Itinerary: An RTW in the Making

An adventure awaits. Find out what’s in store for us in 2012!

The idea came about during our Mediterranean cruise in 2009. On our flight home, we talked how ‘It’d be nice to take 3 months off to travel’ while G doodled on a napkin of places we’d like to visit — one month in France, maybe Spain. We quickly realized 3 months was just not enough time. So the ball was in motion and our master plan to take 6 months off to travel the world!

Before you know it, the world narrowed down to just Asia and 6 months stretched to 8. Throw in Australia and New Zealand because we couldn’t pass up the opportunity and there you have itour RTW itinerary!

Up until 2 weeks ago, this was still just an idea. Something we’d definitely do one day, just not exactly sure when. But you know what they say, ‘Timing is everything.’

G was laid off.

And here we are today, first one-way ticket booked and planning the biggest adventure of our lives! *doing the happy dance* 

Our start date.

December 27, 2011. I wanted to stick around long enough to spend Christmas with the family but could not pass up celebrating New Years in another country.

 

RTW mapped.

I must have drafted a dozen itineraries. Played out every option from India first to to India last. Adding and then omitting Myanmar. Shifting countries around based on distance, based on logic and then based on cost. And finally.. finally we’ve reached the pillars of our RTW.

rtw-notes_0

Last week, G’s job quit him and he wrote this post. He also released a snippet of our RTW plans — We’re trippin’ the world with stops in Asia, Australia and New Zealand!

We thought about a full Round-the-World trip. But we quickly realized we’d be trippin’ the same way we’ve done in the past, spending a few short days maybe a week here and there and on to the next big city. Only now we’d be doing that for 8 months straight! That doesn’t sound like fun.

We want to move slow without feeling the need to see everything.

There’s plenty of time for the rest of the world, so we opted for a half RTW if you will — choosing more time in one place over a complete Round-the-World trip.

A half RTW is still quite a list if you ask me. Here’s roughly where we plan to visit and when.

December/January
  • New Zealand
February
  • Australia
March
  • Singapore / Malaysia
  • India
April
  • Thailand
May
  • Japan
  • South Korea
June
  • China
  • Cambodia
July
  • Vietnam
  • Indonesia
August
  • Hawaii
Our end date.

Our good friends are getting married in Hawaii early August 2012!

You’re probably wondering, “Are we coming home early for this wedding?” The answer is No. It just so happens timing worked out perfectly. We will also be celebrating G’s 29th birthday in Hawaii with great friends!

You’re invited!

Obviously asking our friends to join us on such an extended trip is not realistic. But that doesn’t mean we can’t meet somewhere in the middle. :)

How does a Full Moon Party in Thailand sound? Snorkeling through the Great Barrier Reef? A week of indulgence in Singapore?

Let’s meet up! If you’re in the area and want to connect, let us know!

Got tips?

We’re newbies on the RTW market so any travel tips you can give us on where we’re heading or not, things we should see, do and eat (or not), we’d appreciate it.

Likewise, if you’ve got questions, shoot ’em over. We’d love to hear from you.

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  • http://www.nodnsmile.com nod ‘n’ smile

    Congrats on figuring our your itinerary! My boyfriend and I are also currently planning a rtw trip scheduled for next summer. It looks like we’ll be leaving just as you’re finishing out your trip, so we’ll have to live vicariously through you until then. I’ve been to a few of the places on your list and Indonesia is one of my favorite countries in the world. That’s awesome you’ll be closing out with that and Hawaii!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Kieu – GQ trippin

      We’ll be sure to take lots of notes. 😉 Wish we could meet somewhere in the middle but the great thing about it is we too can live vicariously through you when you embark on your own rtw trip. I’m stoked about Indonesia so any tips you can give us would be awesome. 😀

  • http://www.nodnsmile.com nod ‘n’ smile

    Congrats on figuring our your itinerary! My boyfriend and I are also currently planning a rtw trip scheduled for next summer. It looks like we’ll be leaving just as you’re finishing out your trip, so we’ll have to live vicariously through you until then. I’ve been to a few of the places on your list and Indonesia is one of my favorite countries in the world. That’s awesome you’ll be closing out with that and Hawaii!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      We’ll be sure to take lots of notes. 😉 Wish we could meet somewhere in the middle but the great thing about it is we too can live vicariously through you when you embark on your own rtw trip. I’m stoked about Indonesia so any tips you can give us would be awesome. 😀

  • http://www.twoOregonians.com twoOregonians

    So excited for you guys! Love the you’ve purchased those first tickets and that the departure date is right around the corner. I love, love, love New Zealand — I’ll be peeking over your shoulder for sure this December/January while you’re exploring my favorite country :)

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Kieu – GQ trippin

      I already LOVE NZ and we haven’t even left yet! haha. Looking forward to “dinner” tomorrow. =D

  • http://www.twoOregonians.com twoOregonians

    So excited for you guys! Love the you’ve purchased those first tickets and that the departure date is right around the corner. I love, love, love New Zealand — I’ll be peeking over your shoulder for sure this December/January while you’re exploring my favorite country :)

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      I already LOVE NZ and we haven’t even left yet! haha. Looking forward to “dinner” tomorrow. =D

  • http://www.donteverlookback.com Amy & Kieron

    Huge congratulations on buying that first ticket! Hopefully our paths will cross – if not in Australia in February then maybe Thailand in April for the Songkran Festival.

