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One Month To Go

Monthly Planning Update

We know…it’s time to get a new image

30 days to go!

Trip Planning Metrics


My last budget update at the beginning of August had us approaching the 50k mark – same as last month pretty much. The idea of not having a steady income is really starting to set in. Every little cost feels like we’re never going to get it back…because we’re not. This month we’re going to be making a lot more purchases – vaccinations, backpacks, travel gear/supplies, netbook, etc, however, the biggest expenses are booking the “budget truck” (~$300) and travel insurance (~$1000). All and all, this makes it really difficult to know how much we “set off with” since we’ve been steadily purchasing items for the last few months. Either way, we plan on continuing the budget updates but instead of monthly like they’ve been in the past they’ll be by country to make it more relevant for the reader.


At this point packing, purchasing, and budget are pretty much synonymous as I don’t see any free stuff coming our way – unfortunately our high school back packs are not equip for Asia travel. We made our first trip to REI where we thoroughly exploited the employees for 1.5hrs and tried on a bunch of backpacks, sandals, you name it. We couldn’t decide what we wanted (and frankly feel that you need to try things on for more time) so we walked out with $1800 worth of gear (probably their biggest purchase of the year), most of which will be returned once we try it out. In fact, the bill was so high that it set off alarms at the credit card company, and Capital One halted our credit card thinking it was being frauded.


The Europe Route is out! We got a lot of slack from other bloggers for planning too much but we can’t help it – it’s in our nature. We’ll probably change up our plans multiple times but we prefer having plans to change up as opposed to nothing at all.


Finally, a category in which we’re good to go! We cheated a bit (the only way we could actually finish something). For a grand total of $320 we got all our vaccines (opting out of the Jap Encephalitis and getting lots of freebies from Dave’s health clinic at work). We have also picked up all of our prescriptions and are currently trying to figure out a way to pack them efficiently. At this point, we’re almost ready to open up a black market pharmacy in apt 614 (jk for the squares/parentals).


We have the China visa application filled out and will be heading down to the embassy on Friday to deliver it personally.

Travel Insurance

No new updates. We have decided to purchase travel insurance for our trip but have yet to decide on a specific company. From most of the travel bloggers out there it seems like World Nomads is the best choice so we will most likely be purchasing a policy from them.


We really can’t believe how the time is flying but we honestly think the to do list (at least the pre trip planning list) is shortening. With our departure date from DC to Boston set for September 7th we only have 3 weeks left to enjoy our favorite activities and bid farewell to friends/coworkers.

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13 Responses to One Month To Go

  1. great post! However, you guys forgot about your biggest problem. What of all the jealous relatives that will be left behind? How are they to cope with all their envy? angry German porn can only do the trick for so long. these are some issues I feel you should address in your next post.

    Anonymous August 16, 2012 at 2:57 PM Reply
    • Haha the jealous relatives will just have to pack their bags and join us in our travels! Not a bad idea I’d say!

      Vicky August 21, 2012 at 4:05 PM Reply
  2. It is too bad you weren’t starting in Vietnam… then honestly, I think I would leave with only the stuff in my pockets and by everything there… including backpacks. Completely serious… Japan however probably doesn’t quite afford you that luxury….

    I remember when we collected our last paycheque before we left…. it was oneof those (gulp) moments… 🙂

    Skott - Get Up and Globe August 17, 2012 at 12:52 PM Reply
    • Ya I bet, though the plane flight to Vietnam would cost more.

      Dave and Vicky August 17, 2012 at 4:46 PM Reply
  3. I promise you, even though it seems like you have tons to do, it will all work out in the end! This month will fly by, but soon you’ll be out in the world and you will forget all this stress (probably because there will be new ones, but really, you’ll be amazed with your ability to deal with it all when you’re in Asia! 🙂 ).

    Also, I had the same fears about not having a steady income and just spending without making anything… Although we have been very good about tracking our expenses since touching down in Japan (so that we can do a budget section when we leave), I have found the whole money issue doesn’t bother me like it used to. You have been planning and budgeting for a while, so trust that and yourself when you get here and be sure to enjoy yourself. No point coming all the way to this amazing country, only to deprive yourself the entire time you are here. The money you have saved will take you a long way, so now is the time to enjoy!

    Oh, and I both laughed and totally relate to your REI story! We never dropped quite that much in one go, however, we did purchase three different backpacks apiece before deciding on our final bags for our trip, so I know the feeling of wanting to get it exactly right!

    Steph (@ 20 Years Hence) August 19, 2012 at 7:31 PM Reply
    • This month is definitely flying by! We have less than 3 weeks left in DC and I seriously cannot believe it. We are also going to try to keep track of all of our expenses and I’m sure once we’re in Japan I will happily splurge on sushi and sights without even a though in my mind. Definitely is going to be pretty hectic until we leave though! Thankfully we did narrow it down to one backpack each and ordered them online (way cheaper than at REI) and Dave returned all the stuff to REI today so it’s a relief to not see that charge on the credit card statement anymore! Hope you guys are enjoying Japan!

      Vicky August 21, 2012 at 4:05 PM Reply
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  5. Loved your account of your REI shopping spree. I think REI is worse than Target, in that every time I go into that store I see so many things I think I MUST have and end up spending much, much more than planned.

    Gina August 24, 2012 at 3:53 PM Reply
    • We spent 1800… but then returned 1700 of it when we found it cheaper online

      Vicky August 25, 2012 at 4:20 PM Reply
  6. I’m a new reader to your blog and I love detail oriented posts like this one. I wish I could be one of those free-spirits who just picks up and leaves but nope I have to plan all the details out beforehand. It’s useful for other aspiring rtw- travellers to read posts like this. I can’t wait to read the budget updates by country and I’m sure you can’t wait to visit all the countries! Best of luck during these final days of preparation. Hope they aren’t too hectic for you!

    Travelling Bittie August 25, 2012 at 11:27 AM Reply
    • Thanks! Yes we definitely could not imagine just picking up and deciding where to go on the spot. I am definitely a planner and while I will not plan every single thing out I like to have a rough blueprint of what the trip will look like. With only 10 days to go now and having to pack up our entire apartment and move in 2 days it certainly is getting hectic around here!

      Vicky September 5, 2012 at 11:38 AM Reply
  7. 10 days to go? 🙂
    Everybody says about planning too much…. Planning is part of fun! and one of the best ones.
    Liked a Capital One story 🙂
    Good luck on the trip. Looking forward to your updates.

    memographer August 28, 2012 at 10:58 AM Reply
    • Thanks so much! Yes I completely agree that planning has been fun – though at time frustrating and time consuming as well! I feel like the planning never ends though – there’s always something new to figure out!

      Vicky September 5, 2012 at 11:31 AM Reply

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