I thought I’d start my round trip blog a little early by mentioning some helpful hints for anyone else who may want to plan a world trip, or any trip, for that matter.
First of all, it is way more work to plan this trip than I expected. Thankfully, I have the help of Melanie Fleet! The best travel agent in the world!
I will absolutely be using Melanie for all of my future travel plans! She is so helpful and easy to talk to about otherwise complicating travel plans.
So, I guess the first step was to decide where to travel. Steve and I each made lists of places we really wanted to visit, places we kind of wanted to visit and places we really did not want to visit. Then, we compared the lists to see which ones overlapped. Our final itinerary consisted of Japan, Australia, Egypt and the Galapagos Islands.
If you’re having trouble deciding where to go, or even after you’ve decided, I would recommend http://www.lonelyplanet.com/ It will tell you everything you need to know about anywhere you would want to visit!
I used http://www.airtreks.com/tools/tripplannerv5/tripplanner.php?ref=BOOTSNALL to get an idea of what kind of prices we would be dealing with for a trip around the world.
Once we decided where we were going, we had to deal with all the fun stuff: visas, passport, driving permits, immunizations, etc.
I found this site helpful for visa requirement info: http://www.voyage.gc.ca/preparation_information/visas-eng.asp
for Egypt and Australia specifically:
http://egypt.visahq.com/requirements/Canada/ (about $120 and you have to send your passport to their offices in Ottawa. They claim is takes a few days to process and get the passport and visa back to you.)
http://www.immi.gov.au/visawizard/ (this one is a visa wizard that helps determine which Australian visa is right for you.) I got the ETA (electronic travel authority) visa which was $20 and was all done online in about 5 minutes and is valid for a full year.
I found out that we won’t need a visa for our visit to Japan, Singapore or Ecuador. We may, however, need things like ‘proof of economic means’ (which would be a recent bank statement), a return ticket to prove that we will be leaving the country within an acceptable time, and our immunization records.
This is the link to the International Driving Permit application. You need an IDP in order to rent a vehicle in most foreign countries. Apparently they’re quite easy to get and they’re also valid for 1 year. http://www.caa.ca/travel/travel-permits-e.cfm
I just found this website today: http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/tmp-pmv/travel/clinic-eng.php
It’s a list of travel health clinics across Canada. They specialize in travel immunizations and other medical related travel info.
Here are some more useful links:
This report by the World Health Organization provides information on the main health risks for travellers. (2008 edition)
The ultimate packing list
Travel supplies store
Government of Canada travel tips
We will be making numerous copies of our passports, visas, itinerary and driving permits to leave with our families and to take with us just in case. Also, we will be registering with the Canadian embassies in each country.
This will make it easy for the embassy to contact us in case of any emergency such as a natural disaster or civil unrest, or inform us of a family emergency at home.
I am VERY excited to start our trip! I hope I’m able to get some great pictures. Of course I’ll be blogging my pictures as we go. I hope you follow along!
P.S. Happy Birthday Ashley!