We used a company called AirTreks which specializes in RTW fares. Star Alliance is another popular RTW specialist. AirTreks worked wonderfully because we were assigned a representative (Chris you beautiful prince) and we dealt exclusively with him from start to finish. He re-worked our itinerary over and over to get us the most for our money, and even once the trip began, he was always just an email away when we ran into a crisis. And the AirTreks website is a dream; you can test different routes and destination combos and get quotes immediately.
During our three and a half weeks in Europe we used Couchsurfing.org to find hosts for all of the nights but one. The Couchsurfing response rate dropped significantly once we left Europe, and since we planned all of our travel movements at the last minute, we had a hard time getting CS hosts lined up in time. So we stuck to hostels and cheap hotels or guesthouses for the rest of the trip. We never booked ahead; we would usually show up at a train station or airport and either head straight to the tourism office to collect hostel brochures, or pick out a place listed in Lonely Planet and navigate to the listed address. In much of India and Southeast Asia the prices were somewhat negotiable, so we often saved money by not booking in advance. Helpful links:
The RTW ticket itself cost $3700 and included 12 flights, travel insurance, an Australian tourist visa, 12 diet cokes, and a lot of sodium-rich lasagna. On top of that, we had a budget of 30 American dollars per day, per person. That was meant to include all costs (lodging, food, transportation, etc.) but overland travel and human error sometimes put us over the edge (i.e. Eurail pass, money falling out of pocket). For the most part we stuck to our budget but NOBODY’S PERFECT, OKAY??? -Tip: Cash is king, so open a bank account that reimburses ATM fees. Like this one: Charles Schwab No ATM Fees.
We used a combination of transportation modes, including the following:
Yes. Many countries (India, for example) require that you apply in advance for a tourist visa, which allows you to remain in the country for a predetermined amount of time as a non-working visitor. If you want to work there you will most likely need to apply for an additional visa. Some countries allow you to purchase your tourist visa at the border, while others require that you apply months in advance. Look into the requirements BEFORE YOU GO, otherwise you may be denied entry at customs even after you’ve landed in the country. We’ve seen it happen. (Tip: Check this link: VISA HQ)
Yes. Your doctor or a travel clinic can advise based on your itinerary.
No. We actually tried to get jobs in both the UAE and Australia, but no one was willing to hire us because we didn’t have the appropriate visa and working papers.
(Tip: One way to work in a foreign country without a lengthy visa application process is by WWOOFING. Which is manual labor in exchange for room and board, dreams do come true.)