    And Hawaii is the perfect place to end your RTW – we started our journey there and it will be great for you to wind down and share some great times with friends.

    • http://www.donteverlookback.com Amy & Kieron

      Oh, and great choice to take it slow! We’ve been doing that whole week here, few days there and it is absolutely exhausting moving from hotel to hotel.

      Can’t wait for 17 days in NYC so that we can finally relax and immerse ourselves in Manhattan.

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Kieu – GQ trippin

      Songkran and Full Moon?! 😉 Let’s do it! How has the US been treating you thus far? Aside from the fattening food.. LOL.

      • http://www.donteverlookback.com Amy & Kieron

        Sounds like a plan! Haha. We’re definitely keen, just depends on budget at the time.

        Been enjoying the US, so glad to finally be in NYC though. Had a great night out tonight, looking forward to another 2 weeks here. :)

  • http://www.donteverlookback.com Amy & Kieron

    Huge congratulations on buying that first ticket! Hopefully our paths will cross – if not in Australia in February then maybe Thailand in April for the Songkran Festival.

    And Hawaii is the perfect place to end your RTW – we started our journey there and it will be great for you to wind down and share some great times with friends.

    • http://www.donteverlookback.com Amy & Kieron

      Oh, and great choice to take it slow! We’ve been doing that whole week here, few days there and it is absolutely exhausting moving from hotel to hotel.

      Can’t wait for 17 days in NYC so that we can finally relax and immerse ourselves in Manhattan.

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      Songkran and Full Moon?! 😉 Let’s do it! How has the US been treating you thus far? Aside from the fattening food.. LOL.

      • http://www.donteverlookback.com Amy & Kieron

        Sounds like a plan! Haha. We’re definitely keen, just depends on budget at the time.

        Been enjoying the US, so glad to finally be in NYC though. Had a great night out tonight, looking forward to another 2 weeks here. :)

  • Aussiegirlinindia

    Great to see your trip coming together. You do have a lot planned in a short time, but I am sure you will plan it out with plenty of mini-breaks. I look forward to hearing about the rest of the journey.

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Kieu – GQ trippin

      Isn’t that funny? We’ve narrowed down the world and still it looks like we’re going to need more time. 3 weeks in India now feels too short. We’ll need all the help you can give us. And yes, breaks are a must. It’s a good thing nothing is concrete. We’ll take it one day at a time. :) Thanks for trippin’ by.

  • Aussiegirlinindia

    Great to see your trip coming together. You do have a lot planned in a short time, but I am sure you will plan it out with plenty of mini-breaks. I look forward to hearing about the rest of the journey.

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      Isn’t that funny? We’ve narrowed down the world and still it looks like we’re going to need more time. 3 weeks in India now feels too short. We’ll need all the help you can give us. And yes, breaks are a must. It’s a good thing nothing is concrete. We’ll take it one day at a time. :) Thanks for trippin’ by.

  • http://www.bittenbythetravelbug.com Nicole Smith

    Awesome stuff!

    You’re missing Adelaide, South Australia (and Australia’s best wine :P) but if I can I’ll defiantly try to get to Melbourne or Sydney for a tweet-up!

    Can’t wait to hear more about your adventures – so many countries, so exciting!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Kieu – GQ trippin

      1 vote Adelaide! Actually, Australia was much bigger but we figured time might not be on our side. But the good thing is nothing is concrete so we’re keeping our options wide open. You got me at wine. lol. How many days do you think we’ll need for Adelaide? We’ll most likely be flying in to Melbourne from Christchurch, NZ. Would LOVE a tweet up. Thanks!

      • http://www.bittenbythetravelbug.com Nicole Smith

        Oh brilliant! I’ll defiantly try to get to Melbourne if you can’t get to RADelaide. :)

        Depends what you’re interested in. I mean, Adelaide CBD can be done in a day/two days (again, depending on interests etc.) but to explore the wine regions (your choose of Barossa Valley, Clare Valley, McLaren Vale + more!) – If you just want to do a 1 day wine tour you can do that but you could stay overnight (it’s rather beautiful out there!)

        Or perhaps you want to visit the Adelaide Hills – places like Hahndorf (German town) are a day trip, can be gotten there by public transport.

