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Old 09-18-2007, 07:28 AM   #1
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Default RTW booked....now comes the real planning!!

So after about a year or more of saving, planning, and questioning myself I took the plunge and booked my first ever round the world ticket.

It was real struggle the last month after nailing down where I wanted to go to actually book it. I figured al along I would just basically book it myself with a company on line but as it got closer I felt nervous and didn't want to miss anything. So I took my scratch itinerary to about four different travel agents for some help to get the final booking. Two weeks later and several phone calls I said screw it and got in contact with Airtreks. They are a company online that deals with RTW tickets and I had been in contact with them asking questions since the beginning. So about a week and a half later everything was set to go, and I can say how much I appreciate the agent that I dealt with at this company. I'm sure things are going to get screwed up here and there along the way but the way he dealt with getting everything going for me was really appreciated. Funny thing is I just got my first phone call back from one of the other travel agencies!!!! Almost a month after asking then for help!!hahaha

So here's my basic itinerary. It's ending in Frankfurt at this point because I was unsure of how long I would be in Europe for, and how much money I will have left.

Calgary - Auckland (November 13)
-overland
Christchurch - Sydney (December 4)
-Driving to Brisbane and back
Sydney - Bangkok (December 17)
-Overland Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, and back
Bangkok - Osaka (May 8)
-Overland
Tokyo - Shanghai (May 31)
-Don’t know where I'll go…any ideas??
Shanghai - Frankfurt (June 23)

From there I will probably make my way to London to fly home. Maybe buy a rail pass that goes through 5 countries or so.

Only a few months left….and still so much to do! My biggest problem at this point is booking into a place on Koh Phangan during the busiest time of the year.

Any pointers or ideas on places. especially China, and eastern Europe would be appreciated. Or if any of my dates match up with yours along your travels let me know. I would love to have I first Tpunk meet up on this trip.

Peace
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Old 09-18-2007, 07:42 AM   #2
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Thats really exciting, nice work on making it happen. Good luck in your travels.
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Old 09-18-2007, 07:46 AM   #3
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Sounds great man, congrats on making it happen!

I really enjoyed Sofia and Budapest. Bucharest was a lot of fun for me, because of the hostel I stayed in, but the city itself wouldn't be that high on my list. If I went back I'd want to spend more time checking out the villages and countryside too.
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Old 09-18-2007, 09:38 AM   #4
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Sounds brilliant!

If you want any tips on Oz or NZ, I went to both of these last year for a couple of months. In NZ, we did the same - flew in to Auckland and overland to Christchurch, and in Oz, we went from Melbourne up the coast to Cairns, using the Greyhound.
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Old 09-18-2007, 06:13 PM   #5
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thats awesome that you booked the ticket!!! you're going to have such a great adventure.

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Old 09-18-2007, 07:07 PM   #6
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Nice itinerary! So, if you don't mind me asking, how much did you spend on the RTW ticket? Is it a series of "legs" on random airlines like the way STA does it? Or does airtrek just evaluate Star Alliance. Skyteam, One World etc?

I am pretty sure we will be in Germany at the same time (I am headed to Heidelberg...I think, Esther suggested a program in Bremmen and another friend suggested Celle) and if I have a shared flat or something you (and any other Tpunk) are more than welcome stay

For Japan, you have visit Kyoto almost no matter what and you are practically guaranteed to see the structured chaos that is Tokyo. Try to stay at a Ryokan at some point during your trip.

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Old 09-18-2007, 07:51 PM   #7
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Wooohoo big adventure!

China is amazing. Any idea what you want to see? Are you into cities, history, or crazy scenery? I loved getting out of the cities into nature - the rural-urban divide is pretty insane to experience too. I also did Vietnam-Cambodia last Dec so ask away and I will attempt to answer - I WILL tell you to watch out for rain rain rain in the north of Vietnam.

I should be back home in South-East Asia from mid-december to Jan, although it doesn't look like Malaysia is on your list...I may be pottering around in Laos, so maybe we might bump into each other.
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Old 09-19-2007, 10:15 AM   #8
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Yeah like always after actually ooking a trip and knowing that your locked in its a great feeling.

lauren: I only have around 18 days in NZ and really want to see both islands. Like most people I shy away from any bus tours but I've been hearing great things about the Kiwi experience. Something like that would be good since I don't have long....do you have any experience with them in NZ??

Joef: A quick run down of my ticket. The ticket itself cost 3880(cad). That included taxes of around 600, but there was a few other things like deposits and shipping etc that pushed it up to 4000. Again this only gets me to Frankfurt so it doesn't inlcude my last flight back to Canada. So in the end flights will cost me cosoe to 5000 probably.

After looking around at all the different alliances and prices on my own this was about what I expected, especially after taxes which really adds up. It sucks becuase I really wanted to do a lot over land, but going to places like Japan added a lot to the ticket. Airtreks didn't tell me exactly if they went with a specific alliance but from the airlines they those chose it looks like they did everything through Star Alliance ( AU Airways, Thai Airways, Air Pacific, etc were some of the airlines).

When its all said and done I'm going to try and put together a break down of what it cost. I've had a real tough time getting good break downs about what things cost for RTW trips and I think its something that really helps people plan.

freespiritz: I'll definetily be bugging you about some places in China. I have about a month and come and go out of Shanghai so I'll have to do some type of loop. Its such a ways away I haven't looked to hard into what I want to do....so please stick around!
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Old 09-19-2007, 12:47 PM   #9
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millmuff, i went to china for four months last year, check out my "China travelers" post for some lengthy tips and advice about where to go and stuff
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Old 09-19-2007, 01:16 PM   #10
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I actually went on the Magic Bus around NZ. We had 30 days there, so a little bit longer than you, but similarly we wanted to see both islands. When researching, we found that the Magic Bus worked out a bit cheaper than Kiwi Experience, and we had also heard things about the Kiwi Experience being more of a "party bus", which we didn't want.

On the Magic Bus website (http://http://www.magicbus.co.nz/main/Magic/) they tell you the minimum number of days you'll need to do the various trips. There are some that go from Auckland to Christchurch and take either 11, 12 or 14 days, so any of those could be good. Then stay in places you like a little longer than others!

We found it pretty easy because you could either book your own hostels in advance, or the bus driver could do it for you, out of a choice of hostels (quite a variety, of different prices, so plenty to choose from). Means you're never stuck without a bed for the night! Also they can book activites (eg, they do bungee jumps and skydives, etc) at discounted rates.

The drivers were all really cool guys, some of them invite you out in the evening for a drink, and it's all very chilled!

I guess really it's up to you, but I really liked the Magic Bus. My friend who went with Kiwi Experience didn't enjoy hers so much!
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Old 09-19-2007, 04:08 PM   #11
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Don't worry, I'll be around.

I have photos and travelogues up from China/'Nambodia on tpunk, so if you're bored you can check those out!
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