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Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
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  #16  
Old 25 Feb 2011
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Originally Posted by othalan View Post
I may even decide to completely ditch all the above and rework my route from scratch.
Nah mate, I think you got it a good way already. Leave from home put on some pretty big miles up to Alaska and back and work out all the bugs in your setup. You have until the border with Mexico to tweak and restock with cheap online motorcycle parts. After that, things only get more expensive and harder to come by. You'll have some good travelling "fitness" by that point.

If you are all dialed in already and are watching your cash, then a straight beeline to the wonderfully inexpensive Central and South America may be something to consider.

Also, North America to South America to Africa is a good way to transition culturally and from developed countries to less developed. If you go the other way, South America seems very well organized after Africa which can be a bit of let down if you are still seeking early stage developing country adventure or a plus if you are looking for the opportunity to recharge a bit.

The most common shipping method from Buenos Aires to South Africa is with Malaysian Air Cargo.

Happy riding.
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  #17  
Old 25 Feb 2011
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Originally Posted by MountainMan View Post
Nah mate, I think you got it a good way already. Leave from home put on some pretty big miles up to Alaska and back and work out all the bugs in your setup. You have until the border with Mexico to tweak and restock with cheap online motorcycle parts. After that, things only get more expensive and harder to come by. You'll have some good travelling "fitness" by that point.
I had almost forgotten that in my early reasoning. I was originally thinking of the Alaska leg as a shakedown trip, with repair & maintenance before I enter Mexico.

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Originally Posted by MountainMan View Post
If you are all dialed in already and are watching your cash, then a straight beeline to the wonderfully inexpensive Central and South America may be something to consider.
I was recently debating this exact topic. It would be nice to have Alaska as a Shakedown trip (and because I want to go there!), but the money I'd save by heading directly south would give me a lot more freedom in Europe and/or later in the trip. It'll probably come down to what my actual finances look like closer to when I leave....

Thanks for the feedback, MountainMan!
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  #18  
Old 25 Feb 2011
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NA is indeed generally expensive, although if the shakedown trip is pretty high on your list of things to accomplish, you could also flash it in late spring and return to work a bit more and compile more cash.

It can however also be done fairly inexpensively if cash is tight and you are commited to camping. As you can imagine the wild camping opportunites in B.C. and the Yukon are almost limitless. Can be tough though in bad weather, the allure of the warm hotel room is hard to pass up if one isn't set up to camp in the rain.
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  #19  
Old 25 Feb 2011
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Regards camping - which might be a good option, especially to bring down costs, for example in Europe, N.America, Australia, even parts of Africa - in South & Southeast Asia accommodation is so aplenty, and cheap, that I would actually consider sending camping equipment home (or somewhere, where I was going to need them again). Climate does suit camping, especially in the dry season, but they don´t usually have campgrounds, so you´d need to wild camp, and in densely populated areas a good spot, where there is no-one, could be tough to find except in some mountain areas.

I don´t necessarily mean that this would be a security threat, but for me, it would be frustrating to have 20-100 people staying next to your tent, and staring at everything you do. Park your bike anywhere in India, and wait 10 minutes, and you´ll see what I mean!

Here´s an example from South India (I think this may be from around the 5 minute mark, ´cos you can still see the bike... )

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  #20  
Old 25 Feb 2011
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Fantastic picture! Makes me want to caption it "The Gathering", or perhaps "There Can Be Only One (of those bikes in existence)" or maybe "Now just watch this little red light for me (while I convince you that is a motorcycle and not an alien spaceship)".

Hmm, I must be awake far too long now to find that as amusing as I do....

Odd thought though. I'm used to traveling here in the USA where it almost seems a commandment: "Thou Shalt Ignore That Which Is Intriguing".

As for camping: I am planning on taking along camping gear and will use it frequently in the USA & Canada. Some people keep meaning to camp but end up in hotels anyways. I seem to do the reverse most of the time I travel. Though I'm a bit unusual in that I don't usually cook when I camp.

That is already factored into my finances however. Not because I need to camp to afford the trip (I don't by any stretch of the imagination) but because I know I will do it automatically.

