I have had to forego Russia as the Visa takes too long and the delays have prevented me time to get the London for the biometric recording and visa application, with details of stopovers etc. for a ‘letter of invitation’; similarly, the Chinese visa too will take the two weeks that I only just have for my time frame. I am sad because this was a key part of my trip doing the Trans Mongolian Express and stopping in Mongolia as well as seeing Moscow, and the Terracota Warriors and Great Wall for example, and potentially the pandas!
So beware if this is you! I know my own schedule was quite quick to do as most people apparently book RTW tickets months in advance – and now I know why…
- Injections over three weeks at least, and Malaria pre trip if you need it immediately to where you’re going (mine for Peru so later on)
- Expense so you may need to be saving and planning, paying as you go whereas I haven’t with one ‘trip of a lifetime’ plan
- Visas – these are tricky, costly and more time consuming than you imagine, having to manage the various passport passing around for a multi-visit trip like this
- Planning visits, what to see, where to go, how to get from A to B and then C etc
- Planning the baggage, the clothing, the packing etc
So the preparation has to be project managed in a timely manner! And it has worked, but visa problems meant changes.
The planning the route with the travel agent took ages, with I have to say, so many restrictions being added at each visit for me!
Initially I was told in May I could do it and use the 29,000 mile rule (then 32, 35 and 39,000 mile options), an approximate cost which was fair, but I wasn’t ready or able to book there and then. Recently, this week I was ready and took a couple of hours to discuss and plan, but apparently without specific dates no bookings could be made! Also, I could only have ’16 sectors’ which actually meant flight stops.
Fine. I went away and over the next day, looked at dates, how long I needed in each place, some travel lengths and costs etc. When I went back it was then added that I could only use four continents for my 16 sectors, with only 4 sectors in each continent! And only certain carriers to and from certain cities … oh, and you can land and leave only from the same city!
So with each added level of restriction, the plans had to be changed and reduced, moved etc. and in the end it was a whole day and still not done! So I had to do by email and phone, with all my new knowledge of how to book a RTW ticket!
Eventually done, and my itinerary is:
Manchester-Bangkok for three months to cover Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos.
I would now like to visit the island of Ko Samui having just learned about it but looks and sounds fab!
And also Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia having heard I can fly from there to Australia which will be the the next stage
Around Aus for three months from Sydney, within my visa term (i.e. 12 weeks not date to date three months later I have also learned!) to Cairns, Adelaide and then New Zealand from Sydney for two months!
As a Lord of the Rings fan that I am, this will be a treat! A real hobbit hole, Hobbiton itself, the sites of the battles and I now hear, you can dress up in the characters gear! Ho, ho, what fun! Photos will be posted ….promise!
Then from New Zealand to Chile (as they only fly there …) then to Peru for Matchuu Pitchuu and the Amazon.
This was then going on to Mexico and Cuba but cannot be either because of restrictions on continents and links with America that might have been. Oh so complicated!
So I miss the Mayans this time, and my Salsa after all my practice! Hey ho, next time maybe.
So future plans include the Trans Mongolian trip, then North America, and Cuba separately although so close to USA and Peru!
Then back to Europe and a trip around Spanish area and nearby before final return to London.
But will I want to come back?!