As stated previously, our interests lay in visiting the Indian subcontinent, Europe, South America and potentially South Africa. As we began doing research into the subject, we realised that the distances and seasons made it an impossibility to do it all!
Having lived in India, we knew that most of India is off-limits between July and September. On the other hand, this is the perfect and the most expensive time to be in Europe. In addition, Chile and Argentina have winter at the same time as Australia so May to August would not be the best time to visit those countries especially Patagonia which the southern part of both these countries.
South Africa drew the shortest straw first. To be able to get to South Africa at the perfect times to see the wildlife would require crossing the entire African continent from Europe and India while it will be a long flight over the Atlantic. We decided to leave it for another time!
During this time, we also listed the festivals around the world we would like to see. Some of these included Holi in India, Carnival in Rio, La Tomatina in Spain, Running of the bulls in Spain and Tomorrowland in Belgium. Not surprisingly, these festivals are not at the same time of the year and it can be a significant cost to get accommodation and visit these festivals.
After considering the destinations, festivals and our situation as an Indian couple, we decided to take a sabbatical and travel for a year. This allowed us enough time in each region and experience the culture. The rough plan then was Europe for 3 months in the Summer, Indian subcontinent for 3-4 months in the autumn/winter and South America for 5 months.
The next challenge was to decide which direction to take. Living in Sydney, we could fly east to Chile or Argentina and work our way through South America then fly to Europe and India. However, we would need to then start in January, finish South America by may or june and then head into European summer. The budget and a new job simply did not allow this option.
Therefore, we decided to save up for a year and travel straight to Europe then India and from there to Brazil. We left the plan at this for many months and began researching into the details of each place except South America which would be last.
If you are planning a round the world trip, it is important to have a rough idea of the areas you want to visit, the duration of the journey and when you can afford to leave. This is a good starting point for the duration in each place and tickets. In the next post, I will highlight our research into RTW flights v Individual tickets.