• Where are you going?

Our plan right now (prior to departure) is to visit Fiji, Australia, New Zealand, SE Asia, India and loop the Mediterranean from Turkey to Morocco, with a stop in Norway to see family before heading home.

  • How long do you plan to go?

Our goal is to be out for a full year. If our money stretches longer and we want to continue, we will. If we need to come home earlier for some reason, we can do that too.

  • How the hell do you pack for a year?

You start by purchasing way too many technical items from stores like REI. You think about layers. You keep tags on for returns.You pray it works out and remember that you can buy things you need on the road. And then you put all those clothes into Eagle Creek packing cubes (amazing!) and put all those cubes into a Columbia Axel Hauler rolling duffel bag and a monstrously large Nike rolling duffel that we found in our attic.

We’ll also be bringing a backpack for day trips and a messenger bag that we’ll use as our out-walking-around bag.

  • What kind of gadgets are you taking?

A Dell Inspiron 5323 laptop
An iPad 2
Two jail-broken iPhone 3s, buying new SIM cards in each country as we go
A classic Kindle
Two iPods
A Canon Powershot SD1100 point and shoot camera
A Nikon D60 DSLR camera and assorted equipment

  • Where will you stay?

Right now, we think we’ll make use of hostels, and budget hotels. We hope to stay longer in places we love and move along from those that don’t fit us very well or are too expensive to sustain.

We’ve also signed up for a few hotel rewards credit cards, so we can take a break in a familiar “American”-ized hotel a few times.



  • Are you leaving your jobs? When did you tell them?

Neither one of us worked in an environment where a sabbatical or a temporary leave of absence were really an option, we both up and left our jobs. We gave our employers about 10 weeks’ notice and have been relieved that everyone has been very supportive and excited for us, which has been really terrific.

  • How much did you save for this trip?

Creating a budget for this trip was a real challenge. We looked at websites like Budget Your Trip and blog posts like this one and, although they were a good guide, their usefulness only went so far: everyone’s travel styles are different, and it’s difficult to compare one couple’s travel budget with the budget we would require.

Not for us the noisy dorm room-style youth hostels for $5 a night. We want private rooms, private bathrooms, and peace and quiet. But we’ll be paying a good deal more for those comforts. On the other hand, we’re not going to be going out to the bars every night, and we expect to be preparing our own meals most of the time, which will save us a lot of money.

Another point in our favor: we plan on traveling very slowly, taking our time in each location until we feel like pulling up stakes and moving on. Jumping from city to city gets expensive very quickly, and we hope our slower pace will both be more enjoyable and help us save money.

So, get to the point already! Ok: we are budgeting a total of $100 per day, for both of us, not including flights. It will be impossible to stick to that budget in some countries (Australia, New Zealand, Norway, I’m looking in your direction) but it should also be very easy to stay below it in others (Indonesia, Thailand, India).

We have also budgeted about $10,000 for flights and have a separate budget that we won’t touch on the trip to help us restart our lives when we get back to D.C.

  • Did you have any unexpected costs while you were preparing to leave?

Vaccinations are really expensive! We spent about $3000 on our vaccinations. That’s an entire month’s budget! But hopefully, it will be money well-spent and we won’t have to worry about coming down with Japanese Encephalitis (?) on the trip. Or, errr, polio.

  • Did you have any unexpected costs on the road?

We’ll let you know!



  • What are your plans for insurance?

This was a tricky question, as access to adequate health care was one of our primary concerns about going overseas. So we thought about it carefully, researched it thoroughly, and then…we just bought World Nomads insurance like every other RTW traveler does.

  • Aren’t you worried about malaria?

Yes! Amber is a mosquito magnet. Our fantastic travel healthcare provider gave us prescriptions for anti-malarial drugs that we’ll take when we enter regions that are at risk of malaria.

  • How many times did you get poked in the arm? (aka: what about vaccinations?)

We were vaccinated for rabies, Japanese Encephalitis, tetanus, polio booster, pertussis, and Hepatitis A and B.