By now, most people who know me are aware that I am leaving in a few weeks on a round-the-world trip! I have been wanting to do this for some years, but needed to sort my residency status in Norway first (and save up more money, of course).
Soon, on June 27th, I will be departing for this exciting adventure! And yes, as usual, I will be solo.
I know that I have been terrible about posting this last year as I have been incredibly busy with work (and traveling!), but I hope to be much better about this while I am on the road. (Incidentally, I have a draft about Machu Picchu I need to post soon)
I bought a RTW ticket from One World, which goes by continents (Explorer pass), which was the best (read cheapest) way to do it for my destinations. I highly recommend this because my friend did a rtw trip last year without a rtw ticket and I think he spent much more money on flights than I will. It is also possible to do one with Star Alliance. Just choose whichever alliance you already have membership/points for.
I used this rtw ticket to select the main hubs for my trip. You can change the dates/times of your tickets without any fees, so it is very flexible. You also get 2 checked bags. You can also choose to have overland segments. For example, when I fly into Cairns, Australia and make my way down the east coast, my next flight is from Sydney. This way you do not have to worry about getting back to the original place.
My ticket goes to:
Oslo-Cape Town-Johannesburg-Bangkok-Hong Kong-Cairns-Sydney-Auckland-Santiago-Buenos Aires-Sao Paolo-Oslo
All of that cost about $3,900, so I think it is a good deal considering the flexibility and the number of long-haul flights on there!
I will also be adding a stop to Miami (and maybe NYC) after Sao Paolo on my way back to Norway because my brother is having a baby in December! 🙂 This will cost me extra, though, because I am adding North America as an additional continent.
In addition to the main hub stops on my rtw ticket, I will use some cheap local flights and buses to get around within countries and regions. If the distance is really far and seems like it will be a nightmare on the bus, I will take a flight. There are a lot of cheap, regional airlines, so often the amount you save on bus fare is not worth a 15hr bus ride on terrible roads.
I am on a budget and am a major planner/researcher (which helps save money), but at 32, I feel I am too old to be a backpacker. I am only staying in places where I have my own room, though I am happy to stay in nicer hostels that provide this option. I think my trip will therefore be a good roadmap for those of you who are a bit older and have saved a little more money than the typical early 20s crowd, but also need to be careful with cash. This is my dream trip; I am not willing to be miserable to save a few bucks.
I plan to visit the below countries, including 16 new ones, and 2 new continents (Africa and Oceania). After this trip, I will have visited all the continents except for Antarctica.
Zimbabwe (Victoria Falls)
Botswana (Okavango Delta)
Thailand (Bangkok, Chang Mai, The Islands)
Cambodia (I will be here for awhile, working on a novel)
Vietnam (Saigon, Mui Ne, Hanoi, Halong Bay)
Laos (Luang Prabang, Vang Vieng, Vientiane)
Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur)
Australia (East coast & Tasmania)
New Zealand (North and South Islands)
Chile (Including Easter Island)
I am very excited! 🙂