It seems like all I did was blink, and suddenly it’s November 28th! Where did the last few months go? Actually, where did 2011 go? Wow. More importantly, we now have only 2.5 months to get our year long trip around the world planned, organized and booked! Eeek!!
The first order of business is narrowing down the countries and cities we want to visit. (Yes, we are still at that stage). The last time we looked at this back in September, our journey went something like this: Seoul – Vancouver – Houston – Bogota – Sao Paulo – Johannesburg – Nairobi – Istanbul – Delhi – Bangkok – Seoul.
The general skeleton of the trip hasn’t changed that much since then, except that once we decided to pass on the business class ticket at $8500 (woe is me), and opt for the economy class ticket instead, it made sense to max out the RTW ticket with as many destinations and miles as possible.
Now, the itinerary is looking something like this: Seoul – Vancouver – Houston – Bogota – Sao Paulo – Santiago – Buenos Aires – Johannesburg – Nairobi – Cairo – Amman – Istanbul – Dehli – Singapore – Bangkok – Seoul. All of these flights will cost about $6000, which works out to around $400 per segment. It’s possible we could save money by booking some of these segments on budget airlines, but the fact that these are all direct flights on decent airlines, where we’ll collect mileage points is an added bonus. A bonus that we’re willing to pay a little bit of a premium for.
There’s still a lot of work to be done in finalizing the routing, because we’re using the destinations booked on the RTW ticket as the frame for the trip, and will be booking individual low-cost flights and land travel, to and from these cities. For example, sometime during the Cairo – Amman – Istanbul leg of the journey, we’ll be taking a 3 month detour over to Italy, France and Albania, before circling back to resume the routing booked on the RTW ticket. These details are yet to be figured out, and must be prior to booking the RTW ticket itself.
Which is where we’re kind of stuck at the moment. It’s mind-boggling and totally confusing trying to figure out routings, locations and the timing for this trip, because there are just so many factors to deal with. Juggling the variables of climate, flight patterns, visa requirements, the limitations of the RTW planner, the cost of flights between different cities – all of it is making me just a little bit cuckoo.
A math brain I am not. I think I need a supercomputer (or the math brain of The Bear) to sort this out…