Planning a trip can be really daunting. Whether it's a huge one or a short one it's quite the task looking at a map and trying to work out where you're supposed to go. So that's where WE come in! Here is our step by step guide that will help you get on your way to your own Kinging-It adventure.
Where To Go?
I’m sure you’ve got an idea in your head about where you want to go.. of course South East Asia is in there, why wouldn’t it be? Think of the most amazing places you’d like to visit and just write them down - you can totally go there! Have you always dreamed of going to a specific country or city? Then write it on your list! The best way to go about it is write down how long you want to go for, figure out where you want to spend the most time and then follow a line, starting in your own country of course, and plot the route of your trip from there. Go mental, go extravagant! The plan is the most exciting part, so if you want to make it the trip of the lifetime, don't hold back. If it's a £20,000 trip don't worry we'll figure out the money later (there's prostitution, drug dealing and online poker - easy money).
But seriously, make it what YOU want, not your mate or a TV show, write down places that you really want to explore.
We went America - Japan - South East Asia for example. Once we knew the route, then we figured out what cities we wanted to visit.
Then we broke it down into days. Here's what we did for our America stint:
3 Days in New York
5 Days in Vegas
4 Days in San Francisco
4 Days in Los Angeles
10 Days in Hawaii
This is a good start - now we're getting somewhere!
Once you have your rough plan you now want to work out a realistic budget for your whole trip so you can work out how long it will take you to save up, and what you're aiming for.
More expensive countries
(America, Japan, Australia, New Zealand):
£50 a day will get you:
A hostel bed - £20
Food - £15 (if you eat cheap)
Transport - £15
(South America/South East Asia):
£20 a day will get you:
A hostel bed - £6
Food - £10
Transport - £4
That is a realistic budget.
Then this is ours (p/person), a completely ridiculous budget we know but we were like 'Fuck it, once in a lifetime YOLO':
£20 a night for a private room or home (Air Bnb)
£20 a day food (you could spend less but we ain't about that noodle/scurvy life)
£60 for excursions (renting bikes, transport, shows, tours)
Granted you're not going to do this in every single place or every singe day. In every place there will be sites to see (free), walks to go on (free) and oceans to swim in (free). If you wanted to go in 12 months time and you were able to put away £400 a month that gives you £4800. Now using the average prices above you could do the following:
Around the world flight @ roughly £1100
Insurance @ £600
2 weeks in America - 14 days at £50 p/day = £700
3 months in South East Asia - 90 days @ £20 p/day = £1800
Visas - £165
Total = £4365
That leaves you with £235 'emergency money' in case you need to get a flight anywhere special or you want 10 Louis V bags to take home to your mates. Try not to do what we did and spend all the way up to your last penny, it's always better to have extra!
In total, that's 3 and a half months of travelling, without working and enjoying every single day of it for £4365 - what a bargain!!
This is just a ball-park figure and an idea of how to work out what's possible, it's never going to go exactly to plan but it's always worth trying to figure it out on paper before you get to Laos and you only have £10 left. You'll end up having to work in a bar for 3 months to afford a donkey ride back to Bangkok and then you'll have to dive in someones suitcase to get home and risk going to jail forever.
On top of that if you decide to go to New Zealand or Australia and do 1 or 2 years worth of a working visa you could end up travelling and working for another 12-24 months! Now, I'm no scientist but this sounds way better for the soul than rotting in a 9-5 to buy clothes for the weekend to drink WKD's and dance with people you hate to wake up feeling like shit.
Book Your Flights
Once you have a rough idea of days and a route of where you want to go the BEST thing you could do is book your flights. As soon as you make that commitment, that's when you HAVE to get serious about saving and planning. It's the most exciting part because now you KNOW for sure that you will be going on an adventure. Pop into your local STA Travel - these kids know what they’re talking about and helped us massively with our route. Also have a look on Skyscanner before you go because they will usually match prices too! They find you the cheapest routes, offer stop overs in certain places and if you're feeling extra lazy they will even sort your travel insurance too. We actually went the wrong way around the world (is there even a right way?), but that worked for us! No matter how catastrophic your route looks, they will sort a brother out, giving helpful tips and advice on the way!
