A little while ago Duncan and I decided to ‘pack in our jobs and go travelling’ and today feels like the best day to start our travel blog.
As you can probably guess, we are going to Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand between the 10th August 2016 – 4th January 2017 (after spending Christmas/New Year with family)
Anyway, a little thing you should know is that I am an obsessive, control freak whose job is to coordinate, manage and control, while Duncan is from a small village somewhere in Wales who has only really recently left the UK for the first time. So as you can imagine, this is a pretty scary thing for the both of us!
We have set the budget for around £7,000 each (roughly), and split into the following:
- £1000 a month
- £1000 for flights
- £1000 for insurance, visa, and vaccinations etc…
So, where do you start when you’re planning such a big trip?
Well I have always been a believer of organising trips myself, and find travel companies a massive rip off so when Duncan suggested popping into STA travel, I wasn’t particular keen…however I must admit I have been completely shown up. The first time we popped into the St Paul’s, London branch – the lady was lovely, no pressure, and gave us loads of information around route, insurance, maps etc… but without any pressures of having to book.
After a little while of planning, budgeting and researching we popped back into STA Travel, Covent Garden and met ‘Travel Expert Nikki’ who after much discussions, and a second trip back booked us our first two months and saved us something like £800! Thanks Nikki!
So, what have we booked? Two months in one hit sounds like a lot?
When travelling for a long time, especially somewhere as relaxed (and cheap) as Southeast Asia, it’s not normally advisable to book so much in one go. However, when visiting STA we were after a mini tour for when we first arrived in Bangkok, not only so we had a bit of a guide during the culture change, but so we could meet fellow travelers straight away. Nikki suggested ‘Stray Asia’ a semi-structured tour ….
The beauty of Stray Asia is that it’s a hop-on, hop-off tour pass with 37 days’ accommodation, travel and activities (so many!) Therefore, if we fall in love with a location we can stay for as long as we want, and join the tour again when we fancy.
Alongside this, we booked a STA Travel MultiFLEX pass, which means we can change our flight dates if necessary so aren’t set on the 4th Jan if we want to stay longer.
Apart from the above there isn’t too much to say right now, but I wanted to start writing now as I haven’t found too many blogs about the ‘pre-trip’ and that information can be rather useful when planning to travel.
I will keep you updated with our plans…. at the moment I am writing my Inventory and trying to find a backpack suitable for a small, not very strong woman who likes a lot of stuff!
Travel inspiration needed:
Useful sites so far:
Helped me with my inventory: http://herpackinglist.com/
Helped with guide prices for budgets: https://www.lonelyplanet.com/asia
STA Travel MultiFLEX: http://www.statravel.co.uk/multiflex-pass.htm
Vaccinations etc (via NHS): http://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/destinations/asia-(east)/
UK Visa and Immigration: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/uk-visas-and-immigration
Vietnamese trains: http://seat61.com/