A Little Planning…Rethinking My RTW Route
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A couple of minor epiphanies and one major change to the travel plan:
- I am a chronic over-planner. I was trying to plan out the minutia – not good. It was driving me absolutely and 100 percent crazy and all of the stress was making me bummed out. My new plan of attack: as long as I know how to get from the airport to my first hostel I’m in the clear.
- I worry too far too much. This trip is supposed to be fun – I have approached this in the entirely wrong way. No more excessive stress, migraines and mini-panic attacks (a very first for me as far as the panic attacks go). I am taking the advice of my friends and getting myself away from my computer screen and away from the non-stop trip obsessing.
- My route was overly ambitious. It is with a touch of sadness that I strike New Zealand from of my RTW travel route.
In one of my brighter moments I decided to post my planned route on the forums at BoostnAll for some advice from seasoned RTW backpackers. The responses to my itinerary were less than favorable.
Okay, who am I kidding?
To be truthful, they schooled me about the logistics of my previous itinerary and remarked that I would never have time to relax and enjoy each country. They ripped apart my route and told me that I would, in the end, regret hitting so many countries. Plus, nearly each person noted that my original route would have shot my budget straight down the tubes.
Planning Your Route Tips
- Don’t over-plan: You can easily book hostels, transportation and activities as you go.
- Leave some to chance: Travelers you meet along the way will have tips and suggestions – an open route gives you a chance to take their first-hand advice.
- Plan a general route: Hit on the continents you want and then let the overland route take shape as you travel.
- Slow down!: This was the most rampant advice that I second (now that I’m partway through the trip). Slow travel costs less, you see more, it’s more fun to meet people and get to know them and you fight travel fatigue with a slow and open route.
With all of that in mind, I (wisely I believe) have begun to “trim the fat” so-to-speak and eliminate some of the more costly parts of the itinerary. And scaling back should not only save me money in the long-run but will give me more time in each of the remaining countries… So, although I’ve heard New Zealand is amazing, I am saving that for another trip.
Update at seven months into this RTW trip – I am sooooo glad that I have taken parts of my itinerary out…there has not been one place yet that I have felt like I had enough time visiting. I am also very glad that I didn’t do a RTW ticket from Airtreks or any of the other places – I have loved the flexibility of planning and buying plane tickets as I go! A lot of other travelers I have encountered have complained of inability to shift the dates around.