Sort Your Visas
Once you have your route and your tickets then you'll need to work out what Visa's you'll need and for what country. There's nothing more annoying than waiting at an embassy or at a border when you could have got a visa in advance. We managed to get our Indonesian Visa, our Thai Visa and our New Zealand Working Holiday Visa's before we even set off - definitely recommended!
These are all the places we visited we needed visas for on our trip:
America An Esta https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/ ($14 US/ £10)
Thailand - 3 Month - Single entry = $29US/£20 we had a triple entry visa because we went in and out three times, that cost us $36US/£25) http://thaiembassyuk.org.uk/?q=node/76
Vietnam - on arrival (Single Entry $45US/£32 Multiple Entry $65US/£46)
Cambodia - in Advance ($40US/£28) or on arrival - http://www.embassyofcambodia.org/faq.html
Laos - on arrival $35US/£25
Indonesia - On Arrival or $72US/£50 http://www.indonesianembassy.org.uk/consular/consular_visa_type_tourist.html
Australia - Tourist visa for up to 3 months - FREE - http://www.visabureau.com/australia/tourist-visa.aspx
Working Holiday Visa for UK Tourists (One year) - £220 - https://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Visa/Fees
New Zealand - Tourist Visa - FREE for UK residents up to 6 Months http://www.immigration.govt.nz/migrant/stream/visit/visitors/quickcheck.htm
Working Holiday Visa - $151US/£125 - http://www.immigration.govt.nz/migrant/stream/work/workingholiday/howdoiapply/default.htm
It's insane how much could potentially go wrong .. I mean, this isn't just your average 2 week holiday to Turkey son. Make sure you cover literally everything. You will fall off a scooter and someone could steal your camera and you will get a Chinese symbol meaning fish and chips tattooed on your bum cheek.. actually i don't think they'll cover that. Soz.
We got our insurance from Insure and Go We paid around £600 PER BLOODY PERSON (it was the cheapest at the time), and that was just to cover our clumsy selves (mainly Aimee). The reason it was a bit more expensive was because our trip included America, and as you all know there is no such thing as free health care in the US. So if you break your shin there you're going to want to be insured other wise you might have to sell your family, dog and your lawn mower to pay for a new shin. We also get extra cover on our camera equipment with KamKit they specialise in covering camera equipment if you're a serious vlogger/photographer. If not just find an insurance cover that will cover ALL of your gadgets as some charge extra to cover mobiles?! scamming bastards..
Save your ASS off!
Do you really need that Michael Kors watch with the rose gold tint and diamonte face? Naah.. you need to EAT in America mate!! We worked in your average 9-5 office job. It was shit - no lie. But we worked our butts off for a good year and saved a good amount to travel our dream trip! We ended up saving around £10,000 each (which was MORE than enough, we went a bit nuts see, don't let this scare you!) which got us as far as New Zealand. Then we were as broke as jokes, had no jobs and no where to live. That's the beauty of planning a trip then getting somewhere and using a working holiday visa- you can always make money in another country so why not get out there and explore?
Another thing we did in order to get a lot of cash for our trip was we sold EVERYTHING! I mean everything. Tv, clothes, shoes, anything of value that you don't ever use then get it on eBay. You'll be surprised how quickly you adjust to living out of a backpack, buying new things and chucking the old ones. My advice is to just decide what means more to you - living an adventure or getting attached to material things which you can always buy whenever you decide to settle. Get that Michael Kors watch on eBay pal!
If you go out on the weekends and spend £100 on booze and hangover cures then you could easily save £400 a month towards your dream trip. Another wicked idea for budgeting is to do a spreadsheet (geek alert!), it helped me so much to see what was coming in and what was going out. Once you can see what you're spending it really makes you realise where all your hard earned cash is going. That way you can start looking at activities you've always wanted to do on Trip Advisor- scuba diving, bungy jumping, swimming with elephants, drinking cocktails on top of skyscrapers, boat trips and just generally winning at life!
Trust me - you WILL be buying elephant trousers and penis shaped souvenirs for the lads back home. Just take the bare essentials, especially if your visiting SEA as you’ll want to buy the world, why not, it’s only a quid I’ll take 15.
