There was a fabulous post today over at lost girls world, all about budgeting for a trip like this. Their $17K+ price-tag seems steep on the one hand, but totally reasonable on the other. When you think about the fact that Matt and I pay WAY more than that in rent each year, it feels a little bit better. And my god, they stayed in Peru for $8/night! Plus, their trip was for an entire year, rather than four months, and they travelled to many more places than Matt and I intend to.
Their post gave me some really good ideas and things to think about. In no particular order:
Plane Tickets: The lost girls did end up getting a RTW ticket, but in their post they said that tacking South America onto a RTW ticket can really drive up the cost. So maybe Matt and I should consider coming home after the wedding in Argentina, and flying to Thailand from there? Or maybe we should head home and then go for our brief stint in Europe, finishing the trip with Thailand instead of nearly starting with it? Of course, I will be checking the ever-helpful airtreks to see what I can come up with over there.
Vaccines: When I was talking to my trekker-sister-in-law this past weekend, she suggested that I check out the CDCs website for a list of vaccines we'd need for the countries we'll be visiting. She then suggested that I go to the County or to a Clinic to get the vaccines for WAY cheaper than they'd be if I just called my doctor. Great idea! And the LGs seem to agree. They also suggested that we check our insurance policy to see what the plan might actually cover. Since we're currently getting our insurance through Matt's school, then there's a chance that some of those vaccines might be cheaper for us.
Visas: Right, visas. Totally forgot about those. It looks like Matt and I will need visas for India, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia. But I bet we'll need one for Sri Lanka, too. The LGs suggest getting the visas while we're on the road. I wonder, though, if we have a general sense of when we're going to be somewhere, if we should try to get them ahead of time?
Right now, the biggest trip-related thing on our minds has to do with future employment. Matt is currently in the process of interviewing for jobs next year. I'm convinced he's going to get an offer somewhere, sometime soon. And he's kind of worried that once he gets said offer and comes back to them with, "awesome, I'd love to work here, can I start in May?" the offer is going to magically disappear. I'm not so sure. I think that any employer that Matt would want to work for is going to really dig the fact that we're planning to take this trip. I think that if we/he can manage to present it in such a way that we're talking about a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity (which it is) as well as a chance to see parts of the world that most people don't even think about visiting (also true), employers could see it as a positive thing.
This is one of those times when I wish that this blog was public already, so that I could get your feedback on this. How DO you convince a future employer that your "vacation" is more "experience" than vacation? How do you tell your boss-to-be that you're committed to your job, but that you need to stop the train and get off for a little bit? Should we be willing to limit our trip, based on a job?
Like I said, things to think about.