Archive for the 'Trip Planning' Category

Six Months of Travel: Final Trip Stats and Costs

Here we go! The final trip stats post along with information on costs. All costs are in Australian dollars.

– Number of countries visited: 10 (counting the hour in Myanmar and half an hour in Luxembourg!)
– Days traveling: 184
– Days in Asia: 130
– Days in UK/Europe: 54

Accommodation Stats and Costs
– Places stayed overnight: 35
– Average number of nights in each place: 5.2
– Longest in one place: 32 nights (Homestay and volunteering in Sisaket)
– Nights in UK/Europe with free accommodation (thanks to friends and family): 27

– Total cost of accommodation for the whole trip: $10,331
– Total cost of accommodation in Asia: $6,833
– Total cost of accommodation in UK/Europe: $3,498
– Average cost of accommodation per night overall: $56
– Average cost of accommodation in Asia per night: $53
– Average cost of accommodation in UK/Europe per night (minus free nights): $125

Our Amsterdam apartment

Our most expensive accommodation

– Most expensive accommodation: Amsterdam apartment at $191/night
– Least expensive accommodation: Little Home Guesthouse in Mae Salong at $20/night

Little Home Bungalow

Our least expensive accommodation

Transport Stats and Costs
– Total hours actually travelling between places: 142
– Hours on planes: 45.5
– Number of plane trips: 8
– Total cost of flights: $9,621

looking out on Afghanistan

Flying over Afghanistan

– Hours on trains: 33.5
– Number of (intercity) train trips: 10
– Hours on buses: 27
– Number of (intercity) bus trips: 11
– Hours on minibuses: 11.5
– Number of minibus trips: 3
– Hours on boats: 21
– Number of ferry trips: 4
– Hours on sangthaew: 3.5
– Number of (inter-town) sangthaew trips: 3

coming into Bangkok

Train to Bangkok

– Longest single journey: Koh Samui to Bangkok.
– Longest on one mode of transport: Overnight ferry from Newcastle to Amsterdam at 14 hours.

Miscellaneous Stats and Costs
– Visits from the tooth fairy: 3
– Mail received at home (thanks Dad!): 2.3kg
– Photos taken: 4,771 or 32.9GB
– Total cost of trip: $36,000. Minus accommodation and flights as above leaves about $16,000 spent on pre-trip costs (passports, vaccinations, luggage, computer etc.), food, all other transport, activities, entry fees and spending.

List 25/52 – Updated To-Do List At Two Weeks To Go

The last to-do list published here was the six weeks to go version. Here’s that one again with some updates.

1. Get vaccinations for grown-ups (kids have had theirs.)

2. Buy a day pack.

3. Buy an e-reader.

4. Cull stuff from house and deep clean (ongoing) – bathroom and kitchen have been culled and cleaned. Still need to do playroom and bedrooms.

5. Plan Lil’s birthday/our farewell party – party is next weekend so preps will be happening this week.

6. Apply for travel credit cards.

7. Pack!

8. Book accommodation in Sydney for the night before we fly out.

9. Make arrangements for house sitters to get key.

10. Finish writing information pack for house sitters.

11. Send some winter clothes ahead to the UK via sea mail – we’ll do this the day before we fly out seeing as it’s freezing here and we’re wearing them at the moment.

12. Meet with Lil’s teacher and find out what she’ll be missing – happening this week.

And the new additions:

13. Double check house insurance and update car insurance to include house sitters.

14. Set up remaining direct debits for bills.

15. Notify centrelink of 13/14 expected income and period of absence.

16. Notify credit card of travel plans.

17. Move money around bank accounts and travel cards.

18. Scan important documents.

19. Print flight and accommodation  confirmations.

20. Tax documents.

21. Forward mail to my Dad’s address.

22. Register for postal voting for federal election.

23. Clean car inside.

24. Monitor air pollution situation in Singapore and decide if we need to change itinerary plans.

List 23/52 – Things We Might Do In Singapore

Singapore is our first stop ad we’ll be there for five nights. I’m trying not to plan out too much and give us some time to ease into this travelling business. But here are five things we will most likely do while we’re there. Food features prominently!

1. NEWater Visitor Centre

2. Singapore Zoo

3. Wander and eat in Little India

4. Eat at a hawker centre. (Or two, or more.)

5. Chinatown

What Sort of Travel Blog Will This Be?