        Or visit Victor Harbour (2hr drive from Adelaide but home to Granite Island and Fairy Penguins) on your way to Kangaroo Island (I’ve never been there – yet! – but Oprah seemed to like it :P), that is of course more time.

        I mean, you may be interested in doing a tour from Adelaide to Uluru via. Coober Pedy and stay in caves (yes, there are cave hotels!) and pan for opals!

        Let me know if there is anything I can help you with about anything Australia! If I don’t know the answer I can defiantly find out from someone and help you. :)

        Hrm… maybe I should ask Tourism SA for a job after that! Haha! 😛

        • http://www.bittenbythetravelbug.com Nicole Smith

          just throwing it in there – Jan to March is the best time to visit Adelaide. We have the Tour DownUnder (HUGE bike race), Fringe Festival (comedy festival.. also in Melbourne but I think that’s April-ish) and Womad (I’m not sure how to explain it – it’s part music festival, part art event – very laid back and kind of interesting!)

  • http://www.bittenbythetravelbug.com/ Nicole Smith

    Awesome stuff!

    You’re missing Adelaide, South Australia (and Australia’s best wine :P) but if I can I’ll defiantly try to get to Melbourne or Sydney for a tweet-up!

    Can’t wait to hear more about your adventures – so many countries, so exciting!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      1 vote Adelaide! Actually, Australia was much bigger but we figured time might not be on our side. But the good thing is nothing is concrete so we’re keeping our options wide open. You got me at wine. lol. How many days do you think we’ll need for Adelaide? We’ll most likely be flying in to Melbourne from Christchurch, NZ. Would LOVE a tweet up. Thanks!

      • http://www.bittenbythetravelbug.com/ Nicole Smith

        Oh brilliant! I’ll defiantly try to get to Melbourne if you can’t get to RADelaide. :)

        Depends what you’re interested in. I mean, Adelaide CBD can be done in a day/two days (again, depending on interests etc.) but to explore the wine regions (your choose of Barossa Valley, Clare Valley, McLaren Vale + more!) – If you just want to do a 1 day wine tour you can do that but you could stay overnight (it’s rather beautiful out there!)

        Or perhaps you want to visit the Adelaide Hills – places like Hahndorf (German town) are a day trip, can be gotten there by public transport.

        Or visit Victor Harbour (2hr drive from Adelaide but home to Granite Island and Fairy Penguins) on your way to Kangaroo Island (I’ve never been there – yet! – but Oprah seemed to like it :P), that is of course more time.

        I mean, you may be interested in doing a tour from Adelaide to Uluru via. Coober Pedy and stay in caves (yes, there are cave hotels!) and pan for opals!

        Let me know if there is anything I can help you with about anything Australia! If I don’t know the answer I can defiantly find out from someone and help you. :)

        Hrm… maybe I should ask Tourism SA for a job after that! Haha! 😛

        • http://www.bittenbythetravelbug.com/ Nicole Smith

          just throwing it in there – Jan to March is the best time to visit Adelaide. We have the Tour DownUnder (HUGE bike race), Fringe Festival (comedy festival.. also in Melbourne but I think that’s April-ish) and Womad (I’m not sure how to explain it – it’s part music festival, part art event – very laid back and kind of interesting!)

  • Anonymous

    I’m excited what the adventure would entail. And I’m sure many of the experiences will be life-changing. I’ll definitely be subscribing to your page come December so it feels like I’m there with you guys while you’re out and about. Who knows, it sounds more than possible that Frances and I would eventually run into you guys if we ever decide to meet in ‘your area’.

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      It’d be awesome if we could meet up! Just make sure Frances brings the cheetos. :)

  • cookedwords

    I’m excited what the adventure would entail. And I’m sure many of the experiences will be life-changing. I’ll definitely be subscribing to your page come December so it feels like I’m there with you guys while you’re out and about. Who knows, it sounds more than possible that Frances and I would eventually run into you guys if we ever decide to meet in ‘your area’.

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      It’d be awesome if we could meet up! Just make sure Frances brings the cheetos. :)

  • http://listraveltips.com Lis Sowerbutts

    OK I think you are not taking into account the sizes of these countries. A month in NZ is reasonable – 3 weeks in India? You could tour Rajasthan in that time moving fairly fast flying in and out of Delhi – but that would be about it. I too would vote for Adelaide – you are heading up the east coast into the wet season and the stingers (wouldnt be able to swim in the sea) – personally I’d think you’d see something far more interesting by flying to Sydney or Melbourne – heading to Adelaide and then maybe up thru the center or on to Perth if you can handle the heat.

