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on September 15, 2005
From visas to packing, from travel costs to the best places to visit, this book does an outstanding job in preparing a potential traveller for a long term international trip. I especially appreciated the "Basics" section which contained a wealth of internet resources.

One thing to keep in mind, however, is that this book is primarily geared toward young backpackers who want to travel the world on a super tight budget. Also the writer is British and his primary reading audience is European youth, among whom the 1 year RTW (Round the World) trip is almost a rite of passage. But there is also a much smaller but equally adventurous set of young American backpackers for whom the book would be just as useful. Personally, I began travelling on the cheap at age 18. But at the ripe old age of 37 I'm more inclined towards mid-range international travel. So sometimes I felt the writer's numerous suggestions on how to scrape by on pennies weren't 100% relevant. But at age 21 I would have loved his advice. Plus I'm so frugal by nature that I still kinda like it.

Overall it's hard to imagine a better book for the young backpacker or really anyway wanting to make a RTW trip.Highly recommended!
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on August 18, 2003
My husband and I are planning an extensive around-the-world trip for next year. While we are travel-savvy, we have never done this type of trip. Also, we are in our 30s, so we aren't doing a true "backpacker" trip, nor will it be luxury travel, it will be somewhere in the middle. This book is a MUST for anyone planning an extensive trip. It gives you the lowdown on a hundred topics, from medical/health, insurance, etc to basic overviews of the different regions and countries. It gave us a LOT to think about, and has me doing further research on issues that I had never even thought about. A MUST READ!!
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on January 7, 2008
I wrote an extremely positive review for Doug Lansky's first edition of "First Time Around The World" because I found it to be an excellent resource for travellers planning a RTW trip. Like the earlier book, this one includes useful chapters on planning, packing, safety and health for those preparing for long term international travel, particularly backpackers and others on a tight budget.

However, I personally was a bit disappointed with this second edition because there didn't seem to be enough new material to justify my purchase. Also I noticed some faults to the book that I didn't recognize the first time. For example, the country profiles are way too short and lacking enough useful information to help readers determine which places would be the most interesting to visit. Also some of the pricing info in this section seems to be misleading. It states, for example, that Thailand falls into the mid-range category for prices, costing from $35-$50 daily. But then I later noticed that Costa Rica is listed as costing only $10-$25 a day. Most experienced travellers would agree that travelling in Costa Rica on $10 a day is not a very realistic budget and that it is, in fact, a more expensive destination than Thailand. So I would caution readers to not rely too much on this book for pricing information while planning a trip.

This is probably still worth buying for those that don't own the first edition. But if and when a third edition is published I hope some substantial improvements are made.
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on May 8, 2003
Everythign in here is stuff you could figure out after a hundred hours on the internet, networking in a few dozen traveler ghettos and spending a few years lugging way too much, uh, luggage, but chances are your globetrotting will go farther, cheaper and (if you're smart about it) slower than if you had to figure it all out from scratch. Lots of emphasis on getting off the tourist trail and out interacting with local culture, written by a guy who's been doing just that for nearly a decade...
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on April 4, 2007
Long-duration travel is a wonderful thing, but it can be awfully challenging too. You could muck around for a year or two and figure it out for yourself, but chances are your travels will be happier, cheaper, and slower (yes, slower) if you read this first.

This is a comprehensive overview. It's not a detailed manual with exact specs for anything in particular. This book is for setting the stage, and giving you the tools to plan out what you want to do - there are copious links to internet and offline resources. It will steer you away from the common mistakes - too much stuff, too many kilometers, too shallow an expereince. Most importantly, it sets a tone for why people do this, and raises the bar for this expereince. Lansky is all about getting off the tourist trail and getting deep into a new place. This book will help you do it safely and respectfully.
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on January 27, 2006
I don't normally write reviews, but I was motivated to do so after reading the negative reviews of this book, which almost caused me not to buy it. This book is full of information you could pick up from talking with other travelers or through your own travel experiences, but if you've never really done independent traveling (backpacking and hosteling) before, this is a great resource to give you an overview of what to consider in planning your trip and what to expect once you're on the road. You would need region specific guides for all the usual information (lodging and restaurant reviews, local transportation, phrases, and customs, etc), but this book provides an overview of how to approach large scale travel, such as information on major transportation routes (RTW plane tickets, Eurail passes, Transiberian railway). It helped me work through the decision-making process on the big issues (RTW ticket or not?, rent a car to drive around Europe or buy one? camp or hostel in a given region?).

Those who have been disappointed by this book probably are more seasoned travelers. If you've already backpacked around germany for a month, this book might not be for you. But if independent traveling is a new adventure for you, this book may have a lot to offer. I for one am glad I bought it and found it very useful.
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on March 7, 2008
I did not find this edition much improved on the first edition. There's some great information if this is your first time coming to this book but it could have more detailed info, rather than adding a few bits more info here and there and calling it the second edition. Some of the information is not as up to date - it is possibly misleading - as it should be even allowing for a demanding publishing deadline. I would recommend getting your hands on a the first edition - it's probably doing the rounds in cheap books stores - and supplementing it with another travel book for more country specific info.
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on August 26, 2006
This book covers everything you'd want to know on a trip around the world, and mostly the basics that a lot of guide books take for granted. If you've got a question about travel itself (not where you're going), the answer's probably here.
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VINE VOICEon June 7, 2008
Lansky does a good job of culling together resources for the first time or novice traveler. There are also some good ideas for the experienced traveler. Yes, much of the material can be found on the web, but if you don't want to spend time searching for information on weather, visas, and the like-the book does have charts and resources for a wide range of resources. My biggest issue with the book is that it was geared more towards the young traveler. I'm older and have no wish to carry all my belongings on my back. I'd have preferred more information on traveling solo and leisurely in some comfort as I'd prefer the theatre over say bungee jumping.
But all in all, the book is a nice resource to refer to as you plan your dream trip around the world. It contains additional websites to fill in your data for a memorable trip.
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on June 29, 2008
My wife and I used the first edition of this book to figure out the nuts and bolts of traveling around the world. It was absolutely invaluable. It gave excellent advice about what to pack (and what not to take) how to go about the planning process, and basics such as getting around, where to stay, etc. Throughout our 10 month long trip, I thought back on the book and appreciated the advice that we had received from it. I recommend this book to everyone I meet who is considering taking an extended trip.
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