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World Trip - 3-4 Years of Saving

Hello everyone! So I’ve been on various threads on the forum discussing things like my European trip and my Peru trip. It was all actually supposed to be a 6 month RTW trip but alas, 2020 had other plans :/

HOWEVER my spirit is far from broken and ive come to terms with having to do my trip in 3-4 smaller chunks. I joined the Navy in 2015, where shortly after I found out my very recent ex from back home started dating my best friend. Obviously it was a bit of shock and it was heart breaking to hear. My first year was just a giant period of adjusting and getting over things I had no control of back at home.

I actually don’t know what sparked it, but one day I decided I was going to take this opportunity I gave myself to save my money and see the world. I planned out a strict savings plan and I never diverted. I lived on the ship instead of getting an apartment like my friends, I ate nasty galley food instead of going out, and I waited sometimes an hour in line just to do things like shower and wash my clothes. For 3 and a half years i did this with only one goal in mind and somehow, I actually saw it through to the end. I may have to thank the military for that discipline.

Anyways, the goal was to go see 10 distinct places around the world, which is extremely hard to do when you consider how diverse our world is. There were some obvious candidates however like Egypt and Italy. I’ve been on the forum trying to find some inspiration to finish making my list. So far I have 9, and every time I pick a 10th, my brain starts going “ok, but what if...”.

Maybe somebody who has been to any country I’m not about to list can give me some insight about what could potentially compliment the list and help make it more better rounded, global experience...with 10 tiny parts hahaha

Anyways, the list goes as such

  1. United Kingdom
  2. France
  3. Italy
  4. Greece
  5. Egypt
  6. India
  7. China
  8. Peru
  9. Kenya
  10. ???

Given what you see from the list, what could be a very cool destination that would add some more diverse experiences that contribute to the “around the world” vibe? I’ve considered places like Thailand, Morocco, Mexico, Israel, Jordan, Germany...but it’s hard without having any actual insight since I haven’t been anywhere since I was 15. Yeah shocker for a United States sailor. Loads of sea operations but no foreign deployments :(

Posted by
1112 posts

Good for you for sticking to your goals. You sound very disciplined. I would suggest Iceland and/or the Faroe Islands.

Posted by
2019 posts

Australia or New Zealand, it would be another continent. Or how about Singapore, the Philippines, South Korea, or Japan to add another Asian country. My husband wants to do a trip around the world but I don’t want to be away for that long a period.

Posted by
162 posts

Good luck with this...sounds like an amazing adventure...my fav place
in Europe and a Unesco World Heritage sight is the Lauterbrunnen valley
in Switzerland surrounded by the Alps with great hikes and awesome
scenery and amazing train rides.

Posted by
4810 posts

Glad things are looking positive for you. I take it that neither your ex or your (former?) best friend will be joining you on your travels! And are you done with boats - no islands on a travel itinerary?

Also, are you North American? Is any of Canada/USA/Mexico a potential candidate?

During your navy time, did you see lots if the world, by land or by sea? Are those places “been there, done that,” so you’re looking for totally new adventures? Is there anywhere you went during the navy for just a moment, and you’d like more time there?

Ireland is a wonderful place to visit. One of our trips was by bicycle, down the western coast.

One amazing trip was Bulgaria/Romania/Slovenia/Croatia, with Venice at the end.

I don’t see Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Czech Republic, Poland, or surrounding countries on your list.

Same with Scandinavia. As Mary said, Iceland, but there’s also Denmark, Sweden, and/or Finland.

To complete the list of continents, in addition to Australia/New Zealand as Barbara noted, there’s always Antarctica!

Posted by
25532 posts

Having India as one place is like having Africa as one place.

There is a terrific variety throughout India. You could have the majority of your 10 places without leaving the country....