I have no clue how much I will be camping once I'm out of the USA. I've also never been on the road more than a month at a time, which could easily change how often I am willing to camp. Sending the unused gear home (or onward) is a great idea which I will definitely keep in mind!
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  #21  
Old 25 Feb 2011
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On our trip from Europe to Oz 3 years ago (that photo is from this trip, and there´s more at: www dot moto1 dot com / blog ) we sent plenty of stuff, like warmer riding gear, our cooking device, etc. home from India and I think also from Thailand. Took some time to arrive, but we were still travelling, so no problem. And they arrived intact, but I wouldnt send anything of high value by regular mail.

BTW, an Indian mail office (in general!), and how they´ll wrap your packages into a sort of woven fabric, and make the seals into it and everything, is like a trip back in time, and an experience in itself!

edit. I don´t like how the browser converts direct links to look like, especially this one, because it adds Scandinavian letters, that might not display correctly everywhere, but for your convenience, here it is (and that site is not mine, its a magazine´s site, that I´ve written to):
[url=http://www.moto1.fi/blog]

edit-2. ^ ok then, seems it´s not working... Reason #2, why I don´t like to put direct links!! (But I don´t mind, if you put up one, if you know how to make it work!) I probably should put it in my signature.

Last edited by pecha72; 25 Feb 2011 at 11:05.
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  #22  
Old 25 Feb 2011
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Originally Posted by pecha72 View Post
On our trip from Europe to Oz 3 years ago (that photo is from this trip, and there´s more at: www dot moto1 dot fi/blog) we sent plenty of stuff, like warmer riding gear, our cooking device, etc. home from India and I think also from Thailand.
Although very nice of you to try to not pimp your own site, I'm pretty sure people wouldn't mind you putting in an active link. Unless you're doing it for some other reason, of course.

And sheesh you look like my brother-in-law. It's downright scary!
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  #23  
Old 27 Feb 2011
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othalan

Shake down run to Alaska is a good idea, you will find the weak points and how much stuff you packed that you do not need. Send me an email when you go through Washington (ether up or down), have a good shop where you can fix what needs done and always a place to camp.

Oh how I wish I was going too. If you stop in I can share my two cents worth on the Alaska route as well as Mexico, CA, and SA.

One unfortunate thing to keep in mind is that due to our brilliant economic planners the US $ is in the toilet. Just did seven weeks in Australia and found that most things were twice what we would pay in the USA.

Bob
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  #24  
Old 19 Mar 2011
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Othalan

I don't mean to be the turd in the punch bowl... I was just wondering you say you think you have enough money to go at least 3 years maybe 4+ years. How much money are you planning on having in order to do this? I realize I'm about to get lots of responses from everyone about well if you camp, if you eat here, if you see this tourist thing, if you don't go there,if you kill your own food, etc. I know it varies tremendously. It seems you've researched this more than I, and already have a number in mind. I am planning roughly the same trip as you, happy to say just as vague as yours! Though I don't plan nearly as many jumps, and probably won't visit as many expensiveish places, I was wondering what the number you came up with. Thanks so much for your help, and maybe I'll see you on the road this summer!
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  #25  
Old 19 Mar 2011
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Originally Posted by GS_Girl View Post
I don't mean to be the turd in the punch bowl... I was just wondering you say you think you have enough money to go at least 3 years maybe 4+ years. How much money are you planning on having in order to do this? I realize I'm about to get lots of responses from everyone about well if you camp, if you eat here, if you see this tourist thing, if you don't go there,if you kill your own food, etc. I know it varies tremendously. It seems you've researched this more than I, and already have a number in mind. I am planning roughly the same trip as you, happy to say just as vague as yours! Though I don't plan nearly as many jumps, and probably won't visit as many expensiveish places, I was wondering what the number you came up with. Thanks so much for your help, and maybe I'll see you on the road this summer!
I actually have no clue how much money it will take. I can walk you through the process I used, but you probably won't be satisfied with the result....

First, a lot of my decisions are based on my own experience from past travels. I know I have a tendency to camp. I know I almost never cook my own food, but always find the cheapest restaurants (preferably ones that I can get 2 means for the price of 1). I know I will drink alcohol periodically.

I've also looked into estimates of what it takes to travel in various parts of the world and separated the world into 4 "tiers" of countries, based on cost estimates by others and modified by my own travel style. For typical daily expenses (NOT visas, insurance, cell phone SIM cards, shipping, maintenance, etc. etc.) I came up with the following list. I have no clue how accurate it will be outside the USA.

