Cue excel spreadsheets, lists, maps, plans, lists of lists, highlighters, colour-coding, tables.... it is an enormous task (although one, as a logistical geek, I am enjoying tremendously). An overview spreadsheet will allow us an ‘at-a-glance’ reference to the entire trip; countries in order, best time to visit, visa requirements, currency, exchange rates etc. Each of the countries in the list can then be ‘clicked’ on to access an in-depth country profile with more detail on sights and cool stuff.
While we are eager to embrace the free-spirited spontaneity of our adventure, this back-up information reserve will hopefully prevent us deep-freezing in the Arctic Circle in January, floating away in Cherrapunji (Northern India) in July or frying in the Ethiopian Danakil Desert in August.
Plus, we basically don’t want to miss out on stuff; imagine arriving in Rio as they are sweeping up the feathers and sequins, Nevada as they are stamping out the smouldering embers of the burning man, Thailand as the sun comes up following a night of full-moon partying or Munich as they are mopping up the dregs from Oktoberfest.
On a trip where budget is a huge controlling factor, planning protects pounds! Take a comparison of essential adventure supplies... in Greenland it’s £7.35 for a pint, compared to a much-easier-to-swallow 25p a pint in Tadjikistan. A dozen eggs in Delhi will cost only 24p compared to £3.60 in California. 23p will buy you 1lb of dried pasta in Brazil, yet the same amount of spaghetti will set you back £2.41 in South Africa. When motoring long distances through countries it is also useful to know costs of Diesel in advance ... preferable to travel in a straight line through Turkey where Diesel is £1.22 a litre and meander extensively in Iran at 2p a litre. It all adds up the cash, which consequently reduces the kilometres.
From a simple spreadsheet beginning, our travels will hopefully be climatically conscious, maximised for fun and economically sustainable...