Posted by
935 posts

Wish I was in your shoes. Lonely Planet has a book titled The World that might be helpful: https://shop.lonelyplanet.com/products/lonely-planet-guide-to-the-world-2 and has suggested itineraries.
I like how you’re dealing with the “old boyfriend” dilemma by traveling the world. Your life will be more adventurous than his and not only that, you’ll be more educated because of it.
Another tip is to check each country you plan to visit on travel.state.com. You’ll learn plenty and you also should enroll in STEP before going.

Posted by
6317 posts

Definitely Australia and/or New Zealand. I always wanted to go to Australia but never got there. I did spend 3 weeks in New Zealand and absolutely fell in love with it. Can't recommend it highly enough. Doesn't have the ancient history sights like many of your other choices, but their native history is amazing and the natural wonders are everywhere.

Posted by
5883 posts

Airlines used to offer "around the world" itineraries at special rates, letting you hop all the way around the globe with many route options. Last time I looked.

Posted by
249 posts

It's a little Euro heavy. Maybe trade out France or Italy for either somewhere more East on the continent- Poland or Russia?- or go further east to Indonesia or Vietnam. I was going to say Australia to add something in the more Asian part of the world but that's just not different enough. I don't have personal experience with these areas (except Poland, which was a great trip and the last one I went on before, you know, so maybe I'm just being nostalgic for 2 years ago), but I've missed planning something so will give an uninformed opinion anyway. I would also add on Mexico (which I have actually been to) since it adds to the Americas part of the trip and (assuming you're American) has a strong connection historically and culturally to us. (The Yucatan is great but I'd recommend Puebla and/or Oaxaca- they're about a 5 or 6 hour bus from each other, easy to combine in one trip, and covers both indigenous culture and history and colonial sites).

Posted by
1916 posts

Back when we lived in Singapore we booked the Round the World fare on Star Alliance several times to get to the US and back. It can be a great deal if you're seriously into a once in a lifetime globe circling adventure. Pretty cost-effective too for what you get - 15 destinations and up to one full year to complete the journey.
Can read about it here: https://roundtheworld.staralliance.com/staralliance/EN/round-the-world
If it sounds like something you'd be interested in you can send me a PM for more practical info on how to make best use of the program.

Posted by
882 posts

Antarctica or someplace in the extreme north.

Posted by
93 posts

Great responses :) Yeah I know my trip is a little heavy on Europe but the four countries are so unique it’s hard to imagine taking out places like Paris or Rome. It’s weird but Greece never felt like Europe to me. Sort of like Egypt in Africa. They are both on those respective continents but there was always this vibe that those places had that made them so unique.

I have considered Iceland and places like Norway or Denmark. I’m actually part Norwegian so it’d be fitting. But it sort of feels like I would be adding more to Europe. Same with Switzerland though the Lauterbrunnen Valley looks gorgeous. I’ll have to see it in the future on a return trip.

As for Asia, all of those choices seem great actually. Maybe south east Asia? How does Thailand and Cambodia compare to China. I’ll be in Beijing, Xi’an, Suzhou, and Shanghai.

India is crazy diverse! I’ll be in New Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur exploring the golden circle for my first trip but I would like to return and go north to Shimla or south to Goa :).

Antarctica! If only hahaha. Maybe in the future :) I’ve seen packages $6000 and up for that kind of adventure. Definitely on the bucket list:

Australia and New Zealand seem intriguing. I need to do more research on them. Possibly a Sydney and Cairns trip or. A Sydney trip and then fly to New Zealand and see Hobbiton and some gorgeous mountains?

Mexico is also super intriguing and I only have one country in Latin America so far. I really want to see the Mayan Ruins like Chitzen Itza and Tulum. That would be cool to mix that with my Inca experiences in Peru. And compliments all the other ancient cultures I’m getting to see.

Turkey is incredible I hear! Especially Istanbul. It would be really cool to go from Rome to Athens to Istanbul and really experience those ancient worlds back to back.

Indiana Jones may or may not have played a role in my inspiration hahaha.

