Planning out a RTW trip can be very daunting! We started with a simple top 10 destination wish list each which we compared and aligned after some discussion. We then researched the weather in our now joined destination wish list to make sure we would avoid major rainy season and too hot weather if possible.
You then have to choose whether to go clock wise or anti clockwise depending on where you want to be when. We choose to travel clockwise as the weather in our planned destinations seemed to work out best that way.
Finalising a round the world trip itinerary
8-9 months before our planned departure date we got in touch with a few travel agencies to get quotes for RTW tickets. Travel Nation worked out cheapest and best for us and we have many dialogues with our appointed travel agent who helped us finalise the trip. We got proposed flights from TN to match our wish list and decided to make some changes due to cost and others due to logistics and recommendation from TN. We allocated a rough time to each destination with the knowledge that most flight dates could be changed with little or no cost along the way.
Involving the kids in planning our year away
Once we had confirmed what countries we were going to and actually bought the ticket, we wanted to get the kids involved and excited about the trip. Paul bought some giant scrapbooks and together with Ingrid and Scott we made 1 spread per country.
Paul and I printed ideas, images and articles from the internet, collected travel magazines and brochures that we put in a big basket together with some scissors and glue sticks. Every weekend, typically on a quiet Sunday morning or afternoon we sat down browsing, sharing ideas, answering questions, cutting and pasting in the travel scrap books together. Not only did it help make the kids feel involved, but I think it also helped them prepare mentally for some of the amazing and strange places we have visited since. We also made Pinterest boards for each country with ideas and tips from other travellers.
Our 12 month Round the World Itinerary
All in all we booked 17 major flights on one round the world ticket. We also got a camper van for Australia and insurance through Travel Nation and it all worked out great. The biggest change to our plans so far is in South America where we are swapping time in Chile and Argentina for more time in Peru and Bolivia. Chile and Argentina are simply too expensive for us to sty in for a longer period of time while Bolivia is one of the cheapest countries. We also swapped Costa Rica for Nicaragua due to cost and that has worked out great so far.
The flights cannot be book more than 1 year in advance, so Travel Nation keeps a log of proposed flights and confirm the bookings while we travel as the tickets become available to book.
Booking & changing the tickets while travelling
Most of our flights are flexible with the dates and can be changes with no cost. Any time we have wanted to move or change a flight we simply email Travel Nation who check possible cost implications, options, rebook the tickets and send us an up to date itinerary.
Change of destination can be dome but is very expensive as it is more or less the same as buying a new ticket.
So, this is the big picture of the travel planning we did before leaving on our trip…the detailed day to day planning is a whole different story for another post another day!