We’re at that phase of summer vacation where “back to school” starts to put the pressure on. One last trip to the beach, one last visit or road trip, one last lazy day before the hustle and bustle of school.
This school year will be different though. I have a feeling that our sense of excitement for the trip will be ramping up. There may be a lot of “hurry up and get here already!” sentiments. Pressure about route planning, to-do lists, and logistics will also be ramping up as well.
This weekend we spent a lot of time looking at the trip and trying to finalize our route. I think we may finally have an optimal plan. Fingers crossed!
Our major “tent poles” haven’t changed. Visiting Japan, for example, will never come off our route. But we have gone back and forth over the first leg of our trip several times. Several, several, several times! ^_^
Here are some of the tools that we use to help make decisions:
Budget Your Trip – This site allows you to look up a destination and see the daily cost of living, average housing, food, transportation, and entertainment costs. We used the feature that shows the values in Canadian dollars and then used those numbers to make our own spreadsheet. That way we could see if we were on target for our total trip budget.
Numbeo – Another useful site to get an overall sense of the cost of living in each destination. We used the comparison feature to compare with our home city.
Flight Connections – This site is really helpful. Search for a city and then see a visual of what places the airport flies to and at what frequency. Click on a route and see a typical flight duration. Does Cairns, Australia have flights to Alice Springs, Singapore, or Tokyo for example?
Google Flights – The map is not as intuitive as Flight Connections, but the general prices for a given month help to quickly compare flight itineraries to see what might be faster and/or cheaper.
Skyscanner – We used this to get a overall sense of the price of airfare.
AirWander – This is useful tool to find stopovers that are worth checking out, or if you’ve made an optimal route. For example, Muscat, Oman to Cairo, Egypt shows several cities (like Amman, Jordan) as potential stopovers that would actually make the trip cheaper. It’s not perfect, but it’s worth checking out.
We look at travel blogs and YouTube accounts with skeptical eyes as many of them are sponsored. However, Lonely Planet and Expedia have some YouTube videos that give a nice and quick overview of different destinations. This was helpful for getting feedback from the kids.
Okay, drum roll please, here is our current plan for our round the world trip:
Canada > Mexico City > Lima, Peru > Buenos Aires, Argentina > Auckland, New Zealand > Sydney, Australia > Alice Springs, Australia > Cairns, Australia > Tokyo, Japan > Seoul, South Korea > Singapore / Kuala Lumpur > Bangkok, Thailand > Katmandu, Nepal > Muscat, Oman > Amman, Jordan > Cairo, Egypt > Athens, Greece > Rome, Italy > Munich, Germany > Paris, France > London, UK > Back Home!
Should take about 190 days ^_^