Trip Start Jan 05, 2011
16Trip End Jan 05, 2012
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Due to this grand event in my life, I figured it was about time for a nitty-gritty post, more for fellow or future travelers than anything else, about the choices I’ve made preparing for this trip.
As stated above, I used AirTreks. They are a ticket consolidator service that specialize in RTW travel. They find you cheep, one way tickets that all connect together. I decided on them instead of one of the Alliances (Star Alliance and One World being the big ones) because of the cost and recommendations from other travelers. One of the few drawbacks is the $100 or more fee if I want to change a flight’s date, but considering I only intend to do that if I cannot make the flight do to some tropical illness or transportation shutdown (which would be covered by my insurance), it doesn’t matter that much. If I really love a place, I can always come back.
I decided on World Nomad’s insurance policy because it’s cheep, you can make claims online, renew it on the road and covers everything I need it to. I chose this over some others because you can submit a claim at any time during your travels, and not just at the end, like some policies require. One such policy is TravelGuard, the affiliated insurance with AirTreks. I wasn’t going to purchase it, but, because I bought my ticket in the middle of a special deal, I get it for free anyways. So basically, I’m double-covered.
After a lot of searching, I decided on the Eagles Creek Thrive 75L Women’s Fit. It includes a 58L main pack and a 17L daypack. Since that’s a LOT of room, I have decided to just roll the daypack up and put it in the main compartment, taking it out just for daily use (as a plus this will also give me a bit of extra room if I need to pick anything up on the road). The main pack is a pretty green and black and is definitely a little feminine, while not being too flashy. It has two compartments, each of which closes completely at one point so it can be locked up safely. The design is excellent for shorted women with broader hips. Almost no weight is on my back and the straps are super padded and comfy. It’s also got a lot op places to adjust where the load sits and to allow ventilation. The daypack is also excellently designed, it’s best feature, in my opinion, being the hidden pocked on the back panel. Not too great if the whole bag gets snatched, but it will keep things safe from razor thieves and pickpockets.
Along with my pack I have a few other storage devices. First and foremost are my packing cubes, also form Eagles Creek, since they fit my pack perfectly. I’ll be using these for clothing and for small items, so that I can keep a very organized pack. Secondly, I have a large, hanging Eagles Creek toiletry bag, which has enough space not only for my toiletries, but also my entire first aid kit, Sleep Sheet and my PJs, in other words, it’s my overnight bag. This way, when I get somewhere late, I just have to take that out and I’m set. Lastly, I have a money belt, which will never leave me (Sea to Summit I believe) and a waterproof bag where I can keep the contents of said money belt when I go swimming and just cannot leave them behind (aka, always).
4. Electronic Setup
I’m a techy. I never travel without some electronic device. But for a trip like this, I had to downsize a little. Naturally I’m leaving my gigantic super computer at home, but after that it started getting hard. My final roundup is as follows: One Eee PC netbook, one iPod touch, one 8Gig stick, one 4Gig stick, one Panasonic Lumix digital camera with extra memory cards, one Sony audio recorder, and of course, all their chargers/extra batteries/adaptor plugs.
Of course, there are a lot of other decisions I’ve been making, such as not to bring hiking boots, what clothes to bring, what underwear to bring (yes, this is possibly one of the most important decision ever), what clothes to bring and things like that. When I actually pack, I’ll add a full list of all the randomly useful things I’m bringing. But up above are the big decisions, each one of which, hopefully, will prove worth it.
Now I’m going to go celebrate this trip actually happening!