So we had decided on Asia due to it being full of different diverese cultures, history and people; as well as it being remarkably cheap to travel! However we did not really know where to start in terms of planning where to go or what route to take. In order to start to figure this out we bought a world map (as we couldn’t find just Asia ones!) and sat down together and pinpointed the places that we wanted to go.
We then organised an appointment at STAtravel Nottingham in order to dicuss different countries, potential routes and tours etc. This ended up being invaluable and Joseph Day our consultant was very helpful. Our half an hour appointment ended up being 3 hours long. He discussed with us places that we might want to visit in each country, discussed travel insurance, some more difficult visas (china) and recommended a great tour in China to combat this. I would definitely recommend arranging a visit with them if you know you want to go away but aren’t sure what you want or where to start .
We were not sure whether to just pay for a flight to Thailand and get individual flights when we were there. We discussed this option vs getting a round the world type ticket. However looking at flights it looked likely to be more expensive this way and having a planned flight route gave us a bit of structure. Although we hadn’t planned to book anything whilst we were there we actually ended up booking our flights as Joesph planned us a personalised route. We bought an International Youth Card for £12 which allowed us access to reduced rate flights through STA travel for under 30s. Due to going in 2017 the majority of the flights are not released yet, therefore we both bought unlimited Multi-Flex passes from STA (£99) which give us unlimited flight changes. This also allows us increased flexibility whilst we are away if our plans change.
Our arranged route is: Fly to Thailand- go overland/ domestic travel to Bali, Indonesia (visiting Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia & Singapore, rest of Indonesia on the way)- fly to Manilla, Phillipines- fly to Tokyo, Japan- fly to Hong Kong- fly home.
It also gave us a specific date to fly out: 15th January 2017. It has made it all very real now booking something!!
So Step 2 to planing your big trip- Plan the specific countries you want to go to and the route you plan to take. Then you can organise how to get there through a travel agent or by booking things independently.