Let’s pretend we leave next fall… AND A GAME-CHANGER!!!

Here is how this post started…

So I’m doing a little research.  I wanted to compare the first 6 months of the RTW trip starting in Europe vs South America.  I still prefer Europe, but as I wrote earlier, Mr. Fantastic had the South America start in mind.  So, what do the costs look like?  I researched online as if we were leaving next year rather than 2015.

to Europe: Cunard transatlantic cruise vs flying. Cunard is fancy and retiree-oriented. formal wear required. I’m a little worried about this vibe as we start our low-budget RTW trip with 4 kids!! But it may be our only option at that time of year from the East Coast. I would prefer to leave in mid-to late August.

There are no Cunard trips in August. Info on Sept. is below.  The Nov. cruise would only cost $4800 but what would we do between Aug 15th-ish (when our house would be rented out) and then?  It is almost 3 months- a significant part of our 2 years.  Time vs. money, sigh.

Sept 27 – Oct 4th Cunard line economy class NYC – Southampton (6 tix) = $7800

Aug 19th flight NYC – London (6 tix) = $4600 or Sept 11 flight (I thought people would be superstitious and it would be cheaper – not so!) = $5795

That puts us in the UK in August or Oct.  I looked at long-term rentals in London on Craigslist, and I have no idea what I’m doing.  I have to post on Lonely Planet or Boots’n’all forums to get more info on neighborhoods.  I did post on couchsurfing for info.

London to Ireland

time in Ireland.  we have one family to visit there.

Ireland to Spain.  Random town to look for a winter rental: Arcos de la frontera.  Soultravelers3 recommends the “white villages” of Andalucia for affordable furnished winter rentals.  This town looked interesting to me because of the cliffs and baroque churches, plus it has Roman ruins.  For rentals, this place looks huge, not sure of off-season price, rents for $800/wk, too much for us… I like the looks of this one, sleeps 8, $405/wk. Soultravelers3 assures me you can negotiate much lower prices off-season fall through spring.  We would be there roughly Nov-Feb if we start in Europe.

to South America:

Aug 19 flight NYC – Quito, Ecuador (6 tix) = $3819

rental in Cuenca, Ecuador: 3br $450/mo according to this highly detailed site.  I picked Cuenta because it was mentioned as being friendly to Americans without losing its identity, has beautiful architecture, and is said to be affordable.  It sounds nice from articles like this one. Not sure if we would really live here or not.  I found this blog about an expat family living there and loving it.  We would stay 3-4 months.

flight or bus to Asuncion, Paraguay.  Mr. Fantastic likes this town, and I can see why.  This article from today’s New York Times as I am writing this describes a walkable downtown, nearby excursions like to a riverboat town called Chaco-i, and affordable food + housing.

rent in Asuncion 3br apt. $250- $650/mo depending on proximity to city center.  Bus pass only 50¢ so might be nice outside the city.  Again, we would stay 3-4 months.

flight or bus to Rio de Janeiro

Costa repositioning cruise Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to Savona, Italy March 24 – April 11 $9900!? I thought this was only $800/person but the site says $1650/person.  I bet it would be less than this since we have 4 people under 18 and we could have 3 people per room but we should budget for more I suppose.

Then everything got turned around…

Hold the presses!! New SUPER EXCITING Option!

I found a transpacific cruise from Vancouver to Japan, 15 nights, for $900 per person.  What?!  So cheap, plus we could go to Vancouver which I have always wanted to do, and we could literally circumnavigate the globe!  Yes!!!  This is the trip for us.  It leaves Sept 12, 2014 so I’m hoping there is a similar one in 2015 for us.  If so, that gives us almost a month to drive across the US.  We would try to see the Rockies, the Grand Canyon, and visit friends in CO, TX, CA, OR, and anywhere else we can think of on the way.  We would sell the car or leave it in a heap somewhere before moving on to Vancouver.  The ship would take us to Tokyo, where we could not stay long because I understand it is pricey.  I found this site on ferries to/from Japan.  Apparently we could go to China in 2 days for about $170/person, or to Russia in 7.5 hours.  We would likely aim for Vietnam/Thailand/Cambodia for the winter, since I have heard great things about those areas and we’re not planning to winter in Eastern Europe.  Then it would be India, Eastern Europe, Western Europe, and possibly South America on the way back home.  This opens up a whole new world of planning!  Stay tuned!