageable. Melbourne equally as interesting. Tasmania, gorgeous. Cairns and Great Barrier Reef, stunning. Those would be my must dos. Anything else is bonus. Interior flights are relatively cheap. Cairns will be the most expensive. On a tourist visa you can spend 3 months and easily see quite a bit in that time. Note, you can only really enjoy the GBR in the winter time in Australia, which is not generally the best time to visit the other cities, but not the worst. Australia doesnít get freezing winters, so you can enjoy the cities and avoid the crowds.

NZ: absolutely beautiful place. North Island and South Island are completely different. North Island is fine to visit, few places will blow you away and the major cities, Wellington and Auckland, you could spend a week or two in each and see everything youíd want to (a week each would be fine). South Island is another story. Spend a month here at least and take your time and explore the whole Island, itís so stunningly beautiful and diverse, you wonít believe your eyes. You can just rent a car and drive everywhere and stay in hotels or Airbnbís. There are thermal hot springs, stunning mountain towns, glaciers, wine country, Queenstown and Dunedin. Honestly, I spend 2 months and just soak in the beauty and tranquility. Go from Dec to March timeframe, when itís the warmest

Asia: wow, massive area. Iíd go to China, Thailand, and Bali definitely. Vietnam is meant to be amazing. Malaysia too. Theyíre all relatively cheap to get to once youíre in the area. Check visas and entry requirements. You could spend a month in China and Thailand easily. A week or two in Bali, 2-3 weeks in Vietnam. Iíd look up whenever they have their rainy seasons and try to avoid that, otherwise you should be fine.

Have an amazing time!

Thanks I was planning NZ or trying to today.. I am thinking of spending about 15 days in the south and 9 in the north mid oct-nov then heading to Australia and spending about 4-5 days in and around each Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and a trip to Ayers before heading for a quick stop in Singapore i've been, a few days in Korea and a week in Shanghai before heading to Thailand for a month, Vietnam for 2 weeks then Malaysia for a week. I've been to Japan, Bali, Jakarta (surroundings) Cambodia, Hong Kong, Macau, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpar, Beijing, South China, and some other places before. NZ/Aus seem to be the budget killers

Good planning, sounds near perfect. I loved Uluru and the area around it, itís quite beautiful. However, if Budget was my concern, Iíd skip it. Iíd give yourself a full week in Sydney and Melbourne, spend 4 days in Brisbane, then go to the Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast and Byron Bay with extra 3 days. Personally, Iíd only use Singapore as a transit hub (love getting a massage at the airport there), but the rest of the SE Asia part seems great. Your timing for NZ is dead on.

Yeah well I have to get there but don't want to blow all the $ in OZ and NZ.. thinking maybe scaling back to 10 days in south 8 in north then sticking to the 4-5 in the OZ cities.  I lived in Singapore so including for a few days to just get back otherwise would skip it. All the $$ I lose in NZ, OZ etc i limit to some degree in Thailand and Vietnam I hope

Hirondelle

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Re: RTW Trip?
« Reply #14 on: July 01, 2019, 08:28:50 AM »
Okay so I have basically done a trip exactly covering the places you mention except I didn't. I initially intended to book a RTW-type ticket, but not doing so was the best thing I could've ever done. The trip was supposed to go to Australia/NZ just like yours and I decided to do 'a little of Asia' before because it's cheaper to fly that way (from Europe) and it would get me a cheap diving licence. Well guess what, Aus/NZ never happened. Turns out I found it much more interesting to spend more time in less places and as I had started in Asia that's where I stayed.

It sounds like you've got a lot of travel experience already so maybe you've figured out your travel style, but my main advice would be take your time. Wanna save money? Go slower. Wanna see more? Go slower. Wanna have more fun, better experiences? Go slower.

If you have 4 months to kills, why wanna do Australia AND New Zealand AND Thailand AND Vietnam AND Malaysia? Australia alone has plenty to see for 4 months. Sure it's expensive, but so is flying all around and trying to 'see' a country in 10 days.

As said above, it seems like you've traveled a lot before so maybe you're more of an efficient box-ticker than a slow roamer and that's ok.

Regarding Asia and in particular Vietnam I could give you heaps of recommendations. For Vietnam I would honestly recommend a full on 2-3 month motorbike ride around the country. I just got back from yet another Vietnam trip and thought I could see the (remote) north in 2 weeks. Haha, stupid me. No way. Didn't make it to two of the main places I wanted to visit. That's not taking into account the whole north-south trip. I took 3.5 weeks for that some years ago, it was too short/rushed and I had to skip many places as well (it was by bus, not motorbike, that would've taken even longer). If you only had 2 weeks I would totally recommend you the exact itinerary I did though. It hits none of the main tourist spots and is the most beautiful ride you'll ever have (in Vietnam at least, haven't been everywhere on earth).

