Slackpacking is the new backpacking! Slackpacking (or glampacking) has some of the benefits of backpacking, but without the squalor, budget constraints, drugs, partying and fast-pace.  So, I hear you ask, how will this be applied to our 7-month sabbatical?

Same or fewer number of countries

We are only planning to include 5 countries in Asia: Hong Kong (technically China), Thailand, Vietnam, Laos and India. At the end, we hope to spend one month in South Africa. There are no plans to rush about each of the countries to see as much as we can.  Exactly the opposite: in most countries, we’re planning to only visit one or two cities/regions.  India is a little different, as we’re spending more time there.  So this is what we’re planning (at the moment!) for each country:
  • Hong Kong: 3 weeks in Hong Kong
  • Thailand: 2 weeks in Bangkok
  • Vietnam: 1 month in Hoi An, a week in Hanoi/Halong Bay & a week in former Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City)
  • Laos: 4 weeks in Luang Prabang
  • India: 2 months in india.
    • 2 weeks in Kerala
    • 1 week in Ooty
    • 2 weeks in Goa
    • 3 weeks in Pune
    • 1 week in Delhi
    • 1 week in Mumbai
  • South Africa: 1 months

Funding our accommodation

Rather than prioritising stays in hotels / homestays and B&Bs, we have tried to use to do swap our house for one in the places we’re travelling to. This is influenced our itinerary, as we’re opting to go to places where we can swap houses.  It’s a bit like playing location russian roulette!  So far we have managed to do this in India, Hong Kong and Thailand.  This should halve our accommodation costs during our trip.
Also, it has meant that we’ll have really great accommodation while away.  One host even has a driver & car, and cleaner & cook at our disposal!  Hubbie was wondering whether that might be too posh for us ….
But it doesn’t end there.  For the weeks and months our flat will be unoccupied, we’ve teamed up with the neighbours to rent out the 2 rooms in our home on Airbnb to help fund some of the running costs we’ll have while away.

Planning our trip

Much of the trip has been planned on Saturday and Sunday mornings over breakfast in bed. There are so many moving parts that we need to come together, but it has been a lot of fun.

Slackpacking planning and progress

I hope to have enough time over the coming months to keep anyone who is interested, informed of our plans, through the blog.  Plans do change often, but I guess that is all part of the fun!  You’ll also be able to follow the progress of our trip via this blog, Facebook, Twitter  or Instagram.
It is probably fair to stay that we’re becoming increasingly excited! Work has been harrowing, so it has been great to have something to look forward to.
More information to follow: watch this space!