So our journey begins January 31st from Sydney
The above map is our rough route from 31st January – 28th May. When planning the trip and keeping track of it (map wise) I found www.travellerspoint.com‘s interactive map and planner very useful and easy to use.
Planning a trip like this can feel very daunting at first, but once you get into it its super fun. We tried not to plan too much, leaving unplanned time in places we’d be spending more time ie Vietnam, where we plan to spend 2 months.
After researching possible destinations using lonely planet guide books, other blogs/vlogs and of course the god that is google, more often than not it was a YES, we will definitely go there. So it’s decided, now our first port of call was how do we get there.
Flights around Asia are cheap, trains are cheaper and buses even cheaper still. So it all depends on your budget, but also, how much you value your time. I’ve seen 14 hour buses only 10$ cheaper than a 1/2 hour flight, so yeah, definitely look around.
Another thing, Night buses! A lot of people think night buses are a god send.
“I get to my destination whilst I sleep and save a nights accommodation! WINNING!!!” – Anonymous backpacker
My personal experience of night buses, the above is not true. Didn’t sleep for a minute, the non-stop cars and bikes beeping and the rollercoaster like bumpy roads was not all that great, I got off that 10 hour bus journey tired, frustrated and irritable. I didn’t save a nights accommodation, I lost the whole next day catching up on sleep.
I imagine they’re not all that bad, and my opinion is probably a little jaded, so i say go for it! Everyone should experience a south-east asian sleeper bus at least once.
So just as important, if not more important is how and when you are going to leave your country/destination of choice. This is crucial if your moving from country to country and we think a good idea to have planned beforehand, if not planned loosely. A lot of countries, more so airlines you fly with will ask to see proof of onward travel before boarding. It’s also worth mentioning that in some cases a bus or train will not suffice. I’ve read about and heard first hand stories of people who have been denied entry because they can’t provide this proof. I know it’s a pain, and it really does kill the free and easy vibe of travelling but it’s worth knowing. I’m sure people get around it all the time, but like anything, sure would suck to be that unlucky soul who gets refused.
As for accommodation, I wouldn’t stress too much about that. it’s abundant in most popular backpacking destinations and cheap! We tend to only book in advance for before and after flights, because who wants to walk from guesthouse to hostel in search of a room after a flight? certainly not us.
If you’re traveling to really popular destinations, like say the Thai islands in peak season I would recommend booking or at least looking at a few places just to be sure, but more often than not the walk in rate at most places is cheaper than what you can get online.
Websites like hostelworld/booking.com and Agoda are great for checking out what places still have rooms available.
I could go into more detail, but there really isnt much to it. it’s self explanitory and an enjoyable experince!