Posted by
6694 posts

I would have picked Antarctica (yes, it will blow the budget completely) or even Greenland or Argentina (Tierra Del Fuego in the extreme south, for example). Also, I can't think of a country in South America more diverse and interesting (landscapes, food, cultures) than Brazil, although I would not go until they get covid under control which may take several years and lots of pain/ loss. Ecuador is also a great choice - compact, diverse, and truly unique (Galapagos Islands, volcanoes, cloud forest, ocean, etc).

Posted by
2707 posts

Moscow. And then take the regular trans-Siberian railway to China (or to the branch to China…can’t recall if that has a different name).

Posted by
3464 posts

Turkey is incredible I hear! Especially Istanbul. It would be really cool to go from Rome to Athens to Istanbul and really experience those ancient worlds back to back.

Been to all three and I think you might have hit upon the answer to your question.

Posted by
93 posts

Doing the Transiberian Railway from Russia to China would be such an incredible experience. I have no idea how long that train ride would be or how much spending $$$ I would need to bring after the tickets were payed for. I can’t imagine the meals and drinks and just free.

I never considered Ecuador before but that’s actually a really cool suggestion. More research is required. Same for Brazil.

There’s definitely no question about the historical significance of Istanbul, and it definitely adds a different vibe from my other list choices. I don’t know what I would do however beyond Istanbul. It seems like Istanbul might be the only part of Turkey I have any knowledge on.

Posted by
221 posts

Australia and New Zealand seem intriguing. I need to do more research on them. Possibly a Sydney and Cairns trip

If you go to AU don't overlook Melbourne and The Great Ocean Road :)

Posted by
3464 posts

...I don’t know what I would do however beyond Istanbul...

We spent two very full days in Istanbul including a half day trip to Ephuses. Could have spent another two or three days. Trust me, you'll not want for things to do there.

Posted by
1112 posts

Re Turkey recommendations - Cappadocia is other worldly. Be sure to do a balloon ride over the fairy chimneys. A gullet (sp?) cruise on the southern coast. Pammukale is amazing. Ephesus. Re Iceland - Although it is considered to be in Europe, it is truly different from the other European countries.

Posted by
5 posts

So many choices to make! It sounds like a wonderful journey in the making. I add a hearty vote for New Zealand. I've been to both Australia & NZ, the latter several times. It depends on your interests of course, but you may find New Zealand much more comfortable as a first-time visitor, and you'll get an amazing array of landscapes for a small country. Happy travels!

Posted by
93 posts

Hey so I’m researching everyone’s suggestions and I found something for Mexico where it goes from Playa Del Carmen (& Chitzen Itza) to Merida to Palenque to San Cristobal de las Casas. Then it hops the border into Guatemala and ends in Antigua. This could be a cool option. Combination of ruins, cenotes, jungles and mountains, and historical/colonial towns. Anyone been to any of these places?

Also while I’m here, does anyone have any knowledge on African Safaris? I have a 8-10 day tour (depending on what option I pick) where I’m in Kenya and/or Tanzania. I’ll be animal watching and hanging out with the Masai People...I think 2-3 times. I have to look at the tour again. How much spending $$$ should I bring? It’s through G Adventures and it’s only for 8-10 days. The rooms/tents are covered through the tour. I have $1000 put away but I don’t know if that is sufficient.

Posted by
4820 posts

You have six months, but your list is very long. I have been traveling overseas since 1980 and visited 78 foreign countries. I have been to all on your list except Kenya and have a safari booked there for next August.
I know that Around the World tickets are available and you have to go in one direction. That could work for you, except I am not sure how you would fit in Kenya in this. Safari season for the best is during the Great Migration in late July and August. Consider setting aside Kenya for another day.

