Around the world travel, Backpacking, Bucket List, long term travel, Travel, Uncategorized

Preparation Mode

The saying is you can never be too prepared. And for a trip like this, I have to agree. Alright, traveling without an itinerary and seeing where your path leads is really exciting (and probably more adventurous), but given I do have a time limit and a budget that will eventually dry up, I want to do all I can in advance to ensure the best experiences in each place I go, as well as an overall stress free trip.

I first started with an honest look at my budget. Living in New York City for the past 5 years has not really been conducive to saving. And given the trip is just over two months away, I’ve now started to do desperate things, like cancel my cable service and my gym membership. I figure all the trekking will make up for not going to the gym for 2 months!

I was fortunate enough to book the main legs of my journey on frequent flyer miles. If you are a mile hoarder and want to do a trip like this, please note, the airlines actually make it quite feasible, unlike booking a normal frequent flyer ticket for domestic or international travel. Delta offers Around the World tickets, that include 6 flights (or legs), as long as you are moving in one continuous direction, for 180,000 miles in Coach. Considering one international ticket will usually cost you 50,000 miles, this isn’t a bad deal.

I was able to book four legs, Atlanta-London, London-Delhi (via Moscow), Hong Kong-Sydney, and Sydney-Atlanta for 110,000 miles!! The cheap costs of the internal flights made it pointless to use miles.

So the shell of the trip is booked, and I’ve mapped out a logical route within each stretch. The big picture can be overwhelming, so breaking the trip into sections has been helpful. Now I spend every free second with my nose in a Lonely Planet guidebook or surfing the travel sites and blogs online.

I’ve set up an account with couch surfing, and a friend recommended I check out , which seems to be a step up from couch surfing (meaning you might actually get a spare bedroom, not just a couch). I’ve also emailed everyone I know who has traveled to the places I’ll be going to try and get some pointers. Thank you to everyone who has shared their tips, stories and packing lists, as well as offering up their friends to host me!

Wow! Who knew something so fun would be such hard work 😉

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