I have just finished reading the Rough Guide on RTW trip and I think this is a very interesting book for all who wishes start their journey.
First, the cross-section structure is very handy. The author has a great sense of practical issues, good advices and precise comments. It would be almost impossible to buy, read and carry single-country guidebooks when travelling the world. Even if you bought it and kept it at home and studied it before the actual trip it doesn’t make any sense: before your trip starts you forget half of the information read. I’m not saying that you know everything about RTW after reading this book but its structure makes you think about important issues and it is really helpful. The details of places you will visit are of secondary importance.
Second, the proportions of information on the general issues, health issues and continent focused reviews is very smart. It gives you a general sense of what will you struggle with while travelling. It starts with preparations, packing, advise how to buy a cheap RTW ticket, how to safe money, what to do before you leave with your apartment. Further it explains a variety of difficult situations met in various countries and finally it concludes with back home, which is very rare in such publications.
Third, it does not neglect the difficulties of the RTW travel. It discusses some potential threats, like diseases and how to protect yourself, cultural shock, tiredness, lack of comfort and homesickness. I have an impression that for many people the important part is just TO GO without a second thought HOW it is going to look like. I’m not talking about expectations, which is less important. I’m talking about the mental confrontation of you as a traveler with difficult situations. Late buses, unfriendly crowd, being robbed, bad weather conditions, sickness- all CAN happen. So it is wise to be at least aware of that. I especially appreciate discussing the stages of going there and getting back (honeymoon, crisis etc.).
Last but not least, it brings attention of a potential traveller to the essence: what will you DO when travelling and what HOW are you going to learn the world. I think the author’s advices to stay in touch with people met, learning one of the languages to get back one day to a special place are precious.
So, after reading this book I have a general plan of my RTW in mind. I will slowly develop it, starting with getting a closer look at the countries on my list to visit.