    You’re doing a lot backtracking in Asia – why not fly to Bali from Darwin or Perth – overland to KL – pick up Air Asia to India and back – carry on north overland thru Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, China. Frankly with only 5 months in Asia I’d drop either India and/or SKorea Japan – you will still be hurrying.

    Just don’t book a lot of flights in advance – your plans will change. The exception is Australia/NZ you are coming in our peak tourist season (Im a NZer) – so it will be busy and its school holidays so book any flights ASAP otherwise you will pay thru the nose.

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Kieu – GQ trippin

      Thanks for the tips, Lis. And to think that list was much longer! LOL. It’s a good thing nothing is set in stone and we’re flexible. I’m sure they’ll be plenty changes once we’re on the road. As for Asia, the only thing that’s somewhat concrete is Thailand in April for Songkran/ Full Moon party. Looks like we now have 2 votes for Adelaides! Let’s see if I can convince G we have enough time for that. =P Thanks for trippin’ by.

  • http://listraveltips.com Lis Sowerbutts

    OK I think you are not taking into account the sizes of these countries. A month in NZ is reasonable – 3 weeks in India? You could tour Rajasthan in that time moving fairly fast flying in and out of Delhi – but that would be about it. I too would vote for Adelaide – you are heading up the east coast into the wet season and the stingers (wouldnt be able to swim in the sea) – personally I’d think you’d see something far more interesting by flying to Sydney or Melbourne – heading to Adelaide and then maybe up thru the center or on to Perth if you can handle the heat.

    You’re doing a lot backtracking in Asia – why not fly to Bali from Darwin or Perth – overland to KL – pick up Air Asia to India and back – carry on north overland thru Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, China. Frankly with only 5 months in Asia I’d drop either India and/or SKorea Japan – you will still be hurrying.

    Just don’t book a lot of flights in advance – your plans will change. The exception is Australia/NZ you are coming in our peak tourist season (Im a NZer) – so it will be busy and its school holidays so book any flights ASAP otherwise you will pay thru the nose.

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      Thanks for the tips, Lis. And to think that list was much longer! LOL. It’s a good thing nothing is set in stone and we’re flexible. I’m sure they’ll be plenty changes once we’re on the road. As for Asia, the only thing that’s somewhat concrete is Thailand in April for Songkran/ Full Moon party. Looks like we now have 2 votes for Adelaides! Let’s see if I can convince G we have enough time for that. =P Thanks for trippin’ by.

  • http://twitter.com/thatbackpacker Audrey Bergner

    Moving slow sounds like the way to go! You guys have a killer schedule. I look forward to following your adventures ;D

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Kieu – GQ trippin

      Thanks Audrey. If nothing else, that’s the plan — move slow. :)

  • Audrey

    Moving slow sounds like the way to go! You guys have a killer schedule. I look forward to following your adventures ;D

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      Thanks Audrey. If nothing else, that’s the plan — move slow. :)

  • http://www.livingthedreamrtw.com Jeremy

    I think you have a great itinerary. I was planning 14 months and ended up only being gone for 5, and now planning another year off later. A lot of people may tell you that a week in Singapore is a lot, but I really enjoyed it and ended up doing just about everything twice. When you start getting close to SE Asia let me know as I have a lot of hotel recommendations :).

    I would also say don’t make many plans too far in advance. Even airfare in SE Asia is cheap a few days out pending no natural disasters. I was in the huge monsoon in Vietnam last year.. flooding, trains out of commission and the only way to get from one city to another was flying. Blew a hole in my whole no-flights plan but I got the last city.. it was business class.. and $90 for a 90 minute flight complete with meal and free lounge access. Wasn’t that bad even if it was “expensive”

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Kieu – GQ trippin

      Thanks Jeremy! We’ll definitely keep in contact for any recommendations you have on hotels. Although not sure how many hotels we’ll have the opportunity to stay at. ;D But if the price is right.. you bet I’ll be pushing for it.

      As for flights.. I still can’t believe I’ll be making decisions and purchasing flights on the fly. This is all new to me and the thought of cheap last minute flights is awesome! Business class for $90?! Lol.. that is “expensive”. 😉

      • http://www.livingthedreamrtw.com/ Jeremy

        Ok so I just realized that I had already replied to this post before. So disregard the other comment I just posted! Totally did not see your follow up a few months ago.

        You’ll find that hotels are incredibly cheap in SE Asia, especially in places like Vietnam. You probably would only spend a couple dollars more than you would for two dorm beds to get a high quality private room. I think I stayed in nearly all privates in Vietnam because it was so cheap.

        Last minute flights are really easy as long as you are not crossing the oceans. The budget carriers in Asia rule. I had two flights (Singapore to Thailand and another return) for about $50-$75 each, and those were without sales.

