How do you plan a year long trip? Great question and we are not quite sure if we know how either…although we have figured out a few things along the way!
We bought one-way tickets to Taipei, Taiwan leaving on August 16, 2016!
We considered buying a RTW plane ticket, but there are so many rules and restrictions you have to follow. Since we did not want to plan our route completely before leaving and we wanted the freedom to change locations and dates on the fly, we decided to buy tickets as we went. Neither of us are known for being decisive so to make the decisions where to travel months before leaving was just too hard for us. Also, buying tickets as we go made it easier for us to travel overland where possible (which is something we are very excited about doing).
Why Asia First?
The first country (outside of a resort in Mexico) that I had ever traveled to was China in 2010. My dad was living/working for a year in Shanghai so my mom and I decided to meet him out there. It was a terrifying experience at first due to some serious culture shock, but over the course of the summer I spent there I fell completely in love with how different the culture was. I realized how small of a piece I am in the world and my perspective was changed for the better. China will forever hold a special place in my heart. Scott has never had the chance to visit this region of the world. All of these reasons made Asia an easy choice for our first stop on our ’round the world trip.
When to Go
Our best friends were getting married at the end of June and we would have never missed it! I also wanted to be around for all the planning and fun leading up to them tying the knot so we knew we had to stick around until at least then.
Our lease was ending in April of 2016, but we figured we would sign another year-long lease. If you live in Denver then you know that the housing market is crazy and we were so sad to see our little rental house go. Scott’s sister and her fiance decided to move to Denver around the time we were thinking of taking off. They needed a place and we needed someone to sublease…our landlord was agreeable and we had a plan! They are taking care of our dog, Phloyd, while we are away so he doesn’t even have to move out.
Do We Have Enough Money Saved?
We sure hope so! While traveling the world is cheaper than most people think it is definitely not free. Also, we would like to avoid moving into our parents basement upon our return (as nice as that sounds) so we also saved enough for return fund. Daily choices over the last three years like cheap shampoo and packed lunches have really paid off and we are confident we have saved enough for one full year. If we end up going way over our daily budget in the first part of the trip then we will just come home a bit early!
The route for our RTW trip is a work in progress and will continue to be the whole trip. We are trying to take it slow and not overplan things. This is much easier said than done! While we both have different ideas of where we would like this trip to take us, we both have a desire to move slowly. Traveling slow costs much less than to be constantly moving from place to place, will give us a chance to get to know a place better, and hopefully let us avoid travel burnout.
Less Expensive Locations
We are planning on spending most of our time in less expensive regions of the world. We would like to see our money stretch as long as possible and by avoiding expensive parts of the world we can do just that. One day we want to return to places like New Zealand and Western Europe, but for this trip we know that our daily budget is tight and accommodation alone in these places would run us over budget! We will be going to a few places that will be over our daily budget (looking at you Japan), but we are hoping that we can balance this with less expensive places.
We are meeting friends and family along the way so those places are really the only concrete places we have. So without further delay here is what we have so far:
August – Taiwan
September – China (meeting my dad) & South Korea
October – Japan (meeting my parents) & Southeast Asia
November – Southeast Asia & Indonesia (meeting some of our friends)
December – India (hopefully meeting family), more Asia
Janurary to April – South America
May to August – Central/Southern Europe (?)
After December things get more fuzzy…we are trying to keep things flexible and open at this point so we can adjust our itinerary based on how we are feeling, where we know people will be, and other travelers suggestions.
Any suggestions? We have never planned a trip like this. We have never been to really any of these places. We would love your input!