RTW Countdown Series: 18 Months

We have the luxury of time, lots of time, exactly 18 months (547 days) still to plan and research for our round-the-world trip. The process to develop a well-planned itinerary, a reasonable budget, and a wish list of activities and sights to see should be easy, right?


The day I received approval for my one-year leave from work, I visited the library looking for some destination research material. On the library’s discard table were tons of travel books; Lonely Planet, Frommer’s, Rough Travel Guides and other travel guide books for sale.

An “it’s meant to be!” moment.

I grabbed a stack of them; Central Asia, Italy, Nepal, Mongolia, Southeast Asia, South America, and Bali among others. These guides are not the latest editions but at $1.00 each, I can mark them up all I want, and learn about the major sites, architectural gems, and other highlights that don’t change that much over time. This reading material keeps me absorbed for hours.

Excitedly I’m also reading travel blogs. I’m particularly drawn to blogging couples who start out on one-year journeys and are still going strong; a never-ending voyage to endless corners of this great big globe: why stop after one year?

There are so many inspirational and informative sites to follow, but the problem is as I read one great post after another, I get side tracked with links to other great blogs. Skipping from link to link takes me from one topic to another, to all sorts of potential destinations, must see site, etc…you see my problem?

“I’m all over the map!”

As of now, we’ve broad stroked the tentative itinerary to South America, Africa, Middle East, Asia and Australia.

So next we need a plan of attack. Should we target our research on one or two specific country per week for the next year, or focus on lists; best festivals and events, great mountain hikes, delicious unusual food, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, or customs and traditions to experience on our travels?

Only then will we be able to narrow down our route.

Working out the required visa and permits, booking transportation and accommodations are logistics which can wait…for now it’s still the dreaming stage.

Tell us, how did you approach your RTW trip planning?


10 thoughts on “RTW Countdown Series: 18 Months

  1. Greetings from Sydney. What a task you have set yourselves. My alarm bells went off when I read ‘…. one or two countries per week….” Our neighbour, New Zealand, looks small on the globe, and there are tours that do highlights of both islands in about 10 days. Don’t fall for it! Allow at least two weeks each for the North and South Islands, preferably self driving. And as for this island nation/continent, Australia ……,!

    • Greeting to you Ken,
      “One or two countries per week” – I was referring to researching destinations in an organized way, which I seem incapable of doing:) – I skip along reading, from post to post which attract my attention.
      Our style of travel will most likely be slow and steady, not rushing through the globe just to check off countries.
      Thank you for the tip. I think Oceania could easily take up a quarter of our trip…one year won’t be enough!! – Ginette

  2. Well I am of no help in extended travel. I have a vision of a giant white board with the things you absolutely want to see, would like to see and could take it or leave it. Perhaps that would help narrow things down.

  3. Wow, I’m excited on your behalf! Wouldn’t it help if you first forced yourself to choose some destinations – lifelong dreams or new favourites – that you HAVE to visit, and then built your itinerary around them? But if you’ve already been to a lot of your ‘lifelong dreams’ and are now going to rely entirely on research to figure out your next destinations, I see where the problem could be…. so much to see in this world!

    • You are absolutely right, I do have ‘lifelong dreams’ that I HAVE to visit. The great pyramids and overland travel through Africa comes to mind; dreams that I’ve had since my high school days. Plus I have a new dreams-list that keeps getting longer, places like after Bhutan and Sri Lanka:) Thanks Ami for stopping by and leading me to yours. – Ginette

  4. How exciting! For me the planning is as much fun as the journey itself. Let me know if you need help with your India itinerary, if India is on your list that is 🙂

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