With less than 5 weeks to go I’ve been thinking more about what sort of blog this will be while we’re travelling. I read a lot of travel blogs but my favourites are the ones that are simply personal accounts of a person or family’s travels. I enjoy reading about the practicalities. How did you get there? Where did you stay? How much did it cost? Would you recommend it to others? What did you see and do there? So that’s the sort of blog this will be. Hopefully it will be a great record for us to look back on and might help others planning a similar trip in the future.

I will be continuing the 52 Lists project along the way and will still aim to get a list up as close to each Sunday as possible. If you have any ideas for future list topics let me know!

While we’re travelling I’ll be uploading photos to flickr and iphone pics to instagram. And don’t forget to like the facebook page for quick status updates and notifications of new blog posts.

What sort of information do you like to read in a travel blog?

Prague train station

Prague train station 2005


List 21/52 – The Still To-Do List (Six Weeks To Go Edition)

Not necessarily comprehensive or in priority order, and I’m sure Dave would have some things to add to this list but I didn’t consult him.

1. Get vaccinations for grown-ups (kids have had theirs.)

2. Buy a day pack (or decide to use one we already have.)

3. Buy an e-reader.

4. Cull stuff from house (ongoing.)

5. Plan Lil’s birthday/our farewell party.

6. Apply for travel credit cards.

7. Pack!

8. Book accommodation in Sydney for the night before we fly out.

9. Make arrangements for house sitters to get key.

10. Finish writing information pack for house sitters.

11. Send some winter clothes ahead to the UK via sea mail.

12. Meet with Lil’s teacher and find out what she’ll be missing.

Six weeks!!

Day 24: on my mind #photoadayjune Travel

List 19/52 – Crossed off the to-do list this week

1. Travel vaccination consultation with doctor.

2. Kids’ vaccinations.

3. New fence!

4. New computer! Blogging to you from it right now. It’s a spiffy little light thing. Still trying to get my head around windows 8. This will be our first time travelling with a computer. No more need to seek out internet cafes like this one:

014 Internet cafe

Jaisalmer, 1999

5. My wardrobe cull completed. (Some stuff went to the op-shop, some sold on ebay and some sold to a local second-hand clothes store.)

6. Kids’ wardrobe culls completed.

There are now only eight weeks to go and still plenty remains on the to-do list but I feel like we made good progress this week.

Trip Planning Itinerary Update – 9 weeks to go!

This time in nine weeks we’ll be at Sydney airport ready to fly to Singapore and the start of our big family adventure. So how is the planning going? Pretty good! Here’s how the itinerary is looking so far.

As much as I would like to be a fly by the seat of my pants type of traveller it appears I am not. My love of planning, along with the fact that we have to work around a few things with set dates (eg. wedding, volunteering month, Christmas) means that we have pretty much mapped out most of the six months. But, there are still some places with wiggle room.

PICT0212 - flags

Kuala Lumpur – our honeymoon in 2004.

We are set for the first 16 nights, accommodation booked and all, which takes us from Singapore – JB (for Legoland) – Melaka – KL. After that we have 20 days until we need to be at the wedding location (Ko Pha Ngan) and only a vague idea of where to go in between. Penang is on the list, possibly Ipoh and the Cameron Highlands, some places in Southern Thailand. Not sure, really!

After those 20 mystery days we have 11 days booked of family wedding fun on Ko Pha Ngan and Ko Samui. Then we head to Bangkok for a few days before moving on to our one month homestay and volunteer placement in North East Thailand (exact location TBC) for September.


Ton Sai Bay, Krabi (2004)

From the beginning of October we have about a six week gap in the itinerary. We’ll need to leave Thailand to renew our visas but will probably come back and spend more time exploring. This is the biggest itinerary hole and one that we’ll decide how to fill while we’re there.


Perhaps a side trip to Laos? The Mekong River from Vientiane (2005)

In mid November we’ll be flying to London and will spend a week there (with Dave’s family) before two weeks in Scotland. In Scotland we’ll probably spend a week or so based in each of the places we used to live, Glasgow and Dundee, and do day trips from them.


Scottish View (Ullapool, 2007)

From Scotland we’ll fly to The Netherlands, spend a few days in Amsterdam and then move on to The Hague to stay with our friends there for a few days. After that we’ll play it by ear again, I think, and make our way to Paris via one or two other places and spend a week there before back to London for Christmas and New Years with the family.


Dave and Lil at The Hague, Christmas 2007

We’ll be flying out early January and hope to have a short Asian stopover on the way home to warm up again. And shop. If there’s any money left. Dave is due back at work on the 13th January.

So that’s the plan so far. Very exciting!