At the airport an extra hour earlier than usual to organize last minute for this open-ended trip.
After making the hardest decision of my life, what better way to move forward then a transition of travel? While it has been a chaotic last two weeks ending with a relaxing road trip with friends, I am finally able to complete my travel check list by laying out my budget.
Mission: Singapore, Southeast Asia, Europe, Iceland, New York, St. Thomas, and ending home in Texas to finally see my family, all under the budget of roughly $16,000 NZD. I have done the following things prior to my trip:
- Vaccinations at LEAST two weeks prior-Hep A/Malaria/Menegitis $500NZD
- First aid and medicine purchases like bug spray, sun block, dehydration and diaharrea pills $50NZD
- Create a small notebook to record EVERYTHING (including accounts, insurance emergency numbers, addresses, flights, hostels, activities, notes, songs etc) -very handy when you need to reference something and may not have internet access
- Travel Insurance – could care less about my belongings but hospital bills suck and accidents happen $500 NZD
- Packed and repacked my bag three times, constantly testing it out by carrying it around for 15 minutes – that will make you think twice about how badly you need that shirt, pair of heels or fancy shampoo case – got my pack down to 12 KG!! Most airlines accept 20-25 kg but trust me, you DO NOT want to pack this much. *you are entering nomadic mode, FYI you are NOT going to be sexy. My best advice to you is pack your best outfit in a nice plastic bag and treat this as your million dollar outfit. Only pull it out when you feel sick and tired of your other six outfits and you will mentally feel like a celebrity because you will treat this one garment with care and not care about the rest. Also with packing, start by attempting to squeeze everything you can into your backpack, then take it all out – cut load by HALF and squeeze back in, pull out of bag again and double check items and how often they would be used.
- Researched flight agents vs individual one way tickets and found it cheaper (if you don’t mind being super organised) to just buy your own stuff. Now I feel like I shouldn’t be encouraging this considering my previous job was paid for BY travel agents, however I found it more simple to design this trip to fit me. With that being said there are plenty of travel agents who can find you great deals and you should always compare at least 3 to be safe you have the best price)While it is good to plan ahead and buy tickets, I feel like there is a point when too much preparation can get frustrating.
- Jetstar one-way flight from Auckland to Singapore $471NZD
- Air India one-way flight from Thailand to Germany $521USD
- Iceland Air one-way flight from London to New York City with four-day layover in Iceland $600USD
- Expedia purchase for Washington D.C. to St. Thomas and St. Thomas to San Antonio $600USD
- After the major tickets were purchased I went back to focus on my first leg of the trip knowing I can sort the rest out as I go. Booked my hostel for the first night in Singapore
- Double check VISA requirements for your countries to give yourself of a heads up of when and where you should fill out the visa application * Also because customs will most likely need to see you are entering AND LEAVING their country. These minor tickets can be purchased along the way so you still allow for a care-free travel schedule according to the cool people you meet along the way
- With roughly $3000 NZD spent on major flights, insurance, medical and last minute things that left $13000NZD to separate onto travel cards *recommend asking for duplicates so you have a backup set if your carry pack or backpack get stolen. $6600NZD = $5340USD and $6000NZD=3707EURO and left $400NZD in my bank for back up card. I chose USD to use in Asia because then I don’t need to panic about how much money to put on and where – the remainder of this card can carry over to my funds when I return home as a broke hobo.
Alright, I think that is everything, Wish me luck on my first stop!