Step Three: Choosing destinations and flights
Deciding on destinations for our round the world trip was not an easy task. A year sounds like a long time until you try to cram the whole globe into it. After much deliberation, Adam and I decided to combine places we had been to and loved, and places we had always wanted to visit.
With these destinations in mind, we started to look at round the world flights online. At first, they seemed like great deals. Turns out £600 will get you to Thailand, Australia, New Zealand and back again, and you can get to every continent (except, sadly, Antartica) for under £3000.
But these packages all routed through countries with major hubs, and, in our typical style of getting in our own way, none of these were on our list. So we decided to put together a multi-stop itinerary with the help of a travel agent friend.
Here’s our plan:
Turkey (3 days): A few days’ stopover in Istanbul.
Nepal (2 months): One of our favourite countries. We have spent a few months here previously and fallen in love with the people, the culture, the mountains, the whole package. Though, with the recent devastating earthquakes, we are expecting it to be a very different Nepal.
Darjeeling, India (2 weeks): We are revisiting a monastery where we taught English several years ago, and are keen to see how our young students are doing.
Mongolia (1 month): Mongolia seems like such an intriguing country, and we planned our visit around October’s eagle festival.
China and Hong Kong (1 month): I’m a little unsure of this one. China seems to me to be beautiful but harsh. I have heard mixed reviews from a variety of travellers.
Southern Africa (2 months): Having experienced much of northern and western Africa, and briefly visited the east, the south remains uncharted territory for us, and we are excited to do a few safaris!
Rio, Brazil (1 month): I recently spent a few weeks in Rio and had an incredible time. The parties, the beaches and the dancing were all out of this world. I can’t wait to go back, especially because this time we will be visiting during Carnival!
South, Central and North America! (??): Our last flight is to Ecuador, from where we will begin moving north (ideally, on an epic road trip in a van). There’s so much ground to cover, so much to see and do, but thankfully no return flight to catch (yet!).
If you’re looking to plan your own round the world trip, some great starting points are http://www.roundtheworldflights.com for rtw deals and http://www.statravel.co.uk for both cheap rtw and multistop flights. The book First Time Round the World, published by Rough Guides, is an invaluable resource for planning flights and more for the big trip. Happy travels!