  • http://www.livingthedreamrtw.com Jeremy

    I think you have a great itinerary. I was planning 14 months and ended up only being gone for 5, and now planning another year off later. A lot of people may tell you that a week in Singapore is a lot, but I really enjoyed it and ended up doing just about everything twice. When you start getting close to SE Asia let me know as I have a lot of hotel recommendations :).

    I would also say don’t make many plans too far in advance. Even airfare in SE Asia is cheap a few days out pending no natural disasters. I was in the huge monsoon in Vietnam last year.. flooding, trains out of commission and the only way to get from one city to another was flying. Blew a hole in my whole no-flights plan but I got the last city.. it was business class.. and $90 for a 90 minute flight complete with meal and free lounge access. Wasn’t that bad even if it was “expensive”

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      Thanks Jeremy! We’ll definitely keep in contact for any recommendations you have on hotels. Although not sure how many hotels we’ll have the opportunity to stay at. ;D But if the price is right.. you bet I’ll be pushing for it.

      As for flights.. I still can’t believe I’ll be making decisions and purchasing flights on the fly. This is all new to me and the thought of cheap last minute flights is awesome! Business class for $90?! Lol.. that is “expensive”. 😉

      • http://www.livingthedreamrtw.com/ Jeremy

        Ok so I just realized that I had already replied to this post before. So disregard the other comment I just posted! Totally did not see your follow up a few months ago.

        You’ll find that hotels are incredibly cheap in SE Asia, especially in places like Vietnam. You probably would only spend a couple dollars more than you would for two dorm beds to get a high quality private room. I think I stayed in nearly all privates in Vietnam because it was so cheap.

        Last minute flights are really easy as long as you are not crossing the oceans. The budget carriers in Asia rule. I had two flights (Singapore to Thailand and another return) for about $50-$75 each, and those were without sales.

  • Flipnomad

    skipping the philippines? check out el nido, palawan :-)

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      We’d love to go to Boracay and Cebu and all the other cool places. Just wish we had more time!

  • Flipnomad

    skipping the philippines? check out el nido, palawan :-)

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      We’d love to go to Boracay and Cebu and all the other cool places. Just wish we had more time!

  • http://www.scenewithahart.com I Hart Travel

    New reader/subscriber, discovered you through Adventurous Kate’s blog.
    Congrats on your upcoming quest. I live in Japan, so if I am here in May (might be deployed) and you are in the Tokyo/Yokohama area, I’d be happy to be a guide. People think that Japan is too expensive to include on a RTW trip or backpacking trip, but you can definitely enjoy Japan without busting your wallet.
    I haven’t read all the comments here, so if I am saying something you’ve already heard I apologize. But my advice for SE Asia is this:
    I went to Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia in June. The weather was smoldering hot. Going to Thailand in April is good because it isn’t yet monsoon season and you may be there for Songkran. What I suggest is also going to Vietnam, Cambodia and maybe Laos then too. It is so easy to travel between the countries (you’ll need Visas for Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos) and I think you will save a lot of money on travel if you do them all at the same time, rather than flying back after you visit S. Korea.

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      I too have heard Japan can be expensive (mainly Tokyo). But we’re stoked about visiting. Q is hoping the cherry blossoms are still around in May. What’s the latest on the radiation situation?
      We sorta knew the whether might be unbearable in Cam/Vietnam during those months, but we had to route our itinerary based on ideal weather, cost, and events in other countries as well. Hopefully you’re still around in May! Thanks for trippin’ by!

      • http://www.scenewithahart.com I Hart Travel

        Depending on the area, you may still be able to see the sakura in Japan. If you want the postcard shots that you get in Kyoto, Osaka and Tokyo, you’ll need to be there at the beginning of April. I was fortunate to see the tail end of the sakura this year after our return to Japan was delayed until mid-April due to the natural disasters.
        Unless you plan on being in Sendai, I don’t think you need to worry about the radiation plant. If there was a worry, the military would not be here.
        Since you will be in Japan in Spring, take a look at Sapporo, Hokaido prefecture too. I would definitely recommend you visit Osaka, Kyoto, Hiroshima and Nara though. In fact, you can find discount tickets to Japan if you fly into Osaka rather than Tokyo. Air Asia flies to Osaka from some countries.
        I am taking the overnight bus- as opposed to the high cost, high speed bullet train- from Tokyo to Kyoto this week. I will let you know how that goes. That way, if you plan on seeing Kyoto and Tokyo, you have a lesser expensive way of traveling than the bullet train.
        Have you gone to the Full Moon Party website to see what date the moon will be full in April?

        • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

          Yup. It’s going to be a squeeze trying to celebrate full moon party given that Songkran is a couple days right after it next year. Mainly because we want to celebrate Songkran in Chiang Mai because we heard it’s the biggest up there. Thanks for the all the tips!

