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Rambo's World Adventure

post #1 of 427
Thread Starter 
Ok guys, I'm back for help in the travel planning department. So, as many of you know, I've literally never been anywhere before the 2 most recent trips that I took at the end of the year. For a long time travel has been an aspiration of mine but I've never been in a place to be able to do it. Well, all that's changed now. Starting 4/1, I am leaving the country. My mind's already made up. Not sure if I'm going to come back, but that's a discussion for a different time. Just printed out my passport application and will get that in on Monday. $60 expidited fee is bullshit, but what are you going to do?

So, on my world adventure, I need help planning everything out. Outside of a bucket list of things I want to do, and places I want to see (which I'll start another thread on later), going about doing them all is what's tripping me up the most. So I thought I'd tap you guys for tips and experience to help set this thing up.

Outside of packing up all my shit and selling all my furniture, I'm pretty good with getting setup to go here. When it comes to packing, I'm completely fucked. Options:

-Do I take a few different rolling suitcases/duffles, leave them wherever I'm going to stay, and then grab things in a backpack to take around, or

-Do I get one of those big framed backpack/duffles to like the euro travelers always have and just rely on that exclusively?

Next comes what to pack? Obviously, a shitload of socks and underwear, t-shirts, jeans, etc.. I figure a pair of sneakers, boots, and a sandal should be good enough for footwear. What about outerwear? Bulky jackets take up a ton of room and, not having experience with cold climates, I don't know what types I'll need. Should I just buy what I need when I'm over there? Should be pretty easy to find in some frozen place like Germany, right?

Scheduling and lodging is tripping me up too - How long should I stay in each place for? Obviously, a few days, but should I lay off longer stays like a week or more until I've done more travelling? Suppose I like a place and want to stay a bit longer? Then, if I'm preplanned, I'm fucked.

Do I stay in hostels in every town or look for short term apartment rentals? Are these the types of things that need to be prebooked or can I just show up and look for a room?

Then, there's events/specific things I want to see. For instance, I know I'd like to see Oktoberfest. So I'd need to plan my schedule around Germany in September. Should I do all of Europe then or come back to just do Germany after having done the rest of it. Similarly, for nature-y things like an African Safari/Great Barrier Reef/Galapagos islands, I have to assume there are better times than not to see these things.

I know this is a bit rambling but there's a lot swirling around my head right now. If any of you have good resources (blogs/webpages/etc.) that would be really helpful. TIA.
Edited by Rambo - 6/26/12 at 8:10am
post #2 of 427
Buy this: http://www.amazon.com/Vagabonding-Uncommon-Guide-Long-Term-Travel/dp/0812992180/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1329009079&sr=1-2

Come back when you've finished reading.
post #3 of 427
So, first things first. How old are you, and how do you plan to travel. Both influence any answers to the above.
post #4 of 427
Quote:
Originally Posted by iammatt View Post

So, first things first. How old are you, and how do you plan to travel. Both influence any answers to the above.
+1
post #5 of 427
Sounds like a blast, Rambo.
post #6 of 427
Thread Starter 
Quote:

Looks interesting. A bit dated from 02. Why that book?
Quote:
Originally Posted by iammatt View Post

So, first things first. How old are you, and how do you plan to travel. Both influence any answers to the above.

Going to be 32. Plan to travel? I don't know - plane, train, ship, bus, whatever the hell I need to get where I want to go. I don't have any phobias if that's what you mean.
post #7 of 427
How long do you plan your trip to last? How many continents? How much money willing/able to spend?
post #8 of 427
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by b1os View Post

How long do you plan your trip to last? How many continents? How much money willing/able to spend?

Indefinite amount of time. Perfectly willing to setup shop overseas as well. Money - I've got a few grand saved up specifically for this. I'll go till the wheels fall off. Then I suppose I'll have to go hookin for cash.
post #9 of 427
a few grand might get you through a couple weeks max - if you're thinking about going and staying somewhere, you should look at taking more money, or going somewhere utterly cheap (ie not Europe) if you're going to look for employment.

I think it's possible but not exactly easy to pull an escape plan, you should put more into this if you're serious about doing it. Otherwise you'll just end up back where you started a week later.
post #10 of 427
Nah son, you can get by with a few grand. I've seen your "what I just ate so I gots to take photos and post them on SF" pics, imp, and that shit wouldn't fly with a few grand, you're right. But if people aren't eating grilled lamb dicks and shit and keeping shit real low key and just enjoying themselves, a few grand is all good.

Keep it real, player.
post #11 of 427
Thread Starter 
Well, I have more than enough to get me by for quite a while. I'm not exactly planning on living the rich life except for expenses like nice restaurants that I have to try or travel. The rest should be pretty bare bones. Of course, I have no idea what the fuck I'm talking about.
post #12 of 427
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Moo View Post

Nah son, you can get by with a few grand. I've seen your "what I just ate so I gots to take photos and post them on SF" pics, imp, and that shit wouldn't fly with a few grand, you're right. But if people aren't eating grilled lamb dicks and shit and keeping shit real low key and just enjoying themselves, a few grand is all good.
Keep it real, player.

lol. I don't normally go on survivalist travels, you're right, but I have before a couple times at least. I guess one can get by on $30-40 a day in developed countries, but that's not doing or eating much, definitely not drinking much beer.
post #13 of 427
phew RamBro, dunno where to even start so I'll just throw in a few points randomly...

