Location: Oman, Singapore, Chile, Peru, Mexico
I’ve said it before, the problem with frequent travel is that it stops being new and the fun of it sometimes decreases. I remember the first time I went on holiday without my parents, I actually sat on the plane and cried in happiness. It wasn’t even to the most exotic location, but flying was so new to me that I appreciated it so much. I’m a little sad to say that I don’t get that feeling of excitement anymore and to get me excited I need to do something out of the ordinary. And so, when it came to planning our honeymoon, we knew we wanted to do something different to anything we had done before. We decided that we would travel around the world, starting in London, in just 3.5 weeks. Travelling east, stopping in the Middle East, Asia, Australasia, South America and the Caribbean. I wanted to share some tips after our experience, in the hopes that it can be of use to anyone else thinking about their own round the world trip!
1. Know Your Time Frame
Before you plan anything at all, think about what time frame you are working with. Our honeymoon was about three and a half weeks long, and I honestly think that is the minimum you can do for this kind of trip. We only spent three or four days in some countries, and of course that is nowhere near enough time to truly appreciate a place. That being said, it is enough to give you a teaser of the city you are in and whether it is worth travelling back to. Having a good idea about the amount of time you have to play with is necessary to map out your trip, where you plan to visit, how long for and what flights you are going to take. Travel time is also important – say when we had to travel from Australia to Chile, we had a total travel time of 16 hours with a stop over in New Zealand. Would you be willing to do that in a 4 week trip?
2. Map out Your Route! East or West
Now that you have a good idea of how much time you have, it’s time to start picking your countries and planning your route!
We travelled east and began with four days in Oman, which was incredible. One of my favourite destinations in fact. We found that four days was enough to see almost everything we wanted in Muscat, but we will definitely be back to see other towns like Salalah in the south. From Oman we moved on to Singapore, again which we felt we could cover in 3 days. Although if I ever travel to Malaysia, I will likely stop off in Singapore again. From Singapore to Sydney (Australia needs a month at least), then the long trip over to Chile. We were not keen on stopping in Australia as we knew there would not be enough time to see it all, however Sydney was the only place where you could get a flight to Chile. Flight connections is something you need to keep in mind when selecting countries for your round the world trip!
We managed to see what we wanted to see in Santiago (see here), but again one to go back to to see more of the country overall. Peru was next and it was the place we dedicated the most time to – 8 days in total to be able to reach Machu Picchu. After such a long and exhausting trip, it was nice to just relax in Tulum, Mexico, to just lay by the beach and reflect on such an amazing trip. I recommend choosing a relaxing place to end with, either the Caribbean if travelling east or the Middle East if travelling west!
3. Check the Weather
Which leads me to my third point – do remember to check the weather in the different places you are heading to. There is no point going to a country that might be in typhoon season, or the Middle East in August when it is too hot to go outside. This can also influence point 2 – whether you go east to west (or north or south even!) or vice versa. There are plenty of websites you can use to help you do this, but I like to use Responsible Travel, as it is very intuitive.
4. Decide on Your Budget
This sounds a little obvious, but do not underestimate the level of comfort you need to enjoy the trip. Would I do another 16 hours on a plane in economy? No, I would not. This is because the time differences will break you and a long flight does not help at all. When we booked it at the time of planning our wedding, we thought that we could stomach it. It is not for faint-hearted. Aside from flights, you should also think about what accommodation you plan to stay in, and if it’s a lengthy round the world trip, do you plan to work whilst there? The answers to these questions should be well thought out. Whatever happens though, it’s probably not wise to sort your accommodation when you actually arrive. Being in a new country, likely in a foreign language – don’t leave this to chance. Be organised and map out all your hotels or hostels well ahead of time so that you have little stress when you arrive.
5. Use Airline Alliances
Anyone who knows me well knows that I am a big fan of collecting air miles as I love a freebie, but that’s not all airline alliances can offer. You can book your entire round the world trip on one ticket by booking everything through the same alliance program such as OneWorld or Star Alliance. In fact, OneWorld have their own round the world site that you can use to assist in your planning. It’s very easy to use – just pick the points that you want to visit and the dates, and it does the rest for you!
I hope this post was useful and I truly encourage others to try something different and book their own round the world trip. It’s so humbling and a little mind-numbing to think that you can go from one side of the world to the other side within 24 hours. The whole idea of a round the world trip may seem a little daunting, but when re-reading this post, I thought it’s actually not too different to picking a single holiday destination. All it takes is a little organisation and courage! Would you like to go on a round the world trip? Where would you stop? Let me know in the comments!