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RTW Itinery - your thoughts please:-)

WELTON139

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  • Added on: October 14th, 2012
Hi,
My name is Ben and my fiance' and i are planning on going travelling next year around april time.
We are looking at going for 6 months.
We have roughly looked at budget and have a rough idea of our itinery but would apreciate your thoughts.

We would fly to st petersberg and then catch the train to moscow spending 2 nights in each.
From here we will fly to saigon.
we will then spend aprox 6 weeks traveling overland through vietnam and through into china as far as shanghai.
We then plan to cross via ferry and spend 2-3 weeks in japan.
we will then fly from tokyo to fiji spending 1 week here.
Fiji-Aukland new zealand. We plan on spending 6 weeks driving through new zealand using a hired campervan.
from here we plan on flying to the faulkland islands for 2 weeks
then flying to new orleans. from here we will Amtrak to san diego and then hire a car to drive the rest of the west coast as far as oregon.

Do you think this is cramming in too much. please let me know your thoughts & advice.

many thanks,
Ben.

UnaSelvaOscura

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  • Added on: October 15th, 2012
Talking as a fellow planner who is yet to start his trip, my impressions are of way too little time in Russia (even if you're restricting yourself to St Petersburg and Moscow - I'm thinking about spending something like 5 days in each and that's just because it doesn't sound like the safest of destinations for non-caucasians, not for lack of stuff to do).
I suppose it's possible to visit China and Vietnam in 6 weeks, but you would be either rushing it or leaving a lot of stuff out (in the beginning I was planning something like two months in southeast asia and one in China - because of a visa limitation - but know I'm of the opinion that I need at least four months to visit SE Asia appropriatly, with one of them just for Vietnam). If you time in China has to do with going from the Vietnam border to Shangai, 3 weeks is plenty, but you would be missing out on Beijing, Xi'an, the Great Wall, just to name the big ones.
I would also add at least a few more days in Japan. A week would let you visit only Tokyo and Kyoto and it would still feel rushed, I think.
As to Fiji, one week is ok, but restrict yourself to only one place, preferably in the smaller islands.
For me, 6 weeks in New Zealand would be too much, but as a rule too much is better than too little and it's certainly a chance to take a breath and slow down, so that's a good thing.
I'm guessing that the faulkland islands are of a personal significance, right? I don't know much about it except for the whole thing with Argentina, but it wouldn't make my list.
Nothing to add to your american itinerary, except to sugest that, if your driving to Oregon, might as well drive a bit further and visit Seattle. But then again, there's always something a bit further and a bit further, so thinking like that might not be constructive.

Is it cramming too much? Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't. As long as you don't try to see everything these countries have to offer in those time frames (except for New Zealand), you might be just fine. Of course, cutting some places out or not ultimately depends on your budget, which you didn't mention. Just remember that it's supposed to be fun and not a marathon.
And have a great trip!

WELTON139

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  • Added on: October 16th, 2012
We have a rough idea of budget but we havnt really properly worked out what we will spend and where. We are budgeting 16-18k. This is for both of us which i hope will be sufficiant.
I really appreciate your input. We are a little limited with the time we have available due to certain commitments but we also want to try and see as much as we can in the time we have available.
We were originally going to make the first leg of our travels via the trans siberian railroad but just felt it wasnt necesarily suited to what we were looking to do, not suited to our budget or timescale. That said, we still wanted to see a couple of the major cities in russia.
New zealand would be a more relaxed leg of our travels especialy as we are hiring a camper van so this takes away a great deal of the stresses & pressure of sorting accomodation and travel. We can also spend as much or as little time in any place as we like. I was unsure what time to allocate to Vietnam/China. Some of the Landmarks you mentioned are those we would definately like to see but we dont want to spend too much time in one place and the miss out seeing another location. I suppose its trying to get that happy medium.
Do you think our budget is realistic?
Thanks,
Ben.

UnaSelvaOscura

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  • Added on: October 16th, 2012
I guess it all comes down to your level of confort. You'll be visiting some expensive places. Russia, Japan, NZ, Fiji and the US are not cheap countries but can be travelled cheap if one sticks to hostels, cheap restaurants, land travel, avoid costly activities and such. The more territory you cover there, the more you'll spend. Most of China (away from the coast) and Vietnam are quite cheap though. 18k can last a semester or can last a month. Bootsnall have a great article on this at

http://www.bootsnall.com/articles/11-12 ... ravel.html

I've been researching much of the places you intend to visit, so I have a few lodging options that might be useful to you. Get in touch if you're interested and let's share some specifics. My e-mail is brunocstf@gmail.com.

