plans

Off To Asia, Again.

If you are connected to me at all on social media you know that I am currently in Asia (first stop Bali) for a month long excursion. The more I travel, the more I want to travel. I thought that a 7.5 week trip (last nov-dec) would help subdue my travel bug, but alas, it has not. This trip all came together when a buddy of mine invited me to join a group of his friends in Bali for 10 days. I looked up some flight options, checked my points balances over on AwardWallet.com and the next day made my commitment. Ill try to give a brief explanation here about the flights I took with the costs. There are a LOT of flights this month and a lot of moving parts.

The Trip

If you’ve read any of this blog you know I am a miles and points junky and never pass up a good opportunity for a big win. So, now I am in Bali. How did I get here, you might ask. How much did it cost? Did I fly with miles or pay out of pocket?

The plan is to stay with my buddy and his friends here in Bali (Seminyak, Ubud, Sanur) for about 9-10 nights and then travel on with my new friend, Marina (who I met through this trips facebook group), to Cambodia for 3 days then Vietnam for about 8 nights and then spend 6 nights in Thailand. When I threw it out to the group to see if anyone wanted to continue traveling beyond the bali portion, Marina jumped right on board. She is traveling for more than 6 months after quitting her job and getting rid of her house. I was more than happy to have a travel buddy as I tend to travel alone a lot and was looking forward to having someone to share my experiences with. We met when I moved to san diego and realized very quickly that we would mesh well as travel companions.

The round trip flight cost me exactly…. wait for it…. $45. Total Freaking Score. I was able to book the flight with the help of Trav over at extrapackofpeanuts.com. I would normally book this myself, but it was a complicated routing (explained below) so I thought I would secure the help of a real award flight booking pro.

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Online Check In

I’m flying out to Santa Barbara tomorrow for the wedding of a long time friend. I’ll be traveling with two of my buddies and one of their wives (4 of us total). We are flying out on Jetblue and I grabbed us a Jetblue Getaways package which included:

Roundtrip flights JFK-LAX
Hertz Car Rental
2 Night Stay at DoubleTree San Diego

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Other Plans Coming Up

I thought it would be a good idea to get some ‘practice’ for the big trip I have coming up in November. So, in that spirit, I’ll try to post similar information and updates about 2 trips I have coming up. The first is a wedding in Santa Barbara next week (September 27 – October 1). The next is a short trip to Denver for the Great American Beer Festival which is (October 9-12).

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Rental Car Headache

Dealing with a big headache right now that I have been known about and have put off for a couple weeks. Automatic Transmission rental cars in Europe.

I visited France last year and needed to rent a car for about 6 days. I needed a large van type car because we were going to be traveling with 4-5 adult males with some camera gear and luggage. I realized then that the price difference for an automatic vs a manual transmission was pretty stark.  While my father (who was accompanying me) said that he could drive manual (he hasn’t done that in about 35 years) i thought it best that we fork over the extra money for a car that we could both drive. Besides, he graciously agreed to cover the cost of that since i was making most of the other arrangements for the trip.

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Im Nervous…

We all get a bit nervous when planning our travel and during it. Its just human nature (in my opinion). There are a few things I am nervous about and thought that it would be good to share. After all, that’s what this site is going to be all about. Sharing who I am and the travels I embark on.

Im Nervous About… Where I’ll Stay:

I am not super nervous about the first leg of my trip (the Spain and France part). I was in both of these countries last year, stayed with the same people and had a GREAT time. However, I will also be visiting 4 cities (Seville, Barcelona, Cadiz, Paris) within those countries which I have NOT been to yet and also staying in 2 of them with accommodations I found on AirBNB (see below if you don’t know what that is). Furthermore, I will be visiting Thailand and Tokyo and Singapore all of which are completely foreign (no pun intended) to me.

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Initial Plans…. READ FIRST

This may be a bit hard to read, but the table isn’t importing correctly from excel so this will have to do.

Here is my airfare. I’ve included flights (to and from and dates) as well as duration and cost (point cost and dollar cost). I used a lot of points to make this trip happen and I’ll explain all that in another post. The crazy thing is, while I will be taking 14 separate flights, flying 26,000+ miles and stopping in 8 different countries, the total cost of airfare is less than a single round trip ticket to my first destination.

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