Plotting Our Course: Part 3

Our (Planned) Route Around the World!

In the previous articles in this series we talked about how we decided to travel the world and how we decided where to go and what route to take. In this article we finally reveal our master plan!

Disclaimer: This route is guaranteed to change. The majority of our research has gone into the first leg of the trip, so the later two legs are still very much up in the air. Even on the first leg it is quite likely that we won’t visit all of the countries here and there may be a few surprise places that aren’t even listed. But this is the plan for now!

This video is a little outdated, but way more fun than the table below.

The First Leg: Asia and Oceania

Country Expected Time In Country Actual Time In Country Expected Daily Budget Actual Daily Budget
1. India 60 days $40
2. China 60 days $60
3. Japan 30 days $150
4. Vietnam 30 days $60
5. Laos 30 days $40
6. Thailand 30 days $60
7. Burma 30 days $50
8. Cambodia 30 days $40
9. Indonesia 30 days $50
10. Singapore 14 days $75
11. Australia 60 days $120
12. New Zealand 30 days $150
13. Micronesia 14 days $60

The Second Leg: Eastern Europe and the Middle East

Country Expected Time In Country Actual Time In Country Expected Daily Budget Actual Daily Budget
14. Russia 30 days $100
15. Estonia* 14 days $80
16. Latvia* 14 days $80
17. Lithuania* 14 days $80
18. Poland* 14 days $80
19. Czech Republic* 14 days $80
20. Austria* 14 days $80
21. Croatia 30 days $80
22. Bosnia and Herzegovina 30 days $80
23. Bulgaria 30 days $80
24. Romania 30 days $80
25. Greece* 14 days $80
26. Turkey 30 days $80
27. Jordan 30 days $60
28. Israel/Palestine 30 days $60
29. Egypt 30 days $60

* Schengen Countries

The Third Leg: Central and South America

Country Expected Time In Country Actual Time In Country Expected Daily Budget Actual Daily Budget
30. Nicaragua 30 days $80
31. Costa Rica 30 days $80
32. Panama 30 days $80
33. Columbia 30 days $80
34. Ecuador 30 days $80
35. Peru 30 days $80
36. Bolivia 30 days $80
37. Chile 30 days $80
38. Argentina 30 days $80

Plotting Our Course: Part 2

Planning Our Route

In the first part of the Plotting our Course series, we discussed how Sam and I decided to travel the world.

In this article we will tackle the question of how we decided what route to take on our trip. There are many variables that have to be balanced to determine the ideal route. Unfortunately, there is no computer program that can take all these variables and give you a perfect route (darn NP-complete problems) so mostly the route came about through a more organic process. However, we did take a number of things into consideration…

Must-See Places

[ptcFlickr id=”8240081120″ position=”right” size=”small 320″ caption=”Holi festival, India”]

After deciding to go RTW, we had a long list of places we had to visit. This was the logical starting point for determining an itinerary. As we started researching, our list kept getting longer and longer…which is how our trip grew from one year to three. We were able to determine exactly when we wanted to visit some places based upon festivals and unique experiences that are only available at certain times of the year. For example, climbing Mt. Fuji in Japan was one of Sam’s must-do activities, but it’s only possible during the summer months. For this reason, we’ll make sure that we’re in Japan in July or August. We did try to keep hard dates like this to a minimum since they limit our flexibility.

Traveling Slowly, Overland

We are not going on vacation for three years. We intend to not only visit different countries, but to learn from our travels. With this in mind we decided that for most countries we visit we will stay at least a month. This isn’t a hard rule, we’ll allow ourselves the flexibility to leave somewhere earlier than this if we so choose, but as a guideline we’ll try not to judge a place too quickly.

[ptcFlickr id=”8240126956″ position=”right” size=”small 320″]

While much of our airfare will be sponsored by the frequent flyer miles we’ve accumulated over the years, there isn’t an unlimited supply, so we’ll be attempting to travel overland as much as we can. Overland travel has many benefits including being less expensive and far more scenic, plus it coincides with our basic travel philosophy of moving slowly.


As we’ll discuss in an upcoming article, we intend to travel very lightly, with one carry-on sized backpack each. With that in mind, we quickly realized there was no way we could take clothes for all weather conditions. Our solution for this is to chase summer around the globe.

Money Matters

Unfortunately we haven’t won the lottery quite yet, so our funds will be limited. We will be on a relatively tight budget, so in order to travel for 3 years we had to look at what traveling in different countries costs. For example, India is an inexpensive country for which we are budgeting $40 a day including food, lodging, sightseeing, and local transportation, but a realistic budget in Australia is closer to $150 a day. Obviously, if we spend all our time in places like Australia our bank accounts will quickly run dry, but we also didn’t want to only visit countries that happen to be more affordable. The key to this is to either spend less time in places like Australia, or to find ways to make those places much less expensive. Much more on how we plan to accomplish this in upcoming posts.

Where to Begin?

There is a hotly contested debate on the best place to start a RTW trip. Many people suggest starting in more familiar western countries where there are fewer language barriers and frustration can be kept to a minimum. We decided to completely ignore this advice and start off with probably the most difficult to travel country: India. No itinerary is perfect!

Stay tuned! In part 3 we’ll finally reveal our planned itinerary!