1. Planning the route
We have already considered in the idea phase, it would be great if everyone writes down the places he would like to see and then we put the whole thing together to a journey. And so we made it!
First, we determined how long we wanted to be on the road. For each of us and with our work compatible were between 3-4 months.
Michael absolutely wanted to see Patagonia, I wanted to see the South Seas. So, the first two places were found!
The other targets were countries that both of us were interested to, namely New Zealand, Australia and Singapore. Then we fixed in the respective countries the cities we wanted to see, and so the trip was already roughly planned.
2. Booking flights
I knew from my brother Erik, that we needed an around-the-world ticket. He gave us two agencies, STA Travel (www.statravel.de) and REISS AUS! in Hamburg (www.aroundtheworldticket.de) that organize the around-the-world tickets. We chose REISS AUS!, with which we are very satisfied.
Here, we not only booked our flight tickets, but also two round trips from Gadventures (www.gadventures.com), one in Patagonia and one on the South Island of New Zealand for two weeks, because we had considered that we would not never be able within such a short time to find the most beautiful places on our own and that planning and execution would end up costing more money as if we booked the whole package. Nevertheless, both tours are not meant to be a typical tourist tour, but to be shown round and taken from local guides (hopefully!) to the most beautiful corners of these two fascinating countries and to be part of the nature down there.
We called the agency then our goals, which then created us an offer that we booked by chance on Valentine's Day, 14.02.2014, namely within three days after the first offer.
Step 2 was completed!
3. Budget & logdes
Luckily we had both saved some money, that we wanted to use for the trip. Since our booking we have imposed on ourselves an additional savings plan, since we do not give up our apartment and cars and therefore the general costs also incur while travelling.
We had initially set a tight budget for the trip with flights and accommodation…that we have already overspent by now ... let's see how it continues.
Shortly after booking the flight tickets, and of course after booking a travel cancellation insurance, we created (as we are lawyer and IT-ler) first of all an Excel sheet 😉 - sorted planning is a must! Then we started immediately, to find accommodation at various web pages like tripadvisor.de, airbnb.com or booking.com, where we sometimes allowed ourselves to book not only cheap self-catering apartments, but sometimes also a hotel. At dorms and very cheap backpackers we have omitted, as we have neither desire for bedbugs nor for any bed neighbours.
We had begun in February with the search and are quite happy about that, because many accommodations are fully booked meanwhile due to the high season at the time of our trip.
Since I - juhhuuu - have agreed meanwhile to a marriage proposal, we have chosen to get married in the South Seas - barefoot on the beach and under palm trees…yes, a dream comes true ... unbelievable! Therefore, I quickly caught up with some offers from wedding planners, of which we have decided now for a very nice offer from Bishop's Cruises (www.bishopscruises.com).
Where we will be, you will see in our reports on tour...
4. Preparation & travel fever
So, now there are only a little less than two months before we sit on the plane for the first stop in Buenos Aires. It is incredible how fast time has passed since February, when it had seemed to us so far away.
In the office everybody is already informed since a few months, and now Michael and I work hard to get everything done before we leave and train our colleagues. My clients have been also informed about my stay abroad.
Friends and relatives are informed, too, and are also “infected” with our travel bug.
Now it is time to apply for and collect international documents such as driver's license, passports, vaccination certificates, visas, birth certificates, marriage licenses, certified translations, etc. The scope of our insurance, we still need to clarify or complete appropriate insurance. My insurance (health, liability, household, accident insurance) apply fortunately indefinitely and worldwide. However, I still have to get the English translations in order to be able to prove insurance protection in any case on the trip.
In addition, we now have to consider the right clothing and equipment, because we will have many, very different climatic conditions and events before us, e. g., several day hikes in cold Patagonia and southern New Zealand, stuff for camping, clothing for the South Seas, marriage and for the meetings with the colleagues in the foreign offices, etc. I bought three weeks ago with my parents a wedding dress that I can put into my backpack, and wedding rings are also ordered.
Furthermore, we have to inform our parents about all the travel places, important addresses, give them authorities and ask them to take care of mail, bills etc. Orders for forwarding mail and newspapers still have to be made, too.
Of course, we also need a first aid kit and the most important vaccinations. I started two weeks ago with the vaccinations and am now at the doctor every week to get vaccinated against rabies, ticks, influenza, diphtheria, tetanus, etc. Regarding the yellow fever vaccination that you can get from the health authority, I will do without it, because we are not actually go to these areas. Michael still has protection from the last yellow fever vaccination he got a few years ago. For malaria, we get a standby medication.
Regarding our entertainment program, we must arrange for music and ebooks, power packs (batteries for camera and mobiles in nature, where of course no socket is), SD cards, replacement battery, travel adapters and multiple sockets, pleasant earphones and an outdoor mobile phone (a cheap one that can be stolen).
Nevertheless, our to-do list still gets longer every day and there are far too many things left to be checked off.
And finally we will read in the next weeks our tourist guides, so that we are informed and become more thrilled ;-)!