5 Months

January 11th, 2007

Update: Original itinerary below, or see Actual Itineray that I’ll update as I go.

It’s ON. Today i dropped $3,000 for my round-the-world trip. The last couple weeks i’ve been trying to figure out what i wanted, and its definitely not easy. Well, i finally did it. My decision was based on one hard date – doing australia with my california friends in February. Also, I knew i wanted to hit New Zealand and Thailand, and additionally i had a long list of countries i might want to hit, including Vietnam, Cambodia, Taiwan, China, Korea, Japan, India, Turkey, and Spain. I decided to let cheap air fare and fate help me decide, and it did – my itinerary is listed below. After Australia, all my dates are flexible except my last one, arriving in SFO. But even that can be changed for $100.

Sat, Feb 03 - San Francisco to New Zealand - SFO-LAX, LAX-AKL
Sun, Feb 18 - New Zealand to Australia - CHC-SYD
Mon, Mar 05 - Australia to Thailand - SYD-BKK
Sun, Apr 29 - Thailand to India - BKK-DEL
Fri, Jun 01 - India to London - DEL-LHR
Thu, Jun 21 - London to New York City - LHR-JFK
Mon, Jun 25 - New York - San Francisco - JFK-SFO

In the business, my route would be listed by airports like this:
Note that i’ll work my own way from Auckland (AKL) to Christchurch (CHC) in New Zealand.
This trip is 25,236 miles total – according to Great Circle Mapper. Wow.

How did i pick this you say? Well, first i looked into Round-The-World (RTW) on wikipedia, but also found this RTW Guide helpful as well. RTW tickets are great – you get 10 days to a year, you have to pick your route but you can change the dates without any fees. However, the cost when originating in California (or anywhere USA) starts around $4,000. Originating in London is about $1,000 cheaper, and originating in Thailand, Turkey, and a few others can go as low as $2600. Using kayak.com, I figured I could fly to Thailand, Australia, and New Zealand for about $2200, so that made RTW tickets not such a great deal for me. I looked into other options, and dealt with several travel agencies, eventually getting my tickets from World Traveller’s Club. You can find more RTW sites on myweb.

Right now i have about 2 months in Thailand/Vietnam/etc, and a month in India. I’m not sure what i want to do, 2 months in Thailand includes all of SE Asia. Since India is really hot in May, i might reduce my time there and spend more time in SE Asia. I don’t have to decide till march. Hurray for procrastination.

Next thing to do is prepare for the journey – get my travel gear in order, get everything situated in SF for extended leave of absence, and get siked.