- luggage - you'll need a lot less than you think you will, but it depends on if you're crossing climates and seasons too. I'd suggest something like two medium suitcases, one medium backpack, and a daybag. Leave the bigger suitcase at a 'home base' like a friend's place or storage room from your hub and then travel with something like a suitcase for week long trips, or backpack for weekend trips. use the murse for day excursions.
- you'll save a lot of space with things like thin warm jackets (store in ziplock bags to minimize space), or those small squeegee towels, etc. don't bring a peacoat or ski jacket, etc. no boots, etc. I won't list what you should pack since it's way too long, but here's a few very useful items I always had with me: hand sanitizer/alcohol wipes, notepad and pen, student card (hugs savings at museums), string (clothesline so you can wash stuff in teh sink and hang dry), locks (luggage, lockboxes in hostels), pocketknife (invaluable, bring two since one will get confiscated at some point), keychain flashlight, etc. minimize/reduce where possible, so a jacket with a hood means no umbrella needed... start thinking like that.

- budgeting - totally depends on if you're someone who tracks or not, but I'd suggest a fairly strong idea in advance and then play a little loose in the moment. I found I needed about $100 or so a day for most European places... so maybe $20-30/night accommodations (hostelworld and hostelbookers, or couchsurfing, etc), then 2-3 meals x $5-7 = $20-30, then random transport =$10, museum/activity for the day = $20-40, so that would be a typical day. Staying at a hostel with 6 people in a room, grabbing breakfast there and cheap supermarket lunch plus a decent dinner and a beer. Seeing a museum or doing some event or two during the day. Then your randoms like say one souvevnir or great meal in each place. Then there's travel... I found it cost about $200-300 to go from any one country to another, whether planes, trains, buses, etc... So my budget was about $700-1000 for the week plus travel might bring it to about $1200-1300. So much more to say here but that's just a quick version of my lifestyle while abroad.

- use review sites to your advantage - check places like tripadvisor, get a book like Europe / X on a Shoestring, etc or Lonely Planet, etc
- Pick a few hobbies/interest and use them as a way to explore the city. Eg my hobbies are food (particularly deserts), fragrance, and weapons/warfare. So in each city I tried to find a few well known restaurants and museums and shops for each hobby. It could be booze, or architecture, or whores, whatever, you know?
- also, at some point, you'll realize every goddam town has 5 churches and museums... so go find out what each place is famous for and go there for that. eg don't go to england for the beaches.

- you may not think so now, but there'll come a point where you may be just mentally and emotionally tired of traveling. Travel is a great thing to have new experiences, but I personally found it was emotionally tiring because I constantly had to figure out a new city, make plans of what to see/do, etc and it's constant decisions and being unsure of where you are and what you're doing. Plus, there's only so much 'experience' you can absorb at once, like after 2-3 months, you'll sort of tap out the curve and want to come back once you're in the next 'rut' 2-3 years later. I traveled for about 3 months after a 4 month exchange in Europe and sort of had enough by that point that I was happy to come home. 3 year later I'm finally starting to want to go out into the world again.
- in a related note, I found that the most expensive part is the transportation between places, and it often takes a day to orientate yourself, so spend at least 3 days in a small town (eg Prague), and 5-7 in a larger one (pairs, London, etc). My view is once you're there, really feel out the city and see it all before leaving, instead of sort of seeing a few things and then missing a bunch and wanting to come back later to see the rest.Also, it may take you a couple of days of seeing the same faces to start making friends so you won't want to leave after 2 days since you will have just got to know people.
- Build in down/buffer time, like 3-5 days just laying on the beach or something, every 3 (?) weeks or so
overall point above - pick one major area (a section of europe, of 3-5 countries within africa, asia, etc and really flesh them out instead of trying to briefly see everything all at once.


phew, just some random thoughts.
post #14 of 427
damn are you really 31? frown.gif soz bro.

anyway by travel do you mean western europe, or are you willing to go anywhere? like, no offense, but if you've never be on a plane until like 6 months ago you probably aren't going to adjust well to africa.
post #15 of 427
-Do I get one of those big framed backpack/duffles to like the euro travelers always have and just rely on that exclusively?]

Yes. If you have a couple bags it's going to be such a hassle getting from place to place, and you'll have to make sure you have someplace to secure the extra bags whenever you go sightseeing or whatever. It can be a huge pain in the ass if you decide to stay in a hostel for a day or two in a certain city.

Pack as light as possible. One pair of jeans on, a spare in the bag. I think you're right about shoes - solid boots, sneakers, and sandals. Couple of t shirts should be good. For warmth, get one or two capilene base layers, a good fleece, and a good shell. And a good hat. Couple pairs of underwear and socks. They make powder detergent that's specifically for handwashing, so you can wash your clothes in sinks and hang dry it while you sleep. Should keep you from looking like a dirty hippy, and get you through for a while until you breakdown and need to go to a laundry.

Try to call or email ahead to the hostels, especially in big cities. I think more and more they have online booking. They'll be full sometimes if you don't and you'll have to get across town to try another one. A lot of hostels will let you cook for yourself in the kitchen, so you can save money that way too.

Try couchsurfing.org too. You might meet some weird people, but you can also stay places for free. Could extend your trip a bit longer.

Buy booze in stores, not in bars.

Consider buying a europass http://www.eurail.com/home. Could really help you budget you travel, so you know that in 2 months, you can have 15 full days of travel for $700 and go all over Europe, rather than hope to get good fares or flights.

This was totally random train of thought stuff. Sorry if it was rambling.

edit: master-classter wrote like the exact same thing,but much better...
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