With just 4 short months left until we board our first flight, of what will be many over the coming year, we thought it would be good to give an update on what we’re up to travel planning wise.
But before I jump headlong in to the details of what we have and haven’t booked, now would probably be a good time to discuss the route we plan to take, so that when I do eventually begin the endless babble about plane tickets, sleeper trains and hostel dorms, at least there will be some context around it.
So as not cause any further undue stress and anxiety for our poor parents, if you are a potential stalker or a would-be serial killer on the lookout for the perfect time and place to make Pete and I disappear, I pinky promise this post does not contain any details to help with your dastardly plan so you can stop reading now. Thanks, kisses xox
Cool, now that we are safe from any crazies (or at least the gullible ones), let’s get in to the specifics of our trip.
We are planning a yearlong adventure starting in Europe (mainly because I’m a brat and really, really, REALLY want to go to Croatia as part of our trip even if it does add a significant amount to our costs). We will set off from London at the beginning of April 2018 and fly in to Budapest, Hungary. While in Hungary we will also be visiting Lake Balaton and Heviz. From there we move on to Slovenia with a visit to Lake Bled (as seen on every Instagram travel account ever), and stays in Tolmin (chosen for its proximity to Triglav National Park) and Ljubljana. Then on to Croatia where we will be adventuring in Plitvice (waterfalls, yay) and Spilt (beaches, yay) as well as Dubrovnik, because no trip to Croatia would be complete without a visit to Kings Landing. If you don’t get that references, I can only assume you have been off planet or in a coma. Welcome back!
In total we have just over a month in Europe which should give us plenty of time to explore each city on our list. Because I know some people will see this post and think TL: DR, I’ve added some expertly crafted maps to demonstrate our route in pictorial form. Magnificent right?! Be warned, they get less and less accurate as the post goes on.
South East Asia
From Europe we move on to South East Asia. We fly from Dubrovnik to Bangkok the 2nd week in May. Here our route becomes a little less structured. We are aiming to visit Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, East Malaysia and Philippines in the 5 and a half months we plan to stay in South East Asia. We have a rough route planned and a few key dates that we need to stick to such as doing a PADI Open Water Diving course in Thailand and spending a month at a turtle conservation camp in Malaysia, but other than that, we will be playing by ear and booking travel and accommodation on the fly. This is the part of the trip that has been giving me nightmares. I find myself waking in a cold sweat having dreamt of missed trains, and fully booked hostels. Argh!
Australasia and Oceania
We will finish our jaunt in South East Asia towards to the end of October, and will be travelling from Philippines over to Australia. We fly in to Perth and pick up our Chubby Camper Van which will be both our home and transportation for the next 3 months.
We will be aiming to see as much of Australia as possible during our relatively short stay, with Alice Springs, Darwin, Cairns, Townsville, The Whitsunday Islands, Brisbane, and Sydney all on our list before ending in Melbourne towards the end of January. We will be lucky enough to be spending Christmas and New Year in Australian, which is going to be a very strange experience for 2 pasty skinned, British kids usually enduring sub-zero temperatures during the festive period.
From Melbourne we fly to Fiji for a glorious 2 weeks of relative relaxation, we do not yet have a definite plan of where we will visit in Fiji, just that it will be a slower paced visit, more reminiscent of a typical 2 weeks’ beach holiday. I think we’ll need it after 3 months in a camper van no matter how chubby that van claims to be.
The last stop* on our trip will be in New Zealand. We will arrive in New Zealand towards the end of January and will stay for 2 months. We have booked tickets on a hop on hop off bus, which will allow us to explore the north and south Islands. Stops on the route include the usual tourist destinations such as Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington, it also includes a chance to explore the Tongariro National Park, stop at Cape Foulwind to see the fur seal colony and visit Waitomo Caves, famous for their glow-worms.
We have booked a fair bit of the trip already. All of the flights up until Perth are booked, along with all of our accommodation in Europe. We’ve made reservations for a chubby camper in Australia, bought our bus tickets in New Zealand and have been added to the roster at our chosen Turtle Conservation camp.
Now all that is left to do is sell all of our worldly possessions, give up our house, quit our jobs and bid farewell to all our friends and family for 12 months, no biggie.
*I say last stop, but you just never know what could happen. I think Pete is hoping that we will do such a good job at the Turtle conservation camp that the permanent staff will be blown away and offer us paid jobs.