It's complicated and costly. Or at least, that's what I've been told.
Though I'm not the type to believe in everything people say. So I start with a check-list:
- Define the itinerary and the budget
- Get equiped for the adventure
- manage all the administrative aspects
In the end, it doesn't sound that complicated...
Defining the itinerary
First, I think: "what a headache". So many countries to see...
So I sit in front of a world map and draw a loop as per some advice found on the internet. And there we are, I have a first draft.
USA, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, Chile, French Polynesia, New Zealand, Australia, South East Asia, India and Nepal.
Budget & duration
I have no job, some savings and time. So I define the aim: 4 continents, 11 countries & 18 months. For each destination, I choose an approximate duration and I end up with a calendar with flying dates & stops.
First I check to book tickets on my own for a better flexibility which has a cost. So like many, I ask for quotes to several travel agencies *(1) which are specialized in World Tour tickets.
All agencies propose tickets with a validity of 1 year only. And I choose the cheapest one from Zip World: Departure from Paris mid-July 2014 to Jakarta end of April 2015 - 7 flights for 2800€ and 120€ per change.
Calculation is quickly done: 18months x 800€ = about 15 000€ which needs to include transport, accomodation, food and fun.
First goal: light travel
The first time, I made the mistake to travel with a way too heavy bag.
It was a real burden and I regretted my choice of a 60L backpack. So I've learnt from it and now I try to reduce the bag volume to its minimum. So the goal in terms of weight is 8/9kg.
Backpack 40L - Millet Ubic 40
Tent High peak 10052 ultra light "minilite"
Sleeping bag - confort -5°
Sleeping silk sheet
1 Softshell vest - North Face
4 T-shirts & 2 long sleeves
1 pair of outdoors and 1 pair of flip-flops
First aid and toilet kit
Toothbrush and paste
Some bandages and essential oils
Period cups for girls only
Ipad & Iphone to remain connected
I end up with 13kg... A bit more than hoped but I'll cope with it. And hopefully I'll be able to lighten my bag as we go.
18 months is a long time away from home so I need to take care of a few things before leaving.
I'm the owner of my house and I decided not to sell it because of the poor real estate market. If I were renting, I would have given up the flat and put all my belongings in a box.
So I'm renting ly house and I gave a second key to a neighbour; just in case.
Insurance and Bank
I love online services. No need for appointments and no papers which allow me to manage everything from afar.
Financially speaking, I warn my bank that I will be abroad for a while so they don't block my credit card. And I buy a cash passport *(2) which will be my first payment mean.
For the insurance part, the first 3 months are covered with the Visa Premier. And then I'll suscribe to a specialized insurance for travels: Chapka Assurances
Mail and daily tasks
As mentioned, I mainly use online services. So all my bills are paid automaticcally. I guess I will have nothing to take care of.
Though just in case, I trasnfer all my mails to my parents as well as the dog and the cat.
At first sight, my plan looks quite ok and not so expensive.
At the end of the journey, I'll debrief the travel and see if it fitted with the plan ;)!