  1. United Kingdom, most of my ancestors come from the British Isles and we love going there. There is much to see. We did one trip there in 2017 for 4 week renting a car and visiting S. Wales and England. We didn't go to London, our largest cities were Cardiff, York and Durham.
    Here is my detailed review of our trip. Four weeks in the UK staying in good but modest B&Bs with rental car cost about $8-9,000.
    https://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=599139
    We did Scotland on two other trips that included cruises. Don't miss Edinburgh, St. Andrews, Inverness and Loch Ness.

  2. France, we have been there several times and of course Paris is a must for about 6 days minimum. Normandy is great as is the Chateux region of the Loire Valley south of Paris as well as Strasbourg on the Rhine and especially the SE France (Provence). We took the bullet train down to Lyon and then a river cruise on the Rhone/Saone. You may not wish to do that, but you could see the same places. When you arrive in Arles, then go to the Riveria and see Cannes, Monaco, Nice, etc.
    Here is my review of our river cruise in Provence.
    AMA Rhone River
    http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=103733

For Paris, get a good guidebook.

  1. Italy, my favored foreign country, filled with history, art and great food. Don't miss the big three of Venice, Florence and Rome. Also, consider visiting the Naples area, stay in Sorrento and visit Pompeii, Capri, and the Amalfi Coast. There is a lot more to Italy, love Tuscany with Siena, Pisa, Lucca. Plan on spending 15-17 days in Italy minimum.

  2. Greece, start in Athens, plan on 4-5 days there. You will need two days just to see the Acropolis, Parthenon, New Acropolis Museum, Old Acropolis Museum and Archaeological Museum. Take take trips to Delphi and Sounion. If time to Corinth to see the canal. Then head to the islands. Look for a cruise for a few days, Santorini, Mykonos, Crete, as well as the day trip to island near Athens. There are ferries to these islands and some of the other islands.

  3. Egypt, this country is amazing, since you will see things that were ancient when the Romans took over the country 2000 years ago. Spend a few days in Cairo at the Pyramids and the Egyptian Museum and other sites then pickup a Nile River cruise in southern Egypt that usually start in either Aswan or Luxor and end in the other. Buy the cruise prior to departing for the trip. This will be one of the top items on your world trip. Compare river cruise lines there are many. Check out Gate 1.

Your next country is India, but I suggest you add this one on your way east.
5a. Israel should not be missed. It is loaded with history and it is a wonderful country. If you have time and money do a tour that includes Israel and Jordan. Jerusalem is a must see.

  1. India, we visited SW India while on a cruise from Singapore to Dubai and it was interesting. Lots of history there. Still, India, like Egypt is a poor Third World Country that some can be shocked by the poverty and conditions. A drive on a highway between cities seems more like a demolition derby than a trip. We didn't go to northern India, Dehli and Agra to see the Taj Mahal, so I can't comment more on that country. If you are determined to go there, be careful what you eat and drink (also, same for Egypt).

more to follow

Posted by
4820 posts
  1. China, We did a three week tour of that country and I would suggest taking a tour that you book ahead of your trip. Here is my review of our tour, which was fantastic. http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1718320

You left out Japan, which was one of our most favorite countries. We loved the people as well as what we saw there. Also, it was the cleanest country in the World by far.
Here is my review which includes a cruise from Japan to Hong Kong.
Japan and a little bit of China
https://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=518503&et_cid=2531924&et_rid=17221689&et_referrer=Boards

Also, you left out Australia, which is a wonderful country. Just to mention.

  1. Peru, we have been to Peru twice, first for one day on a cruise were we visited Lima, then for a four day tour of Cusco, the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu. We used a great tour company in Peru called PeruAgency.com Our tour for four days cost $799 pp. Great deal. Machu Picchu is amazing. The food in Peru is special. If you love South America, then consider a cruise around the Horn from Buenos Aires to Chile.

9.Kenya, haven't been there, but I made comment on that earlier.