Hydro

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  • Added on: October 18th, 2012
Just for fun I put your itinerary into our trip planner to see what it would look like on a map. I wasn't sure where you were starting from so I assumed London (for no other reason than you wanted to go to the Falklands).

Here it is + price
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halfnine

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  • Added on: October 19th, 2012
WELTON139 wrote:We would fly to st petersberg and then catch the train to moscow spending 2 nights in each.
From here we will fly to saigon.


I'd add at least an extra day or two. A week for it all would probably be best. Last minute planning, time changes, adjusting to travel, etc would warrant the extra time just to get into travel mode.

WELTON139 wrote:we will then spend aprox 6 weeks traveling overland through vietnam and through into china as far as shanghai.


Certainly manageable and I don't see any problem with it as long as you travel at the pace you really want to and not necessarily at the pace that is required to do everything along the way. Just work your way from A to B, get as far as you can, and then if you haven't made it to Shanghai with a few days left then it is fairly easy to get either land or air travel from wherever you within China to Shanghai.

WELTON139 wrote:We then plan to cross via ferry and spend 2-3 weeks in japan.


Not unreasonable. Most people only spend a week and don't get much past Kyoto/Tokyo. It's expensive though and, personally, I wouldn't cut corners on experiences to save money. Otherwise you'll limit what you really get out of Japan.

WELTON139 wrote:we will then fly from tokyo to fiji spending 1 week here.
Fiji-Aukland new zealand. We plan on spending 6 weeks driving through new zealand using a hired campervan.
from here we plan on flying to the faulkland islands for 2 weeks


Can't comment as haven't been.

WELTON139 wrote:then flying to new orleans. from here we will Amtrak to san diego and then hire a car to drive the rest of the west coast as far as oregon.


Have you sorted out the time frame and car hire feasibility in terms of cost or availability. I haven't looked at one way rentals in a long time but I don't recall them being all that plausible.

WELTON139

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  • Added on: October 21st, 2012
The last time i looked at car rental it wasnt all that expensive....It was a few months ago i looked but remember it being around the £6-700 mark for the time frame suggested. The camper hire in NZ will be quite a lump but it eliminates the need to look for accomodation and transport. I think the camper was around £1500 for 6 weeks.
If car hire in America isnt possible we would consider using the Amtrak service throughout. West coast America although being reasonably expensive is a part of our journey were 100% sure about making. When we originally discussed going away we first thought of mainly just touring America for 3 months but i decided if we were making the decision to go we may aswel make it a little longer and go RTW. Work is quite a worry, and we have our own place which we will have to rent out but these are all things that can be sorted. I have to do this...My fiance' and I have been together now for nearly 14years and got engaged 2010. We both are really excited about the prospect of a RTW trip before we set a date for our wedding etc.

busman7

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  • Added on: October 21st, 2012
You could consider using Amtrak up the west coast & local car rental where you stop at a place you want to see, that eliminates the one way drop off charge.
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lovetotravel224

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  • Added on: November 15th, 2012
When in Vietnam make a point of visiting the hill tribes in Sapa in the north of the country close to the Chinese border. That was the highlight of our trip and you can sign up for a "tour" that will book your hotel plus a night at the house of a hill tribe member. You get the train from Hanoi - you won't get much sleep as it is 4 to a compartment with up and down bunks but it is worth the trip. We stayed at The Ritz hotel - an inexpensive small local hotel owned by a very enterprising young lady who went overboard to make our stay great and she booked a number of our tours. See tripadvisor http://www.virtualtourist.com/hotels/As ... -BR-1.html
We also stayed in Da Nang and thought it was worth while. The trains are not comfortable and often the air conditioning is not on as the staff find it cold when we do not and it is cheap to fly there so check that out as an option.

It is worth visiting Siem Reap in Cambodia if you get a chance while in the area.

Re the Falklands, unless you are visiting people or have another personal reason to visit it is a long way to go to see very little and 2 weeks would be a very long time there. We stopped there for a day while on a cruise around South America. There is basically one main street with pubs and a few shops, some streets with houses behind that and then very barren terrain. My husband went to see the King Penguins which involved a bumpy 4 hour ride over rough terrain and he really enjoyed that. It would probably be cheaper to fly to Argentina or Chile and take a cruise that stops there than flying there. However one caveat to that is that there is often rough weather there which could prevent the cruise ships from stopping there. Also I see on line that Argentina has prevented British cruise ships from stopping in their ports earlier this year after visiting The Falklands.

Good luck with your trip.



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