Firstly I will explain this is my first time doing any kind of travelling, I have just finished uni and like a lot of others had a real desire to travel and embrace the world and all its weird and wonderful differences. I will be going along with my long term girlfriend too.
So, down to business.
Our plan is to travel around SE Asia until the 6th January from which we will fly to Perth. (Already booked) We have a rough guide from reading on these forums of a route we would like to take (subject to change to our own personal preferences) and again from reading have seen some great tips....thank you everyone.
Basically to keep it short, we are taking Â£5,500 each with us and have flights purchased up to Australia on the 6th Jan. We are then planning on working in Oz (hopefully in the Outback) for 5/6months..visas already sorted.
From here is were we are beginning to worry.
Here is the rough itinerary:
Sept-Jan = SE Asia (Hostels, using buses/trains to move across countries)
Jan-Jul = Australia (Working 5/6 months then travel)
Jul-Aug = NZ (Hiring campervan, cycling etc)
Aug- Sept = Peru & Bolivia (Hostels, buses/trains)
Oct - Nov = North America (West to East)
Nov- Dec = Africa (35day overland tour. Deposit paid)
So like I say we both have Â£5,500 each to last us as long as possible. Then whatever we earn from Australia to help fund the rest of the tour.
We predicted using the UK minimum wage that with working full time for 5months we could look to earn around Â£1000p/m.
There is not much we can do about our budget with it being so close but like I say I am just starting to over think and panic a little as looking at forums I am thinking we don't have much money. I know we are fitting A LOT in but we both feel its our only chance to go for a long period of time so lets go big haha.
Thank you in advance for any help or advice.
#1 RTWnewbie has been a member since 9/8/2012. Posts: 2
With respect to your time in NZ, you do realise that you are coming during the worst months possible?! By worst, I mean coldest and wettest. It's a pretty lousy time to be cycling, unless you strike a few good sunny days!
When I did a 6-day loop in the South Island 2 years ago (in Sept, when it should have been a bit better), it was freezing cold (snow chains required to cross Arthur's Pass), and the time spent on the West Coast was hampered with constant rain and drizzle. It made it difficult to get out of the car just to snap a few photos! Having said that, it's absolutely gorgeous down there scenery-wise. In the North Island, you will strike some good sunny days at that time of year .. but it'll still be cold!
If at possible, I'd re-arrange your plans to come to NZ from Feb-Mar. Everyone is back at work/school after their summer holidays (so campgrounds aren't so full) and the weather is at it's best. If that's not possible, don't worry, you'll still have a great time. Just bring plenty of warm clothing and a good raincoat!
Also, note that NZ is not a cycle-friendly country. Our drivers aren't the most considerate around, esp when it comes to cyclers. The roads are hilly, and narrow in the hill country when you get out of the cities which makes it a bit more dangerous. Not trying to talk you out of it - lots of people do it, and love it - but it's not the safest country around for cyclers. Just be armed with that knowledge.
Also - I see that you have already paid a deposit for a tour in Africa - that's for Nov/Dec 2013, right? Over a year away. I'd strongly suggest that you don't do any more pre-booking of tours, etc. Once you hit the road, you will want to change your travel plans. Who knows - you just might fall in love with NZ and want to stay for a year before moving on. It happens. The more that you commit to, the more restrictive your travel plans become. And you will come to resent that once you're on the road. Generally speaking, you should be able to book tours, etc much closer to the time, once you're on the ground. And often much cheaper than you would by booking ahead via internet. Also - by the end of your trip, you just might find that the idea of a rigid tour isn't going to be your thing. You would have gained loads of travel experience and confidence and will probably find that you will be happier winging it as you go. So.. in summary, don't pre-book anything else!
Sounds like you guys are up for a fantastic adventure!
I agree with what Lizzy writes above. NZ weather is harsh in winter especially down south and the west coast (windy,driving rain) with the upside being if you're into skiing/snowboarding get down to Queenstown and Wanaka. Otherwise if you could possibly bump NZ up to Feb/March that is the ideal time to go. The school kids and their families are back from hols and weather is mostly stable and fine. This will take you out of "troppo" season by the time you get to Oz in April then the top end and the QLD/NT/WA outback is generally dry for the next few months. While wages are generally good in Australia these days, there's a lot of competition between backpackers like yourselves. Hopefully you'll find a good earner and avoid the temptation to drink it all like I've seen so many nomad workers do in Oz. Just keep it flexible and be prepared to do any kind of work.
And of course the last bit about not over-planning/booking your way around the world. Like many travellers stricken with wanderlust but still earning up for it, I had countless world maps with dream routes and dates drawn-up for many months waiting to actually do it. In the end I did most of it (and a lot I never expected to) and got "stuck" in many places months longer than ever imagined. Who knows? You might end up living in Capetown for six months (or six years) or fall in love with sheep farmer's daughter. Understandably you have budget concerns so some planning can be helpful (a flexible RTW air ticket, for example) but once you're into a place there are local ways of saving money (and having more fun) rather than requiring yourself to be at point-X on date-Y of your year-long calendar.
I'd start off with SE Asia trip for a couple months, get your bearings and see how other long-term travellers make ends meet. Then get to NZ/Oz and hopefully find some work. That's already a long horizon to deal with.
Wow thank you very much for your detailed replies. Firstly my flight to the moon leaves roughly March 2014, I heard it's nice then. Haha I understand we are 'biting off more than we can chew' but hey ho who really cares. Pretty sure there isn't a rule book.
Anyway. I have taken on board your advice on NZ, I was expecting it to be cold etc, but not as harsh as you have said, so I will definitely take that on board and see if I can re-jig a few things around. Thank you.
In terms of the booking too much aspect. The only place we have pre-booked is that tour simply because we wanted to do an overland tour only in Africa, and had pretty strict deadlines to be back (for work). So by booking this we knew that we had an exact date in mind and everywhere else is flexible. But thank you for mentioning it, I can imagine it is very easy to fall in love with a place and want to spend a lot more time than you originally expected.
Like I originally said the above itinaerary was a rough guide that is subject to change from entry to Oz to Africa.
All starting to feel real now, looking forward to leaving work, packing and bloody jetting off now haha.
Just out of curiosity what are your travel stories would be interested to know where you have been etc.
#5 RTWnewbie has been a member since 9/8/2012. Posts: 2