When to go
Everything started to fall into place pretty well after creating this timetable. We should have enough time to enjoy the deep south, and make it up to Rio in Brazil for Carnival in late February, and to Cuba by June. That will give us roughly 7 months to explore South America and head to Canada for the northern summer to visit Treeny's wonderful Pop's!
Ideally we would like to do the Trans-Siberian in the summer so we can do some Siberian Hiking, in particular around lake Baikal, we hear the winters in Siberia can get pretty cold! But, Iain has a wedding to attend in the UK in August so we will be doing the train trip in late spring, when it starts getting a little colder. It would be really nice to do it in the winter with vast plains of snow, the sights would be spectacular, but under the advice of my dad's wife who is Chinese, the later we push the trip back the colder it will be in Beijing, our final destination, which is apparently rather uncomfortable to visit in the winter. Avoiding winter also means less clothes to carry, which could be very helpful for our backs!
We have booked our flights to Peru. Two one way tickets flying from Sydney to Lima 25th September 2012!
To get an idea of what kind of budget we need to set we did a bit of research into cost per day for traveling to our desired destinations, and found a number of different travel blogs with helpful information about budget planning from people who are also doing, or have done round the world trips. A blog that stood out in particular was Chris&Jodie.net, they have compiled an awesome spreadsheet outlining the money they spent on their RTW trip. We also found the Cost Per Day Calculator on Tripbase really useful. From this information we created another table (yes, we are geeking out with excel spreadsheets, we have one for everything!), which provides the average cost per day for destinations, taking into consideration sightseeing, food, transport, and accommodation. Keeping in mind that in Canada, and most of Europe we will be staying with friends and family, so plenty of saving will be done there.
We have estimated that for the whole trip we will need around AUD$15,000 or GBP£10,000 spending money. That sounds like a crazy amount of money, but when you consider what we are doing it really isn't very much. We are hoping to have this in cash to spend, and have budgeted roughly an additional AUD$5000/GBP£3,500 for flights, insurance, visas, and vaccinations. If we do run out of money, Treeny has volunteered herself to work in the UK doing Architectural Contracting for a few weeks, while Iain catches up with Family and Friends, to save some money for the second leg of the trip. We don't really want to have to do this, but it is a back up plan if we need it.
So the next 5 months will be all work, no play while we SAVE SAVE SAVE!!