  • http://www.scenewithahart.com/ Fidel

    New reader/subscriber, discovered you through Adventurous Kate’s blog.
    Congrats on your upcoming quest. I live in Japan, so if I am here in May (might be deployed) and you are in the Tokyo/Yokohama area, I’d be happy to be a guide. People think that Japan is too expensive to include on a RTW trip or backpacking trip, but you can definitely enjoy Japan without busting your wallet.
    I haven’t read all the comments here, so if I am saying something you’ve already heard I apologize. But my advice for SE Asia is this:
    I went to Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia in June. The weather was smoldering hot. Going to Thailand in April is good because it isn’t yet monsoon season and you may be there for Songkran. What I suggest is also going to Vietnam, Cambodia and maybe Laos then too. It is so easy to travel between the countries (you’ll need Visas for Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos) and I think you will save a lot of money on travel if you do them all at the same time, rather than flying back after you visit S. Korea.

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      I too have heard Japan can be expensive (mainly Tokyo). But we’re stoked about visiting. Q is hoping the cherry blossoms are still around in May. What’s the latest on the radiation situation?
      We sorta knew the whether might be unbearable in Cam/Vietnam during those months, but we had to route our itinerary based on ideal weather, cost, and events in other countries as well. Hopefully you’re still around in May! Thanks for trippin’ by!

      • http://www.scenewithahart.com/ Fidel

        Depending on the area, you may still be able to see the sakura in Japan. If you want the postcard shots that you get in Kyoto, Osaka and Tokyo, you’ll need to be there at the beginning of April. I was fortunate to see the tail end of the sakura this year after our return to Japan was delayed until mid-April due to the natural disasters.
        Unless you plan on being in Sendai, I don’t think you need to worry about the radiation plant. If there was a worry, the military would not be here.
        Since you will be in Japan in Spring, take a look at Sapporo, Hokaido prefecture too. I would definitely recommend you visit Osaka, Kyoto, Hiroshima and Nara though. In fact, you can find discount tickets to Japan if you fly into Osaka rather than Tokyo. Air Asia flies to Osaka from some countries.
        I am taking the overnight bus- as opposed to the high cost, high speed bullet train- from Tokyo to Kyoto this week. I will let you know how that goes. That way, if you plan on seeing Kyoto and Tokyo, you have a lesser expensive way of traveling than the bullet train.
        Have you gone to the Full Moon Party website to see what date the moon will be full in April?

        • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

          Yup. It’s going to be a squeeze trying to celebrate full moon party given that Songkran is a couple days right after it next year. Mainly because we want to celebrate Songkran in Chiang Mai because we hard it’s the biggest up there. Thanks for the all the tips!

  • Tracey

    My tip for the barrier reef. Make sure to go on a tour that takes you out on to the reef rather than a trip to an island that you snorkel off. I’ve done both and it was awful walking out over the coral to get deep enough to snorkel. Much better fish out in the middle too!! We swam with turtles and reef sharks!!!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      Good tip. Any tours you recommend? I love to snorkel and am really looking forward to the great barrier reef. I hope those sharks aren’t hungry when I’m around them. =P Thanks for trippin’ by!

  • Tracey

    My tip for the barrier reef. Make sure to go on a tour that takes you out on to the reef rather than a trip to an island that you snorkel off. I’ve done both and it was awful walking out over the coral to get deep enough to snorkel. Much better fish out in the middle too!! We swam with turtles and reef sharks!!!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      Good tip. Any tours you recommend? I love to snorkel and am really looking forward to the great barrier reef. I hope those sharks aren’t hungry when I’m around them. =P Thanks for trippin’ by!

  • Eileen Mai

    Wow, an impressive plan! Live to your dream, I’d love to do this kind of travel someday, may be when my boys are a little bit older.

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      Recommendation: Do it before they hit middle school, it’ll be easier to take them out of their normal lives during that time. :)

  • Eileen Mai

    Wow, an impressive plan! Live to your dream, I’d love to do this kind of travel someday, may be when my boys are a little bit older.

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      Recommendation: Do it before they hit middle school, it’ll be easier to take them out of their normal lives during that time. :)

  • Chelsea Conlin

    I visited the Sunshine Coast in 2005 and I highly recommend the Noosa and Cooloola areas, including the Carlo Sandblow, which is just amazing!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      Cool. Thanks for the tip! That’s a little bit above Brisbane right? This is the first time I’ve heard about the Sunshine Coast.

  • Chelsea Conlin

    I visited the Sunshine Coast in 2005 and I highly recommend the Noosa and Cooloola areas, including the Carlo Sandblow, which is just amazing!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      Cool. Thanks for the tip! That’s a little bit above Brisbane right? This is the first time I’ve heard about the Sunshine Coast.

  • http://onestep4ward.com Johnny – onestep4ward.com

    good luck guys! starting soon =)

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      Thanks Johnny! We’re going to need it. Hope to bump into you along the way sometime next year.

