18 Days traveling-3 continents, 5 Countries, all transports! The process explained or – HOW TO PLAN a trip?

I am going to start this upside down…

We are home. Almost sure we got nothing else but a small cold and few mosquito bites.

It was fun!

It was interesting!

A lot of both!

traveling over the clouds

And now a little more on this one-of-a-kind experience for us.

We got by chance some error-fare tickets (maybe another post will follow especially for those!) and at almost no cost got 6 flights touching 3 different continents, 4 countries and over 40 hours of flying! A deal you do not miss although you can not really make choices on the dates/duration/cities. For a little over 300 EUR we had tickets for South Africa (6.5 days and 6 nights) and Thailand (6 days and 5 nights) and some lay-over in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia). As the start/return point was Rome – we took 2 days there too. In total – 18 days traveling, including 10 flights and 5 countries.

How did it look like?

Well, when we were getting the tickets we were so excited we did not really think a lot =). Next thing you usually do when preparing to travel somewhere is either get a travel book guide or open 53464765 Google windows and search on where you should go! As you might suggest –  when you are visiting huge countries like South Africa and Thailand – 5 days for each are quiet insufficient! Then the question comes – intense program with “see as much as possible” or the relaxed version of “I will be back for the rest” you should pick? Actually – it is really up to you! We were 6 people and we tried some of each option – both work good if you are prepared for them.

What`s next? 

Personally for me – after getting the tickets always next step is a simple excel spreadsheet. It should include your days in/out and the cities/places you will be at the evening. This helps extremely when you are making the reservations for hotels/cars/planes or any activities you are planning to do. Also you might include some info about expenses.

excel

When you have the basics – where you want to go- you need to check transportation! HIGH IMPORTANCE on this! Sometimes buses/trains/planes are available in almost no cost in every some hours/minutes but sometimes you need to wait 1-2 days and this will make you change the program once again if so. If you need domestic flights – check on luggage requirements as they might differ from your expectations. Also if you will be renting a car in some places – make a reservation in advance – way faster an almost always – cheaper than if you take it from the counter. Will not recommend any brands right now as honestly, most of them suck but you do not really have a choice, right? Make sure you have a good look on it before you take it and mark all dents with someone from the company! 🙂

If all cleared there too – next step is accommodation. This highly depends on how many people are traveling. If more than just two – you need to select priorities. Rate how important for you are some factors like: privacy, price, location, can you share bathroom with someone else, are you OK with hostels and guest houses, do you require any special equipment/amenities, etc.

Our house in CTown

Our house in Cape Town

When all cleared – you can start searching for your hosts. I personally prefer using big reservation platforms instead of going to each hotel/hostel private site as it is more organized for me. You can of course pick your own way. In Cuba for example we found a guy that was traveling with us from town to town (we were 25+ people) and while we were exploring the new town he managed to find us beds day by day! And honestly – it was so nice to be part of someones` dinner or just to hang for a while in their own houses. Depending on where in the World you are going – you might need your printed reservations – just a slight reminder.

OK, accommodation – checked! Seems like you are pretty ready to go! I would suggest you pick some activities you want to do while onsite and check on their opening hours. Some might require you to book a slot in case you want fixed hours – I include those in the excel – my Northern Star!

Now your final two steps in this huge preparation!

  • Visas  – Make sure you check what are the restrictions for the countries you will go and if you need anything to go in-or out of the country (yes, in some countries you need to either pay or have special document in order to get out of the country! 🙂 )
  • and vaccines! – This is not to be underestimated. Most of the information you can find on the country`s government websites but you can also check HERE – https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/

Before you go!

For trips like this – big backpack is way more comfortable than a suitcase! Make sure you take one and for easier access – you can get of those with full zip through the body and also with a flight cover for the back so your strings do not get ripped around the airports. We got 2 different ones – one a little more expensive with integrated flight cover (the Vango one) and one cheaper from Decathlon.

backpack 1

The purple one was heavier and it comes out can not fit as much as the other one but it has a 20l detachable small backpack for you daily needs. Definitely worth it!

backpack

The blue/green one came out really handy! It could gather a lot of stuff and is quite light. Although it does not have a bottom opening and self-integrated flight cover (we bought a Vango travel sack separately which has 2 wholes after the 10 flights…).

 

And that is pretty much it… Pack light, save space for shopping :), take medicines, put a smile on!
Here are some guidance for the packing also:

 

 

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