Oh hi there, travel fans! Our Travel Experts are here once more to tease and titillate, as they come up with answers to your travel questions.
Are you at your travel wit’s end? Don’t despair! Drop us an email instead, and our Experts will come up with a solution to your deepest, darkest travel problems.
This week’s travel soul in need of help is Amy from Leeds. Take it away, Amy.
I’m doing it – I’m going round the world next year! I’ve just finished uni so need to save up some cash, but I want to go away for as long as I can get away with. So I need some ideas please, Experts! Where should I go to make the most of my cash, and how long will a round the world ticket let me travel for? Amy in Leeds
A very good question, and one we get asked a lot. Experts, can you show Amy the way around the world?
Sarah Jones from STA Travel Covent Garden suggests…
The general round the world ticket has a 12 month validity, Amy, so if you’re thinking of spending more than a year travelling or just want the option to be flexible with time then I reckon you’d benefit most from buying a one-way ticket.
To be able to fund such a beast of a trip you’ll invariably have to work! Countries such as Australia or New Zealand offer the perfect opportunity for a working holiday experience. Visas last a year, plus you have the the opportunity to extend this to another year by means of fruit picking work – an experience unto its own!
The other great advantage of travelling Australia-way is that you can stopover in super cheap Southeast Asia, where your pounds will multiply into Thai Bhat millions. Yes, a mere 30p will buy you a fine Asian cold beer. Good times!
To do this kind of trip you’d fly from London to Bangkok, where the likes of Khoa San Road mean this city is the perfect Asian traveller-friendly spot to start.
After a taste of the Thai capital you can work your way overland to the neighbouring countries of Cambodia and Vietnam, then to tiny Laos before making it back down to Thailand. Our Indochina Discovery tour is a great way to do this.
Travel south down to the stunning Thai islands and while away your days relaxing, avec cocktail bucket and straw. After a good relaxation, continue your travel south through Malaysia to the super flash Singapore. Here you’ll pick up the next leg of your flight to the land Down Under.
A cunning pre-travel purchase for Australia is our job pack which will set you up nicely with a bank account, job club membership and even a few nights of dorm accommodation – perfect for a grand Aussie working holiday.
Claire Whittington from STA Travel Brighton reckons…
Nothing makes saving easier, Amy, than knowing that your hard earned cash is going to go towards that little beach hut with the sunset view in Thailand, that sky dive you’ve always wanted to do in Queenstown, or seeing the cutest baby panda ever in China! So where to go and what to do…
While most tickets allow you to go away for 1 year, why not use STA Travel’s exclusive Air New Zealand ticket and stay away from rainy old England for 18 months? I’d highly recommend adding our unlimited change Multiflex Pass to your ticket, which means for just £99 you can change your dates as many times as you want, giving you the freedom to do what you want, when you want.
With some money in your pocket I would always recommend getting the more expensive places out of the way first, so fly direct to LA for some California dreaming. Personally, I recommend the Best of the West small group trip which will tick every West Coast box you could think of, and then some.
Star spotting in LA, playing on the sand dunes in Phoenix, marvelling at the Grand Canyon (it really is unbelievably big!), trying (and probably failing) to win your fortune in Las Vegas, hiking through one of the best National Parks in the world, Yosemite, before wine tasting in one of my favourite cities, San Francisco, and finally heading down the coast to finish – phew!
These trips are a great way to budget as most stuff is included, so no nasty surprises when you get there and you know that money you have saved is yours to spend on whatever you want.
With a direct flight from here onto Auckland you can grab a hop-on hop-off bus pass – I recommend the Full Monty. What better way to see beautiful New Zealand than with your new found travelling friends and a local guide who will show you all the hidden gems that the country has to offer?
And trust me, there are a lot of hidden gems. When I was there, our guide made us run through some trees for about 10 minutes with a send-off of “you’ll know where you are going when you get there”. And we did – a swift sprint later and we caught the sun going down behind snow capped mountains reflected in the stunning lake in front of us, with the first fall of flawless snow at our feet – try finding that by yourself!
Since your bus pass allows you choose when you travel you can make this trip you own. Like somewhere? Stay a while. Love somewhere? Stay longer, you have a year to use your pass, after all.
BUT you really have to move on at some point and you may find money getting tight after all the glacier walking, white water rafting and sea kayaking you’ve been doing in New Zealand. So why not get a working holiday visa for Australia before you go?
Use one of our starter packs in Melbourne or Sydney to get yourself set up with all the boring stuff like tax file numbers and back accounts and live like a local for a while whilst you top up that bank account. Whatever job you do, your weekends can be filled with trips to the Whitsundays for a spot of sailing, or an Uluru Safari for a bit of culture and Outback camping.
When your funds are back on track, head to Asia, where you money will go a LOT further. £30 a night 4 star hotel, you say? £5 massage to release that backpack carriers tension? Oh, go on then! I’d start off in China and do some volunteering with baby pandas. I hate to say it, but you’re on your way back home, and you need to add more to your CV than 18 months of drinking, surfing and sun bathing! Nothing says “I deserve that job more than the others” than a bit of volunteering on your CV!
A short hop over to Singapore and you can be in Southeast Asia to spend whatever you have left in the cheapest continent in the world! Work your way overland using the buses and trains through Malaysia, Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos before finishing your trip with a few days in Hong Kong.
And if you have to leave, at least spend your last few nights surrounded by blow out luxury at the Mira Hotel which I’m sure will have everything you want.
Finally, spare a thought for all those people you left behind and hit the local markets for some cheapy gifts (please note: stuff you buy in Asia generally looks a lot better in Asia. My parents were less than thrilled with their elephant shaped door knocker which looked awesome in the night market but not so good in Nottingham!)
Well, what are you waiting for? Get saving!