As for number 10, I already made some suggestions. You mentioned Thailand, Morocco, Mexico, Israel, Jordan, Germany. I have already mentioned Jordan. I have been to all the other places. They are all good, Israel is a must see. Thailand is good, but if you are going to China and perhaps Japan, I would skip Thailand. You could fit Germany into your plan before Greece or perhaps before Italy. If you do Germany, best areas are in the Rhine Valley, Bavaria and around Berlin. If you plan on adding
Germany, send me a message and I can assist.

Good luck and enjoy your trip. Also, be sure to buy health insurance and medical evacuation for your trip. It is not so expensive. I use American Express.

Posted by
21 posts

I will give you my 2 cents, and that is about all it is worth. We have had a goal to see all of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Chichén Itzá,Machu Picchu, Christ the Redeemer, Petra, Colosseum, Taj Mahal, and The Great Wall of China.

This list alone would take you to: Mexico, Peru, Brazil, Italy, Jordan, India, and China.

Then throw in the only remaining original wonder of the world, the Great Pyramids. That will add Egypt.

While you are close add Greece, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Korea, or Japan.

Just to round out the globe a bit you could add a couple of the Natural Wonders. Like Victoria Falls, and the Great Barrier Reef.

Once your plan has firmed up I hope you will post some details. Whatever you decide to do i wish you nothing but Happy Travels.

Posted by
93 posts

So the more I research, the more and more attractive Mexico starts looking to me. I’ve actually been before when I was 15. I ended up seeing the Aztec Ruins in Mexico City and then went to Cancún for the beach.

I would very much like to go back as an adult and see the Mayan ruins all over the Yucatán. Tulum is gorgeous and will add a beautiful beach vibe and jungle vibe when I see Chitzen Itza or Coba. It seems like Mexico would compliment all of my ancient sites around the world, but it’s still so different from anything else listed and it will add another country in Latin America to see.

If this becomes my final decision, then the country break down would have me going to 2 countries in Latin America, 2 in Africa (3 if I do both Kenya and Tanzania), 2 in Asia, and 4 in Europe. Europe does seem sort of heavy but the 4 countries are so different that it doesn’t even seem like they are all on the same continent.

Posted by
54 posts

Another vote here for Australia! I would also like to suggest Costa Rica. It is also a magical place that should be considered.

Posted by
24 posts

Hello, how about adding Australia to that list! We have incredible contrasting landscapes, modern exciting cities and an ancient culture to explore. We are worth the long flight and are a fun and welcoming people. Come on down under :)

Posted by
4820 posts

I recommend saving Mexico for another trip. It is close to the USA and cheap to fly there.

Teotihuacan Pyramids are impressive as well as Mayan sites in Mexico and Central America, also Mexico City is a great place to visit.
However, note that travel to Mexico has its own risks. The drug cartels have almost taken over the country and there are parts of the country that you should NEVER go. Still, it can be done, if you take precautions.

Australia is wonderful, but when considering your total plans, I assume you would do this trip on an around the world ticket, it might be hard to fit in the long side trip to Australia.

Posted by
93 posts

You guys are certainly making Australia sound appealing. Coming from the East Coast of the States, it just comes with this deadly price tag for flights. Are there any cheap flight options to Sydney from Charlotte, NC?

Oh and to the question about the RTW situation, unfortunately due to school obligations, the opportunity to go around the world for 6 months is pretty much gone. Thanks covid. These travels will pretty much comprise of 4-5 separate trips during the summer months. I’m already dreading that Egyptian and Greek heat.

  1. UK-France-Italy-Greece
  2. Kenya-Tanzania
  3. Peru
  4. China-India-Egypt
  5. ??? Hahaha
Posted by
1916 posts

For info, just because you have up to a year to complete the RTW journey doesn't mean than you're required to stretch it out over that length of time. As I recall you could blitz thru the trip in as little as a week if you choose to do so.
Point being that the RTW fare might work well for a couple of months over the summer if that's all the time you have. Given the cost of an economy class round trip ticket to some of your destinations the RTW fare might be a very cost-effective option. Besides, how many teachers can brag to their students in September that they just finished a trip around the world?
Might add besides Star Alliance (United, Singapore Air, etc.) there's also the One World pass offered by members of the American Airlines alliance. Might be worth a look too.