One week of Malaysia is fine if you wanna see KL + 1 major other spot, but I don't see the point in adding the extra country. Why not spend that extra week in Thailand or Vietnam?

Rdy2Fire

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Re: RTW Trip?
« Reply #15 on: July 01, 2019, 10:42:25 AM »
Okay so I have basically done a trip exactly covering the places you mention except I didn't. I initially intended to book a RTW-type ticket, but not doing so was the best thing I could've ever done. The trip was supposed to go to Australia/NZ just like yours and I decided to do 'a little of Asia' before because it's cheaper to fly that way (from Europe) and it would get me a cheap diving licence. Well guess what, Aus/NZ never happened. Turns out I found it much more interesting to spend more time in less places and as I had started in Asia that's where I stayed.

It sounds like you've got a lot of travel experience already so maybe you've figured out your travel style, but my main advice would be take your time. Wanna save money? Go slower. Wanna see more? Go slower. Wanna have more fun, better experiences? Go slower.

If you have 4 months to kills, why wanna do Australia AND New Zealand AND Thailand AND Vietnam AND Malaysia? Australia alone has plenty to see for 4 months. Sure it's expensive, but so is flying all around and trying to 'see' a country in 10 days.

As said above, it seems like you've traveled a lot before so maybe you're more of an efficient box-ticker than a slow roamer and that's ok.

Regarding Asia and in particular Vietnam I could give you heaps of recommendations. For Vietnam I would honestly recommend a full on 2-3 month motorbike ride around the country. I just got back from yet another Vietnam trip and thought I could see the (remote) north in 2 weeks. Haha, stupid me. No way. Didn't make it to two of the main places I wanted to visit. That's not taking into account the whole north-south trip. I took 3.5 weeks for that some years ago, it was too short/rushed and I had to skip many places as well (it was by bus, not motorbike, that would've taken even longer). If you only had 2 weeks I would totally recommend you the exact itinerary I did though. It hits none of the main tourist spots and is the most beautiful ride you'll ever have (in Vietnam at least, haven't been everywhere on earth).

One week of Malaysia is fine if you wanna see KL + 1 major other spot, but I don't see the point in adding the extra country. Why not spend that extra week in Thailand or Vietnam?

Thanks Hirondelle I appreciate the response.

My time isn't necessarily limited to 4 months, I was just using that as an idea and I think I posted earlier I should have re-titled the thread because I don't plan on doing a RTW ticket as I came to some of the same conclusions as you on possibly wanting to stay in places longer.

In regards to NZ/Australia I could spend the entire time there but as you mentioned I kind of know my style and those aren't places I think I'd want to stay as long due to not only expense but they are more similar then different then the US. I appreciate other cultures and experiencing them and also have to be elsewhere in Asia on specific dates hence why I am planning it for the time I am. As for the cost of the plane tickets I am using miles so luckily that doesn't hurt me budget wise.

In regards to limited time in Vietnam I figured I can always go back but would like to see some of the highlights over a 2-3 week period. I'd love to hear about some of your travels but don't plan on doing the motorbike thing. In regards to Malaysia, I agree it could be skipped but people told me I #1 might enjoy Penang, #2 it would allow me to go back to Thailand for another 30 day free visa if I wanted and #3 if I didn't go back to Thailand there are direct flights from KL to basically all over the world.

If you'd be up to sharing some of your VN travels (especially if you traveled around the Jan/Feb months) feel free to PM me and again appreciate all the responses.

Hirondelle

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Re: RTW Trip?
« Reply #16 on: July 02, 2019, 12:09:21 AM »
Makes sense! Hope I didn't come off as too snarky but as I just got back I ran into quite a few people trying to 'do' 4 SE-Asian countries in 3 weeks and it frustrates me more than it should. Penang is also definitely a fun place to go :)

I'll send you a lengthy PM on my Vietnam recommendations (spent close to 7 months in that country so I've got some lol).

Rdy2Fire

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Re: RTW Trip?
« Reply #17 on: July 02, 2019, 06:46:56 AM »
Makes sense! Hope I didn't come off as too snarky but as I just got back I ran into quite a few people trying to 'do' 4 SE-Asian countries in 3 weeks and it frustrates me more than it should. Penang is also definitely a fun place to go :)

I'll send you a lengthy PM on my Vietnam recommendations (spent close to 7 months in that country so I've got some lol).

Not at all.. I get it I have done short condensed trips and longer ones. In this particular case I don't really have a set time other then being in a couple places for set dates so just trying to work around that leaving my time in Thailand and VN a little open. I'll be on the look out for your message thanks