The next series of posts are administrative or planning advice. If you arrived here by clicking on "newer post" expecting to continue my Italian journey, click here to skip these and go to The Vatican.
This is going to be one of those posts that I’ll keep coming back to re-visit and up-date. I’ll be honest – as an ex-engineer (among other things) I probably enjoyed planning our two trips almost as much as the trips themselves. The reason I’ll have to come back is that there will always be something I "just remembered". So this first post will be necessarily broad.
When I came home from the doctor’s surgery in February 2002 and informed my wife that I was going on the ‘round-the-world trip I had always wanted to go on - and that she was invited to join me – I knew absolutely nothing about how I would do that. Later I also told her what the doctor said; have to keep the priorities right:-)
By the time I walked out the door in March 2003 to go to Coolangatta Airport I had learnt so much – but still had more to learn when I did it all again in 2005 planning the second trip.
Every so often I will pause from the travelogue to give some specifics on things like using the net for booking cars, hotels, apartments, flights, ferries and trains.
We didn’t do it all perfectly – but maybe you can learn from my mistakes as well as my successes. So I’ll be honest about the disasters as well as the triumphs.
Just to put all that in context, these are a few of the statistics and details from the second trip of three months (the first one was five months):
http://www.xe.com/ was a great help in the planning.
Apart from eight using the Global Explorer RTW ticket, we booked additional flights using the net:
Aer Lingus (London-Dublin)
United (via Expedia) Buffalo-Chicago
Trains: 1 via AMTRAK web-site
Hotel booking systems used:
http://www.priceline.co.uk/ (both name-your-price and standard)
and several others I’ve forgotten for the moment.
Car booking systems used:
On the first trip we also booked apartments for 4-7 days in Granada, Menton, London and Paris via various web sites.
That's enough for now.