Posted by
4820 posts

Your latest post

UK-France-Italy-Greece
Kenya-Tanzania
Peru
China-India-Egypt
??? Hahaha

1) Some countries it is much better to take a guided tour than going on your own.
China, India, Egypt, also a safari in East Africa all are best done on a tour.

Egypt has some security issues that I would never advise going there without taking a tour, unless you are just going to Cairo to see the Pyramids. All tours have Egyptian government armed guards to protect the tourists.

China and India have many that speak English, but there are so many details that make doing it on your own more problematic.

You could do Peru on your own, but you would probably spend more doing it. Check out PeruAgency, they are inexpensive and great.

For Europe, you can do your own planning, but you have to study and do research to determine what you want to see and plan each step, hotel, etc.

Peru would be your cheapest trip, you could even add Chile and Argentina (check out a cruise around the horn) for what you will pay for the others.

Posted by
93 posts

OH simple misunderstanding. I meant 4-5 trips stretched out over the next couple years, Summers 2022-23 most likely. Though it’s possible to see them all in a very condensed summer, I like the idea of hanging out and taking them in since the list is so few. These are supposed to be the cultural treasures of the world after all.

In terms of tours, every trip I’m doing minus Europe will be on a tour through G Adventures. It’s required for things like safaris and the Inca trail, and I wouldn’t dream of going to China, India, and Egypt without a tour guide to babysit me haha. At least while I’m still a newbie traveler hahaha. I’ll be more adventurous as I gain experience.

Posted by
93 posts

So I had some thoughts on the European front and was wondering everyone’s input. I can work out 35 days (5 weeks) in Europe, BUT I have 2 days I need to cut after I wrote down what I was hoping to accomplish. The idea goes as such:

London: 4 days, 5 nights UK
Paris: 4 days, 5 nights France
Berlin: 2 days, 3 nights Germany
Munich: 3 days, 4 nights Germany
Venice: 2 days, 3 nights Italy
Florence: 3 days, 4 nights Italy
Rome: 4 days, 5 nights Italy
Athens: 3 days, 4 nights Greece
Istanbul: 3 days, 4 nights Turkey

5 weeks, 6 countries. What 2 days would make the most sense to cut? Given personal experience in these locations. ALSO geographic locations aren’t a problem for me. This was originally going to be part of a much larger trip.

Posted by
1022 posts

Everyone is different but I would cut a day from Munich myself. And you could squeeze by with cutting a day in Athens. But I hope these days don’t include your travel time, because if they do, you don’t have an accurate feel for actual in country time.

Posted by
93 posts

Thank you for the response :) YUP I added one more night than day to account for travel days. I like not having to do ANYTHING except hop on a train or plane and show up at the hotel on my travel days. Extra time is just a bonus.

Posted by
2978 posts

Your plan is awesome!

I agree that you could delete Munich then add the extra day to Berlin.

If you still need another country to round out your plan, I'd suggest Thailand. It's unique, beautiful and very inexpensive. Our favorite place for a relaxed visit is Chiang Mai.

Posted by
4820 posts

Here is your plan:
London: 4 days, 5 nights UK
Paris: 4 days, 5 nights France
Berlin: 2 days, 3 nights Germany
Munich: 3 days, 4 nights Germany
Venice: 2 days, 3 nights Italy
Florence: 3 days, 4 nights Italy
Rome: 4 days, 5 nights Italy
Athens: 3 days, 4 nights Greece
Istanbul: 3 days, 4 nights Turkey

Not a bad plan, however there is a lot of travel in your plan that eats up touring time.

I suggest eliminating Athens and Istanbul for this trip and spend more time in the other places.