Tier 1: $60 - $100 / day
The expensive parts of Europe

Tier 2: $40 - $80 / day
USA, Canada, Europe (less expensive), Northern Asia (Russia, etc.), Australia

Tier 3: $30 - $50 / day
Central America, South America

Tier 4: $20 - $50 / day
Africa, Southern Asia

I then planned out generically how much time I want to spend in various parts of the world to get a first cut at how much money I might need for the trip. Then I started planning some possible routes to find out more realistically how much time I will spend in each location. Then I start connecting those routes to the above numbers. Then I add in funding for things like shipping between continents, maintenance, visas, touristy things, the carnet, etc.

In the end I come up with a list of numbers that give me a goal to reach before I leave. It is incredibly generic, but it gives me something to shoot for. Here are some of the ranges of funds I come up with using the above, varying route and daily expenses:

2 years: $29k - $80k
3 years: $48k - $105k
4 years: $80k - $160k

Not very helpful is it?

My actual funds also took a severe hit recently: Selling my house was a lot more expensive than I expected because of the bad housing market.

How long will my money last? No clue. I am 100% confident of 2 years. I am 70% confident of 3 years. I think there is a reasonable chance of 4 years if I am careful, or my numbers are overly pessimistic.

But all of that could change. I might decide to skip Australia to spend more time in Europe. I might look for work while on the road. I might have been pessimistic in my cost estimates. I might even delay leaving so that I can work up more money.
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  #26  
Old 20 Mar 2011
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No acutally that was really helpful! Thank you. I obviously need to sit down with a calculator and do some math, which I hate, but at least I know where to start now. Your trip sounds amazing, and from what I've heard from people who have actually gone RTW "GO NOW" you'll always come up with reasons why not to leave, not enough money, need more things, need more practice, personal relationships etc. Especially about the money, I've been told it's better to just go, you won't regret that you didn't stay home and make more money first, once you're out there! Best of luck, and I might be following your trail out of Colorado shortly!
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  #27  
Old 20 Mar 2011
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Originally Posted by GS_Girl View Post
No acutally that was really helpful! Thank you. I obviously need to sit down with a calculator and do some math, which I hate, but at least I know where to start now. Your trip sounds amazing, and from what I've heard from people who have actually gone RTW "GO NOW" you'll always come up with reasons why not to leave, not enough money, need more things, need more practice, personal relationships etc. Especially about the money, I've been told it's better to just go, you won't regret that you didn't stay home and make more money first, once you're out there! Best of luck, and I might be following your trail out of Colorado shortly!
I'm actually the opposite: I'm not looking for an excuse not to go yet....I'm looking for an excuse to go now, in spite of the fact that I have not yet reached my target funding for the trip I want. The trip has reached critical mass and will not be stopped.

As for planning ... Work up a spreadsheet to do the numbers for you. That way you can plug in different numbers and see what happens to your trip. Makes the math rather fun that way.

Hope to see you on the road!
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  #28  
Old 20 Mar 2011
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Originally Posted by othalan View Post

Tier 1: $60 - $100 / day
The expensive parts of Europe

Tier 2: $40 - $80 / day
USA, Canada, Europe (less expensive), Northern Asia (Russia, etc.), Australia

Tier 3: $30 - $50 / day
Central America, South America

Tier 4: $20 - $50 / day
Africa, Southern Asia
Haven´t been all around Africa, only the southern parts... but I think the continent in general is actually not as cheap as south&southeast Asia. Some parts of it might be, though. So maybe Africa should be divided into areas, or be put on tier 3 on your list?

Also the difference in costs of living between Western Europe and cheapest parts of Asia could easily be more than 2- or even 3-fold.
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  #29  
Old 20 Mar 2011
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Originally Posted by pecha72 View Post
Haven´t been all around Africa, only the southern parts... but I think the continent in general is actually not as cheap as south&southeast Asia. Some parts of it might be, though. So maybe Africa should be divided into areas, or be put on tier 3 on your list?

Also the difference in costs of living between Western Europe and cheapest parts of Asia could easily be more than 2- or even 3-fold.
All of the above daily costs are a gross generalization for the purpose of planning. For example, I happen to know from experience that I can travel the USA on $30/day if I want to.

I don't have the patience to research travel costs for every single country independently. I also cannot assume the worst possible case as I would then never have enough money for the trip. Nor can I assume the best or I would run out of money. So I make ridiculous generalizations and hope the errors balance themselves out.
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