Here is a brief summary of our itinerary. Our departure date is set for September 6, 2010 but our return date is undecided at this point. We are guessing that it will be sometime in July 2011 so Alex can get back in time for baseball tryouts and all of them want to be home for football in August.
We have planned parts of our journey, but a lot of time will be spent moving at our own pace and seeing what we want, when we want. Our lives are so busy at home, so we are looking forward to slowing down, having a moment to breathe and enjoying ourselves. We can’t wait to see the world with our children and experience what each country has to offer.
We purchased our airline tickets through One World. They were able to give us exactly what we were looking for. The prices were reasonable (kids under 12 get a discount!) and we can change the dates/times that we fly with no additional charges. However, if we choose to change the cities that we fly in and out of, there will be a fee, but we don’t plan on doing that. We have 16 segments planned which include flights and overland travel between cities. There are a handful of rules that go along with these tickets, but everything worked within our planned itinerary making it a good option.
Disneyland (1 day) We are going to begin our world trip with an All-American favorite! We love Disneyland and can’t wait to spend a day there.
Miami (2 days) We plan on spending one day at the beach and one day visiting Everglades National Park.
Ecuador (2 1/2 weeks) We fly into Quito and will spend a few days acclimatizing and getting our bearings. We will spend a few days at Cotopaxi, a few days in Otavalo and then 5 days in the Ecuadorian Amazon.
Peru (2 1/2 weeks) We will spend a few days in Lima before we head to Cuzco to visit the Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu and then on to Puno to see Lake Titicaca.
Argentina (5 weeks between Argentina and Chile) We plan to spend some time in Buenos Aires, visit Iguazu Falls, and then head south to Patagonia.
Chile We will spend time in Patagonia before we head to Santiago for a few days.
New Zealand (3 1/2 weeks) We will spend our time in a camper van touring both the North and South Islands. Amy’s parents will be flying in to spend some time with us on the North Island.
Australia (4-5 weeks) We are staying on Hamilton Island in the Whitsunday Islands for 1 week, Sydney for 2 weeks and then most likely we will be off to Uluru to see the famous Ayers Rock. Tony’s mom will be spending the week with us on Hamilton Island and then a few days with us in Sydney.
Thailand (4 weeks) Depending on what is happening in Bangkok at the time, we may spend a few days there or head directly to Chiang Mai. We are looking forward to seeing the temples, floating markets, eating the food and seeing the beaches. The scuba divers in the family can’t wait to spend some time in Krabi.
Cambodia (1 1/2 weeks) We would like to see The Killing Fields, Angkor Wat and some of the other temples, Central Market and the Royal Palace.
Vietnam (1 1/2 weeks) Halong Bay, the markets, beaches and some National Parks.
India (3 weeks) We will spend a good amount of time seeing the Taj Mahal, the Ganges in Varanasi, the Red Fort and hopefully get up to Darjeeling.
Hong Kong (a few days) We are mostly stopping here to get our visas for China, but we would like to see Victoria Peak, the night market and maybe spend a day at Disneyland.
China (3 weeks) We plan on seeing the Giant Panda Reserve in Chengdu, the Terracotta Warriors and Great Mosque in Xi’an, the Yangtze river, and of course the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square and the Great Wall in Beijing.
South Africa Jo’burg, Cape Town, Robben Island (where Nelson Mandela was in prison), Kruger National Park, and maybe even some cage diving to see sharks (this is Tony’s dream!).
Tanzania We want to see Mt. Kilimanjaro, go on a wildlife safari to see the Serengeti, Ngororgoro Crater, Lake Manyara, Oldepi gorge and Tarangire National Park. We have thoughts of venturing over to Zanzibar, but we will see how we are for timing. Tony’s dad and stepmom will be meeting us in Tanzania to go on a wildlife safari for 8 days.
Mauritius (1 week) Ahhhh…a week on the beach
London At this point we will take a moment to decide if it is time to head home or if we still have the energy to see a few highlights in Europe. We are hoping to be able to meet up with friends in Paris 🙂 and also see a dear friend who will be in Germany.
We have some ideas for side trips along the way, but we will see what happens as we travel. We know that we will get advice from other travelers and we don’t have a strict enough itinerary where we can’t veer off for a while. We want to see all the big name site’s, but we are looking forward to getting off the beaten path a bit.