  • http://onestep4ward.com Johnny – onestep4ward.com

    good luck guys! starting soon =)

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      Thanks Johnny! We’re going to need it. Hope to bump into you along the way sometime next year.

  • http://www.livingthedreamrtw.com/ Jeremy

    You guys are doing a very similar itinerary to what I did last year, plus more places I didn’t make to from coming home early. Let me know if you need any recommendations!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      Will do! We’ll be sure to use your blog for some references as well…

  • http://www.livingthedreamrtw.com/ Jeremy

    You guys are doing a very similar itinerary to what I did last year, plus more places I didn’t make to from coming home early. Let me know if you need any recommendations!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      Will do! We’ll be sure to use your blog for some references as well…

  • http://twitter.com/Boz23 Boz23

    Sounds like a fantastic time. Be aware that December/January are the worst months to visit New Zealand as that’s when we have our holidays so everything is crazy busy. Schools are on holiday so there are kids everywhere – also the weather can be dicey. The very best time to visit is mid February (when schools are back) and March – by far the best weather and places aren’t booked out or over-run by kids.

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      We’re seeing the dicey weather right now with the upcoming storm. Starting in NZ was the most efficient route we thought as we heard January was technically summer still. Oh well, hope we survive!

  • http://twitter.com/Boz23 Boz23

    Sounds like a fantastic time. Be aware that December/January are the worst months to visit New Zealand as that’s when we have our holidays so everything is crazy busy. Schools are on holiday so there are kids everywhere – also the weather can be dicey. The very best time to visit is mid February (when schools are back) and March – by far the best weather and places aren’t booked out or over-run by kids.

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      We’re seeing the dicey weather right now with the upcoming storm. Starting in NZ was the most efficient route we thought as we heard January was technically summer still. Oh well, hope we survive!

  • Anonymous

    Still looks like a busy schedule! Good luck for the departure tomorrow. NZ is perfect this time of year…

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      Thanks Holgs! Let’s just hope we get by this storm. We don’t want it to rain when we’re in Bay of Islands!

  • Holgs

    Still looks like a busy schedule! Good luck for the departure tomorrow. NZ is perfect this time of year…

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      Thanks Holgs! Let’s just hope we get by this storm. We don’t want it to rain when we’re in Bay of Islands!

  • Waisau

    it sounds like a good time.. i’ll be in malaysia/singapore in february with liz (and her sister who has a house in penang)… then i may sidetrip to sri lanka or move on to indonesia… may bump into you two in south korea though… depends on how fast i can move (not very fast, haha). liz & angela both got engaged in nov/dec…. weddings slated for sept/oct 2012, so i’m thinking about a prolonged visit home in july-nov. enjoy & eat lots for me. tip: try to visit the northeast and north of thailand. a lot of culture, good food, history, beautiful nature out there. the south is full of beaches which are beautiful, but you can find beautiful beaches everywhere.

    it’s a shame you cut out nepal and myanmar, but on your next 1/2 RTW trip! :) enjoy & happy new year!!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      Cool! We make it into Singapore/Malaysia late end of February. Hopefully we can go hawker food crazy when we’re over there!

  • Waisau

    it sounds like a good time.. i’ll be in malaysia/singapore in february with liz (and her sister who has a house in penang)… then i may sidetrip to sri lanka or move on to indonesia… may bump into you two in south korea though… depends on how fast i can move (not very fast, haha). liz & angela both got engaged in nov/dec…. weddings slated for sept/oct 2012, so i’m thinking about a prolonged visit home in july-nov. enjoy & eat lots for me. tip: try to visit the northeast and north of thailand. a lot of culture, good food, history, beautiful nature out there. the south is full of beaches which are beautiful, but you can find beautiful beaches everywhere.

    it’s a shame you cut out nepal and myanmar, but on your next 1/2 RTW trip! :) enjoy & happy new year!!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      Cool! We make it into Singapore/Malaysia late end of February. Hopefully we can go hawker food crazy when we’re over there!

  • http://adventuroj.wordpress.com/ Adventuroj

    Hope to see you here in the Philippines also. I’m sure it will change your RTW itinerary a lot. :)

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Kieu – GQ trippin

      I really want to go but not sure if we’ll be able to fit it on this RTW before we have to head back to Hawaii for a wedding. :( But rest assure.. one day. 😉

  • http://adventuroj.wordpress.com/ Adventuroj

    Hope to see you here in the Philippines also. I’m sure it will change your RTW itinerary a lot. :)

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      I really want to go but not sure if we’ll be able to fit it on this RTW before we have to head back to Hawaii for a wedding. :( But rest assure.. one day. 😉

  • http://www.facebook.com/JennFin Shanna Finoulst

    Hi guys what image, or website did you use to make that map? Im currently working on what is going to be our blog, as were leaving in 8 weeks (whaaaa rather exciting!!!)

