Round the World: Choosing what to do (Part 1)

I’m going around the world in March (and parts of February and April) and I’m trying to detail the whole ordeal. Here’s what I’ve got thus far:

Who, Where, When…and Why?
How?
Eye of the Storm
Choosing what to do (Part 1)
Immunizations
Dry Run to Rome

One of the most overwhelming things about a trip like this is when you get into actually planning the day-to-day activities. For short trips, it’s one of my favorite parts. But for something as big as this, I’ve found my self really slacking off.

For now, Mike and I decided to focus on the first half our trip (New Zealand, Australia, Seoul, Kathmandu, and Bhutan). When you break it down into distinct pieces like that, making decisions becomes quite a bit easier. Fortunately, I’ve found with most first-time visits to places, there’s such a wealth of great information out there that some of these plan themselves.1

We have a bit of an open-ended swing in New Zealand and Australia. We booked our Skyteam flights into Auckland, New Zealand and out of Sydney, Australia with intentions of getting from New Zealand to Australia on our own. This gave us a bit more leeway into deciding how much time to spend in each place.2

We knew we wanted to road trip around New Zealand. A Google search confirmed that this was not an original plan. Far from it. Hundreds of people have done the same thing and posted guides to doing so. These guides are invaluable tools. Not because we couldn’t find these things to do on our own, but because it gives us a template to work on putting things together. A road trip grants you the freedom to go anywhere at any time, but to continue on with our larger trip, we need to start in Auckland and end in Wellington. Fortunately for us, the New Zealand Travel Bureau already anticpated our need. Those guys are the best.


From top to bottom
The amount of time we’re spending in New Zealand, puts a weird crunch on the next week of our trip. Because of the way the schedule works out, the other four places on the list are going to be done in just over a week (two days in Sydney, one day in Seoul, one in Kathmandu and three in Bhutan). That means planning takes a much more rigid structure. We’re planning on having a pretty rigid schedule in Sydney, Seoul and Kathmandu, just to be able to see anything. And, as I’ll talk about in a future update, Bhutan is pre-planned for us.

Choosing what to do for any trip can be a daunting task, but when you’ve got one with as many stops as we do, it can seem impossible to plan. My suggestion is to think about these parts of the trip as their own separate entity. Don’t let the things you decide to do in New Zealand affect the things you want to do in Sydney. You may find overlapping activities on your trip, but trust me, you’ll be much more likely to maintain your sanity.

  1. Seriously. Just Google “XX Days in YY”, you’ll probably get a hit. It’s when you start getting into second and third time visits that things get a bit more difficult. I’ve found that for some of the deeper cuts, it’s good to know someone who’s lived there and can give you a fuller view of things.
  2. As I mentioned before, with this specific award ticket, you’re only allowed six stops in total. But you can book into one city and out of another and have it only count as one stop. So instead of blowing two of our six stops on New Zealand and Australia, we’re flying into Auckland and out of Sydney and booked a flight from Wellington to Sydney on our own (using Citi ThankYou Points). This allows us to spend time in both New Zealand and Australia, while only counting as one stop.