Before going on a vacation there are a few things that have to be organized. And as I’m the kind of person who loves to organize and prepare myself I jumped right in to it: I started reading everything about long term traveling, backpacking and tried to imagine every part of our upcoming trip to find out what we had to plan, organize and prepare. Sometimes I have to be careful not to plan to much. But Torben always saves me before I become crazy.
We started organizing by creating some google docs. As we both can read and edit the same document on every device we have-and also at the same time-, it seemed to be the best solution for any notes. For example, we have a “packing list” that we extend once in a while and a “to do list” we have to update quiet often. It’s an enormous help.
Leaving our flat for such a long time is a bit of a weird feeling. But despite, things have to be organized. First–and most important–we had to find a new home for our cats. But thanks to facebook, it didn’t take long and friends of ours answered our call.
But what to do with the flat itself? At first we wanted to find a lodger for the time traveling. But as we got the answer from the homeowner and weren’t allowed to, we decided to leave everything as it is. Important things and furniture will be taken somewhere else–in case of burglars. Good friends of ours will have an eye on our flat and our families are going to visit it from time to time. So it won’t be unattended, which gives us a good feeling.
Of course some flights should be booked before a trip. It might be best to do it a while ahead of the vacation, so they won’t be too expensive. We tried it with skyscanner first, but couldn’t find a flight that suited us. After a hint from friends, we asked a travel agency (Katrin – Reisebüro für Weltenbummler) and were presented great options for outward and return flights. It seems that sometimes travel agencies have good offers for these open jaw flights-and besides, it’s been a pleasure to book it with Katrin.
On the other hand our flight from New Zealand to Australia, for example, was much cheaper to book via skyscanner. Though we first booked only a seat and realized later, that our luggage had to be booked extra.
HOW TO TRAVEL – WHICH ACCOMMODATION
For such a long trip it’s probably impossible to book every accommodation in advance/prior-and also not needed: it’s often the flow and hints you wanna follow on vacations.
We just booked our first days in Auckland via air b’n’b and also rented a camper van for our time in NZ-already, because it’s main Season in NZ and everyone is on holiday plus it’s been clear from the start: we wanted a real roadtrip and drive around the country. After a little research we found a great website where you can look for all kinds of campers and get good deals: motorhomerepublic
So after a while, we found a nice camper from “Discover NZ” which is certified self contained and will let us stay at free campsites – a must for us, because on our first roadtrip we want to be completly independent. I’m curious if we’re gonna like it.
For our three months stay in Australia we haven’t booked anything yet. There are different reasons. One is that we don’t know yet if we’re gonna like camping. Maybe we decide to stay in hostels while traveling Australia. Another reason is that we don’t know if traveling by car is the best solution for Australia. The distances are immense and maybe we should consider to fly from city to city and rent cars for short term. And the third reason is that we don’t know yet, if we’re going to stay for three months. Maybe we’ll leave earlier for Japan.
Japan on the other hand is easy to travel by train and bus. The trains go almost everywhere and the rest is covered by buses. Thats what it seemed to me like when I was there in 2008. So hostels, air b’n’b and especially the traditional ryokan will be our accommodations.
If anyone of you has any suggestions or tips, we’re happy to hear about it! Please let us know about your special places and tips for traveling. 🙂