Using Excel to Plan RTW Destinations

While Pete was busy creating the website, my job was to research our RTW route/potential places to go. Initially I thought, no problem, this will be easy. The more I researched the more this became quite the challenge. I used an Excel spreadsheet to allow me to gather information such as countries most likely to want to visit, whether a visa is required and for how long, best time to go there, currency used, etc. I will say this was probably the best lesson in geography I have ever gotten! As helpful and essential all of this information is, the thing I am trying to remind myself of is this is not set in stone. Yes, you need to plan ahead, but we may get to a place and fall in love and want to stay there twice as long. Or, we may get somewhere and say no thanks, let’s move on.

Click here for the initial draft of our Excel spreadsheet.

Information included in our RTW planning spreadsheet:
  • Countries
  • Points of Interest
  • Visa/Time Restrictions
  • Onward Ticket Required
  • Best Time To Go
  • Cost- Low, Mid, High
  • Currency
  • Language
  • Transport
  • Optimal Payment Method
A few takeaways:
  • A year is actually not as long as you would think. Looking at this information I realized we may need to shorten our number of destinations
  • Initially we were thinking of starting with South America, but are now thinking New Zealand/Australia. This is for several reasons such as these areas are English speaking (allowing for easier transition into an RTW trip), we know people there, and these friends can give us insight into Southeast Asia.
  • The best time to go to certain destinations (climate, high/low season, etc.) can greatly impact how our route flows. For instance, we certainly don’t want to go to Thailand during monsoon season.
Any suggestions on additional information which should be included in this spreadsheet? Post your ideas below.