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      http://www.travellerspoint.com has a map tool. So excited for you… Where are you going on your trip?

      • http://www.facebook.com/JennFin Shanna Finoulst

        Hi y’all. Well Rich and me are going to Asia, Starting in India and just keep following more and more east. Bangladesh, Myanmar, thailand, cambodia , Vietnam Philippines Malaysia and Indonesia., and after that we’re applying for a work holiday visa in Australia for a year. Your blogs have been so inspiring and have really infected me with the travelbug:) Thanks for that. And just keep enjoying life!

  • http://www.facebook.com/JennFin Shanna Finoulst

    Hi guys what image, or website did you use to make that map? Im currently working on what is going to be our blog, as were leaving in 8 weeks (whaaaa rather exciting!!!)

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      http://www.travellerspoint.com has a map tool. So excited for you… Where are you going on your trip?

      • http://www.facebook.com/JennFin Shanna Finoulst

        Hi y’all. Well Rich and me are going to Asia, Starting in India and just keep following more and more east. Bangladesh, Myanmar, thailand, cambodia , Vietnam Philippines Malaysia and Indonesia., and after that we’re applying for a work holiday visa in Australia for a year. Your blogs have been so inspiring and have really infected me with the travelbug:) Thanks for that. And just keep enjoying life!

  • Winterwonder

    I have a year and a half of University left (In the UK) and my boyfriend and I (who I met three days before moving 200 miles away!) have been having concerns over what the plan will be after I finish Uni and facing the possibility of having to go our separate ways. However, we are both fond of travelling and whilst I’m on placements this year he will be spending 7 weeks travelling across America (I did 3 weeks across it a few years ago). Thanks to your blog though we have decided now that ultimately, this is what we want to do. So thank you :)

  • Winterwonder

    I have a year and a half of University left (In the UK) and my boyfriend and I (who I met three days before moving 200 miles away!) have been having concerns over what the plan will be after I finish Uni and facing the possibility of having to go our separate ways. However, we are both fond of travelling and whilst I’m on placements this year he will be spending 7 weeks travelling across America (I did 3 weeks across it a few years ago). Thanks to your blog though we have decided now that ultimately, this is what we want to do. So thank you :)

  • Thyago

    Great blog, i’ve been traveling with you guys for some time here! One thing was not very clear to me, did you guys buy the RTW ticket (ex. One World, Star Alliance) or you booked it separately? One thing is puzzling me is that, for example, if i want to go from Hanoi > Ho Chi Min > Bangkok > Kuala Lumpur i have to book 4 tickets. If i choose one place in each country, wouldn’t i spend much more on local transportation/flights? like, departing in hanoi, then coming down vietnam all the way till Ho chi min and then have to get back up to Hanoi to leave for next destination? Could you elaborate a bit more on how you guys made it? thanks a lot!!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      Hi Thyago,

      We actually plan on covering this soon in a future blog post. We booked flights separately as we went along. Asia fortunately has many good budget airlines like AirAsia. We like using skyscanner.com for the best flights. Booking as we went gave us more flexibility as well. And when you get into the new country, local transportation is key. Southeast Asia bus transportation is very common to get from city to city.

      If you’re looking to travel say 6 contents, an RTW ticket might be worth it. http://www.airtreks.com has some good info about this.

      • Thyago

        RTW fares seem tempting but lock you up in pre-fixed routes, thats my dilemma here. Thanks for replying! Cheers!

  • Thyago

    Great blog, i’ve been traveling with you guys for some time here! One thing was not very clear to me, did you guys buy the RTW ticket (ex. One World, Star Alliance) or you booked it separately? One thing is puzzling me is that, for example, if i want to go from Hanoi > Ho Chi Min > Bangkok > Kuala Lumpur i have to book 4 tickets. If i choose one place in each country, wouldn’t i spend much more on local transportation/flights? like, departing in hanoi, then coming down vietnam all the way till Ho chi min and then have to get back up to Hanoi to leave for next destination? Could you elaborate a bit more on how you guys made it? thanks a lot!!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      Hi Thyago,

      We actually plan on covering this soon in a future blog post. We booked flights separately as we went along. Asia fortunately has many good budget airlines like AirAsia. We like using skyscanner.com for the best flights. Booking as we went gave us more flexibility as well. And when you get into the new country, local transportation is key. Southeast Asia bus transportation is very common to get from city to city.

      If you’re looking to travel say 6 contents, an RTW ticket might be worth it. http://www.airtreks.com has some good info about this.

      • Thyago

        RTW fares seem tempting but lock you up in pre-fixed routes, thats my dilemma here. Thanks for replying! Cheers!

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