Just because you look like Kylie Jenner with your wannabe spice girl platforms does not mean they need to come, honestly, it’s all about comfort, no one really cares when they’re travelling, packing light means you’ll be happier carrying your bag to your next stop and although Pedro will carry your bags for 5p, every penny counts! Just be scatty.. every traveller is pretty scatty really.. go on, just grow dreads while your at it. (just jokes, our friend has dreads and he smells like a bed of roses)
Seriously though, I mean like three pairs of shorts and three tops.
And possibly a pair of comfortable nana-looking sketchers, if Craig will allow you to take them.
Suggested bag for a girl:
2 X shorts
1 X skirt
2 X dress
1 X jeans
4 X tshirts (make them oversized so they don't stick to your armpit BO - then you can easily get three weeks out of one)
1 X flipflops
1 X SKETCHERS MAN!
1 X Hoody
2 X vest/ tank top
2 X Pairs of socks
3 X Bikinis
3 X Knickers
Depending on addiction 19 x bobble hats.
1 x Make up bag (small as poss! just the essentials ladies -it will melt off anyway!)
1 x toilet bag (but buy bulky things like moisturiser/tanning lotion at your first stop!)
Suggested bag for a guy:
2 X Boardshorts
1 X Walkshorts (with pockets)
1 X trainers
1 X flip flops
2-3 X Vests/Singlets
5 X T shirts
1 X Hoody
2 X socks/trainer socks (lol)
3 X boxers
1 X jeans
1 X hat (if you're cool like me)
Get a backpack with a zip that goes ALL THE WAY AROUND. There is nothing worse than having the get everything out to find your snickers bar then pack it all back in. Also as an added bonus - get one with wheels. A little pully will get you very far in life and your back will love you for it.
We got out Mountain Warehouse Rolly Backpacks for a bargain £50 and lasted him the whole trip. I ended up going through 4 bags on my journey- you can't win them all! Put a bit of money into your bag, you don't want it to break before you get on the plane. The beauty of having both wheels and straps is that sometimes you will have to walk across a beach to get to your accommodation (how good does that sound?!), and those wheels aren't gonna work sunshine.
This is the bad boy we have:
Don’t Always Pre-Book
I know you’ll get really excited once you’ve booked those flights (we did!), but just chill for a min, yeah. Accommodation and activities are usually cheaper and better when you get to a place. We experienced this a lot. Booking through websites or even companies when you arrive at a place may be costly. Check to see if there are locals providing the same kind of services, boat trips, day trips, walks, all for a fraction of the price. We all know from past experiences, what you see sometimes isn't always what you get when it comes to accommodation. Cathy cockroach reminded us when we were in Bali. Our tip is to book for just ONE night before you arrive. If it’s ghastly and shit, you can move on the next day, usually to a cheaper and more healthy place. If it’s sexy then stay. Easy as you like mate.
One thing we always do is we see what want to do in a city, say it was Tokyo, we look at what district we'd be in most based on activities we find on TripAdvisor or sites, then on Hostelworld.com, Air Bnb or Booking.com we'd look at hostels or accommodation based on location to the places we want to visit. That is a great tip for anyone curious of where the hell you should book a place to stay.
So that's it! Now you know how to plan your ultimate Kinging-It adventure, what on EARTH are you waiting for?! GET OUT THERE!
BUT Just remember peeps, travelling can be really challenging at times, you miss buses, get ripped off, fall off scooters. It can be a stressful time so take a proper mate, your all time BFF. One that brings out the best in you in all situations. Two psycho sally stress heads just might not work. Nam’sayin..
(Little tip of our own - give yourself sometime to settle in to places, if you’re on the move for a few weeks it gets very tiring. Try to book a nice place to stay for perhaps a week after a few days travelling just to rest yourself. Because we're super cool and friendly, we're going to give you £14 off your first night on AirBnB, just click the link below and find somewhere banging! Don't say we don't ever do anything for you.
If you've got any questions just shoot us a message on the form below or an email and we'll do our best to help you out!
So what you doing still reading? GET ON IT AND PLAN YOUR ULTIMATE TRIP!
Peace & Love
Craig & Aimee x
Because we're sick AF we also filmed a video film for you on how to plan your trip. Are we like your best mates or what?! You're welcome...