So much for just booking a ticket and going… if only it were that easy! The to do list is huge, the budget is not :S
Here’s a few (too many) things to remember when booking adventures:
- When entering most places they require visas. Most places you can pay upon arrival but some you need to acquire before you go, this all depends on what countries you are from as well. Don’t forget to factor in the price of visas when you’re planning a trip-It adds up quickly.
- Ensure your passport is valid (shit i just noticed I have less than 6 months on mine) for the amount of time required by the countries you are traveling through. A lot of countries require you to have 6 months remaining on your New Zealand passport now. Lucky NZ has upped their game and given us 10 year passports!
- Travel insurance, nobody likes to think that bad things may happen, but its a fact that they do. Make sure you do your research, most countries have websites to compare. Our trip is costing us around 500 NZ dollars for the both of us, this includes medical, travel, even if we get our cash stolen.
- Flights… I do a ton of research before booking any flights. is my go-to, you can change the dates if you’re flexible, it has an ‘everywhere’ function if you just want the cheapest fares to explore. write all the details you’ve found down. We actually went to Flight Centre with our research and they matched our price with better routes (it pays to second guess them even if they are just doing their job).
- Transport and accommodation, on a long trip like ours we have chosen to travel through Asia first because it is so affordable. Do your research on the approximate cost of the areas you will be visiting… then add a little extra on to account for any spending money and any mishaps you have along the way.This will determine your budget. You have to be realistic about this, not everyone has a family member that can afford to bail them out when they get stuck! Use sites like Agoda and Air Bnb to determine the prices and styles of accommodation you might find. Read blogs from experienced travellers, you can never be too informed. Asia has a ton of over night sleeper trains and buses that can count for some of the accommodation during our trip, travel and accommodation all in one is always handy.
- Vaccinations, speak to your doctor and find out what you need for the countries you’re visiting. It is always better to be prepared! These also cost money so factor that in.
So, now that I’ve over loaded you with off putting information about the serious stuff.. lets keep saving for the fun stuff!!!
We’ve been super lucky with our backpack finds. I was checking out the local Op shop for a costume one day, when i came across a beauty of a pack….. Kathmandu, 70L stunner of a thing. Guess how much…
$25! WINNING! Our second one wasn’t quite that much of a steal but similar pack for $80 from a lady on Trade Me. These packs retail anywhere between 400-700 new… so I’m pretty stoked. We are still on the lookout for a wicked electronics bag.. we have to fit in all the goodies to document our trip!
I get really frustrated when people say how LUCKY we are to be going on a four month trip. Its not luck mate, its dedication and hard work! Shaun and I have been crazy busy at work, doing extra hours trying to make every penny before we go. Our weekends have consisted of mount walks, movie nights and life admin. No fancy dinners out, no partying, no fun really. This is the price you pay (in New Zealand) if you want to save.
Unfortunately we have been terrible friends and kids, skimping on Christmas presents, birthday presents and mothers day (Ireland) pressies because we literally can’t afford it. So, sorry everyone….. we are hoping a big hug in person is enough!
I’ve cancelled my gym membership, my wax appointments , my nails ( so I’m pretty much a soft, hairy, stubby nailed girl) Shaun has even cut down his protein intake so we can save more money.
We keep telling ourselves its going to be worth it!!! We are fortunate that our work places want us back upon return… I actually cried when i told my boss i was leaving for a long holiday because i thought i would have to find a new job!
Funny side note: One of my clients cried when i said i was leaving for 4 months…. Her hair is more important than my life apparently…CRAZY HAIRDRESSERS ATTRACT CRAZY CLIENTS!
So thats it in a nutshell we have this amazing trip coming up, traveling through all these beautiful places and right now it just feels like a whole lot of stress. Its only on that 1 day off a week we get together that we can actually sit down switch off work mode and let the reality sink in… we are heading off on an epic adventure!
So to lighten the mood here’s our bucket list for the Asian countries so far…
- Cruise Halong bay
- Stay with the hill tribes -Northern Thailand
- Get clothes made in Hoi An 😛
- Cruise on the Mekong river and Floating markets
- Angkor Wat and temples in Cambodia
- Book our wedding venue in Koh Samui
- Cooking class somewhere along the way
- Grand Palace in Bangkok
- Visit Phi Phi
- The Genoside museum and killing fields (morbid but educational)
- Visit Hellfire pass, bridge on the river Kwai and Thong Pha Phum National park
- Kuang Si Falls, Laos
If anyone has any suggestions or just want to say hi, leave us a comment! We need some inspiration from others.
Elle and Shaun x