« Monsoon Season | Main | The Seven Continent Trip Blog »

Minus The Trans-Siberian

Sadly, we've had some changes to our itinerary for our Seven Continent Trip. Changes are to be expected, but this was a hard one to convince ourselves to make.

So, I ran the numbers. Up to that point, I had been more or less estimating the costs of our trip, on relative budgets and assumed charges. I needed a more definitive estimate, though, so I sat down one evening - at work, of course - and looked up the average daily budgets for all of the countries we plan on visiting. I priced the costs of transportation (i.e. flight costs), and added up our expenses that we'll continue to have here in the US while we are traveling (such as our car payment). Once I added up all the costs, I was fairly dismayed. Suffice to say, the total was considerably higher than I had wanted it to be.

Thus began the painful process of trimming the trip to fit our budget. We need to have a budget, it's absolutely essential when traveling in as many as 18 or more countries for up to five months, all the while unemployed. More importantly, we need to keep to our budget, which will be difficult given all the temptations of visiting all the places we have planned. It wouldn't do to be well above our budget even before we start out on our trip.

Most glaring in the expenses department was the Trans-Siberian segment of the trip. This part added an additional $3000 to our costs, at least. There were flights up to Finland from Spain, train tickets (Finland to Russia, then the TSR), visa costs (Russia and China), and flights down to SE Asia. Of course, it's was very exciting segment of the trip, so much that it could even be a trip all by itself. That ended up being what convinced us to cut the TSR from our itinerary. It isn't that we don't expect to actually make that trip, it's just that it can't be part of the Seven Continent Trip. 

Actually, we are thinking of making the TSR trip next fall. That way, we can spend more time with my family in Finland, and then more time exploring Beijing and Xi'an in China. It will be an amazing three week trip to take. The TSR is considered one of essential traveler journeys that the world offers.

 It's a little disappointing not to be taking the TSR this time around the world, but it will also take a little pressure off of our pre-trip preparations (we don't need visas now), and we will also have more time to spend exploring in Spain, Morocco, and in SE Asia. In addition to cutting the TSR, we will likely have to limit our time in Spain and Australia (the estimated daily budget in those countries is $100-125, in comparison to $20 in a country like Thailand). I am also hoping that by waiting for good prices on airline tickets, I can bring down costs even more, since most of our flight costs are estimated at this poing (we only have tickets to Spain). Regardless, we currently are within our budget limits at this point.

So, barring donations towards our TSR segment, it looks like China and Russia won't be countries we'll add onto our itinerary this time. On the other hand, that gives us our next trip to look forward to. Of course, donations would be most welcome...(click below)

Until next time, be safe.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Hosting by Yahoo!

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)