There are more or less 195 countries in the world as of right now. So, how to decide which ones to visit?
After playing around with the idea of having a themed trip (quickly discarded since we couldn’t quite agree on a theme), we decided to follow the beaten path by talking to some travel agents and asked them the cheapest way to hit all of the continents. What we got was something along the line of: US – a couple of countries in South Asia (usually Bangkok or Hong Kong), India, an African country, lots of European cities (commonly London, Amsterdam, and other hub cities), and back to US.
After telling them to focus less on Asia, more on Africa, less on Europe, more on South America, and definitely put Mongolia (not a very common destination apparently) somewhere in there, the good folks from AirBrokers, AirTreks, and UK-based Roundtheworldflights.com helped me craft the following rough itinerary:
West Coast, US – Fiji – Auckland – Overland On Your Own – Christchurch – Sydney – Overland On Your Own – Cairns – Beijing – Ulan Bator – Tashkent – London – Cairo – Nairobi – Johannesburg – Buenos Aires – West Coast, US
The first 3 countries make sense since there’s pretty much nothing on the map going west from the West Coast, and then you hit Pacific Island, NZ, and Australia. Afterward though, the available options open up to a bewildering countless possible combinations and I’m still trying to figure out what the best itinerary would be for our budget after leaving Australia.
The way it stands right now, it’s about $1000 over our initial budget. Not quite a good start 🙂
It occurred to me that maybe instead of trying to craft our own itinerary, we should just see what’s available within our budget, and go for one of the pre-priced, pre-established itinerary. You know, something like this, or this for example. Definitely makes planning easier. At the very least, they provide a skeleton for the itinerary which we can then modify to suit our needs.