For example, you could add some smaller nearby towns outside London and Munich.
Outside of London, you could visit Windsor Castle, Stonehenge, Bath, Oxford or Canterbury.
In Bavaria you could add a trip down to the Bavarian Alps to Garmisch and Fussen, go up the Zugspitze, take in the castles.

Posted by
233 posts

Consider dropping Munich and flying Berlin to Venice. Add a day to Berlin and Istanbul. Then you have an extra 2 days to alot or cut. The major cities could always use more days and allow a day trip nearby. Or taking the train between Paris and Berlin stop along the Mosel or Rhine River for a night. You can take the leisurely boat ride down the most scenic area with castles and vineyards. Planning your big travels must be fun. Changes in these trips doesn’t cost time or money now.

Posted by
93 posts

That could be an interesting idea. I could even give Berlin 2 days and make it like Rome, Paris, and London. The intrigue of Munich for me (besides being a convenient midway point between Berlin and Venice) was the Bavarian culture and the amazing day trip opportunities, like Dachau and Neuschwanstein Castle and Salzburg.

What kind of day trips are possible from Berlin? Or what could I do potentially with 5 days between Paris and Venice (hopefully including some part of Germany)?

As it relates to opting out of Athens and Istanbul, my friend and I have already resigned ourselves to long distances and plane rides throughout the trip. The rewards are just too tempting on the other side haha.

It’s also worth mentioning that my friend (who’s Jewish and originally was the one who wanted to see Germany) made the suggestion that we could skip Germany and use those 5 days and see Tel Aviv and take a trip to Jerusalem. So two VERY different avenues of thought.

Open to all potential information for both ideas.

Posted by
233 posts

Skipping Germany and adding Israel is an idea to consider for your world trip. There are many countries surrounding Germany that could be part of a later trip to that part of Europe. The art of figuring out how to connect all these places together will take creative planning.

Posted by
93 posts

Yeah agreed. I have no idea what would be smarter in terms of plane travel. Would it make more sense to fly from Paris to Tel Aviv (I don’t think Jerusalem has an airport nearby?) and then just make my way back through Turkey and Greece before finally going down Italy flying home from Rome?

Posted by
2978 posts

Have you tried the website rome2rio.com to explore transportation options between destinations? Another helpful website is Flightsfrom.com to see routes and scheduled flights from every airport. Both are helpful planning tools.

Posted by
50 posts

Ok- first off, you are disciplined and goal focused, congratulations for goal setting and reaching it.
What is important to you? If I give you ideas, I am biased. What I like is probably not what you would like. Is it an activity, a class, learning about a culture, bar hopping, shopping, living like a local, traveling first class, doing something charitably inclined, spas, sports camps, having great photos, etc.? What about achieving your travel goal is important to you? Forget your ex. don't waste money in an in your face moment. They won't care. It's all about you. Hire a guide, do private tours, just think about what about this trip is important to you and do it. Identify what is important to you and then select the countries and sights that fulfill your objective. If you knew you were going to die in 2 months where would you go today and what would you do? If. you only had one chance to see something what would it be -- for you? Only you know the answer to these questions.

Posted by
4820 posts

If you go to Israel, fly into Tel Aviv and go directly to Jerusalem, that is by far were you want to spend your time.

Posted by
93 posts

I have never looked at Rome2Rio but now I’m super intrigued :)

In terms of why I travel and the ex, I really only included that detail to give context on how the story began hahaha. I would never dream of taking these places and using them in some superficial “in your face” tactic. Pretty sure Athens and Rome deserve much more that. I look at travel as a way to grow and become a fuller, more well rounded person by the end. My growth is my “revenge”, I will never need to prove my worth to people like that.

BUT this isn’t about them :) I travel to learn and grow. Indiana Jones is one of my biggest movie inspirations and I am absolutely nutty for all things ancient. It’s honestly not even fair hahaha. They put all of those ancient cultures right next to one another in that part of the world. The opportunities are just too tempting to ignore.

