Now the dust has settled on us actually leaving London for a year, the conversations are evolving from wow to how...is the planning going? I have already explained how we funded it but how we are planning it now the flights are booked is a whole new ball game.
The truth is I feel like we haven't planned much at all. In three months we will be stepping on a plane to San Francisco for our maiden world trip flight and we have only fragments of bookings and plans. We are struggling to make the time with two full time jobs and two full on kids.
Despite having presented a few weeks ago on the risks of planning technology projects too far out and the benefits of agile planning, starting small, thinking big I am still #freakingout!
How much planning should we have done by now? How comfortable would you feel with our current level of planning? Be honest... And if you have any recommendations, advice or both do please use the comment section to let us know, let's call it crowd-planning!
USA: OK so our first week in San Francisco is booked with Airbnb - that was relatively straight forward. We used Travel Nation to book the RV for our three week Californian road trip, as it was cheaper than all the deals we saw online. We know where we are heading and how many nights we are staying in each location. We naively had a Jack Kerouac-esque ideal of this leg but in reality there is very little freedom to stop where you want at short notice. We did manage to book RV campsites for the most popular National Parks with sufficient notice to secure a few nights in the likes of Yosemite, Death Valley and Grand Canyon but it was tight, they literally get booked up months in advance.
We have nothing booked for our week in New York. Travel Nation have given us a quote for a car rental from New York as we will be making our way to Canada by car.
Canada: checked average prices for accommodation on Airbnb for Montreal. Got from trusted source that it is not easy or cheap to rent a car in USA and drop it off in Canada so might need to hop over the border to Toronto from Buffalo if we decide to go to Niagara Falls. However we were really keen to go to Vermont from New York too to see the leaves and that is kind of in the opposite direction so need to figure that one out.
Nicaragua: Bought the guide book... does that count?
Costa Rica: Bought the guide book (a combined Nicaragua/Costa Rica) and has conversation with colleague at work about suggested places to visit.
Cuba: Checked out some suggested routes for 16 days, looked at Airbnb prices although restrictions on internet in Cuba means we might need to sort out accommodation sooner rather than later.
Mexico: Booked first night in Cancun and then 12 days for Christmas and New Year in Tulum. Loads of recommendations given by friends and colleagues on suggested places to visit. We are in Mexico for 7 weeks. Looked at bus journeys and places to avoid in car rentals
Hawaii: No planning baby, just dreaming...
Japan: Conversations with colleagues over suggested routes for a three week stay. Flicked through Hector Garcia's A Geek in Japan at a friend's house this weekend. Researched average accommodation prices.
China/Hong Kong: Great advice and recommendations from a colleague at work on suggested itineraries for our month trip and what to expect at a Chinese train station!
Vietnam: No real planning, plan to head over the border to Laos. Hoping we will have not run out of money by then.
Kenya: I mean this is more than a year away from now! But due to age restrictions on safaris - although I am sure the lions will be more scared of Grace than she of them - we have had a quote for a two night safari and will no doubt book that this week. Also figured out how long we will stay in Nairobi and decided we would head to Mombasa on the coast for a week or so on our way through Kilimanjaro. Also due to the need for the Yellow Fever vaccine in Kenya we have had to do a lot of research for Grace as there is a risk to egg-allergy sufferers as the vaccine is grown on hen egg embryos (more on how to travel with a kid with allergies in future posts!).
Greece: Had some great Greek island recommendations from a mum from Grace's nursery. I should really not be worrying this far ahead.
There you have it, out planning so far.