People often ask us why we chose the countries we’re visiting and why we’re leaving out places like Africa, China, Australia, or Central America. Here’s some of the aspects of travel we considered when planning a RTW trip itinerary for our route:
- Contacts. Who do you know who lives outside the US? Staying with locals is a great way to connect with family and old friends, experience the culture first-hand, and stretch your travel budget. Our visits to the Netherlands, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Serbia, and Bosnia will include stays with family and friends.
- Season. Rain, heat, and crowds–we tried our best to avoid them. Time of year has a lot to do with how you develop an itinerary. It doesn’t just have to do with weather and climate, but high vs. low tourist season as well. For example, we know that summer is a high tourist time for Europe, which is why we decided hotspots like Santorini and Istanbul would be better fall destinations, and less touristy countries like Slovakia, Bosnia and Serbia would be great places to visit in the depths of summer.
- Cost. Our budget informed much of our itinerary. We definitely wanted to travel for a year, so we decided to visit places where our dollars would stretch. We knew we could see Southeast Asia and South America for less than $100 a day, which is our average daily budget for the year. This is why we skipped locales like Iceland, New Zealand, Australia, Western Europe, and North America (already our 2 days in Boston have proven the point–we’ve much surpassed $100 per day). Focusing half of our year on cheaper countries allows us some spending flexibility for more expensive countries.
- Speed of travel. One of our goals as travelers is to see the world at a slower pace than what we’re used to. To us this meant approximately one country per month, allowing us to live in the places we visit, have time to write, take walks, and visit the same coffee shop every morning. This meant we had to narrow our choices. But for some travelers–the more the better. If this was the case for us, we might have added Morocco, India, China, Brazil, etc.
However much planning we’ve done, we are also flexible to changes, which is one reason why we decided not to buy a Round-the-World ticket (more on that later). It’s possible that weather, events, time, and budget may effect your itinerary.
What did you consider when planning a RTW trip itinerary?