Before I said 35 days, but taking 7 nights of Germany off the table and adding 4 nights of Israel brings the new total to 34. If we were to THEORETICALLY try to get that number closer to 30...or say 31 or 32...where can those small cuts be made?

The new layout would be as follows:
1. London - 4 days, 5 nights
2. Paris - 4 days, 5 nights
3. Venice - 2 days, 3 nights
4. Florence - 3 days, 4 nights
5. Rome - 4 days, 5 nights
6. Athens - 3 days, 4 nights
7. Istanbul - 3 days, 4 nights
8. Tel Aviv or Jerusalem - 3 days, 4 nights

I know Jerusalem is probably my best bet for ancient and historical sights, but I’m thinking about the logistics involved with getting to and from the airport, especially at this point in the trip where my body will probably start slowing down a little. A day trip or two from Tel Aviv might be the best strategy?

To help figure out ways to make cuts, I can explain what my plan was for the 5 night locations. I was going to take a private tour of Pompeii from Rome, which would have taken up that entire day. If I were to only stay 3 days, 4 nights, I could still see Rome itself and even have an entire day dedicated to the Vatican. Just an idea.

Same with Paris. I gave myself a lot of time to walk around and gave myself an entire day for the Louvre and another entire day for Versailles. I could simply add the louvre as part of my walking around days (2 full days) and clear up a whole day?

Posted by
4820 posts

Sorry, but day trips from Tel Aviv will waste time. GO TO JERUSALEM, believe me, I have been there. Jerusalem is one of those special cities in the World and you need 3-4 days to do it well. Also, what you might gain in slightly cheaper lodging you will loose in transportation costs back and forth to Jerusalem.

Posted by
113 posts

It really breaks my heart seeing your Europe itinerary and all the countries being in Western Europe. I would highly suggest cutting out Paris and adding in Prague (easy transfer from Munich or Berlin) or Slovenia (easy transfer from Venice). Or really any country on the eastern side like Poland, Slovakia, or Hungry. Your wallet will be happier too. London, Paris, Rome, etc, are your typical show stoppers (and for good reason) but I have found I much more enjoy the less talked about places and ones that see the fraction of amount of tourists annually (although Prague is crazy busy always). You say you want places that are “different” and Eastern Europe has a distinctly different feel than the west with influences from the Ottoman Empire and communism.

I also noticed you mentioned interest in the trans Siberian railway. This YouTube channel I watch went on it and documented the whole thing. Here is a link to their super detailed blog post (which also outlines how to do the trans Mongolian railway, the one that ends in China) where they also linked all their videos. https://karaandnate.com/the-ultimate-guide-to-riding-the-trans-siberian-railway/

Posted by
93 posts

My current plans for Greece were a 4 night stay in Athens. If I were to have a solid week, or even 10 days in Greece, what would be a decent strategy? If I wanted to go beyond Athens.

Posted by
2978 posts

It depends - do you want to see the archeological sights or do you want to spend time on the beach? Here are a few of my favorite places in Greece:

  1. Athens: If you like history and museums, you'll want to spend time here. 2-3 nights is good.
  2. The Monasteries at Meteora are spectacular but you could see them in a day or two.
  3. Thessaloniki is a very fun city - you could spend 2-3 days here.
  4. Crete is an easy flight (from either Athens or Thessaloniki) with lots of beach and hiking options.

Post this question on the Greece thread - you'll get many varied opinions! Give info about what you're most interested in.

Posted by
49 posts

I admire your tenacity and discipline, good for you to have this very troublesome problem of finding your 10th travel destination! As many have stated before, Turkey is absolutely amazing, beautiful and full of very friendly people, I would not hesitate to recommend it, in fact, would encourage it. Two other options that I would suggest are Vietnam and/or Cambodia. I was stunned at the beauty I found in each country. Lovely people and a culture and history that is intriguing to say the least. Have a fantastic time.